Hi I just finished my video titled “Reversing Thyroid Disease naturally” where I talk about the 10 steps to naturally supporting your thyroid and one of the components I want to dig into a little bit more and unpack for you but didn’t have time too was the (vitamins and minerals deficiencies) that are often seen in people with Thyroid disease and other autoimmune disease.
Vitamin Deficiencies and Weight gain are a big problem for people with thyroid disease for three main reasons
- Diet lacks green vegetables
- Most diets are filled with grains which block the uptake of many of these nutrients and finally
- Most people with thyroid problems have compromised digestive function so even if you are eating these healthy foods you’re not absorbing many of that fat soluble vitamins and minerals that are needed for optimal thyroid health.
I also want to talk to you about #1 mineral that most people when they think they have a thyroid problem or they get diagnosed with thyroid disease they often start taking in a supplement form. And this mineral can be especially damaging if you have thyroiditis or inflammation of your thyroid
I’m Dr Hagmeyer and if you watch today’s video you’re going to learn a ton of information that most doctors will never tell you about.
Regardless of you diagnosis hypothyroidism, Hashimoto’s Disease or Graves disease the information is still relevant and in the 17+ years I have been in practice these deficiencies continue to be a problem for millions of people.
#1. Low Thyroid Hashimoto’s Thyroid Disease and Vitamin D.
Everybody has heard about the importance of Vitamin D for bone health, but what If I told you that vitamin D has been shown to be one of the most important vitamins when it comes to the health of your immune system. Alarm bells should be going off right now If you have either Hashimoto’s or Graves disease…. This should get your attention! Why? Because these are autoimmune diseases that affect the thyroid.
Now the key here is trying to uncover WHY you are vitamin D deficient-
Vitamin D deficiency could be caused because you work indoors every day and you never see the light of day, a vitamin D deficiency could be caused by problems related to the GI tract-
maybe you have;
- Leaky gut,
- Gluten sensitivity,
- Small intestinal bacterial overgrowth or
- a lack of digestive enzymes needed to absorb vitamin D.
All of these and more could be the cause of low vitamin D- So When I see a patient with low Vitamin D- My first thought is not….. lets start this person out with 10,000 units of vitamin D but rather what’s the mechanism behind the low Vitamin D.
Again when it comes to weight gain, thyroid disease and autoimmune disorders- it’s a big puzzle and you need to be able to get clues and the more clues you have the more of the puzzle you can put together.
As you can see several studies that I have listed here show the importance of Vitamin D and its connection to autoimmunity, and disease like IBS and inflammatory bowel disease.
#2 Low Thyroid Weight gain and Vitamin A.
Vitamin A has many important roles in the body. Specifically Hair, Skin and Nails as well as Night vision and again immune system.
What’s the connection with Vitamin A and the Thyroid? Many woman who suffer with thyroid disease also suffer from symptoms such as hair loss, loss of skin tone, brittle hair and nails, accelerated aging and hormone imbalances such as weight gain. And part of this lies in the problems that People who suffer with thyroid disease cant covert Beta Carotene into vitamin A.
Here is just one study showing how Serum TSH concentrations can be reduced with patients who were treated with vitamin A. The conclusion of the study was that vitamin A supplementation can reduce the risk of subclinical hypothyroidism in premenopausal women. Hormone imbalances think weight gain.
Vitamin A is also another fat soluble vitamin like vitamins D,E,K, Thyroid sufferers are also known to be poor convertors of vitamin A into active Beta carotene.
#3 . Selenium and Hypothyroidism.
One of the most common problems seen in woman with low Thyroid is a problem known as either LOW T3 syndrome, or Thyroid under conversion. This happens when the body doesn’t convert inactive T4 into active T3. So T4 levels are normal but T3 levels are low if you get these tested on blood work. What is the connection here between selenium and Thyroid?
Not only does selenium assist in the conversion of T4 to T3, but it also is essential for optimal health of the immune system. Research studies have shown that taking selenium can lower thyroid antibodies.
Study was done on 70 women with either thyroid peroxidase or thyroglobulin antibodies elevated. 36 patients were given 200 mcg of selenium a day. The other 34 given a placebo. They found a significant drop in thyroid peroxidase in the selenium group, compared to placebo. “We conclude that selenium substitution may improve the inflammatory activity in patients with autoimmune thyroiditis, especially in those with high activity.”
#4. Iron and Hypothyroidism
I have several videos that I have done on the importance of iron levels where they should be what markers you should look for on blood work so I won’t spend too much time on the importance of iron.
But study after study shows that Iron is required for the synthesis of thyroid hormone and an Iron deficiency impairs thyroid hormone synthesis by impairing Thyroid peroxidase. Thyroid peroxidase is one of the enzymes that is often attacked in Hashimoto’s disease. This is the TPO antibody that I have talked about in other videos.
Thyroid peroxidase is stimulated by TSH and once it is stimulated it takes Iodide and turns it into iodine.
When we talk about T3 where saying that Tyrosine has 3 iodine molecules attached to and when we say T4 we are saying that Tyrosine has 4 molecules of iodine attached to it.
How does iron deficiency develop? With iron it can definitely be due to poor dietary intake, but other factors which can cause problems with iron absorption include a deficiency in vitamin C low stomach acid, heavy menstrual cycle caused by PCOS or fibroids, Iron Anemia could come from Inflammatory bowel disease like Crohn’s or UC. It could come from an infection. So just because your blood work shows that you are iron anemic, the question we still need to ask ourselves is why are we anemic?. Taking Iron does not fix the underlying cause of the anemia.
#5- Hypothyroidism and Vitamin B12
B12 is a vitamin which has a key role in red blood cell metabolism of your entire body, giving you energy, focus, concentration. Its often referred to as the stress buster hormone.
B12 is also needed in methylation pathways which you have probably been hearing a lot about lately with its connection to Thyroid disease. Some studies show that as much as 60% of Thyroid patients have B12 deficiency. Vitamin B12 is needed to make SamE, its needed for Glutathione production which is incredibly important if you have Autoimmune Thyroid disease or any other autoimmune disease for that matter. B12 is needed for the breakdown of homocysteine which is an inflammatory marker for stroke and heart disease. The list goes on and on as to why B12 is so important.
NOW…………There are many causes behind a B12 deficiency and why People with Thyroid disease often have this deficiency so lets talk about those………….
#1 years of digestive issues such as low stomach acid levels…( which is common with hypothyroidism is a common cause, Infections such as H.pylori and Autoimmune disease called Pernicious anemia all cause B12 deficiency. In pernicious anemia the immune system attacks the cells that allow B12 absorption. And this is why if you have low B12 you should be checked for antibodies against these cells. Other causes include Proton Pump inhibitors which also by the way have been shown to increase Hip and spinal fractures. So that brings us to the final and probably the most controversial mineral deficiency when it comes to Thyroid disease and that is Iodine.
I’ve dedicated numerous videos, blog posts and articles on this mineral, and so I’m not going to discuss this in great detail here.
What you will find is that some sources claim that most people are iodine deficient, other sources suggest that most people have sufficient levels of iodine.
Let me say that while Iodine is important for the formation of thyroid hormone and Iodine has been shown to help woman with fibrocystic breasts, if we are strictly talking about Iodine and Thyroid disease the ……#1 cause of low Thyroid is not deficiency of Iodine but instead Hashimotos autoimmune Disease.
The reasons that a person who has Hashimoto’s should avoid iodine is because study after study shows that Iodine intake can increase TPO antibodies and so it is for this reason I do not advised that people with Hashimoto’s use Iodine.
What about testing for Iodine? We test for vitamin D, we can test for many other vitamins can’t we just test for Iodine deficiency and if we need it take it?
Here in lies the problem- There is no really good way of testing Iodine, Some sources say you can test iodine status with the Iodine Patch test, others think blood, and others sources say that urine is the best. Researchers can’t seem to agree on what’s the best way.
If you ask me about Iodine, I would prefer to err on the side of caution. Over the years I have too many patients who have come to my office only after they have ignited an autoimmune response after doing iodine loading, Iodine patch or taking iodine in their thyroid supplements.
I think if you are going to take Iodine, you need to makes sure you rule out Hashimoto’s not once but several time. Another words, I wouldn’t hang my hat on the fact that IF your antibodies come back normal that you are not autoimmune.
Studies show that in 10-15% of the population this can happen. Other studies point to the fact that you could be in the more silent or earlier stages of Hashimoto’s, this is essentially a stage prior to antibody production or you immune system, other scenarios that I have seen in practice is that a person is very immune, Medications like corticosteroids can also suppress antibody production.
As you can see there are other reasons that would explain a normal antibody response. But this would be whole other video where we would need to talk about TH1 and Th2 immune system responses.
So there you have we talked about the 5 most common nutritional deficiencies, why they can happen and what I hope I impressed on you the most was not that you need to rush out and start taking all these supplement but rather what is causing the deficiencies in the first place. We need to understand the mechanism that is behind the deficiency and correct the cause.
Anybody can take vitamin D because their blood work shows low Vitamin D levels but we need to take it a step further and ask why the deficiency. Remember these deficiencies can be caused by medications, they can be caused by where you live, your toxic body burden level, the foods you eat, how you absorb and digest foods. So work with a Functional Medicine physician who will be able to look at your diet and look at the big picture, not someone who just loads you up on a bunch of vitamins.
I hope you enjoyed today’s video.
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Take care and remember take care of your body- you only have one it need to last you a lifetime.
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