The thyroid is a small, butterfly-shaped gland that crosses the front of your windpipe. Thyroid hormones help control functions including how your heart beats and how your digestive system works.
Hypothyroidism occurs when there is low thyroid gland function. The pituitary gland produces Thyroid Stimulating Hormone (TSH) which is responsible for producing thyroid hormones when levels are low[i]. The two thyroid hormones are triiodothyronine (T3) and thyroxine (T4). In hypothyroidism, a blood test will likely show high levels of TSH but low levels of thyroid hormones[ii][iii].
A common cause of hypothyroidism is iodine deficiency, which can also lead to an enlarged thyroid gland (goitre)[vi]. Some foods can be goitrogenic such as brassica vegetables (broccoli, cabbage, kale and cauliflower). Cooking usually inactivates the goitrogens making them safe for most people to consume[vii].
The most common cause of hypothyroidism is an autoimmune condition called Hashimoto’s, which is where antibodies bind to the thyroid and prevent it from making adequate amounts of thyroid hormones[viii].
Ensure to cook brassica foods (mentioned above) before eating them. The occasional bit of raw kale should be fine as it is in large amounts where is seems to become goitrogenic.
Iodine[ix]: in the right amount is key for thyroid support. Organic seaweed and iodised salt contain adequate amounts, in fact, seaweed has significant amounts so you want to be sure to have this no more than a couple of times a week as too much iodine can also suppress thyroid activity.
Selenium[x]: Having low levels of selenium is indicated in the pathogenesis of hypothyroidism, so getting adequate amounts in the diet or through supplementation is a useful preventative. Brazil nuts are the usual go-to for selenium. However, soil quality has been decreasing in recent years and so often does not offer adequate amounts anymore.
For autoimmune support, reducing or eliminating gluten from the diet should be considered as gluten can increase thyroid autoantibodies in some people.
A super greens formula will also help with energy and general bodily functions by improving oxygen uptake in cells.
Slim Tincture (50ml): Gotu Kola, Garcinia, Guggul, Triphala, and Fucus tinctures which helps to speed up metabolism and may help burn fat
Ginseng Complex: Ginseng Complex is a unique herbal supplement designed to support adrenal function. P. ginseng is beneficial on the thyroid gland hormone production with good effect on the hypothyroidism[xiii].
Adaptogen Complex 90 Capsules: This adaptogen complex contains Siberian ginseng, panax ginseng, mate tea, Damiana leaf and Suma root to support energy, stress and hormone levels. Gotu kola, is a great adaptogenic herb that supports brain health, nerves, and mood[xiv] [xv].
Thyroid function: it is worth checking thyroid function, as this commonly changes around menopause. Thyroid function is also inextricably linked to reproductive health and hormone production and function. Usually testing for markers such as: TSH (thyroid stimulating hormone), FT3 & FT, thyroid function tests can be sought privately or through your GP. Talk to us for further advice.
[i] Kaltsas G, Vgontzas A, Chrousos G. Fatigue, endocrinopathies, and metabolic disorders. PM R. 2010 May;2(5):393-8.
[ii] Mortoglou A, Candiloros H. The serum triiodothyronine to thyroxine (T3/T4) ratio in various thyroid disorders and after Levothyroxine replacement therapy. Hormones (Athens). 2004 Apr-Jun;3(2):120-6.
[iii] Canaris GJ, Steiner JF, Ridgway EC. Do traditional symptoms of hypothyroidism correlate with biochemical disease? J Gen Intern Med. 1997 Sep;12(9):544-50.
[iv] Canaris GJ, Steiner JF, Ridgway EC. Do traditional symptoms of hypothyroidism correlate with biochemical disease? J Gen Intern Med. 1997 Sep;12(9):544-50.
[v] Gupta V, Lee M. Central hypothyroidism. Indian J Endocrinol Metab. 2011 Jul;15
[vi] Babiker A, Alawi A, Al Atawi M, Al Alwan I. The role of micronutrients in thyroid dysfunction. Sudan J Paediatr. 2020;20(1):13-19.
[vii] Bajaj JK, Salwan P, Salwan S. Various Possible Toxicants Involved in Thyroid Dysfunction: A Review. J Clin Diagn Res. 2016 Jan;10(1):FE01-3.
[viii] Mikulska AA, Karaźniewicz-Łada M, Filipowicz D, Ruchała M, Główka FK. Metabolic Characteristics of Hashimoto's Thyroiditis Patients and the Role of Microelements and Diet in the Disease Management-An Overview. Int J Mol Sci. 2022 Jun 13;23(12):6580.
[ix] Chung HR. Iodine and thyroid function. Ann Pediatr Endocrinol Metab. 2014 Mar;19(1):8-12. doi: 10.6065/apem.2014.19.1.8. Epub 2014 Mar 31. PMID: 24926457; PMCID: PMC4049553.
[x] Ventura M, Melo M, Carrilho F. Selenium and Thyroid Disease: From Pathophysiology to Treatment. Int J Endocrinol. 2017;2017:1297658. doi: 10.1155/2017/1297658. Epub 2017 Jan 31. PMID: 28255299; PMCID: PMC5307254.
[xi] Ciloglu F, Peker I, Pehlivan A, Karacabey K, Ilhan N, Saygin O, Ozmerdivenli R. Exercise intensity and its effects on thyroid hormones. Neuro Endocrinol Lett. 2005 Dec;26(6):830-4. Erratum in: Neuro Endocrinol Lett. 2006 Jun;27(3):292. PMID: 16380698.
[xii] Krishnamurthy HK, Reddy S, Jayaraman V, Krishna K, Song Q, Rajasekaran KE, Wang T, Bei K, Rajasekaran JJ. Effect of Micronutrients on Thyroid Parameters. J Thyroid Res. 2021 Sep 28;2021:1865483.
[xiii] Xiao H, Tan C, Yang G, Dou D. The effect of red ginseng and ginseng leaves on the substance and energy metabolism in hypothyroidism rats. J Ginseng Res. 2017 Oct;41(4):556-565.
[xiv] Zen XX, Yuan Y, Liu Y, Wu TX, Han S. Chinese herbal medicines for hyperthyroidism. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2007 Apr 18;2007(2):CD005450. doi: 10.1002/14651858.CD005450.pub2.
Please note that the information contained within this website does not and should not replace medical advice, and is not intended to treat or diagnose. We always recommend you consult with your doctor. Our Nutritional Therapy team is highly trained and we offer one to one Nutritional Therapy Consultations, which are designed to be complementary to any medical treatment from a functional medicine approach, as well as offering a preventative & optimal health focus.