Thyroid and vegan - VeggieBoards

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#1 Old 02-15-2015, 03:11 PM
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Unhappy Thyroid and vegan

hello ! I am vegan and have thyroid issues, everything is still panning out as far as treatment but I'm working on my diet. I am lactose and obviously vegan. Ive read about gluten and soy sensitivity with thyroid problems however I know it varies. If that's not complicated enough I don't like tofu and I'm not a big pasta/bread person because pasta leaves me feeling too full like uncomfortable. Any tips? Anyone else have thyroid issues on here? Help!
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#2 Old 02-15-2015, 05:04 PM
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Hi, I believe we spoke before about food ideas besides pasta and tofu.

I have had hypothyroidism for 26 years. I went through periods as a vegan cutting out soy and gluten just to see what the fuss was about and it made absolutely no difference for me at all. I also had an intolerance to tofu my first few years as a vegan (stomach cramps), but then tried sprouted tofu and was able to handle that, and eventually I was able to reincorporate tofu back into my diet and have not had problems with it since. I still consume soy even with thyroid issues, but I don't go heavy on it every day. It isn't much different than consuming a calcium supplement, or cruciferous vegetables or other phytoestrogenic plant foods like flaxseeds, all of which can block the action of thyroid meds if taken too close to when you take your thyroid medication. You just need to space these foods apart from your meds by at least four hours. It's usually best to take thyroid medication on an empty stomach first thing in the morning. I still consume tempeh, tofu, and on occasion soymilk or soy yogurt, but not every week or every day because I enjoy many other plant foods too. I find that soy is an important component of nutrition for me, and provides me iron, calcium, protein, and other nutrients that are too important for me personally to cut it out entirely. I am not generally negatively impacted by it. I am on less thyroid medication now as a vegan than my usual dose as an omnivore (100 mcg now as opposed to 112 mcg for years as an omnivore), but I don't believe any particular diet is ever going to cure me of hypothyroidism because it is a more complicated disease than that. As long as I take my meds consistently, eat well and get a healthy amount of exercise and deal with stress etc I usually don't have any major problems with it. I went through periods of restricting food intake that had a negative effect on my thyroid, driving down my metabolism to conserve energy and causing my TSH to spike. Periods of tremendous stress in my life have also had a negative impact. I used to struggle to balance my thyroid meds and a hormone replacement I take (I lost my ovaries at a young age) as both hormones compete for some of the same cell receptors and it took a long time to get both of them to the right dose and delivery mechanism (I am on a hormone patch now that goes right to the blood stream through the skin) so I could function. Once that happened it was smooth sailing.

I've had all sorts of doctors tell me what and how I should eat with thyroid problems, including low carb, lots of meat and protein and avoid grains, but I take it with a grain of salt (metaphorically speaking lol). My periodic thyroid checkups and test results are plenty good reason to keep consuming my fruits/veggies, grains, beans, tofu etc. My only concern with the long term effects of being on thyroid meds is that I have severe osteoporosis. I have had four dexa scans to measure my bone density since I lost my ovaries in 2005, and they have gotten progressively worse (both as an omnivore and as a vegan). My bone density was already low before I lost my ovaries and the only theory my doctors and I can come up with is the Lupron I took for my endometriosis I had, the long term effects of being on too much thyroid med at times, and other medications I used to take the could have affected my bones. oh and I used to smoke but quit in 2006. That can affect bones. I was severely underweight for six years as of late and that too had a negative impact on my bones. I am now far more diligent about consuming bone building foods (plant milks, low oxalate leafy greens, white beans etc) and taking supplements and am on an osteoporosis med.

All that said, even without tofu or gluten or soy in my diet I was never bored or hurting for what to eat. I still enjoy gluten free grains like quinoa, millet, buckwheat groats. I use them to blend thick smoothies, and add fruits and vegetables and even nuts to them for meals. Beans are a staple for many vegans and are extremely versatile. You can use them in soups, casseroles, as dips for veggies or in leafy green wraps, or in cornflour tortillas (there is a thread here somewhere recently on those). Sweet potatoes and plain potatoes are great as a base for many recipes. And there are tons of soy free gluten free plant milks out there. I make a soy free vegan mayonnaise by blending blanched almonds, coconut milk, cider vinegar, and turmeric.

I believe there are other members here who eat soy free and/or gluten free that can offer tips too. I hope you get everything sorted out soon!

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#3 Old 02-15-2015, 05:08 PM
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Because you have a potentially serious medical condition, it would be better if sought nutrition advice from a Registered Dietitian, rather than from people over the internet.

A Registered Dietitian is a professional with a university degree, standardized training, and certification in human nutrition. They can work with you and your physician to help you plan a nutritionally-complete vegan diet that won't exacerbate your thyroid condition. You can even select a Registered Dietitian who is specialized in vegetarian diets.

You can find a local Registered Dietitian on the website of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics:
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#4 Old 02-15-2015, 09:08 PM
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Welcome to VB

Lentils can be a staple part of your diet if you don't like tofu...

Plain soya might be ok for you too (although tofu itself is made from soya so take it slow)...

There are many options available to you rest assured
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gluten , light , soy , thyroid , Vegan

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