A lifestyle (Dietary) intervention reduces tiredness in children with subclinical hypothyroidism, a randomized controlled trial

Ellen van der Gaag*, Job van der Palen, Pim Schaap, Mirthe van Voorthuizen, Thalia Hummel

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)
100 Downloads (Pure)


Purpose: Subclinical hypothyroidism (SH) in children and adults is a subject for discussion in terms of whether to treat it or not with respect to the short-term clinical implications and consequences of SH and in the long term. If treatment with thyroxine supplementation is not indicated, no other treatment is available. We investigated whether a lifestyle (dietary) intervention improves or normalizes SH or decreases the presence of Thyroid Stimulating Hormone (TSH) and/or tiredness.

Methods: We randomized children aged 1–12 years with SH to the control group (standard care = no treatment) or intervention group (dietary intervention). The dietary intervention consisted of green vegetables, beef, whole milk and butter for 6 months. The rest of the diet remained unchanged. We measured TSH, FreeT4, Lipid profile, Body Mass Index (BMI) and Pediatric Quality of Life (PedQL) multidimensional fatigue scale scores.

Results: In total, 62 children were included. After 6 months, TSH decreased in both groups without a significant difference between the groups (p = 0.98). PedQL fatigue scores for sleep (p = 0.032) and total fatigue scores (p = 0.039) improved significantly in the intervention group, compared to the control group. No unfavorable effects occurred in the lipid profile or BMI.

Conclusion: The lifestyle (dietary) intervention did not normalize SH and TSH levels, but it significantly reduced tiredness. These results suggest that children’s well-being can be improved without medication.

Original languageEnglish
Article number3689
JournalInternational journal of environmental research and public health
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 2 May 2020


  • Beef
  • Dietary intervention
  • Fatigue
  • Lifestyle
  • Subclinical hypothyroidism
  • Tiredness
  • Vegetables
  • Whole dairy products


Dive into the research topics of 'A lifestyle (Dietary) intervention reduces tiredness in children with subclinical hypothyroidism, a randomized controlled trial'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this