Improve Your Thyroid Function With Proper Nutritional Supplementation


Improve Your Thyroid Function With Proper Nutritional Supplementation 
Approximately .4% of people in the United States have hypothyroidism, an under-functioning thyroid gland, and an additional 4-8% of people in the US have a mild form of hypothyroidism known as subclinical hypothyroidism, meaning that they have an elevated Thyroid Stimulating Hormone but don’t have significant symptoms of low thyroid. The most common symptoms of hypothyroidism are fatigue, hair loss, dry skin, feeling cold, poor memory, brain fog, constipation, and weight gain. When screening for thyroid, the Thyroid Stimulating Hormone (TSH) is most commonly tested, however, we find it helpful to also run free T3, free T4, and the thyroid antibodies, TPO and TG. Over 90% of patients in the US with hypothyroid have autoimmune hypothyroid, referred to as Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis, so we find it helpful to run the thyroid antibodies to see what level of autoimmune disease is present. If autoimmune disease is present, it is important to try to discover some of the triggers and causes of of it and not just take thyroid hormone and forget about the cause of the problem.

Studies show that there are a group of nutrients that are important for the proper functioning of the thyroid gland, including iodine, selenium, zinc, iron, vitamin D, magnesium, and Coenzyme Q10. Some of these nutrients are important for the production of thyroid hormone as well as for the conversion of the inactive T4 thyroid hormone produced by the thyroid into the active T3 form mostly in the peripheral tissues, especially in the liver, gut, skeletal muscle, and the brain, but also in the thyroid gland itself. There are a number of triggers that can set off or exacerbate autoimmune disease, including the nutrient deficiencies just mentioned. There are other factors that are important for thyroid health and which can be triggers for thyroid autoimmune disease (Hashimoto’s), including adrenal status (esp. if cortisol levels are too low or too high), chronic infections, leaky or unhealthy  gut, heavy metals and other toxins, including flouride, chlorine, and bromide, estrogen fluctuations, PCOS, imbalances of the TH1/TH2 immune system, as well as a number of prescription drugs. Medications that can interfere with thyroid function and T4 to T3 conversion include the following:

               1.  antibiotics & antifungals (i.e. sulfonamides, rifampin, keoconazole),
               2.  anti-diabetics (Orinase, Diabinese),
               3.  diuretics (Lasix),
               4.  stimulants (amphetamines),
               5.  cholesterol lowering medications (Colestid, Atromid, LoCholest, Questran, etc.),
               6.  anti-arrhythmia medications (Cordarone, Inderal, Propanolol, Regitine, etc.),
               7.  hormone replacement (Premarin, anabolic steroids, growth hormone, etc.),
               8.  pain medication (morphine, Kadian, MS Contin, etc.),
               9.  antacids (aluminum hydroxides like Mylanta, etc.) and
               10. psychoactive medications (Lithium, Thorazine, etc.).

You can see Dr. Weitz for a comprehensive nutrition consultation and after going through a detailed history with him, he can prescribe recommended laboratory testing to try to help determine some of the underlying triggers for your autoimmune thyroid disorder. These could include functional stool analysis, other gastrointestinal testing, such as SIBO breath testing and/or testing for H. pylori, provocative urine or serum testing for heavy metals or other toxins, testing for chronic viral infections, nutrition testing, hormone testing, or organic acid urine testing.

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