Adequate vitamin and mineral intake is important to overall health and can support a healthy lifestyle, even with thyroid issues! Check out these key nutrients that can help you manage your thyroid. As always, be sure to ask your doctor before taking vitamin and mineral supplements.
1. Vitamin D
Most Americans are vitamin D deficient unless you have the privilege of living on the beach! Lower levels of the “sun vitamin” are associated with an increased risk of thyroid disorders, including autoimmune disorders like Grave’s disease. Some research suggests adequate vitamin D levels can reduce the negative side effects of hypothyroidism. Vitamin D is best taken directly from the sun, but adding a supplement of 5000IU or more can boost your levels.
Zinc and Selenium are essential to thyroid function. Zinc is important in T3 (our active thyroid hormone) action, and selenium plays a key role in hormone production. Taking a Zn-selenium complex can aid in stubborn weight loss in obese or overweight women with hypothyroidism.
3. Vitamin B complex
B vitamins play a major role in hormone regulation and energy levels. Ever noticed that so many energy drinks add B12? That’s why, B12 gives a cellular boost, increasing energy production.
Iron deficiency by itself is unpleasant, but when coupled with hypothyroidism it can cause extreme fatigue and hair loss. Iron is needed to convert T4 to T3, the active thyroid hormone, so a deficiency means less hormone action! Pair vitamin C with iron supplementation for maximum absorption, and be aware that iron supplements can cause dark bowel movements and stomach upset.
Caution: Be wary of taking “thyroid pills.” These supplements can actually contain bovine thyroid in unknown amounts. Some brands add iodine, which can actually slow thyroid function further! Choose blends, like this one, without thyroid hormone added!
Understanding Thyroid & Metabolism
There aren’t magic “thyroid pills” and there isn’t a switch to control metabolism. But learning about the role nutrition plays in both the production of the thyroid hormone and the metabolism can help shape a healthy lifestyle for living with a thyroid condition.
- Lifestyle Tips for Managing Thyroid Disorders
- A Quick Guide To Your Metabolism
- Thyroid: Controlling Hormones Essential to Your Metabolism
- How to Use Nutrition to Change Your Mindset
Caroline is a Clinical Registered Dietitian for MedStar Health and Hospital Systems in Baltimore, Maryland. She completed her Masters Degree in Dietetics from San Jose State University and moved back to Charm City to be with her fiancee. When she’s not providing medical nutrition therapy to her patients, Caroline enjoys cooking, waterfront walks and crab-anything (crab pizza is the best!).