7 Best Lifestyle Changes to Follow for Managing Thyroid Disease


Medically reviewed by

Bajaj Finserv Health


4 min read

Key Takeaways

  • Hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism are two types of thyroid problems
  • Consuming more sugar and gluten-rich foods can trigger thyroid disease
  • Cutting down on alcohol and caffeine intake can soothe your thyroid gland

Your thyroid controls the rate of many activities including how fast you burn calories or how fast your heart beats [1]. There are several common thyroid problems including hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism. The former is a disorder where your thyroid gland does not produce enough thyroid hormones. Hyperthyroidism is a thyroid disease where your thyroid gland produces more hormones than your body needs. Managing hypothyroidism requires taking medications and making lifestyle changes.

Hypothyroidism is a common type of thyroid disorder. It arises due to poor diet and other lifestyle factors. Its treatment requires taking thyroxine supplements every day. However, making dietary and lifestyle changes can help in managing signs of hypothyroidism. Similarly, a variety of conditions including autoimmune disorders can cause hyperthyroidism. Read on to know the lifestyle changes that help in managing hypothyroidism, hyperthyroidism, and other thyroid problems.

Additional Read: Signs of Hyperthyroidism and Hypothyroidism: A Guide to the Two Thyroid Conditions

Check Your Intake of Iodine

The functioning of your thyroid gland is dependent on iodine. A lack of the mineral in your diet may lead to a thyroid disease such as hypothyroidism. Iodine deficiency is also a cause of goiter, which causes improper development of the thyroid gland [2]. Over 90% of such cases worldwide are linked to lower consumption of iodine. Having an adequate amount of iodine helps in the proper regulation of this gland. Thus, iodine is an important nutrient for your body. Some good sources of iodine include:

  • iodized salt

  • seafood

  • yogurt

  • cheese

  • Eat less sugar

Take a step towards cutting down the amount of sugar you have. Eating high amounts of sugar is not good for your health. It may lead to inflammations, which may affect your thyroid function. It can slow down the conversion of T4 to T3 [3], the active thyroid hormone in your body. It can also worsen the symptoms of hypothyroidism. So, reduce sugar in your diet for managing hypothyroidism.

thyroid problems

Watch Your Diet

Make sure you eat well-balanced meals every day to keep your thyroid symptoms at bay. Ask your doctor which foods are good for your thyroid function. You may need to avoid certain foods to improve your health. Do not eat:

  • soy-based foods

  • vegetables like cauliflower, cabbage, broccoli

  • frozen meat

  • processed foods

Instead, increase intake of foods rich in omega-3 which can help your thyroid, such as:

  • fish

  • eggs

  • milk products

  • Manage your weight

The right weight for your height and age keeps you healthy. People who are overweight require more thyroid hormones. Reducing weight may improve the health of those who are obese and have a borderline thyroid function. Obesity increases the risk of thyroid cancer and losing weight can lower its risks [4].

Go Gluten-Free

Foods processed from wheat, barley, and other grains contain a protein called gluten. It is one of the factors that cause celiac disease, which is associated with hypothyroidism. It is better to switch to a gluten-free diet if you are suffering from [5]:

  • celiac disease

  • hypothyroidism

  • Hashimoto’s thyroiditis

Foods that are rich in gluten increase inflammation, which worsens the symptoms of thyroid disease.

Limit Alcohol and Caffeine

Drinking alcohol in moderation doesn’t cause much damage to your thyroid gland. However, excessive consumption can affect thyroid function severely. When you cut down on caffeine, you can can lower the stress on your thyroid gland too. Do not drink more than one cup of coffee a day for best results.

Meditate and Prevent Stress

The resistance of thyroid receptor cells to thyroid hormones can increase due to stress. It can also weaken your immune system. Due to excess stress, your thyroid function also works below optimum levels. So, manage your stress. Do yoga, take a walk, or read a book. This may soothe your thyroid gland. Thyroid problems like hypothyroidism can also lead to anxiety and depression. Practicing meditation can help in this regard.

Additional Read: Overactive Thyroid Gland? Here are the Causes, Symptoms and Common Signs

Making lifestyle changes is not a substitute for proper diagnosis and treatment of thyroid disease. However, leading a healthier lifestyle will help you manage thyroid problems in the long run. If you have thyroid eye disease or other issues, get medical help. You can consult doctors and specialists on Bajaj Finserv Health and get advice on what decreases or increases thyroid levels. You can also book crucial thyroid tests on the platform in minutes. All this can help you manage thyroid issues better.

Published on 6 Dec 2021Last updated on 4 May 2022
  1. https://effectivehealthcare.ahrq.gov/health-topics/hypothyroidism
  2. https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/goitre/
  3. https://www.yourhormones.info/hormones/triiodothyronine/
  4. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/23321160/
  5. https://www.thyroid.org/hashimotos-thyroiditis/

Please note that this article is solely meant for informational purposes and Bajaj Finserv Health Limited (“BFHL”) does not shoulder any responsibility of the views/advice/information expressed/given by the writer/reviewer/originator. This article should not be considered as a substitute for any medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always consult with your trusted physician/qualified healthcare professional to evaluate your medical condition. The above article has been reviewed by a qualified doctor and BFHL is not responsible for any damages for any information or services provided by any third party.


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