HomeHealthy FoodsWhat Foods To Avoid If You Have Hyperparathyroidism?

What Foods To Avoid If You Have Hyperparathyroidism?

The term hypoparathyroidism refers to the disease caused by parathyroid hormone (Pth) deficiency, which manifests itself with hypocalcemia and hyperphosphatemia, neuromuscular symptoms, and deposition of calcium salts in soft tissues. Here we will give a complete guide about what foods to avoid if you have hyperparathyroidism?

What Foods To Avoid If You Have Hyperparathyroidism?

Causes of Hypoparathyroidism

The most frequent cause is surgery in the neck region, usually on the thyroid gland, which results in unintended damage to the parathyroid glands, the glands that produce parathyroid hormone.

In rarer cases, a situation of chronic hypomagnesemia (from chronic alcoholism or malabsorption syndromes) can induce functional hypoparathyroidism, because normal concentrations of magnesium are required for the secretion of Pth.

There are also hereditary congenital forms, such as George’s syndrome, in which hypoparathyroidism can also be associated with other autoimmune manifestations.

Symptoms of Hypoparathyroidism

The intensity of the symptoms is highly dependent on the severity and rapidity of the onset of hypocalcemia. In acute forms, tetany prevails: the tetanic crisis must be promptly treated in an emergency, to avoid the onset of laryngospasm or heart failure not responsive to therapies.

Spastic muscle contractions are usually preceded by sensory symptoms such as tingling and paresthesia of the limbs, perioral region, and tongue.

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In chronic forms, hypercalcemia occurs slowly and muscle symptoms are limited to paraesthesia and fleeting cramps, while specific disorders appear over time depending on the location of tricalcium phosphate deposition:

  • in the central nervous system (central nuclei of the base) there is tremor and rigidity
  • in the lens, they cause posterior cataracts, often bilateral
  • small visible knots develop in the subcutaneous tissue and tendons.

Furthermore, the skin becomes dry and wrinkled, the skin appendages fragile, dentin and enamel alterations occur at the level of the teeth, and there may be psychic disorders such as emotional lability, memory disorders, the tendency to depression.

The Importance Of Diet For Hypothyroidism

The main reason to be careful with food if you are diagnosed with hypothyroidism is that certain substances in foods will work as anti-nutrients.

That is, they will interfere with the assimilation and work of replacement hormones, which you will certainly be prescribed in the treatment of the thyroid gland.

Some items in our diet may seem odd, like fiber or coffee. You can still add them to your diet from time to time, but moderation is the key in treating hypothyroidism.

However, many other foods already fall into the “categorical no” category of any healthy diet, so completely abandoning or reducing to the absolute minimum is the best solution.

We are talking about fast food, salty, sweets and pastries, as well as alcohol.

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What foods to avoid if you have hyperparathyroidism?

Insufficiency of the thyroid gland, or hypothyroidism, is a rather complex disease. And a lot will depend on the diet. Let’s talk about what you can’t eat and do with hypothyroidism.

Soy products (tofu, soy milk, etc.)

There have long been fears that soy is potentially harmful in hypothyroidism because it interferes with the body’s ability to absorb iron.

It contains many so-called is flavones – organic compounds that, on the one hand, are powerful antioxidants, and on the other hand are iron antagonists.

Clinical evidence of this has not yet been found, and therefore there is no strict ban on soy products in hypothyroidism.

But doctors, just in case, recommend eating them less. Iron supplements should be drunk no earlier than 4 hours after eating soy.

Cruciferous vegetables (broccoli, cauliflower, etc.)

They are high in fiber and vitamins, however, they are also full of substances that interfere with the production of thyroid hormones if you have a pronounced iodine deficiency.

So try to eat as little as possible:

  • Brussels sprouts;
  • Cauliflower;
  • White cabbage;
  • Turnips;
  • Chinese cabbage bok choy;
  • Kale.

However, according to the Mayo Clinic, there is nothing wrong with adding these vegetables to your diet.

You need to literally overeat cabbage so that it significantly affects the absorption of iodine. Plus, you can always make it less harmful: just steam it. Well, the norm of cabbage and other crucifers should not exceed 140 grams per day.

Gluten-free foods

According to Ruth Frechman, nutritionist and member of the US Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, people diagnosed with hypothyroidism should minimize their gluten (gluten) intake.

It is the main protein found in cereals (rye, wheat, barley, etc.), pasta, and bread. It is categorically contraindicated in patients with celiac disease, in which the absorption of nutrients is impaired.

A relatively recent 2021 study in the journal Experimental and Clinical Endocrinology & Diabetes found that avoiding gluten has some medicinal benefits for women with thyroid conditions.

But at the same time, it makes no sense to completely abandon baked goods if you do not have celiac disease.

Fatty foods (lard, butter, pork, marbled beef)

Excess fat has been found to interfere with the body’s ability to absorb iron and hormonal drugs such as liothyronine and sodium levothyroxine.

Fats also interfere with the function of the thyroid gland itself and reduce its ability to produce hormones.

Some experts also recommend avoiding fried foods and cutting down on saturated fat from sources such as mayonnaise, margarine, dairy products (butter, cheese).

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Hypothyroidism slows down metabolic processes in the body. This means that with intemperance to sweets, you can quickly recover.

Therefore, doctors suggest drastically reducing the amount of sugar, or even completely abandoning it for the duration of treatment.

Convenience foods and frozen foods

Any ready-made food (pizzas, dumplings, sauces, canned vegetables) for all harmful substances. They are full of salt (and thus sodium), sugar, and saturated fat.

Therefore, for everyone who has it, the American Heart Association recommends consuming as little salt as possible – no more than 1,500 milligrams per day.

Excess fiber (beans, legumes, vegetables, whole grains)

Dietary fiber is really important for health, but not in huge quantities, and even less so in hypothyroidism. The daily allowance for adults is 25 to 38 grams.

Try not to exceed it. Otherwise, discuss the risks with your doctor, perhaps he will recommend an increase in the dose of the medicine.


According to a study in the journal Thyroid, caffeine temporarily blocks the absorption of thyroid hormones.

Some patients who drank the medicine immediately after morning coffee instantly lost control of their thyroid hormone levels, and the treatment became ineffective.

Therefore, endocrinologists strongly advise drinking no more than one cup in the morning – again, so as not to increase blood pressure – and taking the medicine at least 30 minutes before breakfast.


But it is better to refuse this drink altogether. This is clearly demonstrated by a scientific work published in the Indian Journal of Endocrinology and Metabolism.

Ethyl alcohol has a toxic effect on the thyroid gland and inhibits its work. In fact, alcohol abuse is considered one of the risk factors for hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism, as well as associated complications.

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