Have a family member with thyroid disease? More specifically, do they have hypothyroidism? Read on!
What exactly does the thyroid do?
A butterfly-shaped organ sitting at the base of the neck, the thyroid is responsible for not only a healthy metabolism. It produces two crucial hormones, triiodothyronine (T3) and thyroxine (T4), which ensure proper function of all the cells in the body—yes, all. T3 and T4 regulate things like heart rate, breathing, cholesterol levels, body weight, blood pressure, and even the menstrual cycle. Poor thyroid health is connected to a multitude of health conditions such as infertility, irritable bowel syndrome, fibromyalgia, and autoimmune diseases—including hypothyroidism.
Hypothyroidism is caused by an underproduction of thyroid hormones, causing a major drop in energy levels. It should not go left untreated, as it can lead to severe and dangerous conditions. Hashimoto’s thyroiditis can cause hypothyroidism, where the body attacks the thyroid tissue, killing the tissue, and ceasing production of hormones (thyromate).
While it is highly advised to seek medical attention, treatment can be enhanced with dietary supplements. And you can create the custom supplement people need to clear this hurdle. “Vitamins and nutrients can help fight the underlying causes of thyroid disorders, such as autoimmune processes and inflammation, and help improve a dysfunctional thyroid,” says Raphael Kellman, MD, a functional medicine physician in NYC.
Here are some of the very best nutrients for hypothyroidism:
Vitamin B12 raises energy levels and strengthens the nervous system. Most people with hypothyroidism have a Vitamin B12 deficiency, typically caused by prolonged digestive problems.
The thyroid needs iodine for T3 and T4 hormone production. Available through foods like cheese, eggs, milk, and kelp, iodine must not be consumed freely via supplements. Supplementing with too much of this chemical can actually cause hypothyroidism. On the contrary, insufficient iodine can cause hypothyroidism, goiters, and mental issues in newborns and infants (if the mother does not have enough in their system during pregnancy).
Magnesium and Selenium
This is a mineral that is not only important but required for T4 to be converted into T3. Next to iodine, selenium is the most important element to a healthy thyroid. It has to be there for the correct amounts of T3 to be produced, and protects the thyroid from oxidative damage.
“Tyrosine is a nutrient involved in thyroid hormone production and conversion,” remarks Kellman. One of the best ways to get more of this amino acid is to get enough protein in your diet (everydayhealth). Tyrosine also promotes healthy moods and helps us cope with physical stress (thyromate).
Fun Fact: cayenne pepper is rich in capsaicin, a substance that helps eliminate symptoms of an underactive thyroid, strengthen the heartbeat, and improve blood circulation. So eat up!