Thyroid 101 Part 3 Supplementing for Thyroid Health and Pregnancy

Thyroid Part 3

The past few weeks I have given you a ton of information, and trust me when I say this, it only skims the surface of the information out their regarding thyroid health and healing, but for now we are going to bring this topic to a close. In Part 1, we discussed your ideal lab values, in Part 2 we looked at the importance of diet and healing the gut and in our Final Part 3 we are talking supplements.

Supplements for thyroid health are vast, and confusing. Before you know you know it, you are a walking pharmacy with endless AM/PM pill dispensers to keep track of in your purse.

If this is all new to you, I have put together what I think are the most important supplements to start with. This list is not extensive, there are so many there wonderful supplement supports out there, and if you feel as though these suggestions aren’t enough, I suggest following up with a functional medicine doctor, naturopath or acupuncturist that works with thyroid and autoimmune conditions extensively.

When starting new supplements, I recommend adding one at a time. That way you can begin to notice the subtle differences on how you feel and that it is in fact making a difference. When we start taking everything all at once we can’t pinpoint which one has been the most influential nor if one isn’t the right fit.

Even if you just want to get the show on the road and start feeling better, take your time with it. You will be so much better for it.

First things first, if you have an elevated TSH above 2.0 and exhibit symptoms of hypothyroidism and have been diagnosed with Hashimotos (Elevated TPO-ab or TG-ab antibodies), my opinion is that you need to be taking a thyroid medication while trying to get pregnant.

Yes, you can heal your thyroid naturally, and not take any medication at all, but let’s not forget that you are also trying to have a baby. The initial fluctuations of TSH in the body during early pregnancy are vast and they can lead to early loss when the body can’t calibrate the changes as it needs to. A proper functioning thyroid can take on the quick changes that are happening in the body at this time, an immune compromised one can’t. In this time and place, thyroid medication is so helpful in providing a cushion to allow the body to adjust and provide support to your baby.

When you’re done having babies, then you can work with your doctor to come off the meds and begin to heal naturally if possible.

It doesn’t stop there.

You also need to be taking a few other important supplements to heal your thyroid and improve your you during your pregnancy.

Prenatal Vitamin: Talk to your Functional Medicine Doctor, Naturopath or Acupuncturist about taking a quality pharmaceutical grade prenatal vitamin. Preferably one that contains an absorbable form of folate and Selenium so that you can cut down the number of pills you’re taking.

Vitamin B12 : Vitamin B12 is not produced organically in the body; it is obtained from our diet and most specifically from eating animal proteins including fish, meat, poultry, eggs, milk, and milk products. B12 is not present in plant foods therefore it is a must for vegetarians to supplement accordingly. Low levels of B12 may lead to anemia, impaired digestion. Individuals with Hashimotos commonly have low stomach acid and due to the fact that B12 from proteins are absorbed by the activation of stomach acids and their enzymes, Hashi patients are at a high risk for B12 deficiency. Sublingual doses of 1mg (1000mcg)- 3mg of B12 daily for a period of time is found effective in restoring B12 levels. *note, Intake of folic acid will mask this deficiency on standard lab tests.

Betaine with Pepsin: Digestive enzymes such as these can be used to raise stomach acid levels so that the body is properly breaking down proteins and allowing the proper absorption of vitamins and minerals. Betaine with Pepsin should be taken after a protein rich meal, starting with one capsule per meal. Ask your practitioner about proper dosing to find your individualized dose for best function. These digestive enzymes should begin to stimulate your body’s own production of acid and help you extract nutrients from your food.

Selenium: Selenium plays an important function in your Thyroid function especially for Fertility, Pregnancy and Postpartum health. Its main role is to assist in the conversion of T4 into T3 and protecting thyroid cells. If you have been prescribed a T4 thyroid medication, Selenium is going to be your best friend in helping it convert to achieve proper T3 levels.

Several studies have shown that selenium decreases the level of thyroid antibodies, and another controlled study has found that supplementing with 200mcg of selenium daily during pregnancy and postpartum reduced the incidence of postpartum thyroiditis in women who were positive for thyroid antibodies. For women with healthy thyroids 55mcg/day is adequate for prevention. Check your prenatal vitamin now, make sure selenium is in the formulation as well as the kind. The most absorbable form that the body can use is selenomethionine.

Vitamin D3: 2000-5000IU/day of Vitamin D, Regulates and stabilizes the immune function. Studies show that 90% of individuals with autoimmune thyroid disease have a genetic defect affecting their ability to process vitamin D.

Omega 3 Essential Fatty Acids: Omega 3’s 1-4g/day primarily found in fish, shellfish and flaxseeds they have an Anti-inflammatory effect on the body to help improve autoimmune conditions and crucial for baby’s brain development. I usually recommend 2000mg or 2g per day to my clients.

Glutathione: Glutathione is the body’s master antioxidant. It’s produces within every cell to cleanse and protect the body at the cellular level by detoxifying and fighting free radicals. It is also responsible for regulating and stabilizing the immune function. Topical application is a preferred method for application. My favorite is Apex Energetic Glutathione and SOD cream Oxicell.

Iron: Iron is so important for women. It’s necessary for transporting oxygen throughout our bodies, for cell growth and differentiation. In pregnancy iron is required to make hemoglobin for the additional blood in your body and for your developing baby and placenta. Deficiencies in Iron leads to limited oxygen delivery to the cells causing fatigue, difficulty focusing, reduced immune function; it’s a potential cause of anemia and complications with your pregnancy. Have your iron and ferritin levels tested to determine if an iron supplement is appropriate for you.

Zinc, Most individuals with hypothyroidism is zinc deficient which prevents the conversion of T4 into the active T3 version. This results in slowed metabolism of proteins and has been associated with increased intestinal permeability and susceptibility to infections. The maximum daily dosage for zinc is 30mg/day. If you experience a metallic taste in your mouth when taking it, you need to decrease your dose. Check your prenatal vitamin; a lot of quality pharmaceutical-grade brands have the adequate dose of zinc in their blend so that you don’t have to take extra.

XO

Ashley

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