Guide to Thyroid Health and What Vitamins Support Your Thyroid
We’ve all heard about the thyroid and the many struggles people experience with it. Around the world, just about 200 million people struggle with their thyroid health daily. So what is this issue so many are facing and what can people do to help it?
- Your thyroid is responsible for hormone production that affects multiple systems in your body.
- An irregular thyroid can affect everything from your skin to your mental health.
- Checking in with your doctor is one way to address concerns, but there are also plenty of alternative treatments.
What is the thyroid?
It is important to note that the thyroid is a HUGE factor in many bodily systems. The thyroid is a butterfly-shaped gland in the neck that is located right above your collarbone. There are many endocrine glands that contain hormones in our body, with the thyroid being one of them. The thyroid specifically controls metabolic processes in the body, heart rate and pace, digestive functions, brain development, and more.
What does it do in the body?
This process starts with the pituitary gland producing a hormone, the thyroid-stimulating hormone, and sending it out to the thyroid. This hormone directs the thyroid on how many hormones to produce, affecting different aspects of one’s health, weight, and mind.
A consistent flow and regulation of hormones in the thyroid will keep a person’s metabolic rate healthy and maintain wellness. However, when one has an improper or inconsistent amount of hormones being regulated by their thyroid, problems could arise. This can mean either an increase or decrease in the hormone and can have ranging impacts on the body.
A hyperthyroid, being a surplus amount of hormone regulation in the thyroid, leads to weight loss, faster heart rate, irritability, muscle weakness, sleep problems, and more. A hypothyroid, meaning your thyroid is producing too few hormones, leads to weight gain, slow heart rate, fatigue, forgetfulness, and more.
Not only can one experience a hypothyroid or hyperthyroid, but other issues such as thyroid cancer, thyroiditis, thyroid nodules, and goiter can affect people.
What are the symptoms of thyroid concerns?
There are many different types of thyroid issues because of the high importance of this functioning gland. With having many responsibilities within our body, that also comes with potential health problems that could come up regarding the thyroid. Symptoms of thyroid problems may be hard to directly diagnose, but need to be addressed if one believes to be having them. Some symptoms of thyroid concerns are:
- Higher heart rate
- Large increase or decrease in weight
- Overly tired/exhausted
- Body shakes/chills
- Concentration issues
- Hair loss
- Digestive problems
- Muscle aches
- Menstrual cycle changes
- Sleep issues
- Oily or dry skin
Now although this list is not entirely specific to thyroid issues, one will most likely suddenly experience an increase in these symptoms when never previously experienced before. If these symptoms are true for you or you believe to be experiencing thyroid issues, consult a medical professional for further guidance.
What are the solutions to thyroid issues?
Most commonly, if a doctor believes a patient has thyroid issues or a serious thyroid condition such as thyroid cancer, medication and surgery are the most typical treatments. There are many thyroid medications currently on the market if experiencing issues, most commonly being used to treat those with either hypo or hyperactive thyroid. If the case is more extreme, surgery or radioactive therapy may be necessary. With surgery, the thyroid would be removed from the body to attempt to treat the condition.
There are so many ways to benefit thyroid health naturally; from bettering your diet, to drinking bone broth, to meditating. The natural healthy opportunities and avenues are expanding as people seek alternative ways to heal their bodies. For more information on overall wellness, read here.
Many people are wondering how the thyroid can be treated and protected before serious medical attention is necessary or needed. As more holistic approaches are being explored, people are searching for more natural ways to aid potential thyroid issues. Vitamins, being extremely available on the market today, are a great option for benefitting overall health and specifically thyroid health.
Vitamins for thyroid health
It is super likely for people who are struggling with thyroid issues to be deficient in certain vitamins and minerals. Whether your diet is not a sufficient source of vitamins or your digestive problems are impacting your mineral intake, there are many vitamins out there that could benefit your thyroid health.
Here are 5 vitamins that are great for overall thyroid health:
1. Vitamin D
Vitamin D can be taken in condensed pill form, a gummy, or even in a fun package to be mixed with your favorite drink. Vitamin D, although found in a smaller amount of unfortified foods, can be found in oily fish, red meat, liver, and egg yolk. Although Vitamin D can be consumed through food, the easiest way to have a healthy intake is through the sun! Vitamin D can significantly improve thyroid levels, especially in those with hypothyroid.
A couple of great sources for Iodine intake are sea fish, shellfish, and various plants depending on soil condition. Most commonly, Iodine is taken orally in the form of a pill. Iodine can benefit the thyroid by helping create thyroid hormones, leading to a healthy metabolic rate. On the other hand, too much Iodine can create a hypothyroid, so the correct dosage needs to be kept in mind.
3. Vitamin A
Vitamin A can be found in many foods such as cheese, eggs, oily fish, milk, yogurt, mangos, carrots, sweet potatoes, spinach, and liver. Vitamin A is one of the easier vitamins to directly get through the proper diet. Vitamin A is helpful in overall thyroid function.
4. B Vitamins
There are many different types of B vitamins that one can get through different sources. The main food sources of B vitamins are peas, fresh fruits, nuts, and whole-grain breads. B vitamins assist in helping our body detoxify, including the thyroid. It also helps with thyroid regulation.
Iron, mainly being sourced through meats, helps maintain a healthy thyroid if levels are stable. If one cannot consume iron through meat, you can find it in spirulina or lentils. Also, Iron pills are common for people who have a hard time maintaining healthy iron levels.
All of these vitamins are great for one’s overall health and thyroid health, but all need to be taken in moderation. With so many vitamins and vitamin companies out there today, it is best to consult a trusted doctor beforehand and do research specific to your body.
Written by Bella Knuth