Is a Detox a good idea when you have hypothyroidism?

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  • In the age of on-line marketing, there are many opportunists keen on selling you the latest health fad.  In recent years, this has been the great and mighty detox.  However, there is absolutely no scientific evidence that shows a specific detox plan is effective.  The reason for this is that there are just too many variables to test, making it difficult for scientists to come to any solid conclusions.

    However, although there are those many pills and potions to take to detox the body, there IS scientific evidence to show that there are specific foods that in fact boost the natural detoxification processes of the body.  You may want to check out our science-based nutrition package (My Boost Body Cleanse) that includes such foods here.

    When it comes to optimal thyroid health, there are many aspects to popular cleansing practices and foods that may do more harm than good.  If you have a thyroid condition, take the following points into consideration:

    Iodine may exacerbate your thyroid condition.

    A lot of the foods used to cleanse the body such as algae like chlorella and spirulina are rich sources of iodine.  Iodine may not be a problem for many with hypothyroidism, however, taking too much can exacerbate an autoimmune condition.  Especially if you are deficient in selenium, iodine may do more harm than good.  Therefore, before starting a detox regimen that contains iodine, check your selenium status and make sure not to surpass the daily dose of 150 mcg per day.

    Fasting may throw off blood glucose balance.

    Many people with hypothyroidism produce too much cortisol which can throw off optimal blood sugar balance.  What this means is if you decide to do a fast as part of a detox program, you will further exacerbate blood sugar balance by producing even more cortisol (which also decreases thyroid function).  For most thyroid patients, eating every 3-4 hours with a mixture of high-fiber carbohydrate and protein will help to balance blood sugar levels.  Drinking smoothies as part of your fast can be a good alternative to people with hypothyroidism who want to do their own version of a fast.  You simply incorporate a protein source like organic collagen powder into the smoothie and drink one portion every 3-4 hours to help offset the side-effects associated with increased cortisol production.

    Watch out for foods that can trigger autoimmune responses.

    Members of the nightshade family such as tomatoes, peppers, eggplants and Goji berries can be seen in a variety of detox plans.  However, for people with Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, these foods serve as a trigger to their disease.  Therefore, if you know that these foods do in fact bother you, try to avoid them all together.

    Take Home Message:

    • Excess iodine may exacerbate a thyroid condition.  Do not take more than 150mcg per day.
    • Eat every 3-4  hours mixing carbohydrate and protein in order to offset excess cortisol production.
    • Avoid immune stimulating foods that can trigger autoimmune disease.
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