The thyroid is a little butterfly-shaped gland present in your throat that has many important responsibilities. These include pacing the beating of your heart, how fast your body burns calories and more. The thyroid gland releases two hormones, thyronine and triiodothyronine, that do all the functioning.
Regular intake of vitamins and minerals in your diet is essential to ensure proper function of your thyroid. Sometimes it can be difficult to get all the nutrients needed from our foods, so supplements that help support healthy levels can be of great benefit.
IODINE AND THYROID
Iodine is the most important nutrient related to thyroid health. The thyroid uses iodine to produce hormones. Iodine deficiency can lead to a condition known as hypothyroidism, which results from thyroid producing too little hormone.
Hypothyroidism, which leads to low energy and weight gain is more common than hyperthyroidism. This condition occurs when too much hormone is produced.
NUTRIENTS AND THYROID
Along with iodine, there are some other vitamins and minerals that are required by your body.
- Vitamin A: This vitamin plays an important role in thyroid hormone metabolism.
- Vitamin D: Hypothyroidism occurs when there is deficiency of Vitamin D in your body. If you have vitamin D deficiency, then it is recommended you take a supplement to aid the body.
- Selenium: It is an essential mineral that plays many important functions in the body, including the metabolism of thyroid hormones.
- Iron: Iron helps the body convert inactive T4 hormone into active T3 hormone.
WHAT TO EAT
Some of the best food sources for vitamins and minerals include common items found in the western diets, such as:
- Seafood: Cod, white fish, and shrimps are an excellent source of protein. Tuna is also a good source of iodine because they naturally retain iodine from seawater.
- Dairy Products:Milk, cheese and yogurt.
- Egg yolks: Egg yolk contains most of the iodine found in the eggs. They are also a good source of Vitamin A and D and selenium.
SUPPLEMENTS AND THYROID
Many dietitians recommend getting important nutrients from food rather than taking supplements, but consuming key vitamins and minerals in a form of pills is helpful if your diet doesn’t provide those nutrients.
In addition to multivitamins, there are thyroid support supplements that are a convenient way to get key nutrients. Many of these are also available with herbal supplements, such as Ashwagandha.
Many thyroid support products contain synthetic thyroid hormones, which can create a hormonal imbalance in your body. Thus, it is very important that you speak with your healthcare provider before taking any supplement or vitamins.
DRAWBACKS AND RISKS
For people with hypothyroidism, taking a synthetic version of the hormone in the form of pills can help them achieve healthy hormone levels. However, there are foods and medications that should be avoided when taking your thyroid hormone, such as:
- iron supplements or multivitamins containing iron
- calcium supplements
- antacids that contain magnesium or aluminum
- sucralfate (Carafate) and certain other ulcer medications
- certain cholesterol-lowering drugs, including those that contain cholestyramine (Prevalite) and colestipol (Colestid)
- soybean flour
- cottonseed meal
- foods and supplements containing soy
You can still consume these items, but there should be a gap of at least a few hours before or after taking your thyroid medication. You should immediately talk to your doctor and discuss a daily schedule that will help and reduce your risk of unhealthy interaction.
MAINTAINING YOUR THYROID HEALTH
A healthy and well-rounded diet is usually enough to provide the necessary nutrients for a healthy thyroid and overall physical health. Remember to make sure that you get enough iodine in your diet, as well as some key vitamins and minerals such as Vitamins A and D, selenium and magnesium.
It is important you pay attention to the products like thyroid vitamins before consuming them, especially if they contain herbal supplements or even a small amount of hybrid hormones, as this could cause hormone imbalance in your body.
If you notice any change in your body’s size or shape or you start experiencing symptoms of hyperthyroidism or hypothyroidism, you should immediately consult a doctor.
You might experience a sudden increase in weight, if this happens you should shift to a healthier diet or you can also take the best thyroid supplement, but you should always ask your doctor before taking any supplements.
You can also do a blood test to check the hormone levels. This can help confirm whether you have hyperthyroidism or hypothyroidism or your hormone levels are stable.