A normal healthy thyroid gland will normally produce 94% inactive T4 (thyroxine) and about 7% active T3 (triiodothyronine). The inactive T4 will convert to the more potent T3 in the liver, not in the thyroid gland. Here lies part of the problem.
Thyroid medications such as Synthroid, Levoxyl and Levathyroxine only contain synthetic T4. This hormone must be converted to the more potent T3 so you can benefit from your medication. Millions of people across the country do not make this conversion, leading the doctors to increase the dose. One cannot force the medicine to work. The human body must have nutrients present to make the conversion naturally, mainly iodine and selenium.
If you have liver dysfunction, you must correct this problem so your medication can work properly. Those who are diabetics or those with high cholesterol, cirrhosis or associated liver disease need to work with a health practitioner to improve liver health if hypothyroidism is present. This is vital. Without a healthy liver, thyroid medicine only containing T4 will not work. Asking your doctor for medicine that contains T3 such as Armor Thyroid or Nature-Thyroid will help the patient feel better.
Bread Companies Tricked Your Thyroid
Up until the 1970’s bread companies use to fortify their products with iodine and as a nation we didn’t have thyroid issues. Since then the bread companies stopped using iodine in the bread and replaced it with bromide. Bromide fills in the receptor sites in the thyroid meant to for iodine. The bromide causes the present iodine to leave and reduces thyroid function. Add to the fact that chlorine/chloride and fluoride (by product from the aluminum industry) have been added to our water supply and these wreck havoc on the thyroid as well. Bromide, chloride and fluoride diminish thyroid function by removing iodine and creating an environment in which thyroid nodules can form leading to a risk of tumors, either benign or malignant.
What to Do Naturally
Clean up your diet. Avoid the refined sugars, bad fats, and commercialized white flour products. The focus healthy fruits such as fruits, vegetables/sea vegetables, nuts and seeds. These natural foods contain vital vitamins and minerals needed for optimum thyroid as well as liver health. Both organs must be addressed at the same time.
Foods to Eat:
- Brown algae (including the commonly eaten sea vegetables kombu/kelp, wakame, and arame may be unique among the sea vegetables in their iodine content. Some species from the brown algae genus Laminaria are able to accumulate iodine in up to 30,000 times more concentrated a form than sea water.
- Fish, grass-fed and pasture-raised meats, whole grains, and nuts and seeds are good to excellent food sources containing selenium.
- Nuts and seeds are great foods to eat as they will contain the other minerals needed such as manganese and zinc. If you are dealing with insulin resistance or diabetes, add chromium picolinate in supplement form to improve blood sugar response.
- Organically-raised proteins are a good source of the amino acid Tyrosine for thyroid health.
- Dandelion greens are excellent for thyroid health as it contains potassium which is needed for the cells to be more responsive to the thyroid hormone T3.
- Dark leafy greens are good sources of your B vitamins which are used as co-factors helping the needed minerals work more effectively for your thyroid.
There are some nutrients you will need to improve the health of your thyroid. Please remember that you didn’t get into this state overnight and it will not be corrected overnight, but give it 30-180 days for most people. Remember everyone’s thyroid problem is not the same, so be patient.
Improving Thyroid gland and hormone production:
- B Vitamins such as B2 is needed for metabolism and thyroid function. A lack of B2 can contribute to low thyroid function.
- Vitamin B6 helps to regulate the production of thyroid hormones. It also supports the utilization of iodine required for the production of hormones. 50-100mg per day with food.
- Bacopa Mannieri has been shown to support the thyroid’s production of T4.
- Copper plays an important role in thyroid metabolism, especially in hormone production and absorption.
- Coleus Forskohliis is a perennial plant from the mint family. It contains an active compound called forskolin, which has been shown to mimic the effect of TSH (Thyroid Stimulating Hormone) with regard to iodine uptake.
- Guggelsterones (extracts from the Indian herb Commiphora also known as Myrrh) have been shown to support the concentration of thyroid hormones in the blood especially the ratio of the active T3 to T4 in the blood.
- Iodine is required for the production of thyroid hormones. It is a component of the thyroid hormones T3 (triiodothyronine) and T4 (thyroxin), and is therefore essential for normal thyroid function. 25-50mg per day in the morning.
- Manganese deficiency can reduce thyroid activity. Manganese is required for T4 production. 5mg per day.
- Selenium is required for thyroid hormone production, activation and metabolism. It is an essential component of an enzyme that converts T4 to T3. 200-400mg per day
- Tyrosine is required for the synthesis of thyroid hormones. A deficiency has been associated with low thyroid function. Take 500-1000mg per day on empty stomach. Do not take if on antidepressants.
- Zinc is involved in the process that converts inactive T4 into active T3. 30-60mg (picolinate) per day with food.
- Selenium is required for thyroid hormone production, activation and metabolism. It is an essential component of an enzyme that converts T4 to T3.* 200-400mg per day
- Milk Thistle is recommended to improve bile flow and remove toxins.
- Lecithin is also recommended if you have a fatty liver and high cholesterol. A fatty liver will prevent a patient from getting the maximum effect from their thyroid medication.
- N-Acetyl-Cysteine is needed as this nutrient will convert into Glutathione, a potent natural antioxidant for improve liver protection and health. Those who use over-the-counter pain medication will have decreased levels of this vital nutrient.