What is hypothyroidism?

Hypothyroidism develops slowly. Symptoms may go unnoticed for a long time, and they may be vague and general.
Symptoms vary a great deal between individuals, and they are shared by other conditions. The only way to obtain a concrete diagnosis is through a blood test.
Treatment for hypothyroidism focuses on supplementing the thyroid hormone. At present, doctors cannot cure hypothyroidism but they can help people to control it in most cases.
Synthetic thyroxine
To replenish levels, doctors usually prescribe synthetic thyroxine, a medication that is identical to the T4 hormone. Doctors may recommend taking this in the morning before eating each day.
Dosage is determined by the patient’s history, symptoms, and current TSH level. Doctors will regularly monitor the patient’s blood to determine if the dosage of synthetic T4 needs to be adjusted.

Regular monitoring will be required, but the frequency of blood tests will likely decrease over time.
Iodine and nutrition
Iodine is an essential mineral for thyroid function. Iodine deficiency is one of the most common causes of goiter development, or abnormal enlargement of the thyroid gland.
Maintaining adequate iodine intake is important for most people, but those with autoimmune thyroid disease can be particularly sensitive to the effects of iodine, meaning that it can trigger or worsen hypothyroidism.
They should inform their doctor if they are sensitive to the effects of iodine.
People with hypothyroidism should discuss any major dietary changes with their doctor, especially when starting a high fiber diet, or eating lots of soy or cruciferous vegetables.

Diet can affect the way in which the body absorbs thyroid medication.
During pregnancy, iodine requirements increase. Using iodized salt in the diet and taking prenatal vitamins can maintain the required levels of iodine.
Iodine supplements are available for purchase online.
Hypothyroidism can normally be managed appropriately by following the advice of a qualified healthcare practitioner. With appropriate treatment, thyroid hormone levels should return to normal.
In most cases, medications for hypothyroidism will need to be taken for the rest of the patient’s life.

There is no way to prevent hypothyroidism, but people who may have a higher risk of thyroid problems, for example, women during pregnancy, should check with their doctor about the need for additional iodine.
Screening is not recommended for those who do not have symptoms, unless they have the following risk factors:
* a history of autoimmune disease
* previous radiation treatment to the head or neck
* a goiter
* family history of thyroid problems
* use of medications known to affect thyroid function
These people can be tested for early signs of the condition. If tests are positive, they can take measures to prevent the disease from progressing.
There is no evidence that a particular diet will prevent hypothyroidism, and there is no way to prevent hypothyroidism unless you live in a region with low iodine levels in the diet, for example, some parts of Southeast Asia and Africa.
No specific diet is recommended for hypothyroidism, but individuals should follow a varied, well-balanced diet that is not high in fat or sodium.

In addition, those with autoimmune Hashimoto’s may benefit from following a gluten-free diet. Research suggests a linkTrusted Source between celiac disease and autoimmune thyroid disease, and both have inflammatory components. Avoiding gluten may help in nonceliac autoimmune diseases, but it is important to speak to a doctor first before cutting out foods that contain gluten.
Other foods and nutrients may be hazardous, especially if consumed in large quantities.
These include:
* soya, as it can affect thyroxine absorption
* iodine, found in kelp and other seaweeds, and in supplements, including some multivitamins
* iron supplements, as they can affect thyroxine absorption
* cruciferous vegetables, such as cauliflower, kale, and cabbage may contribute to a goiter, but only in very large amounts
Consuming additional iodine can interfere with the balance involved in treatment. If hyperthyroidism develops, iodine can be hazardous.
Any changes to diet or supplementation should be discussed with a doctor.