What To Do About an Underactive Thyroid

Weight Gain is a Common Symptom of an Underactive Thyroid

At the shop I see a lot of people who ask for advice about underactive thyroid. This is an extremely common condition which causes the body’s metabolic rate to slow down. This results in symptoms that can include fatigue, weight gain, dry skin, hair loss, memory and concentration problems, muscle and joint pain. Poor nutrition, stress, toxins, hormonal changes during the menopause, a lack of iodine in the diet can all contribute to the cause. Other signs can include aching joints on rising in the morning and loss of hair at the end of the eyebrow near the cheek bone.

Up to 60 percent of people with thyroid disease are unaware of their condition. And women are five to eight times more likely than men to have thyroid problems.

Things that will inhibit proper conversion of thyroid hormones include high cortisol, high free radicals, heavy metal toxicity, chronic illness, selenium deficiency, low protein, excess carbs, diabetes, or compromised liver function.

The Thyroid needs lots of nutrients so support it with a healthy diet and top up with supportive supplements if needed. It's stress intolerant, stress is almost impossible to avoid but developing some skills to help you deal with stress will help. It does not like toxins, these toxins can come from food, environment, or even toxic relationships. This can be a difficult area to solve but being aware of this is at least a first step to doing something about it.

First step get a blood test

The first step is to get a blood test and this will give you an indication of how things are. They could also indicate Hashimoto’s disease, which is an inflammation of the thyroid gland. This is caused by an attack by the body’s own immune system. This process is known as an autoimmune condition and will have a different protocol than an underactive thyroid problem. If your bloods come back showing a problem, you would need a different blood test to rule this out.

If you take Biotin on its own or in a multi nutrient stop taking it before your blood test for a few days for accurate results. Biotin is commonly used in hair and nail supplements.

Foods to eat

Nutritionally you can support your diet with nutrients it needs from food. Seaweeds such as nori, dulse, and kelp are great dietary sources of iodine and zinc. Vitamin A is important for thyroid hormone production and is found in eggs, dairy products, beef liver, and pumpkin seeds. B and Zinc work together to support thyroid function and can be found in nuts, seeds, and wholegrains. As well as vitamin C which is found in fruit and vegetables. Omega 3 essential fatty acids are important too.


Supplements to support thyroid health

Supplement wise, Biocare Th207 now called Biocare Thryoid Complex is one that I have seen good results with over the years. It’s a combination of powerful nutrients for thyroid support. It contains L-Tyrosine, Zinc, Selenium, vitamin C, N-Acetyl L-Cysteine, B vitamins, Vitamin A, and Potassium Iodide. All working together to support every step of thyroid hormone production.

If you are on medication for your thyroid you may be able to take some supplements for supportive measure. For example if you are on L Thryoxine at 100mg strength or less you may be able to take one Biocare Thyroid Complex per day. It is always safer to discuss this with your doctor first. If you are tired you could add in a B Complex or CoQ10 to help with energy. If you are craving sweet food then you could take chromium to help balance blood sugars. I would always recommend an omega 3 supplement and there are lots of excellent brands for you to choose from including Biocare’s own Mega EPA. If you're vegan you might like Udo's Choice Omega 3 Ultimate Oil Blend.

When to take your medication

If you’re on medication for thyroid you should take it first thing in the morning on an empty stomach. You might even be wise to wait and have your coffee later in the morning so as not to affect absorption.

Let us know if you have any questions about looking after your thyroid.

The thyroid gland loves nutrients, is stress intolerant, and dislikes toxins

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