Hyperthyroidism happens when there’s too much thyroid hormone in your body. This condition is also called thyrotoxicosis. An overactive or enlarged thyroid gland may produce more thyroid hormone.
Foods To Eat
The mineral iodine plays a key role in making thyroid hormones. A low-iodine diet helps to reduce thyroid hormones. Add these foods to your daily diet:
- non-iodized salt
- coffee or tea (without milk or dairy- or soy-based creamers)
- egg whites
- fresh or canned fruit
- unsalted nuts and nut butters
- homemade bread or breads made without salt, dairy, and eggs
- popcorn with non-iodized salt
- maple syrup
Cruciferous vegetables and other types may stop your thyroid from using iodine properly. They may be beneficial for hyperthyroidism:
- bamboo shoots
- bok choy
- Brussels sprouts
- collard greens
Vitamins and minerals
Several nutrients are essential for thyroid health and to balance thyroid hormone production.
Iron is important for many vital bodily functions, including thyroid health. This mineral is needed for blood cells to carry oxygen to every cell in your body. Low levels of iron are linked to hyperthyroidism. Get plenty of iron in your diet with foods such as:
- dried beans
- green leafy vegetables
- poultry, such as chicken and turkey
- red meat
- whole grains
Selenium-rich foods may help to balance thyroid hormone levels and protect your thyroid from disease. Selenium helps to prevent cell damage and keep your thyroid and other tissues healthy.
Good food sources of selenium include:
- Brazil nuts
- chia seeds
- meat, such as beef and lamb
- oat bran
- poultry, such as chicken and turkey
- sunflower seeds
Zinc helps you use food for energy. This mineral also keeps your immune system and thyroid healthy. Food sources of zinc include:
- cocoa powder
- pumpkin seeds
Calcium and vitamin D
Hyperthyroidism causes weak and brittle bones. Bone mass may be restored with treatment. Vitamin D and calcium are necessary for building healthy bones.
Calcium-rich foods include:
- collard greens
- white beans
- calcium-fortified orange juice
- almond milk
- calcium-fortified cereals
Vitamin D is found in these low-iodine foods:
- vitamin D-fortified orange juice
- vitamin D-fortified cereals
- beef liver
- fatty fish
Fats that are from whole foods and largely unprocessed may help reduce inflammation. This helps to protect thyroid health and balance thyroid hormones. Nondairy fats are important in a low-iodine diet. These include:
- flaxseed oil
- olive oil
- avocado oil
- coconut oil
- sunflower oil
- safflower oil
- unsalted nuts and seeds
Some spices and herbs have anti-inflammatory properties to help protect and balance thyroid function. Add flavor and a dose of antioxidants to your daily meals with:
- green chilies
- black pepper
Foods to avoid if you have hyperthyroidism
Eating too many iodine-rich or iodine-fortified foods may lead to hyperthyroidism or worsen it in some cases.
A teaspoon of iodized salt gives you 284 micrograms of iodine. Seafood has the most iodine. Just 1 gram of seaweed contains 2 milligrams (mg) of iodine. The recommend dose of iodine is about 1.1 mg per day. A low-iodine diet requires even less.
Avoid the following seafood and seafood additives:
Avoid other foods high in iodine such as:
- milk and dairy
- egg yolks
- iodized salt
- iodized water
- some food colorings
Some medications also contain iodine. These include:
- amiodarone (Nexterone)
- cough syrups
- medical contrast dyes
- herbal or vitamin supplements
Chemicals called nitrates may causeTrusted Source your thyroid to absorb too much iodine. This can lead to an enlarged thyroid and hyperthyroidism.
Nitrates are found naturally in some foods. Processed foods may contain added nitrates. They may also be found in drinking water. Avoid or limit foods such as:
- processed meats (sausage, bacon, salami, pepperoni)
In some people, gluten may harm the thyroid by causing inflammation. Even if you don’t have a gluten allergy or intolerance, it may be beneficial to restrict or limit gluten. Check food labels for gluten-containing ingredients such as:
- brewer’s yeast
While soy doesn’t contain iodine, it’s been shown to interfere with some treatments for hyperthyroidism in animals. Avoid or limit foods with soy such as:
- soy milk
- soy sauce
- soy-based creamers
Foods and beverages that contain caffeine, such as coffee, tea, soda, and chocolate, can exacerbate the symptoms of hyperthyroidism and lead to increased anxiety, nervousness, irritability, and rapid heart rate.
If caffeine has this effect on you, then avoiding or limiting your intake may be a good option. Try replacing caffeinated beverages with natural herbal teas, flavored water, or hot apple cider.
Diet plans and Herbal Supplements.
Bugleweed is a plant that’s historically been used to treat heart and lung conditions.
Some sources suggest that bugleweed is a thyrosuppressant — that is, it reduces the function of the thyroid gland.
B-complex or B-1
While vitamin B-12 supplements can help you manage some of these symptoms, they don’t treat hyperthyroidism on their own.
Although B-12 and B-complex vitamins are available over the counter, it’s best to talk to your doctor before adding in a new supplement.
Some researchTrusted Source suggests that selenium can be used to treat the symptoms of hyperthyroidism.
Selenium is a mineral that naturally occurs in water, soil, and foods like nuts, fish, beef, and grains. It can also be taken as a supplement.
Graves’ disease, the most common cause of hyperthyroidism, is associated with thyroid eye disease (TED), which can be treated with selenium. Remember, though, that not everyone with hyperthyroidism has TED.
It’s best to consult your doctor before taking a supplement like selenium, as there are some possible side effects and selenium shouldn’t be taken in combination with certain medications.
Lemon balm, a plant that’s a member of the mint family, is thought to be a treatment for Graves’ disease. In theory, this is because it reduces thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH).
However, there’s a lack of research on this claim. There’s insufficient evidence to assess whether lemon balm effectively treats hyperthyroidism.
Lemon balm can be consumed as a tea or in the form of a supplement. Relax with a cup of lemon balm tea may at least be healing as a stress management technique.
Lavender and sandalwood essential oils
While many people swear by using essential oils to manage the symptoms of hyperthyroidism, there’s insufficient research on this claim.
Lavender and sandalwood essential oils can, for example, reduce feelings of anxiety and help you feel calm. This might help you fight nervousness and sleeplessness, both symptoms of hyperthyroidism.
A dietary fiber, glucomannan is found in the form of capsules, powders, and tablets. It’s often derived from the root of the konjac plant.
One promising study from 2007Trusted Source suggests that glucomannan could be used to lower the levels of thyroid hormones in people with hyperthyroidism, but more evidence is needed.