The American Thyroid Association defines hypothyroidism as a condition characterized by an underactive thyroid gland, which is incapable of making enough thyroid hormone to keep the body running. This condition has various causes, including surgical removal of the thyroid, insufficient iodine in the diet, and use of particular medication.
However, the main culprit in this condition is Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, an auto-immune that attacks the thyroid gland. Some of the main symptoms of this condition are fatigue. Dry skin, weight gain, constipation, increased sensitivity to cold, puffy face, and hoarse voice.
Treating this condition is a multifaceted affair that involves prescription medication, diet as well as the intake of some supplements. Health care professionals are divided more so when it comes to the administering of supplements to patients of hypothyroidism. Some claim that supplementation is not necessary as long as the patient gets to eat a wholesome diet.
Nevertheless, some patients cannot access a balanced diet, and they will need some dietary supplements to help them manage the condition. This article highlights seven best thyroid supplements that are effective in treating hypothyroidism.
You need a decent supply of iodine to make the thyroid hormone. The National Institute of Health Office of Dietary Supplements recommends minimum iodine intake of 150 mg daily. The report also warns of supplementing too much iodine because excessive iodine intake can be problematic and exacerbate the symptoms of hypothyroidism.
When you consume iodine either directly or in dietary supplements, it is quickly absorbed into your bloodstream. Your thyroid captures the circulating iodine and uses it to create both the T3 and T4 thyroid hormones that circulate in the whole body to regulate metabolism and ensure the proper functioning of all the internal organs.
Most people have no problem meeting the daily recommendations of iron intake, mainly because of the iodization of salt and the incorporation of iodine-rich food in their diets. Iodine deficiency can lead to many problems, including low thyroid function and the development of goitre.
Practitioners are divided when it comes to the prescription of iodine supplements to alleviate the symptoms of hypothyroidism. While some will highly recommend iodine supplementation to their patients, some are skeptical about it.
It is crucial to explore all the options available so that you don’t put yourself at the risk of getting more complications. In other words, if your hypothyroidism is not as a result of iodine deficiency, then iodine supplements will not help in anything.
2. Omega 3 fatty acids
Numerous studies have proved that omega 3 fatty acids are effective in supporting thyroid functions. The studies have revealed that these essential oils play a vital role in reducing the inflammation that undermines the functioning of the thyroid gland.
EPA and DHA are the two fatty acids that are part of the omega 3’s. These fatty acids are the ones that help to suppress inflammation in the cells to kickstart the functioning of the thyroid gland. Daily intake of omega 3 will decrease the progression of hypothyroidism as well as reducing your consumption of anti-inflammatory drugs.
One of the most effective ways of ensuring that you are getting a sufficient amount of omega 3 fatty acids is to eat wild-caught fatty fish such as Mackerel and Salmon four to three times per week. These kinds of seafood will not only give you the amount of omega 3 required, but they also contain essential vitamins and minerals that your body will need to keep healthy.
This is another vital supplement that has enormous benefits for the thyroid gland. While selenium is best known for its oxidative properties, this micronutrient also plays a crucial role in the activation of the thyroid hormone for a quicker remission of hypothyroidism. The deficiency of this mineral will not only decrease the amount of thyroid hormone in the body but will also increase the risk of an auto-immune condition.
Moreover, another research indicated that individuals with low levels of selenium are at a high risk of suffering from Hashimoto’s thyroiditis. This is an auto-immune condition that causes the immune system to attack the thyroid gland.
Another review observed that taking selenium supplements daily for three months played a crucial role in lowering thyroid antibodies. This resulted in a more active thyroid gland, which led to improvements in mood and general wellbeing more so for those suffering from Hashimoto’s hypothyroidism.
Safe, natural sources for selenium include nuts, grains, freshwater and saltwater fish like tuna herring and cod, as well as beef and poultry.
Zinc is an essential element in the body that contributes to the functioning of the immune system, digestive health, hair and skin health, aids in the synthesis of omega 3 fatty acids, and of course, helps in the functioning of the thyroid gland. Zinc is the most abundant mineral in the body, second to iron.
One must possess sufficient levels of zinc in the body to help in the metabolism of vitamins A and D, both of which are vital in maintaining optimal thyroid health. The red flags for zinc deficiency in the body include loss of taste and smell, decreased immunity, lack of appetite, depression, and excessive hair loss.
Adequate thyroid levels are required for zinc absorption in the body and metabolism. On the other hand, enough zinc is necessary for the thyroid to function. This creates a vicious circle in that the deficiency of one causes the other to suffer.
Other causes of zinc deficiency include malnutrition, specific medication, use of alcohol, and improper food absorption.
Low zinc levels hinder the creation of the Thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH), which results in low levels of thyroid hormones T3 and T4. Also, zinc forms an essential part in enzyme deiodinase, which converts the inactive T3 hormone into active T4, which suppresses the adverse effects of hypothyroidism.
5. B-Complex Vitamins
Vitamin B complex represents a group in the B family, which is essential for growth and development, enzyme production, and turning food into energy that the body can use.
The Vitamin B complex family comprises of 8 vitamins namely; B1,B2,B3,B5, B6,B7,B9,B12. Each of these vitamins plays a vital role in your body, and a deficiency of either can have negative effects. It is advisable to keep their levels on the optimal at all times for the proper functioning of the body.
The B vitamin that is mostly associated with hypothyroidism is B12, which scientists say it has the most complex structures of all. The most common cause of deficiency of this vitamin is the inability of the body to absorb it in the intestines. The lack can also be due to an auto-immune anaemia known as pernicious anaemia, which suppresses the synthesis of this particular B vitamin.
Vitamin B12 is made in the intestines by some particular bacteria, but it is also present in meat products like poultry, fish, and beef. It is available in prescription both in injectables form and over-the-counter capsules.
Other B-vitamins are equally essential as they help in increasing the body’s metabolism to produce the energy needed for daily activities. People with hypothyroidism suffer from compromised metabolism, and thus it is vital to incorporate B-vitamin Complex in their diet.
This is an essential dietary supplement used to enhance attention and focus. L-Tyrosine is an oral version of tyrosine, which acts as a nutritional supplement. The essence of supplementing L-tyrosine is to improve the performance of tyrosine to help create abundant thyroid and adrenal hormones.
Tyrosine is seen as a non-essential amino acid because it is produced from another amino acid known as phenylalanine. Supplementing L-tyrosine ensures that you get the optimal levels of this nutrient to help overcome the symptoms of hypothyroidism.
Taking tyrosine could potentially improve your thyroid health and suppress hypothyroidism. Your body combines tyrosine and iodine to come up with thyroxine, which is the most abundant thyroid hormone in the body. Deficiency in either tyrosine or iodine can lead to inadequate thyroid hormone production and slow metabolism.
Note that while your body is capable of producing tyrosine, iodine must be obtained from your diet. This is important to note because the effectiveness of tyrosine is seen only when it is combined with iodine. It is vital to consult your clinician before taking L-tyrosine supplements more so if you are on other prescription thyroid medication or you suffer from blood pressure or heart disease.
According to a study conducted by the National Institutes of Health, there exists a strong link between hypothyroidism and the health of your small intestines.
The study revealed that altered gastrointestinal mortaliy is present in people suffering from hypothyroidism. The symptoms of intestinal permeability include bloating, irritable bowel syndrome, and gas reflux.
Probiotic supplements contain live bacteria that help to keep your intestines healthy and eliminates the undesirable symptoms that we have already discussed. It is important to note that the credibility of probiotics in treating hypothyroidism has not been proven fully scientifically. Be sure to talk to your physician so that he/she can shed more light on this form of supplementation.
For most people, managing hypothyroidism involves taking a combination of prescription medication and dietary supplements. These supplements are vital in combating the underlying causes of thyroid disorders, such as inflammation and auto-immune processes.
It is advisable to get all the information regarding the elements that you are supplementing with to ascertain their safety and effectiveness in dealing with your condition. Also, note that what worked for another person may not work for you since all bodies are unique and responds differently to various therapies. Besides, it is advisable to incorporate a balanced diet as it also has a role to play in maintaining this condition.
Be sure to consult with your clinician before embarking on this supplementing journey so that he/she can give you the go-ahead after considering all the pros and cons. Your doctor will also test the level of these supplements in your system so that they can tell the extent of their deficiency in your body and how much supplements you will require.
The above seven supplements have been tried and proven to be effective in managing the effects of hypothyroidism. Go through them and be sure to choose one that you feel resonates with your unique needs.
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