Are Vitamin Deficiencies Contributing to Your Thyroid Problems?
Certain nutrients are essential in maintaining your thyroid health. However, many patients that suffer from a thyroid disorder are often found to be vitamin deficient. A few symptoms of thyroid disorders include hair loss, loss of energy, sudden weight gain and difficulty in losing it, dry skin, constipation, and increases in cholesterol.
Your thyroid is mainly responsible for producing or discharging hormones that help regulate the rest of your body. Here is a general explanation for how your thyroid and hormones work together.
Your body contains a TSH (Thyroid Stimulating Hormone) that is usually measured by your doctor when you go to get a thyroid checkup. The TSH comes from your brain and goes to your thyroid glands, signaling them to produce T4, which is also known as your inactive thyroid hormone. The T4 travels within your tissues and your bloodstream until it gets converted into T3, which is your active thyroid hormone. Then T3 gets into your cells to reach your receptors to regulate your metabolism.
The nutrients that are found to be the most commonly deficient among patients who suffer from any thyroid disorder, are vitamins B-12, D, A, B2, and C. The deficiency of vitamin D is found to be the one of the most influential in thyroid disorders.
Vitamin D has anti-inflammatory properties that help increase the flexibility of your immune system. Therefore, if the levels of vitamin D in your body get seriously low, you may fall prey to autoimmune thyroid disease, also known as AITD.
Vitamin D is also critical in helping insulin resistance, which can adversely affect your thyroid physiology. Furthermore, vitamin D also plays a huge role in balancing the TH1 cells and the TH2 cells of your immune system by affecting the TH3 cells, which are responsible for the growth of differentiation and expression between your TH1 and TH2 cells. In short, a vitamin D deficiency can be a big problem.
A deficiency in Vitamin A limits your body’s ability to produce TSH, which is essential for converting T4 into T3 and can disrupt your entire metabolic process. It can also lead to impaired eyesight.
Deficiencies in vitamins B1, B6, C, and E can lead to an overactive thyroid, which weakens the muscles. Vitamin C is also responsible for keeping your thyroid healthy; if your body remains deficient in vitamin C for too long, it can cause your thyroid to produce too much hormone. This is the same with vitamin E, too, but a deficiency in vitamin E can also cause your body to produce less TSH, which, as mentioned earlier, disrupts your whole system. If your body lacks vitamin B6, it will not be able to use iodine as its raw material in producing or discharging hormones. Deficiencies in vitamin B2 suppresses the functioning of your thyroid and it fails to produce hormones.
Last but, not the least, a weak thyroid cannot absorb vitamin B12, which may result in various neurological problems like neuritis, neuralgia, bursitis, and various mental illnesses. A deficiency in vitamin B12 can also cause and worsen hypothyroidism, which is a deficiency in thyroid hormones.
Vitamins are important players in your body’s overall functioning. Find out what your baseline should be and talk with your practitioner about supplements or vitamins to ensure you are getting all the vitamins your body needs to stay healthy! Make sure if you are having your thyroid tested to check your iodine & selenium levels as well. Even if your thyroid hormones are normal with out the proper amount of iodine or selenium you could have symptoms of hypothyroidism. I would also suggest having a full thyroid panel performed to look at the full pathway of thyroid hormones. Some docs will only check a TSH and call it good. I recommend checking your free T3 & T4, and even your TPO antibodies to rule out Hashimoto’s thyroiditis.
I hope this post finds you happy and healthy. But if any of the above rang true, maybe it’s time to seek out some help to get you back on track. If you have questions or are looking for more guidance surrounding your thyroid health feel free to email me (email@example.com) and I’m happy to answer any questions you might have.
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- Dr. Lara
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