Hypothyroidism (thyroid gland producing less hormones than necessary) is a fairly common endocrinological problem that can appear both in childhood, generally at birth, and later, in adolescence and even in adulthood. What diet should children with hypothyroidism eat?
The thyroid gland is a small butterfly-shaped gland at the base of the neck. This gland makes and stores thyroid hormones, and releases them into the bloodstream when it receives the appropriate signal from the pituitary gland, a gland at the base of the brain.
The main problem of a malfunction of this gland is found in the close relationship that exists between the hormones that are produced and the health of the child in general, including from its growth and development to its heart rate, through the effectiveness of the metabolic system (The ability of the body to use the calories consumed, allocating them both for the functioning of the organs or for physical exercise, as well as for the maintenance of body temperature).
In the diet of the child with hypothyroidism it is convenient to control, not necessarily restrict, the consumption of certain foods:
- Foods with gluten: gluten intolerance is sometimes linked to hypothyroidism and both appear at the same time.
- Soy and derivatives.
- Crucifers: broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage ...
- Fruits like peach, pear and strawberry.
- In addition, the Calcium and iron can interfere with the medication your child receives.or, so it is advisable not to take it with meals, or space it out about 2-3 hours after the consumption of foods rich in these minerals.
As for the nutrients that should not be missing:
- Iodine. It is essential to manufacture thyroid hormones. Although its deficiency increases the risk of hypothyroidism, it is rare in developed countries, since the intake of iodine through the diet is usually more than sufficient. Iodine can be found, in addition to table salt (iodized), in fish and shellfish, dairy products and eggs.
- Selenium. Helps the body activate thyroid hormones so they can be used. In addition, being an antioxidant, it protects the thyroid gland against free radicals. Oily fish, such as tuna or sardines, eggs and legumes provide sufficient amounts of selenium to meet daily needs.
- Zinc. Like selenium, zinc helps the activation of thyroid hormones, in addition to participating in the regulation of signals from the pituitary gland that promote the release of hormones into the bloodstream. Zinc deficiency is extremely rare in developed countries since, in general, foods rich in zinc, such as fish and shellfish, red meat and chicken are usually present in the children's diet.
- It is not usually necessary to supplement the child's dietTherefore, any mineral supplement should only be given under pediatric supervision. Additionally, selenium can be toxic if consumed in excess.
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