14 08, 2017

Hypothyroidism diet – Foods to eat and avoid

2017-12-14T23:21:24+00:00

Hypothyroidism Diet – Foods to eat and avoid

Hypothyroidism foods to eat and avoid

     I was diagnosed with hypothyroidism back in 2010 and was prescribed 50 mcg of Levothyroxine. The doctor then advised me to have my thyroid hormone levels checked every year and pretty much sent me on my marry way with no other plan of action.

     At the time I didn’t know much about the condition, only that the people I knew had it always talked about how much weight they gained. From that point on, I decided to get informed and pursue a healthier diet to try to get this disease under control.

      Having hypothyroidism means that I have an under active thyroid gland, in other words my gland can’t produce enough thyroid hormone to maintain some of my body functions. As I learned about some of the symptoms,  I was baffled to discover I had been experiencing several (for a couple of years) without being aware of the cause.

     Below you will find a list of symptoms as well as food do’s and don’ts.

Some of the symptoms of hypothyroidism include the following:

  • Fluctuations of body temperature
  • Slow metabolism and weight gain
  • Fatigue
  • Bowel irregularity
  • Cold fingers and toes
  • Hair thinning/loss
  • Menstrual cycle changes and infertility

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 Hypothyroidism foods to avoid     I didn’t make huge changes to my diet but I made a list of some food items that compromise my thyroid hormone levels. I always try my best to avoid them since I know they are detrimental to my overall health.

FOODS TO AVOID

  • Soy: I consider soy my enemy number one. I found out it is safe to consume unless you have a thyroid condition or iodine deficiency, which I do. Soybean oil is listed as a main ingredient in several food items; Mayonnaise is an example. I always look at the label ingredients before buying anything and consider better options. Soy can obstruct the absorption of the thyroid medication and mess up with my treatment.
  • Raw cruciferous vegetables: Broccoli, brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, kale, turnips and Bok choy, etc. contain a natural chemical compound called goitrogen. Goitrogens can also interfere with the thyroid hormone replacement therapy as soy does. The antioxidant and cancer protective benefits that cruciferous vegetables offer are enormous, so I don’t take them away from my daily diet. If I don’t eat them in large amounts, steaming and cooking them will make them safer to eat.
  • Sugary and fried foods: There is no denying that sugary and processed foods have lots of calories with very few nutrients. If consumed often, this type of food will expedite the issue of slow metabolism and weight gain.
  • Processed foods: Something I discovered recently is that people with hypothyroidism can suffer from hypertension. Eating too much salt causes water retention  which contributes to an increase in the blood pressure. Restricting sodium intake to 1500 mg/day, which is the daily recommended sodium intake for people with hypertension, will keep this problem under control.
  • Coffee:  The consensus is that drinking coffee within 60 min of taking thyroid medication  will block its absorption. From the beginning, I was advised by the pharmacist to take my meds on an empty stomach and to wait at least 30 min (preferably 60 min) before eating or drinking anything besides water. I have my medication and a glass of water next to my bed. so I created the habit of taking my levothyroxine as soon as I wake up.

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 Hypothyroidism foods to eat     One crucial modification I made to my diet was to add certain food items that nurture my body. These foods relieve some of the hypothyroidism symptoms, as well as decrease inflammation and strengthen my immune system.

 FOODS TO ADD TO DIET

  • Increase intake of water: This is the easiest and most recommended tip for pretty much any diet. With hypothyroidism comes slow metabolism and bowel irregularity. So I  increased my water intake to aid metabolism and digestion problems.
  • Coconut Oil: Consuming coconut oil increases the metabolism rate, so it helps boost the energy level. In addition, it has antimicrobial, antibacterial and antioxidant properties  that aid the digestive functions and inflammation. I usually cook my vegetables in coconut oil, it  also adds sweet and nutty notes to the dish.
  • Wild caught Salmon: Autoimmune hypothyroidism happens when a person immune system attacks the thyroid gland. Eating foods high in Omega 3, like wild salmon, assists the body in reducing inflammation and supporting the immune system to achieve better neurological function.
  • Rich  fiber foods like beans, lentils, quinoa, brown rice, oatmeal, apples, etc. My goal here is to aid digestion and constipation.
  • Fruits and vegetables high in antioxidants: The goal here is to fight free radical damage and lower inflammation.
  • Seaweed: A deficiency of Iodine will disturb the normal function of the thyroid gland. The best natural source of iodine is kelp and nori. I usually buy dry  seaweed in the Asian food section at my local supermarket or enjoy it with sushi.
  • Probiotics: Having a healthy gut environment is important to keep my immune system in check.  Adding Kefir, organic goat’s milk, yogurt, kombucha and other fermented foods to my diet help to accomplish an optimal gut environment.

     Before being diagnosed, I was gaining weight without a change in lifestyle or diet. After taking charge of my diet I began to feel better. I am 5’6 and weight 125 pounds, so I can say that somewhat my changes have worked. There are times when some of the symptoms such as fatigue, bowel irregularity, slow metabolism and weird body temperature changes return. Usually when that happen its because I have gone away from what I know is good for my body; it is a reminder that I need to stay focused.

     I hope this article helps you in some way wherever you are in your journey with hypothyroidism. Please feel free to comment below with any questions or tips. I would love to know more about your story.

 

Hypothyroidism diet – Foods to eat and avoid 2017-12-14T23:21:24+00:00
9 03, 2017

My Coccyx Pain

2017-12-14T06:03:32+00:00

My Coccyx Pain

Versión en Español

     My coccyx pain began in June of 2015. My husband and I were flying back from Italy to San Francisco, with a connection in Toronto. I had no problem on the first leg of the flight, but as soon as I took my seat on the connection flight from Toronto, I began to have a tingling pain on my coccyx area.

     After coming back from the trip, I had that tingling pain for about 1 month more, then suddenly the pain got really bad. I couldn’t sit or lay down without pain in my coccyx and standing up from a sitting position caused a sharp radiating pain around the same area. Even walking became a challenge; I noticed my posture changed as I began to move slower than usual. I realized it was time to seek medical help.

         After visiting my primary doctor in mid August, I was recommended to take Ibuprofen 600 mg for 10 days.  Next, since I didn’t feel any improvement, I got an x-ray which showed no abnormalities. So my doctor made a referral to get an injection from the Pain and Anesthesia Department. Unfortunately the next available appointment was a month away.

    At the time I was a full time student, I had to sit many agonizing hours while driving and attending classes. My friends and family advised me to use a donut shaped seat cushion, so I bought one at the local pharmacy. I tried it for a couple of weeks, but it seemed that instead of relieving my pain it was causing more pressure around my coccyx. I needed to find a better solution. I found a Pilates ball sitting in my garage and began to take it to school with me. I also used it while watching TV in my house, at the time I couldn’t sit on any couch or chair so it was an ok and not so painful solution to my sitting down problem.

    I went to my appointment on September 30th. The doctor at the pain department  told me he was used to see cases like mine; people sitting on a flight for long hours and getting up to having coccyx pain. The diagnosis was “Coccydynia” and he recommended an injection of what I think was a combination of a local anesthetic and a steroid (I don’t remember exactly) into the tissues surrounding my coccyx. I got out of his office with no pain, but with a numb butt. I was given a diary to keep track of my pain for the next 2 weeks, and instructions to contact the doctor back if after 2 weeks the pain has returned. I didn’t like the feeling of having a numb butt; I could sit with no pain, but I wasn’t sure if actually I was hurting myself even more without knowing. The numbing lasted only for about 4 hours, the pain came back progressively.

     As the two weeks went by, my pain came back to the original 6/7 in a scale of 1-10 (10 being excruciating pain). I looked for a different approach so I went to a chiropractor for about 4 sessions which gave me no relief. I became addicted to icing my coccyx area to numb it before going to sleep; I was desperate. Right around that time I bought the Aylio Coccyx Orthopedic Comfort Foam Seat Cushion in Amazon, which was one of the key elements to my recovery since it is designed so that the area of ​​the coccyx does not have contact with any surface. A month after my injection I contacted the doctor again, he said I needed another injection. I didn’t want to get another temporarily fix, so I refused to get another shot and he ordered an MRI. On November 24th, I got my MRI which results “Nonspecific minimal bone marrow edema seen involving the distal coccyx with associated mild inflammatory T2 signal changes involving the surrounding soft tissues” only confirmed what I already knew “I had pain and inflammation on the coccyx area”; I was against the wall. This time the doctor recommended physical therapy,  I was hopeful this would be the solution.

 

     The physical therapist told me that they couldn’t really help me since my issue was in an area that it was hard to reach, but she referred me to a physical therapist from the Gynecology department. I saw the physical therapist from the Gynecology department on December 16th and after a short evaluation she told me that the muscles of my pelvic floor were very tight and that was one possible cause of my pain. We began therapy with exercises that same visit, I am going to say that at the beginning I wasn’t comfortable with this kind of therapy. I am shy, during my visits the physical therapist manipulated my pelvic floor muscles from my vagina with her fingers and after each visit she gave me a set of exercises to continue my improvement at home. Around that time I began to use the Sunbeam Body Shaped Heating pad for about 10 min before going to bed, this was another key element for my recovery. From the first therapy I felt better, and as I continue with therapy and exercises I could see and feel my quick improvement. On February 12 of 2016, after only 4 session, I was discharged from having office visits; I felt so much better after only 2 months.

     I continued doing the exercises for about 2 months more as I kept feeling better. In June of 2016, I was able to flight for the first time to Mexico in the company of my Aylio cushion seat. The cushion became my best traveling friend considering I took it everywhere I went; fine dining restaurants included. Since then I have traveled to Europe and Mexico twice. This year, I began to drive short distances without the cushion, but I still take it with me on trips longer than 1 hour. On February I began to work out again after almost 1.5 years without physical activity aside from walking. I wish I could tell you that I am fully recovered after 2 years of dealing with Coccydynya pain, but I am not. Even though my daily routine is almost back to normal, I still feel my coccyx area getting tight, tingly and painful from time to time. When this happen I do the exercises that my therapist game me as they seem to keep helping.

     I hope my story has help you in your journey. If you have any questions please feel free to comment or contact me. I’ll be happy to help!

 

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My Coccyx Pain 2017-12-14T06:03:32+00:00
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