Although dietary changes can’t cure Graves’ disease, it helps to be aware of how nutrition affects the condition. Depending on your treatment plan, you may want to avoid ingredients that stimulate or inhibit thyroid function.
People with Grave’s disease can be more susceptible to certain deficiencies. A balanced meal plan will help you feel more even keel with Graves’ disease.
Graves’ disease speeds up the metabolism, producing unpleasant symptoms, like:
- Rapid and irregular heartbeat
- Weight loss
Caffeine exacerbates these symptoms, so it’s best to avoid overdoing it until your thyroid levels are under control. Stay away from energy drinks and supplements, limit your intake of caffeinated sodas and chocolate, and try switching to decaf coffee or tea.
Iodine ramps up your thyroid’s production of thyroid hormone, which is an effect that people with Graves’ disease should aim to prevent. Talk to your doctor about whether you should avoid supplements or food that are high in iodine.
Individuals with Graves’ disease are more prone to other chronic health conditions, including heart disease and osteoporosis. Choosing a nutritious meal plan overall that includes sufficient amounts of vitamin D, calcium, healthy fats, fiber, and antioxidants can help protect your long-term health.
Research has identified an elevated risk of developing Graves’s disease for individuals deficient in vitamin B12. Low vitamin D levels are also a common concern. For individuals with borderline levels, keeping an eye on micronutrient status may help slow or reduce the progression of hyperthyroidism.
How it Works
There’s no official blueprint for healthy eating with Graves’ disease. However, staying away from things that are known to exacerbate an overactive thyroid is a smart strategy for long-term disease management.
Antiinflammatory foods are generally recommended for people with autoimmune conditions and cardiovascular disease. Focusing on nutritious new foods to include (rather than just what to exclude) can help you maintain a positive outlook with Graves’ disease.
There’s no official “cure” for Graves’ disease. Even if treatment successfully suppresses your hormone levels, it’s still important to be mindful of making healthy lifestyle choices. Instead of trying to find a short-term diet for Graves’ disease, work towards making sustainable changes for life.
What to Eat
Eating an anti-inflammatory diet may be of benefit to people with Graves’ disease. These are some suggested items.
All fresh vegetables
Berries, avocado, and other fruits
Dry beans or canned beans with no added salt
Fatty fish like salmon and sardines
Decaf coffee or tea
Whole grains, including oatmeal and brown rice
Read MoreWhat to Eat for Better Management