The thyroid gland, a butterfly-shaped organ set at the base of the neck, plays a big role in metabolism. It produces two vital hormones: triiodothyronine (T3) and thyroxine (T4). These hormones ensure all the cells in the body function normally. They control metabolism and regulate important bodily functions like breathing, heart rate, blood pressure, cholesterol levels, body weight, and menstrual cycle. When your thyroid levels are unbalanced, your overall health is affected. Poor thyroid function is linked to several health conditions like irritable bowel syndrome, infertility, fibromyalgia, and autoimmune diseases. Many of these diseases can be prevented or eliminated by vitamins for thyroid health.
Benefits of Good Thyroid Health
When your thyroid gland functions optimally, all your organs work well. Thyroid hormones affect the development of all cells in the human body. They control fat, carbohydrate, and protein metabolism, influencing how cells use energetic compounds. They also activate vitamin metabolism.
A healthy thyroid produces ample levels of calcitonin which helps regulate the amount of calcium in the body.
T3, which is created after deiodination, increases oxygen consumption of many of the body’s tissues through fat metabolism and sodium-potassium pump.
T3 also decreases cholesterol levels, increases carbohydrate absorption, and boosts protein anabolism.
Common Thyroid Disorders
Thyroid disorders can be divided into three categories: those brought about by very few hormones, those caused by too many hormones, and cancerous ones.
This refers to an overproduction of thyroid hormones. The condition can crop up in different ways.
- Grave’s disease: This causes too much thyroid hormones to be produced.
- Subacute thyroiditis: Refers to inflammation of the thyroid that causes it to leak extra hormones. It leads to impermanent hyperthyroidism that can last a few weeks or a few months.
- Toxic adenomas: Nodules form in the thyroid and begin to discharge thyroid hormones, disturbing the body’s chemical balance. Some goiters usually contain these nodules. Cancerous growths and pituitary gland malfunctions: Hyperthyroidism can also result from these conditions.
This is caused by an underproduction of thyroid hormones. When your body lacks a sufficient amount of thyroid hormones, your energy levels drop. Hypothyroidism can lead to a severe condition known as myxedema coma if left untreated. It can also cause mental retardation and stunted growth in newborns and infants. It occurs in various ways.
- Hashimoto's thyroiditis: This is an autoimmune disorder where the body attacks the thyroid tissue. Consequently, the tissue dies and ceases producing hormones.
- Exposure to too much iodine: Heart medication, cold and sinus medicines, and some dyes offered before X-rays can expose you to excess iodine.
- Extraction of the thyroid gland: When your thyroid is surgically removed or destroyed by chemicals, hypothyroidism may occur. Lithium: This element can also lead to hypothyroidism.
An uncommon type of cancer, it occurs in approximately 5% of thyroid nodules. You may have one or more thyroid nodules for years before they are declared cancerous. This cancer type normally occurs in individuals who received radiation treatment to the neck and head earlier in life, probably as acne therapy.
Vitamins for Thyroid Health
The secret to good thyroid health is eating the right vitamins and minerals. You can eat foods containing vitamins for thyroid or take supplements.
However, most of us lead busy lives and don’t have time to eat well. Others skip meals in order to lose weight without knowing that this can have an adverse effect on the thyroid. Even if you try to eat well, by the time you buy and cook the food, chances are most of the nutrients have disappeared. A vitamin for thyroid function can keep your thyroid healthy. Take these vitamins for thyroid problems.
Vitamin B12One of the best vitamins for thyroid problems, vitamin B12 plays a key role in red cell metabolism. It makes you sharp, increases your energy, and strengthens your nervous system. Most people who suffer from hypothyroidism have vitamin B12 deficiency. The deficiency is mostly caused by prolonged digestive issues.
L-TyrosineThis is a synthetic amino acid essential for the production of thyroxine (T4), dopamine, epinephrine, and norepinephrine. Lack of it can lead to hypothyroid disorders. It also stimulates healthy moods and supports coping with physical stress.
Minerals for Thyroid Health
IodineWithout iodine, the thyroid gland cannot produce T3 and T4 hormones. Iodine deficiency can cause goiter, hypothyroidism, or mental retardation in newborns and infants (if mothers have insufficient iodine during pregnancy).
SeleniumNext to iodine, this is the most important element affecting thyroid function. It must be present for T3 to be produced in the right amounts. Patients who suffer from various thyroid diseases often have low selenium levels. The mineral also protects the thyroid from oxidative damage.
MagnesiumThis mineral must be present for T4 to be converted into T3. Every time you urinate, you lose a lot of magnesium. A diet filled with caffeine and refined foods also encourages magnesium loss.
ZincStudies show that both hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism lead to zinc deficiency. Zinc largely determines the functioning of the immune system. It is needed by the thyroid to change T4 into T3.
CopperCopper is necessary for thyroid performance. It stimulates the thyroid and prevents blood from absorbing too much thyroxine. It also controls calcium levels in the blood, ensuring minerals are properly absorbed and cell membranes are permeable.
ManganeseT3 and T4 hormones cannot be produced without manganese. Lack of manganese can result in hypothyroidism. Manganese is needed to form an antioxidant enzyme known as manganese-dependent superoxide dismutase (MnSOD). This enzyme is a key protector of thyroid hormones. It increases when thyroid hormone activity rises, serving as a buffer to support enhanced metabolic rate.
MolybdenumThis trace mineral works together with enzymatic systems to control carbohydrate metabolism and general well-being. It is critical for good health as it helps balance the body’s PH, ensuring you stay healthy.
Herbs for Thyroid Health
SchisandraAn antioxidant, anti-histamine, anti-viral, and an adrenal tonic, schisandra helps raise glutathione levels in the body. Glutathione is the body’s most plentiful antioxidant. It helps treat autoimmune diseases brought about by hypothyroidism.
AshwagandhaThis adaptogenic herb helps balance thyroid hormones and also lowers cortisol. Since time immemorial, it has been used in India to strengthen the immune system after illness. It treats both hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism. It has been proven to treat both a sluggish and an overactive thyroid.
Cayenne PepperCayenne is rich in capsaicin, a substance that helps eradicate symptoms of an underactive thyroid. It deals with insufficient production of thyroid hormones in the body. It also strengthens your heartbeat and improves blood circulation – two signs of thyroid problems.
KelpThis seaweed is a great source of iodine, iron, calcium, and potassium. Its abundant iodine causes the thyroid gland to function optimally. Iodine is necessary for the creation of thyroid hormones which help burn extra fat, promote growth and development, and regulate the body’s energy production.
Bladderwrack is a type of kelp that has been used as medicine for centuries. It treats thyroid disorders such as iodine deficiency, oversized thyroid glands, or underactive thyroids.
Don’t wait till you suffer from a thyroid disorder to start looking for vitamins for thyroid health. Take them now and improve your overall health.