Hypothyroidism can make you feel like you’re swimming upstream just to get everyday tasks done. Low thyroid sufferers struggle through agonizing symptoms like chronic fatigue, brain fog, weight gain, cold intolerance, and the list goes on. These symptoms are caused by decreased thyroid production or a breakdown in thyroid hormone signaling with its targeted cells, and oftentimes, it’s a result of both.
Over 90% of hypothyroidism is caused by the autoimmune condition Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, and that means the body is chronically inflamed, which increases the demand for micronutrients. In fact, thyroid dysfunction can even be caused or exacerbated by micronutrient deficiencies.
A healthy thyroid requires a host of minerals and vitamins to produce, secrete, and activate thyroid hormone.
That’s why a high-quality and whole food diet is imperative for Hashimoto’s sufferers, but sometimes that’s not enough. Supplementation is often necessary to meet the increased demands of a broken thyroid. Any of the following micronutrients can make or break thyroid function.
Selenium protects the thyroid gland from free radicals produced during thyroid hormone production and is needed to activate and deactivate thyroid hormones throughout the body.
Iodine is an essential part of the thyroid hormone, and deficiency can cause goiter, hypothyroidism, and reduced fertility. That said, excessive iodine can also lead to autoimmune thyroid conditions.
Adequate iron levels are necessary for thyroid hormone production. That’s not all– iron deficiency can also block the important effects of iodine.
4. Vitamin A
Vitamin A regulates thyroid metabolism and prevents excessive TSH production. Vitamin A is also involved in immune system regulation, so a deficiency is a double whammy for thyroid autoimmunity.
There’s a new diet rising in popularity—the Paleo diet— which our hunter-gatherer ancestors used. This diet is actually best for diabetics. The diet focuses on consuming protein and healthy fats that come from wild, organically-raised and free-range animals. This could include chicken, beef, turkey, lamb, eggs, and fish. Also be sure to include fats from plant sources like avocados, olives, and raw nuts and seeds. You can also add non-starchy vegetables to this diet. Around 75% of your diet should rely on vegetables to make sure you get enough fiber and micronutrients to support overall health.
5. Vitamin E
Vitamin E is involved in the activation of thyroid hormones T4 to active T3. Generally, a deficiency causes overactive thyroid.
6. B vitamins
A B vitamin deficiency is common in people with low thyroid, especially a B12 deficiency. These deficiencies can cause similar symptoms to hypothyroidism, and when deficiencies are corrected, symptoms often improve.
Zinc is needed to convert T4 to active T3 and is typically deficient in people with thyroid disorders. Zinc is also critical for a properly functioning immune system and can help improve autoimmune disease.
As you can see, if you have an imbalance in any of these nutrients, your thyroid is at risk. However, correcting deficiencies is relatively simple once they’re uncovered. All the thyroid medication in the world can’t correct a micronutrient deficiency, and that’s why it’s so important to use comprehensive diagnostic testing to reveal individual imbalances. With this critical information in hand, we can design a unique nutrition and supplementation plan to boost your body’s thyroid healing powers and get you back on your feet. Trying to correct micronutrient imbalance without proper testing can lead to toxicity, so it’s dangerous to do this without the right medical supervision. To fully heal from low thyroid, you need support and a therapeutic plan built just for you.