If you have been diagnosed with Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis, Hypothyroidism, Graves’ Disease, or Hyperthyroidism what do you do next? (Again, keep in mind these are only suggestions, as I am not a medical professional. Make sure to check with your medical practitioner before implementing any of these suggestions.)
The most likely step is your doctor will put you on a thyroid medication like Synthroid/Levothyroxine. These drugs will help to stabilize your thyroid while you do some investigating.
If you’ve been diagnosed with Hypothyroidism (knowing what I know now) first step would be to ask your doctor to check you for Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis by checking your TPO antibodies and TG antibodies. Because Hypothyroidism really occurs when your thyroid has failed which is what Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis will do ultimately if not treated properly.
So what can you do to help your thyroid? This is also something you should think about even if you don’t suspect you have an issue.
This list is just an example of some of the supplements you may need to take to help get your thyroid health back.
Vitamin A – plays an important role in immunity which is important for anyone with autoimmune thyroid disease. It can help with inflammation and repair process in the body and can help prevent infections which can trigger an autoimmune reaction. Vitamin A is also good for eye health to decrease the risk of cataracts as well as macular degeneration. It is also good for the skin especially for those suffering with acne. It’s also helpful with cardiovascular conditions and cancer. Vitamin A helps to maintain the epithelial of the skin, gastrointestinal tract and respiratory tract. Good food sources of vitamin A are sweet potatoes, carrots, butternut squash, dark leafy greens, romaine lettuce, dried apricots, cantaloupe, sweet red peppers, cooked tuna fish, and mango.
B Vitamins – These vitamins play a very important role in hormone regulation and thyroid function. Make sure you have enough B12 in your system by having a blood test to determine what level you are at. Taking a very good B Complex vitamin every day is good practice. If your B12 is low, you may consider adding a B12 supplement separate from a B Complex. Good sources of vitamin B are whole grains, legumes, nuts, milk, yogurt, meat, fish, eggs, seeds, and dark leafy greens.
Vitamin D – People with hypothyroidism are often found to be deficient in vitamin D. You will find vitamin D added to milk products, yogurt, and orange juice, but it may not be adequate if you are deficient. Using a daily supplement can help you with this problem though. Other foods that contain vitamin D are cod liver oil, tuna canned in water, sardines canned in oil, beef or calve liver, mushrooms, egg yolks, and cheese. Also, as you know your body converts the sunshine you are exposed to into vitamin D in your body.
Iodine – Even though Iodine has been linked to causing Hypothyroidism, some people may need to take some daily to keep their hormone balance. If you have been diagnosed with Hypothyroidism, please do not take an iodine supplement. For most adults the recommended minimum is 150 micrograms a day. Regular table salt has iodine added to it. If you are looking to eliminate a lot of iodine from your diet try Sea Salts as they most usually have not been iodized.
Selenium and Vitamin E – Selenium, works along with vitamin E, to help convert T4 to T3 a very important function in your body. According to Chris Kresser “Adequate selenium nutrition supports efficient thyroid hormone synthesis and metabolism and protects the thyroid gland from damage from excessive iodine exposure.” Selenium helps to reduce inflammation in thyroid specific autoimmune diseases. It has been found that selenium helps reduce TPO antibodies in thyroid patients. Foods containing selenium are tuna, shrimp, salmon, sardines, scallops, lamb, chicken, beef, turkey, eggs, and shiitake mushrooms.
Here is a post from Helen Sanders at Health Ambition on the Health Benefits of Selenium for additional information. (Updated information)
Vitamin E also helps to protect the heart, and helps to alleviate some symptoms of thyroid disease due to its antioxidant effects. Foods that contain vitamin E are wheat germ, safflower oil, leafy green vegetables, eggs, nuts and legumes.
Zinc – This essential element is very important to your body. It works with 100 different enzyme reactions and is involved with DNA, immune function, protein synthesis, and cell division. Your body needs it for proper sense of taste and smell, detoxification, wound healing, and thyroid function. People with hypothyroidism are zinc deficient which prevents T4 to T3 conversion. It is also necessary to form TSH. Zinc deficiency is also responsible for intestinal permeability (leaky gut), which leads to all kinds of other issues. Foods that contain zinc are oysters which are high in this substance, but also beef, liver, pork, lobster and chicken.
Tyrosine – This nutrient is an amino acid that is involved in thyroid hormone production and conversion. If you eat a daily diet of 10 to 35 percent protein will provide you with enough of this nutrient.
Probiotics – Dr. Ralph Kellman say’s in his article in Everyday Health on Hypothyroidism about probiotics “The microbiome in the gut plays a critical role in many physiological processes, including thyroid function,” Because of this, he recommends taking a probiotic supplement. “I don’t necessarily recommend the supplement with the highest number of bacteria — although that’s important — but supplements with the most diversity,” he says. To get the maximum amount of different bacteria, he recommends changing your probiotic supplement often.
As you can see there are many supplements that can help in getting your thyroid back into shape.
I hope this information is helpful to you. I know it has been for me.
Have a wonderful day and week ahead.