Best Supplemental Nutrition for Hypothyroidism

Dec. 12, 2017; by Briana McDonald- Staff Writer ( It is estimated that more than 12 percent of the U.S. population will develop a thyroid condition during their lifetime. Roughly 20 million Americans have some form of thyroid disease and up to 60 percent of those with thyroid disease are unaware of their condition. (1) Why are so many people getting thyroid disease? And what are some natural approaches we can take to get a handle on this? This article will highlight the best supplemental nutrition for hypothyroidism and offer some helpful suggestions in lifestyle choices for those seeking a way out of the fog.

Causes of Hypothyroidism 
There are several factors that hypothyroidism can stem from. These include:
  • Inflammatory disorders
  • poor diet lacking iodine and selenium
  • hormone imbalances
  • leaky gut syndrome (and other gastrointestinal issues)
  • genetics
  • during or following a pregnancy
  • interactions of medications
  • very high levels of emotional stress
  • stagnant lifestyle
Hypothyroidism vs Hyperthyroidism 
Hypothyroidism is essentially an underactive thyroid. If you are experiencing symptoms of an underactive thyroid you will be feeling things such as:
  • fatigue
  • mood swings
  • hair loss
  • weight gain
  • constipation
  • dry or cracked skin
  • goiter
Hyperthyroidism on the other hand is the opposite which is an overactive thyroid. When you produce too much thyroid hormone you will experience symptoms such as:
  • unexplained weight loss
  • hair loss and thinning of the hair
  • anxiety
  • shaking hands
  • excessive sweating
  • racing heart
  • excessive bowel movements
  • itchy skin
It’s essential then that we do all that we can to have a healthy, happy thyroid as one in balance does amazing things for the body and one out of balance creates havoc. While there are medications that can be taken to treat these disorders, I always find it best to find a natural approach that works for you which is less harmful on the body and promotes healthier changes in lifestyle.
Where To Begin
The first step when starting to treat any condition in the body is to eliminate inflammation. If you can eliminate inflammation you can eliminate the condition. (over an extended period of time of course, nothing happens overnight) Begin a diet that emphasizes low inflammatory foods, focus on rebuilding the GI tract with probiotics and enzymes, and get on a regular eating and sleep regimen. By doing this you will heal nutritional deficiencies, balance hormones, and reduce the amount of stress placed on the immune system.
The Best Supplemental Nutrition For Hypothyroidism
I must emphasize before I get into the list of supplements that nothing replaces wholesome food. It is important to supplement but in conjunction with a healthy diet and lifestyle.
Iodine is a mineral needed for the production of the thyroid hormone. The body does not produce it on its own so it needs to become an essential part of your diet. If you are lacking this mineral in your diet, your thyroid will suffer. (2) Taking 150-300 mcg daily can help to resolve this issue. (*do not take if you have Hashimotos Disease*)
After Iodine, Selenium is the next most important mineral affecting thyroid function. The thyroid contains more selenium by weight than any other organ in the body and is a necessary component of the enzymes htat remove iodine molecules from T4 converting into T3; without selenium there would be no activation of the thyroid hormone. Selenium also plays a role in protecting the thyroid gland itself as the cells of the thyroid generate hydrogen peroxide and use it ot make the thyroid hormone, Selenium protects the thyroid gland from the oxidative damage caused by these reactions. Without adequate levels of selenium, high iodine levels could lead to destruction of thyroid gland cells. (4) Take 200 mcg daily.
Ashwagandha has healing properties known to help lower cortisol and balance T4 levels. It also helps to detoxify the body, support a healthy metabolism, aid in healing microbial imbalances in the digestive tract, and support healthy cognitive function and mental health. (3) Researchers studying the effects of ashwagandha extract on bipolar disorder also collected data on thyroid function. In this study, three individuals were treated for eight weeks with 500 mg per day of a standardized ashwagandha extract. All three experienced decreases in thyroid stimulating hormone, indicating improved thyroid function, and T4 levels increased by 7‒24% compared with baseline in the ashwagandha-treated patients.Take 500 mg daily to reap its benefits.
Women are more than likely to have low iron levels than men are, and we are more likely to have hypothyroidism or Hashimoto’s Disease. Our thyroids need enough iron to produce the active hormones T4 and T3 so if the body is low on iron, the enzyme responsible for this can be reduced in activity up to 50 percent! (5) Take 45 mg a day for adults, and no more than 40 mg per day for children.
A deficiency of Vitamin D may increase the risk of autoimmune thyroid disease. We now know that receptors for vitamin D and the thyroid hormone look a lot alike and receptors for vitamin D are found within the thyroid gland. (6) When adjusted for age, presence of thyroid antibodies was inversely correlated with vitamin D levels in a group of 642 participants in New Delhi, India. Given the many benefits of adequate vitamin D levels it makes sense that additional supplementation is needed to restore a healthy functioning thyroid. You can take anywhere from 600 IU to 4000 IU daily.
Hypothyroid patients are often deficient in vitamin B12. In a 2008 paper, Pakistani doctors reported that of 116 hypothyroid patients tested for vitamin B12, about 40 percent were deficient. This could be a result in gastrointestinal issues that inhibit B12 absorption so along with a good B Complex vitamin, it is important to take important measures in building up the health of your gut. Since low B12 levels can cause serious neurological damage, all hypothyroid patients should have their levels tested. Take at least one B complex capsule daily. (7)
Foods to Eat on a Hypothyroidism Diet include: 
  • wild caught fish – loaded with omega-3’s, EPA, and DHA for hormone balance and thyroid function
  • coconut oil – provides medium chain fatty acids which support a healthy metabolism, increase energy and fight fatigue. It is easy to digest, nourishes the digestive system, and has antimicrobial, antioxidant, and antibacterial properties that suppress inflammation. It also helps to improve immunity and brain function while stabilizing mood and blood sugar levels. (8)
  • seaweed – seaweed is an amazing source of iodine and can help prevent deficiencies that disturb thyroid function.
  • probiotic rich foods – foods such as kefir, organic goats milk, yogurt, kimchi, kombucha, and sauerkraut are all great sources of probiotics which will help rebuild healthy intestinal flora
  • high fiber foods – taking in 30-40 grams of fiber daily is ideal for people with hypothyroidism as there are usually issues with digestion.
  • bone broth – bone broths contain the essential amino acids required to help repair the digestive lining and improve hypothyroidism. Bone broth also contains a numerous amount of minerals that nourish the digestive tract and prevent nutritional deficiencies.
  • fruits and veggies – of course we all need these! They are loaded with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants which will combat free radical damage and help to lower inflammation.
Now that you know the best supplemental nutrition for hypothyroidism and some of the causes for this disorder, you can take action steps necessary for natural healing. I wish you the best of luck on your journey towards wellness.



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