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. 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.
Typical symptoms of hypothyroidism are fatigue, low mood or depression, menstrual irregularities, dry skin, headaches, weight gain and difficulty losing weight, hair loss, brittle nails and hair, muscle weakness and joint pain, memory issues and cold hands and feet.
A common cause of hypothyroidism is iodine deficiency, which can also lead to an enlarged thyroid gland (goiter). Some foods can be goitrogenic such as brassica vegetables (broccoli, cabbage, kale and cauliflower) but cooking usually inactivates the goitrogens making them safe for most people to consume.
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.
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 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.
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, but soil quality has been decreasing in recent years and so often do not offer adequate amounts anymore.
Exercise is important for thyroid support as it stimulates thyroid gland secretion.
For the autoimmune support, reducing or eliminating gluten from the diet should be considered as gluten can increase thyroid autoantibodies in some people.
Key nutrients: iodine, tyrosine, zinc, vitamin D, vitamin E, vitamin A, vitaminB2, vitamin B3, vitamin B6, vitamin C and selenium.
A super greens formula will also help with energy and general bodily functions by improving oxygen uptake in cells.
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.