vegan diet for hyperthyroidism?
This may sound crazy, but I’m considering going vegan even though I absolutely hate the idea of it. I heart steak and cream sauces and eggs and all of those things. However, I love my kids more.
A little backstory. My thyroid has been hyperactive for years. I’ve never had to take medication for it, it’s never been severe. Unfortunately, it’s gotten worse- and I’m 12 weeks pregnant. It’s also possibly begun to affect my heart- I’m experiencing palpitations and rapid, strong heartbeats. This may be related to a vitamin D deficiency I’m experiencing, but irregardless, my endocrinologist wants me to go on both Taprazole and Propranolol.
These are class D and C drugs, respectively. The class C Propranolol, a beta blocker, has been linked to heart and lung problems in babies. Taprazole, which is class D, has been linked to deformities such as pieces of skin missing from the baby’s scalp, and possibly as severe as the brain failing to develop in areas. Either could possibly lead to me losing my baby. My baby comes first- I’ll refuse the medication as long as it won’t kill me. Of course, I don’t want to end up with heart damage, and hyperthyroidism is dangerous in itself in pregnancy.
I’ve read that a vegan diet may (or may not) be beneficial for hyperthyroid patients. I haven’t read anything that would indicate a problem with beef or poultry- it seems that mainly dairy, eggs, and seafood are the biggest problems. However, I have heard that soy may help decrease my levels. Of course, I’ve also heard the opposite- quite a bit of debate out there.
I’m willing to do anything to take care of my baby. She’s my priority. But how do you go vegan when you’re not really that interested in it? Especially when you’ve got to cook for a family that loves their meat, dairy, and eggs? My twin is vegan, and she seriously only eats tofu or tempeh in a stir-fry, unless it’s a salad or a microwavable meal (like Amy’s, etc.) I am pregnant. This will not work for a pregnant woman (honestly, I don’t know how it works for her, but she really can’t cook).
I hate soy milk. Same for soy cheese and yogurt (only soy things I’ve tried). I do love tofu and tempeh, although I haven’t had them in many different ways. So what in the heck am I supposed to eat?
On top of that, weight loss is not a good thing in pregnancy, period. I’m overweight, and I’m very concerned that such a change in diet, combined with my thyroid being hyperactive, may spur weight loss. What can I do to avoid this?
Don’t get me wrong, if going by this diet is really life-altering, I’ll stay with it even after having the baby. I just know myself- if I obligate myself, I’ll fight it more.
I’m honestly rather desperate- I wasn’t supposed to be able to have children, and this will be my second (and final, considering the health issues in play). Needless to say, I can’t do anything else but make her my priority. Obviously, I want to still be around to take care of my children, but if it would ever come down to a choice, it’s my child, period. I don’t care if they’re 12 weeks old or I’m just 12 weeks pregnant- unless there’s no way to save them, I will choose them, so that option is not on the table.
Does anyone have any advice, tips, anything? Has anyone else had any success with a vegan diet helping hyperthyroidism? How can I have a healthy pregnancy on a vegan diet? Should I consider any other options first or in conjunction? Any help is appreciated.
Actually, I wouldn’t go vegan. Going from omni to vegan with no proper transition is pretty risky, especially if you haven’t spent a lottt of time researching your nutrition down to every nutrient.
I’m not a doctor, so I definitely don’t want you trusting anyone on this forum over a proper dietician, but what I would recommend is building a diet around hyperthyroidism. I don’t know much about the disease, but what I’ve researched in the past few minutes suggests to me that you should be looking for a diet very low in bad fats, moderate in good fats, high in vegetables and very, very high in fiber. That’s easy enough. Instead of steak, opt for skinless, baked chicken. Avoid bad fats, like butter and fried foods, and embrace good fats, like avocado and olive oil. A chicken veggie stirfry in olive oil with some soy sauce and vinegar over a pile of brown rice would even satisfy your kids.
I would absolutely avoid dairy, or at least consume less of it. Cheese, for example. Switch to skim milk, or experiment with different types of “fake” milk – I hate the soy stuff, the rice stuff and the hemp stuff, but the almond stuff does it for me.
Take in a TON of vegetables and a decent amount of fruits. Fiber, fiber, fiber! Can’t stress that enough. As you’re pregnant, I assume you’re already on the right vitamins?
These are just suggestions. I’d be careful about making the switch to vegan while pregnant anyway, since your hormones are so out of control and your body needs different things than usual. And please, don’t adopt a diet you cannot stand. You won’t stick to it. You will cheat. And that won’t help your baby, right? See a dietician, get a professional opinion and get on exactly the diet that’s right for the both of you.
Good luck – with the diet and with your baby! I’ll leave a few links to get you started.
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