Is Fish Bad for Hyperthyroidism? (Expert Answer)

Short Answer: Fish is bad for hyperthyroidism. Because it has iodine and mercury, and they can increase your thyroid hormone levels and damage your thyroid and other organs.

Hyperthyroidism is a condition that affects your thyroid gland, which is located at the front of your neck.

In hyperthyroidism, your body produces too much thyroid hormone, which regulates your metabolism, heart rate, body temperature, and other functions.

This can lead to various health problems, such as weight loss, anxiety, tremors, irregular heartbeat, and eye problems.

One of the key factors in managing hyperthyroidism is diet.

What you consume can affect your thyroid function, which can impact your hyperthyroidism symptoms and overall health.

To effectively manage hyperthyroidism, you should consume selenium-rich foods like Brazil nuts, eggs, and sunflower seeds, and iron-rich foods like spinach, beans, and lean meat.

You should avoid iodine-rich foods like seaweed, fish, and iodized salt, and foods that contain goitrogens, which are substances that interfere with thyroid hormone production, such as soy, cabbage, broccoli, and cauliflower.

Now, fish is a type of seafood that is high in protein, omega-3 fatty acids, and vitamin D.

People usually eat fish cooked, grilled, baked, or raw in dishes like sushi and sashimi.

Fish is bad for hyperthyroidism because it contains iodine, which can worsen your condition by stimulating your thyroid gland to produce more hormone.

Fish also contains mercury, which is a toxic metal that can damage your thyroid and other organs.

Fish is bad for all types of hyperthyroidism, whether it is caused by Graves’ disease, toxic nodular goiter, thyroiditis, or excessive intake of thyroid medication.

One serving of fish can give you about 200 micrograms (mcg) of iodine, which is more than the recommended daily intake of 150 mcg for adults.

It can also give you about 0.1 milligrams (mg) of mercury, which is close to the safe limit of 0.3 mg per day.

Iodine can increase your thyroid hormone levels and aggravate your symptoms, such as palpitations, sweating, and nervousness.

Mercury can impair your thyroid function and cause neurological problems, such as tremors, memory loss, and mood changes.

Furthermore, fish is a type of animal protein, and animal protein is bad for hyperthyroidism.

Because, animal protein can increase the levels of amino acids that stimulate the thyroid gland, such as tyrosine and phenylalanine.

It can also increase the levels of inflammatory cytokines, which are molecules that trigger an immune response and can worsen autoimmune thyroid diseases, such as Graves’ disease.

That’s why I suggest you limit your fish intake to avoid the possible complications of hyperthyroidism.

Stick to one serving of fish per week or less to minimize the exposure to iodine and mercury.

You can also choose fish that are low in both iodine and mercury, such as salmon, trout, and herring.

You can also take selenium supplements to help protect your thyroid from the harmful effects of iodine and mercury, but only under the supervision of your doctor.

Also, you shouldn’t eat fish if you have or are suffering from thyroid storm, which is a life-threatening complication of hyperthyroidism that causes a sudden surge of thyroid hormone.

Eating fish can worsen your condition and increase your risk of heart failure, stroke, and coma.

Because fish can increase your iodine and mercury levels, which can further stimulate your thyroid gland and damage your organs.

You can buy fresh fish in your local market or can order it from online.

Always choose fish that are wild-caught, not farm-raised, and have a firm texture, clear eyes, and a fresh smell.

Because wild-caught fish are less likely to be contaminated with antibiotics, hormones, and pesticides, and have a better nutritional profile than farm-raised fish.

You can store them in the refrigerator for up to two days, or in the freezer for up to six months.

Finally, remember, maintaining a healthy lifestyle, including a balanced diet, regular exercise, stress management, and essential medical care, is key to managing hyperthyroidism effectively.

I always recommend my hyperthyroidism patients to follow a hyperthyroidism-friendly diet to improve their overall well-being and enjoy a longer and healthier life.

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About the Author

Abdur Rahman Choudhury

Abdur Rahman Choudhury is a nutritionist in West Bengal, India, with a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in Biochemistry.

He has done his diploma in nutrition from Fabulous Body Inc (US), and completed various certification courses from several universities. He also has considerable research experience in PCOS.

Abdur currently lives in India and keeps fit by weight training and eating mainly home-cooked meals.

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