What are thyroid ailments?

Even though it's just a small gland at your neck's base, a malfunctioning thyroid can cause many problems. The thyroid gland is vital for regulating your metabolism. It does this by producing or restricting certain hormones which are flushed through your body. If your thyroid gland does not work correctly, you might have hypothyroidism, which induces a litany of symptoms. A blood test can indicate if you suffer from this ailment.

A range of vitamins and nutritional supplements, including potassium, vitamin D, selenium, zinc, iron, and thiamine, may help your thyroid health. Find out more about these supplements and how and when they can best support your thyroid function. Symptoms of hypothyroidism include baldness, mood swings, depression, loss of libido, weight gain, and fatigue.

You might also suffer from other thyroid ailments, such as hyperthyroidism, goiters, thyroid nodules, thyroid cancer, Graves' Disease, and Hashimoto's Thyroiditis. You can get specific vitamins and supplements to heal hypothyroidism and other thyroid-related symptoms to regulate your hormones. Let us look at a number of the thyroid supplements that may be helpful for this purpose. It's best to consult your doctor to find what is right for you.

See: Ayurvedic Herbs for Hypothyroidism

Vitamins & supplements for thyroid health

- Probiotics: An integral part of your immune system is your gut. A "leaky gut" may impact the growth and advancement of an autoimmune disorder. Many professionals recommend taking a probiotic supplement to fix this problem. Probiotics are the good bacteria that help maintain a healthy intestinal balance for optimum immune function and digestion. Even if you eat and drink a considerable number of probiotic-rich fermented foods -- such as yogurt, miso, sauerkraut, kombucha, and kimchi -- you may benefit from a probiotic supplement. There are various probiotics you can pick.

- Ashwagandha for thyroid health: Ashwagandha in Sanksrit means "the smell of the horse," which provides a clue for the testosterone boosting benefits. Ashwagandha is an adaptogen. This property implies that it helps your body adapt to changes in your immune system and metabolism, primarily by balancing them out. As you may guess, this is terrific for combating hypothyroidism as the herb modulates hormone imbalances. A research paper from the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine discovered that ashwagandha enhanced specific hormones crucial for thyroid gland health and normalcy.

Additionally, ashwagandha seems to decrease cortisol levels, which reduces your overall stress level, restores insulin sensitivity, moderates depressive moods, and enhances your estrogen and progesterone production levels. This property is essential for women nearing menopause age.

A note of warning is that ashwagandha isn't considered safe for women that are pregnant or trying to become pregnant, as it's abortifacient properties.

- Zinc for thyroid health: The mineral zinc is essential in supporting thyroid function. Zinc helps in processing of thyroid hormone T4 to T3 conversion. Low zinc levels are a known trigger for hypothyroidism. Ensure that your multivitamin includes zinc, or consider adding a zinc supplement -- specialists recommend 15 to 30 mg daily. Specifically, zinc is one of the few minerals required by your thyroid to make the right hormones regulate the rest of your metabolism and keep hair growth. Without sufficient zinc, your thyroid gland may suffer from hypothyroidism, and you may experience severe baldness. According to the International Journal of Technology report, you might not recover the hair you lost out of hypothyroidism without including a zinc supplement. Consequently, zinc supplements are an essential addition to your diet to allow your thyroid to keep nutritious regulation of hormones.

Food sources of zinc include meat, shellfish, mollusks, legumes, and nuts. 

- Vitamin B12: Vitamin B12 is a crucial nutrient that could be a blessed one for our bodies. While the precise use of Vitamin B12 from the thyroid gland is unknown, the Journal of Pakistan Medical Association found Vitamin B12 deficiency is prevalent among people suffering from hypothyroidism. Low levels of Vitamin B12 put you more at risk for hypothyroidism. Boost your Vitamin B12 levels in case you've got a deficiency, or may have one. Vegans, and at times vegetarians, find it tough to eat enough B12 in their diets.

Good food sources of vitamin B include nuts, milk, yogurt, whole grains, legumes, eggs, seeds,  meat, fish, and dark leafy greens.

- Vitamin D for thyroid health: Vitamin D deficiency is often linked to a higher chance of Hashimoto's thyroiditis as well as hypothyroidism. Experts recommend that professionals check vitamin D levels for thyroid concerns and address appropriately. Vitamin D deficiency is termed as a vitamin D amount of less than <25 nmol/L, but some experts believe for thyroid patients, the cutoff should be higher, at <60 or 70 nmol/L. Vitamin D deficiency may result in a variety of complications, such as autoimmune diseases. Evidence published in the International Journal of Health Science published evidence that individuals suffering from hypothyroidism had significantly lower levels of Vitamin D. Evidence suggests the two may be closely correlated.

To promote physical health and cause appropriate hormone regulation, increase your Vitamin D levels by spending more time in sunlight or taking nutritional supplements. Do keep in mind your skin type, the season, and other factors that determine how much vitamin D your body can produce from sunlight. You can get vitamin D from yogurt, fortified milk, and orange juice.

- Iron: The mineral iron is essential to the healthy functioning of your thyroid and hormones. Notably, low iron levels are associated with a higher risk of subclinical hypothyroidism and decreased T4 and T3 levels. An integral means to assess iron status is to get your ferritin measured. A stored form of iron is ferritin that helps your hormone balance and transforms into circulating iron as necessary within the body. If the ferritin is low, you should supplement with iron.

- Selenium: Selenium may reduce levels of antibodies against thyroid peroxidase — an enzyme that plays a critical role in thyroid hormone production. The mineral selenium helps your thyroid gland hormone, convert T4 into T3, and may lower thyroid peroxidase antibodies. Selenium deficiency can also be connected to the worsening of thyroid eye disease and a higher chance of postpartum thyroid issues. Experts advise that selenium levels be assessed in thyroid patients. Selenium isn't easy to get from foods, but for the selenium-rich Brazil nut. If your levels are low, speak with your physician about supplementing 50 to 100 mcg/day. Foods that provide selenium include scallops, lamb, chicken, beef, salmon, sardines, turkey, tuna, shrimp, eggs, and shitake mushrooms.

- Selenium supplementation for Hashimoto's patients: Researchers urge selenium supplementation for Hashimoto's patients. They recommended that even if a patient with Hashimoto's has been treated with levothyroxine, some studies found that giving selenium -- no longer than 200 mcg/day -- and levothyroxine led to a more significant decrease in thyroid antibodies (TPOAb).

A warning about selenium: Too much selenium supplementation -- or higher intake of selenium in the mix of supplements and food -- can be poisonous. To avoid selenium's toxicity, you shouldn't exceed more than 400 mcg of selenium daily from many sources. As with all vitamins and supplements, talk to your doctor to find what is right for you.

- Tyrosine: The amino acid tyrosine is essential to the production of the thyroid gland and T4 to T3 conversion. Tyrosine comes from protein-rich foods, but many thyroid patients benefit from tyrosine supplementation. Some experts advise that thyroid sufferers take around 200 to 300 mg of tyrosine supplements every day.

- Fish Oil for thyroid health: The Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry found that dietary fish oil significantly affects thyroid hormone levels. As hypothyroidism is a malfunction of the thyroid gland's ability to correctly produce and regulate the ideal hormones for your entire body, increasing your fish oil levels can help your gland rebalance its outputs. This balance is probably due to the fish oil affecting hepatic lipid metabolism.

The thyroid gland uses these lipids for its health and for generating or dismantling hormone levels through the entire body. Adding more fish in your diet or taking fish oil supplements are two ways to improve the amount of fish oil within your body.

- Iodine: Iodine is a building block and main element for thyroid hormone production. Your thyroid gland utilizes iodine from your diet to be able to make thyroid hormone. A subset of the American people may be iodine deficient, which puts them at greater risk of developing thyroid problems. You can have a urinary iodine clearance test to assess for iodine deficiency. If you're deficient, talk to your physician about supplementing your diet with an iodine/iodide supplement.

A warning about iodine: You will need to be cautious about supplementing with iodine if you're not deficient. Research reveals that long-term exposure to excessive iodine levels can trigger or aggravate thyroid ailments, such as goiter, nodules, hyperthyroidism, hypothyroidism, and Hashimoto's thyroiditis. It's crucial to consult with your physician before consuming any iodine supplements due to the adverse effects it may have on hypothyroidism. 

Individuals with thyroid ailments can not manage their condition. However, eating the wrong foods or taking the wrong supplements can cause trouble. One of the foods to go easy on is soy, kelp, and dietary supplements such as iodine and selenium.

Iodine supplements are not necessary if you live in the United States or in most developed countries. Iodine deficiency is the foremost cause of thyroid conditions on the planet, but that is not true in the U.S., where we have iodine in our diets. Iodine is added to many foods, rather than just salt. Consult with your doctor before taking any supplements.

See: Ashwagandha Benefits & Side Effects

Thyroid health considerations

Is baldness because of thyroid permanent?

People suffering from hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism often suffer from baldness. This loss impacts the scalp rather than specific patchy areas. This hair loss is because hair is continually grown, and new and shed hair replaces older hair. Hair growth is due to hormones produced by your thyroid gland under healthy conditions.

The encouraging thing is that, if you lose your hair because of thyroid disease, there's an excellent probability it will grow back with the correct thyroid drugs, which will rebalance your hormone production. Since the issue starts with issues from the thyroid gland, your hair is free to return after your thyroid gland is working correctly.

It could take many months to observe the effects of baldness reversed. This delay is particularly true when you've suffered from a thyroid disorder for a substantial time duration. However, the hair will always grow back as long as your thyroid gland heals from its illness.

Can hypothyroidism ever be treated entirely?

This can depend upon the specific type of hypothyroidism. Typically, hypothyroidism is due to a genetic factor that may not be permanently cured. However, it can be treated with specific supplements and other techniques that may restore a patient's normal quality of life. Consult your doctor to find what is right for you.

Can vitamins help with Hashimoto's disease?

Hashimoto's disease can impair your thyroid gland absorption of thiamine (or Vitamin B1). This may result in increased fatigue or fatigue. Certain nutritional supplements, such as Vitamin B1, helps patients experiencing exhaustion from Hashimoto's disease. But while Vitamin B1 can help with fatigue due to Hashimoto's, the disease itself needs medical intervention and can't be treated via nutritional supplements alone.

See: Functional Medicine for Hypothyroidism

Side effects & precautions

Do thyroid supplements have side effects?

Thyroid supplements are usually vitamins or minerals that the human body needs to operate properly. Some hypothyroid patients may suffer from other issues as well, such as an iodine deficiency. There are not any side effects with balancing your body's necessary levels of those supplements if you don't consume an abnormal amount of those. Consult your doctor for what is right for you.

While some vitamins and supplements may help individuals with hypothyroidism, others may interfere with thyroid hormone absorption. According to the Mayo Clinic, supplements like multivitamins containing iron and calcium could possibly have interactions with thyroid drugs. They ought to be taken several hours after your thyroid drugs to prevent an interaction. Speak with your doctor before taking any of these supplements.

See: Foods good for thyroid health

Summary

Hypothyroidism and other thyroid diseases aren't unbeatable. With the ideal supplements, you can fight any symptoms you may experience and get back to leading a healthy life.

See: Acupuncture treatment for Hypothyroidism

References

1. Vitti P. Iodine deficiency disorders. http://www.uptodate.com/home.

2. Garber JR, et al. Clinical practice guidelines for hypothyroidism in adults: Cosponsored by the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists and the American Thyroid Association. Endocrine Practice. 2012;18:988.

3. Ross DS. Disorders that cause hypothyroidism. http://www.uptodate.com/home. 

4. Hypothyroidism. National Endocrine and Metabolic Diseases Information Service. http://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/health-topics/endocrine/hypothyroidism/Pages/fact-sheet.aspx. 

5. Levothyroxine. Micromedex 2.0 Healthcare Series. http://www.micromedexsolutions.com.

6. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18655403

See: Yoga for Hypothyroidism

Get a Consultation
(650) 539-4545
Get more information via email