The thyroid uses iodine, a mineral in some foods, to make thyroid hormones. However, if you have Hashimoto’s disease or other types of autoimmune thyroid disorders, you may be sensitive to harmful side effects from iodine. Eating foods that have large amounts of iodine—such as kelp, dulse, or other kinds of seaweed, and certain iodine-rich medicines—may cause hypothyroidism or make it worse. Taking iodine supplements can have the same effect.
Talk with members of your health care team about
- what foods and beverages to limit or avoid
- whether you take iodine supplements
- any cough syrups you take that may contain iodine
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However, if you are pregnant, you need to take enough iodine because the baby gets iodine from your diet. Too much iodine can cause problems as well, such as a goiter in the baby. If you are pregnant, talk with your doctor about how much iodine you need.
Researchers are looking at other ways in which diet and supplements—such as vitamin D and selenium NIH external link—may affect Hashimoto’s disease. However, no specific guidance is currently available.
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