Gateway Health News

Hypothyroidism (under-active thyroid)

2015-08-06
Hypothyroidism
(under-active thyroid)


Adrenal Support
Vitamin C, B5, B6, zinc and magnesium together with licorice and Siberian ginseng are
all supportive of adrenal function, especially in relation to cortisol excretion. Many
adrenal and thyroid disfunction symptoms overlap, and chronic stress and/or blood
sugar dysfunction can be common themes to both. Adrenal support should therefore be
considered BEFORE addressing thyroid problems.

Selenium
This important antioxidant nutrient also acts as a co-factor for the enzyme 5’-
deiodinase, which converts the relatively inactive T4 thyroid hormone into the active
T3 hormone. A recent report suggested that selenium deficiency could impair thyroid
function and lead to hypothyroidism (under-active thyroid). Mercury toxicity impairs
thyroid function because it antagonises selenium. Selenium supplementation may
therefore be helpful in reducing the effects of mercury in relation to thyroid function.

Tyrosine
This amino acid in combination with iodine, is required for the synthesis of thyroid
hormones. Tyrosine is also required for the formation of adrenaline and noradrenaline
by the adrenal glands, which is one of the reasons that adrenal stress can impact on
thyroid function. The supplementation of tyrosine has been shown to be supportive in
hypothyroidism (under-active thyroid).

Iodine
In combination with tyrosine, iodine is required to make thyroid hormones. A lack of
iodine in the diet leads to a condition called goiter, which is characterised by an
enlargement of the thyroid gland. Some foods are known to block the uptake of iodine
by the thyroid and are known as goitrogens. These foods include the brassica
vegetables (broccoli, cabbage, brussels sprouts), turnips, pine nuts, soya beans and
millet. These foods should be avoided by those suffering with under-active thyroid
disorders. NOTE: Excessive iodine intake may also cause goiter and hypothyroidism.
Beware of excessive supplementation in under-active thyroid disorders – ideal daily
intake ranges between 150 and 450ug per day.

Essential Fatty Acids
EFA’s are important for the health of cell membranes. It has been suggested that omega
3 fatty acids from fish oils may help support thyroid function by improving cell
membrane sensitivity to TSH. Conversely, a diet high in saturates and trans fats is
likely to disrupt thyroid hormone balance.
Vitamin A, B Complex, C, E And Zinc
All are required for the formation of thyroid hormones. Supplementation may be
supportive in normalising thyroid function – especially in hypothyroidism conditions.

Hypothyroidism Summary

Nutrient/Herb Typical intake range
Selenium1 200 – 400ug per day
L-Tyrosine2 500 – 1000mg per day (empty stomach)
Kelp (iodine)3 150 – 450ug iodine per day
Omega 3 fatty acids4 1000 – 4000mg fish oil per day
Multi –nutrient formulation As per manufacturer’s directions

Reduce/avoid
Goitergens (Brassicas, soya beans, pine
nuts, turnips)
Saturated fats
Trans fats
Fried foods

Increase
Complex carbohydrates
Vegetables
Fruit
Nuts and seeds
Oily fish
Whole grains

Lifestyle Factors
Take regular exercise (stimulates thyroid secretion)
Follow recommendations in ‘adrenal support’ section

Footnotes
1. Yeast-bound selenium should not be used concurrently with MAO anti-depressant medication.
Yeast-free supplements can be used as an alternative.
2. Not to be used with MAO inhibitor drugs without the consent of a qualified medical health
practitioner. Should be avoided by pregnant women and nursing mothers and those with
melanoma.
3. Excessive iodine intake may also cause goiter and hypothyroidism. Beware of excessive
supplementation in under-active thyroid disorders – ideal daily intake ranges between 150 and
600ug per day.
4. Do not take in conjunction with anticoagulant medication