Best Supplements For Hypothyroidism
If you are one of the estimated 20 million individuals in the United States with hypothyroidism, there are numerous supplements that support inflammation and a reduction in thyroid symptoms. Check out my recommendations for the best supplements for hypothyroidism.
The latest numbers show that about 20 million individuals in the United States suffer from a condition known as hypothyroidism. Whether you have had this condition for years, or have recently found out that you have it, you are definitely not alone in your diagnosis. In addition to those who know that they have this condition, experts believe that many more have hypothyroidism and do not yet
Like many conditions, hypothyroidism is not easy to manage. In addition to conventional treatments, there are many natural ways to assist in control of the symptoms of hypothyroidism.
Learn more about this condition, its causes, and about the best supplements for hypothyroidism.
What is hypothyroidism?
Hypothyroidism is characterized by low levels of hormones produced by the thyroid. This is a result of an underperforming thyroid (the butterfly-shaped gland that is located in the lower part of the neck). Simple blood tests can quickly reveal whether or not an individual meets the criteria for this diagnosis.
In general, women are more likely than men to develop hypothyroidism. Common symptoms of the condition include frequently feeling cold, intense fatigue, dry skin, weight gain, mood changes, muscle weakness, and constipation. If symptoms are not addressed, the condition can worsen.
What are the underlying causes of hypothyroidism?
There are numerous reasons as to why an individual might develop hypothyroidism. The following are the most common causes of the condition:
- An autoimmune disease
- Various medications
- Surgery performed on the thyroid
- Certain hyperthyroidism treatments
- Insufficient levels of iodine
What are the most common conventional treatments for hypothyroidism?
Although there is no real cure for the condition, there are many ways that it can be successfully managed. The most popular conventional treatment for hypothyroidism is a medication known as levothyroxine. This is a synthetic version of the T4 hormone. Since the body interprets the medication as the real hormone, symptoms are often quickly alleviated. However, when used with specific supplements for hypothyroidism, there is often less of a need for this medication.
What are the best supplements for hypothyroidism?
For those who are seeking a more natural way to manage their condition, there are specific supplements for hypothyroidism that are exceptional choices.
There are all-natural ways to fully control the symptoms of hypothyroidism. Scientific studies have examined the effects of various supplements on thyroid function. As a result of this research, a surprising number of supplements for hypothyroidism have been proven effective.
If you are considering managing your hypothyroidism with herbs, vitamins, and other natural supplements, explore some of my top recommendations.
The link between Ashwagandha and thyroid function is undeniable1. Several studies have found that this herb promotes thyroid health by balancing the amount of hormones produced by the thyroid gland. It can amazingly boost hormone production for those who suffer from hypothyroidism and stimulate hormone production for those with hyperthyroidism.
As mentioned earlier, the root cause of hypothyroidism can often be an autoimmune disease. Ashwagandha has also been shown to assist with autoimmunity2, which makes it an outstanding choice for those who suffer from an autoimmune condition and hypothyroidism.
Vitamin D3 with K2
The combination of vitamins D3 and K2 supports the reduction in symptoms for a variety of autoimmune diseases, as well as hypothyroidism. Research has linked vitamin D deficiency with thyroid disease3. Therefore, it is essential to maintain healthy levels of both of these vitamins. When supplementing with vitamin D it's always good to start with a liquid product to ensure absorption.
Supplements That Can Balance Immunity
Selenium is an essential nutrient for proper thyroid function. Individuals who have a selenium deficiency can experience decreased activity of GPXs, which can lead to oxidative damage. This oxidative damage has been linked to impaired thyroid activity. Also, low selenium concentration in the body can cause autoimmune processes in the thyroid gland4.
Additionally, one study revealed that selenium supplementation can even improve the efficacy of levothyroxine5 (the conventional medication used to treat hypothyroidism symptoms). When research participants with autoimmune hypothyroidism took selenium with levothyroxine (rather than levothyroxine alone), a greater reduction in the levels of antibodies occurred.
The recommended intake of selenium needed to maintain suitable selenoenzyme activity ranges from 60 μg to 75 μg per day.
Because iodine deficiency can be an underlying cause of hypothyroidism, it is crucial to maintain sufficient levels of the nutrient. If you suspect a possible iodine deficiency, a blood test can assess your current levels. When starting with iodine supplementation start slow, high doses can increase autoimmune reactions.
Glutathione is another substance that is needed to maintain a properly functioning thyroid gland. It is also essential in the treatment of autoimmune conditions. Stress and an unhealthy diet can contribute to low levels of glutathione. Since this substance is produced by the body, various supplements and dietary changes can boost your levels, which helps support thyroid hormone production.
Most commonly known as a spice with strong anti-inflammatory properties, turmeric is one of the most powerful supplements for hypothyroidism. It addresses underlying autoimmune disease by regulating immune system function, reducing autoimmune activity, detoxifying the body, and protecting the gut. Therefore, supplementing with turmeric is an absolute must for those with autoimmune hypothyroidism.
Supplements That Can Increase Energy Naturally
Methylated B vitamins
Having a deficiency in certain types of B vitamins has been linked to the development of hypothyroidism. Rather than taking a random brand of B vitamins, it is important for those with hypothyroidism to choose methylated B vitamins. Why? In order for B vitamins to work as effective supplements for hypothyroidism, your body needs to be able to fully utilize the vitamins. Because many individuals are unable to metabolize standard B vitamins, active (or methylated) B vitamins should be your top choice.
Adaptogenic herbs (such as the previously mentioned Ashwagandha) have been shown to balance the production of thyroid hormones. In addition to Ashwagandha, two other common adaptogenic herbs that can be used as supplements for hypothyroidism include maca and rhodiola.
Supplements That Improve A Leaky Gut
It is common for people with thyroid issues to have lower than normal stomach acid. This prevents an individual from fully breaking down food, which can lead to leaky gut syndrome. Betaine HCL helps ensure proper stomach acid production, which aids in the absorption of nutrients like B vitamins and other minerals.
Glutamine is known as the most important substance for healthy intestinal cells. It is an essential amino acid for repairing tissues (especially for the epithelial cells of the intestinal lining), and for preventing leaky gut syndrome. Using L-glutamine supplementation has been proven to have immunomodulatory, anticatabolic/anabolic, and gastrointestinal mucosal-protective actions.
When the body is under stress, it relies on glutamine to help meet its extra energy needs. Supplemental L-glutamine can deliver much-needed energy to the body when trying to overcome the symptoms of hypothyroidism.
MSM and Quercetin
As mentioned already, chronic inflammation and leaky gut syndrome are often associated with autoimmune hypothyroidism. MSM and Quercetin are anti-inflammatory substances that can reduce both of these conditions. Quercetin can also provide direct anti-inflammatory action by stabilizing intestinal mast cells, which can improve tissue health through its antioxidant functions.
Mucin is a glycoprotein, which is normally secreted by the intestinal epithelial cells. It can serve to coat the intestinal lining and to neutralize intestinal antigens, along with sIgA. This reduces any inflammation and tissue damage caused by food allergies, intestinal infection, or dysbiosis.
Low light laser therapy (LLLT) and hypothyroidism
Aside from the top supplements for hypothyroidism, low light laser therapy (LLLT) has been shown to be an effective treatment for the condition6. Chronic autoimmune thyroiditis (CAT) patients who received LLLT in one study experienced an overall improvement in thyroid function. They also experienced a reduction in thyroid antiperoxidase antibody levels, and an increase in the thyroid parenchymal echogenicity as assessed by B-mode ultrasound7.
What is even more impressive is that LLLT could reduce inflammation in CAT patients, and possibly reduce the presence of thyroid antibodies, with no side effects.
The preliminary results of this study also indicated that as a result of the improved thyroid function, patients experienced a decreased need for levothyroxine, a reduction in TPOAb levels, and an increase in parenchymal echogenicity.
Another study that examined the link between LLLT and thyroid function also found that LLLT promotes reduced TPOAb-mediated autoimmunity, and increases thyroid echogenicity in patients with CAT hypothyroidism8.
The fluoride-hypothyroidism link
In addition to finding the right supplements for hypothyroidism, it is important to avoid things that can negatively impact the thyroid. Fluoride exposure has been linked to a host of health problems, including thyroid conditions. Individuals with hypothyroidism should be especially careful about their fluoride exposure, as it has been proven to lower TSH levels. The researchers who found the link between fluoride consumption and a reduction in thyroid hormone production recommend special measures for those with hypothyroidism. More specifically, people with the condition are advised to install household water purification to ensure that fluoride is removed from drinking water9.
Another study went a step further by demonstrating a positive correlation of fluoride consumption and hypothyroidism10.
To learn more about where fluoride is most commonly found, and how to avoid consumption of the substance, the Fluroide Toxicity Research Collaborative is an exceptional resource.
Incorporating supplements for hypothyroidism into your life can be a process. With guidance from the right practitioner, you can quickly learn what works best for your body. 80% of all thyroid conditions are caused because of autoimmunity, this is important to understand. Over 20% of all thyroid hormone is converted by bacteria in the gut. Eliminating yeast like candida and following an antifungal diet for 30-60 days can be a great jump start while starting supplements for hypothyroidism. Also, consider following an autoimmune diet protocol to help reduce and lower autoimmunity.