Do Not Take Iodine Supplements
One change I made immediately once I found out about my thyroid problems was to stop taking iodine. In some cases, iodine can help people with hypothyroidism, but for the most part, people in the U.S. have sufficient levels of iodine to prevent thyroid disorders.
Taking iodine when you are hypothyroid can cause problems because getting more than you need is not better, and if your hypothyroidism is caused by Hashimotos, then youre pouring fuel on the fire of your autoimmune attack. In fact, a 2012 review found that restricting iodine could, in some cases, reverse hypothyroid symptoms.
Measuring Thyroid Hormone And Nutrient Levels
At Parsley Health, doctors are trained in holistic medicine and conventional medicine to give you a wider scope of the problems youre dealing withand it starts with a thyroid test.
In conventional medicine, when your primary care doctor screens for thyroid function, they often just look at one main lab value called your thyroid-stimulating hormone, otherwise known as your TSH, explains Jamie Kyei-Frimpong, DNP, FNP-BC, a nurse practitioner at Parsley Health New York. But that doesnt give the overall picture of your thyroid health, says Dr. Jamie. Your doctor should also be assessing the conversion of other thyroid hormones and your nutrient levels of certain vitamins and minerals that impact that thyroid hormones and conversion.
Without looking at these key measures, its common to hear from your doctor that your thyroid is fine, even if you still feel kind of wonky, Dr. Jamie explains.
Dr. Jamie explains that you can have normal TSH levels but have poor conversion, which could lead to symptoms of hypothyroidism, aka an underactive thyroid. When you have hypothyroidism, the thyroid gland doesnt make enough thyroid hormone to keep the body running normally, according to the American Thyroid Association. Understanding your own thyroid hormone conversion can help you determine the right thyroid vitamins and supplements for better thyroid health.
Vitamin E: The Evidence
One of the most interesting studied benefits of vitamin E is associated with memory. Memory loss, from thyroid disease, appears to relate to free radical stress within the brain.
Vitamin E is a fat-soluble antioxidant that can lower free radical stress. In animal studies, supplementation of it has been shown to improve cognitive function in hypothyroidism10.
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Should You Take Thyroid
Theres no doubt that a nutritious diet that provides optimal nutrient levels is important for maintaining thyroid health, nor that nutrient deficiencies can lead to thyroid issues.
Still, for people who dont have thyroid issues and follow a well-balanced, nutrient-dense diet, theres typically no need to take thyroid-specific supplements.
In fact, certain supplements marketed toward those looking to promote thyroid health may be dangerous to take.
For example, many thyroid supplements contain high amounts of iodine and may contain thyroid hormones. Taking these supplements can lead to dangerous side effects and create thyroid issues in people with healthy thyroid function .
One study that analyzed 10 thyroid supplements found that the majority of them contained detectable amounts of T3 and T4. Some of the products tested contained more T3 and T4 than healthcare providers typically prescribe to people with hypothyroidism .
Taking these supplements may lead to elevated thyroid hormone levels in the blood and cause symptoms of hyperthyroidism, which can lead to dangerous complications (
Thyroid supplements may be unsafe for people who have thyroid conditions, too.
This is because people with thyroid issues have specific needs, and taking supplements marketed to enhance thyroid health may negatively affect thyroid function, causing their health and symptoms to worsen.
Studies show that the following supplements can be beneficial for those with Hashimotos disease:
Biotin: How Much Should You Supplement It
It is important to first stop taking any vitamins that contain biotin within three days prior to having your thyroid blood tests drawn34.
When it comes down to it, biotin is best absorbed in the form of d-biotin. The ideal daily dose for adults with thyroid disease is 100 mcg per day or 333% of the recommended daily value.
Higher doses do not give greater benefit but may skew additional tests besides thyroid tests. This is true even when biotin supplements are avoided prior to testing35.
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Nutrition And Lifestyle Recommendations To Boost Thyroid Function And Restore Vitality
Approximately 10% of women suffer from an under active thyroid, and often they find themselves living in a zombie like state, experiencing debilitating symptoms that have a huge impact on their quality of life.
Once diagnosed there are so many nutrition and lifestyle changes that can be made to improve thyroid hormone levels.
Selenium Is Essential For Thyroid Hormone Metabolism
Selenium supports efficient thyroid synthesis and metabolism, says Denise Londergan, RD, MPH, a registered dietitian in Ohio. Selenium may also reduce levels of antibodies against thyroid peroxidase an enzyme that plays an important role in the production of thyroid hormones in people with hypothyroidism, according to a study published in 2018 in the journal Diagnostics. Foods that provide selenium include tuna, shrimp, salmon, sardines, scallops, lamb, chicken, beef, turkey, eggs, and shitake mushrooms. Or you can take 100 to 200 micrograms of selenium in supplement form per day, Kellman says.
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Resveratrol And Thyroid Function
Resveratrol may arrest the proliferation of thyroid cancer cells by increasing the abundance and phosphorylation of p53 . Moreover, resveratrol mediates the regulation of TSH while, due to its effects on iodine trapping, it shows promise as a prospective anti-thyroid drug. On the other hand, these effects also resulted in a pronounced proliferative action on thyrocytes and resveratrol may therefore be a thyroid disrupting compound . No clinical studies on the compounds effect on the thyroid has been performed in humans, so all available evidence is based on animal and in vitro cellular studies.
Finally, resveratrol as an antioxidant agent is a free radical scavenger and this property can be of interest in thyroid disease states that are accompanied by increased production of hydrogen peroxide and radical oxygen species, such as autoimmune thyroiditis and hyperthyroidism . Proper randomized clinical trials would, however, be required before implementing any use.
Resveratrol supplements can be easily purchased over the counter but they are not regulated by the FDA or any other health authority. Most resveratrol capsules sold in the U.S. contain extracts from an Asian plant called Polygonum cuspidatum. Other resveratrol supplements are made from red wine or red grape extracts. The dosages in most resveratrol supplements typically contain 250 to 500 milligrams, which is much lower than the amounts that have been shown beneficial in research .
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How Can I Support My Thyroid
Be proactive! With the right lifestyle choices, you can support optimal thyroid health.
Some Other Ways To Supplement Vitamin E Good For Thyroid Patients
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What Does The Thyroid Do
As you can see, symptoms of hypothyroidism are extensive! They seem to affect every area of life, from energy levels to weight to digestion to hair, skin, and beyond.
How can the thyroid have this much power? A small gland that sits at the base of your neck, the thyroid is shaped like a butterfly. Its an endocrine gland, meaning that it produces hormones.
The thyroid makes two hormones: T4 and T3. The first, T4, is the inactive form that gets converted into active form as needed. T3 is the active form of the hormone that is produced in smaller amounts. You need both to have a well-functioning thyroid gland. TSH, short for thyroid-stimulating hormone, is produced by the pituitary gland and is in charge of telling the thyroid when to make more T3 and T4.
Low thyroid hormones can be caused in a few ways. Sometimes the pituitary gland doesnt make enough TSH, and the thyroid doesnt get the memo to make more. Other times, TSH levels are very high, and the thyroid is making T4, but your body isnt able to convert it into T3. Finally, theres another thyroid hormone known as Reverse T3, and in situations of stress, the body takes your T4 and dumps it into Reverse T3, resulting in plenty of thyroid hormone in the body that it just cant access for energy.
Can Multivitamins And Supplements Help With Hashimotos Disease
While medication is often used to treat hypothyroidism, many people with Hashimotos disease can benefit from diet and lifestyle adjustments.
People with Hashimotos often have certain nutrient deficiencies that can worsen their symptoms. A nutrient-rich diet provides enough nutrition to maintain a healthy thyroid for most people.
For Hashimotos disease patients who lack specific nutrients, a multivitamin or supplement can help limit thyroid damage and improve symptoms and the quality of life.
However, when choosing a supplement, patients with Hashimotos disease should be careful of iodine content, as iodine excess can increase the risk of developing thyroid disorders as much as its deficiency.
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Always Address The Root Causes
While these supplements can help, a truly holistic, integrative plan of healing the root causes of thyroid problems is always a wise plan. For more on the Root Causes of Hashimotos, and how to heal them, get my bookThe Adrenal Thyroid Revolution. Its got the steps youll want to take to take back your health!
Maxwell C, Volpe SL. Effect of zinc supplementation on thyroid hormone function. A case study of two college females. Ann Nutr Metab 2007 51:18894.
Nishiyama S, et al. Zinc supplementation alters thyroid hormone metabolism in disabled patients with zinc deficiency. J Am Coll Nutr. 1994 Feb 13:62-7.
Nordio, M. et al. Treatment With Myo-Inositol and Selenium Ensures Euthyroidism in Patients With Autoimmune Thyroiditis. Int J Endocrinol 2017, 2549491. 2017
Nordio, M and P. Raffaella. Combined Treatment with Myo-Inositol and Selenium Ensures Euthyroidism in Subclinical Hypothyroidism Patients with Autoimmune Thyroiditis. Journal of Thyroid Research.Volume 2013 , Article ID 424163, 5 pages
Panda S, Kar A. Changes in thyroid hormone concentrations after administration of ashwagandha root extract to adult male mice. J Pharm Pharmacol.
Panda S, Kar A. Withania somnifera and Bauhinia purpurea in the regulation of circulating thyroid hormone concentrations in female mice. J Ethnopharmacol.
Tripathi YB, et al. Thyroid stimulatory action of -guggulsterone: mechanism of action. Planta Med.
Supplements For Underlying Issues
In order to take the right supplements for thyroid problems, you need to know what underlying issues are triggering your thyroid condition.
When should you take thyroid supplements? You should take thyroid supplements when lifestyle and dietary changes havent led to the healing you were hoping for.
Let a qualified healthcare provider diagnose the root cause of your thyroid condition, and have a conversation with the healthcare expert about whether a supplement is suitable for your situation.
Below, supplements are broken down by which root cause of thyroid disorder they treat.
Vitamin E: How Should You Supplement It
In food, vitamin E is found in a wide variety of tocopherols and tocotrienols. Synthetic vitamin E, on the other hand, is alpha tocopherol only.
The best version of vitamin E, in its supplemental form, is isomers that include delta and gamma tocotrienols.
Key Insight: An ideal dose for adults with thyroid disease is 25 mg or 167% of the recommended daily value.
Why Traditional Multivitamins Can Be A Problem
There are some important things to keep in mind when it comes to multivitamins.
I developed the Daily Reset Pack to be mindful of all these things, but typical multivitamins for those with thyroid disease may encounter the following issues:
- Excessive water-soluble vitamins that can damage the liver
The thing to remember is that you should be supplementing with the top 21 each and every day.
But another important consideration is your diet. After all, you need to eat well either way, but supplementation can be both helpful and important.
These supplements are not to make up for nutritional deficiencies, but to build on amounts youre getting to ensure your thyroid performs its best.
Key Insight: That said, they have been shown to help thyroid function whether or not you are deficient, so these are still helpful even when youre on a good diet.
The Right Thyroid Supplements Can Make A Huge Difference
It is possible for many people to improve thyroid hormone levels and lower thyroid antibodies without medication or to augment levels even if you are on medication. I personally have seen patients antibodies go from well over a 1000 down to as low as the 40s close to normal and the need for medication doses be significantly reduced. However, theres definitely a time and place for thyroid medication, which I also sometimes prescribe in my medical practice. Research suggests that certain supplements nutrients and herbs can reduce thyroid antibodies, improve free T3 and free T4 levels levels, and stabilize TSH all markers that thyroid health is improving. If these labs look like a foreign language to you, click here.
Whether you have Hashimoto’s, non-autoimmune hypothyroidism or are on the cusp of possibly needing medication but not absolutely requiring and want to help your thyroid before you cross that line, that’s where a few well-selected herbs and nutritional supplements can make a major contribution, and it’s precisely why I use them in my medical practice. The new medicine for women is integrative bringing together the best of conventional and traditional approaches And that’s what I bring to you in this article.
Supplements And Thyroid Health: What To Know
Depending on the type of disease, thyroid conditions are typically treated with medications like thyroid hormone replacement, surgery, and other procedures, such as radiation therapy for thyroid cancer.
In addition to conventional treatments for thyroid conditions, research shows that dietary interventions, including supplements, may help treat certain thyroid diseases.
However, certain supplements may do more harm than good when it comes to thyroid health.
This article explains how supplements may help certain people with thyroid-related health conditions.
The Thyroid Supplement Starter Plan
These 6 supplements can help to improve the health and functioning of your thyroid. These can be taken alone or in combination with each other. They can also be used in conjunction with thyroid medication for hypothyroidism or Hashimotos, but its important to work closely with your medical provider because if your thyroid health starts to improve, you could actually end up needing less medication a good thing but you want to check so youre not overmedicating
My usual starter go-to combination consists of selenium, myoinositol, and ashwagandha . In my practice, I always check a vitamin D level in my patients, and if that is not optimal I add vitamin D to the starter plan.’
I generally recommend trying this starter plan for at least 3 months, or as long as six months, and then staying on your supplements until thyroid health is solidly improved. You can, at any time, add in the other supplements below to get an even bigger impact, but often, simpler works just fine.
Vitamin B Is Important For Thyroid Function
Vitamin B is important for people with hypothyroidism because the B vitamins have many interactions with thyroid function and hormone regulation, Metzak says. Its best to take a nutritional supplement that includes the entire vitamin B complex, and you may need additional vitamin B12 if a blood test reveals your levels are low, she says. Good food sources of vitamin B include whole grains, legumes, nuts, milk, yogurt, meat, fish, eggs, seeds, and dark leafy greens.
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