Thyroid gland is a small, butterfly-shaped gland in the front of your neck that produces thyroid hormone. These hormones affect your metabolism rate and aids proper functioning of your body. They can also help in regulating blood pressure (BP), heart rate and body temperature.
In case of women, undiagnosed thyroid disorder can hinder her capability to become pregnant, or even lead to miscarriage. However, proper assessment by your physician can help overcome risks associated with it. Thyroid disease can be categorized as follows:
Hypothyroidism is a condition when the thyroid gland becomes under-active and cannot produce enough hormones for healthy functioning of the body. This can be especially problematic when you’re trying to conceive or already pregnant. In the first 10-12 weeks, your child is completely dependent on you for his/her thyroid hormones. Apart from medication and suggested treatment by your doctor, here are some diet suggestions to get through pregnancy with hypothyroidism.
- Eat healthy, timely meals. Choose healthy, home-cooked meals over processed foods. It is very important to eat on time to regulate your metabolism. Also make sure the fruits and vegetables that you eat are thoroughly cleaned before consumption.
- Stock up on greens and whole grains. Leafy greens such as spinach, fenugreek and lettuce are a good source of magnesium which is beneficial to thyroid. Include these in your daily diet. Hypothyroidism can cause constipation, which get worse during pregnancy. A diet rich in whole grains can help ease bowel movement.
- Include nuts and berries in your diet. Cashews, almonds and walnuts are a rich source of magnesium and protein that help boost the functionality of thyroid gland. Berries like strawberry and blueberry are power-packed with anti-oxidants and help improve your immune system.
- Get enough Vitamin D. Bone loss is a common symptom during hypothyroidism. Foods rich in Vitamin D, along with calcium will help prevent bone loss.
- Avoid foods that can hurt thyroid. Food like cabbage, broccoli and cauliflower are called goitrogens and they suppress thyroid functions. Soy should also be avoided if you have iodine deficiency.
Hyperthyroidism is a condition when there is too much thyroid hormone in the body, causing the body’s metabolic functioning to speed up. Pregnant mothers experiencing symptoms can be diagnosed through a blood test. In the case of hyperthyroidism, anti-thyroid medication needs to be taken which acts by interfering with thyroid hormone production. The level of hormones needs to be constantly monitored by doctors. Here are some dietary tips that help pregnant women with hyperthyroidism:
- Eat more cruciferous vegetables. Broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage etc are goitrogens that help decrease the production of thyroid hormones.
- Load up on Zinc. Your overactive thyroid hormones deplete zinc in your body very quickly. This could hamper cell division, growth and breakdown of carbohydrates. Foods rich in protein are good sources of zinc.
- Avoid Iodine rich food. Iodine increases the activity of thyroid glands and hence must be used with caution.
- Include lean meats. Reduce intake of red meat and include protein rich lean meats.
Pregnancy causes changes to the thyroid gland. Our renowned team of specialists at KIMS Cuddles works with you to ensure that you have a safe pregnancy, even with thyroid problems. We provide constant care and guidance throughout your pregnancy. Our aim is to prevent complications and keep the mother and the baby healthy.
*The opinions expressed in this article are not to be substituted for medical advice under any circumstance.