The thyroid gland is an important part of the body thus, also its function is heavily important and needs to have additional knowledge about as well as attention. Nutrition is one of important issues that needs further attention.
There are wide rage problems that might occur from an imbalanced level of thyroid hormone (too much or less than needed) like hypothyroidism when the body is lacking the hormone and thus also energy thus feeling fatigue, nervousness, and other problems. All this is a complex disorder same as thyroid function itself.
Can nutritional therapy help?
Of course, nutrients cannot simply replace the missing thyroid hormone or destroy them if they are too excessive but various studies and practices have shown that it can definitely improve or preserve thyroid function. It is also good if there is some additionally thyroid hormone replacement therapy chosen as a treatment.
How nutrition maximizes metabolic function
- Ensures all the steps of the metabolic pathway to be intact
- Ensures that thyroid hormone is active
- Advises on nutrients that act as hormone disruptors
Ensuring metabolic pathway
Inside the cells also, energy production is happening by the influence by numerous enzymes and co-factors. To manufacture these enzymes, it is essential to have raw materials and thus also adequate nutrition. Nutrition comes first as even if there is sufficient amount of thyroid hormone, the energy production can still be impaired if something is wrong with nutrition.
Ensuring of thyroid hormone activeness
Despite that the thyroid hormone is produced by different iodine, nutrition also plays some role in the process. For sufficient level of hormones, thyroxine (T4) should be converted to T3 (active form). This process mainly happens in liver and muscles. The process involves also an enzyme called deiodinase. T3 production should meet the energy demand for a normal and active lifestyle.
If there is a lack of energy, a person not only can feel exhausted without a reason but even ill. Taking additional thyroid hormone isn’t always the answer as the medical replacement therapy still doesn’t offer other compounds that are missing. In practice it can be that if a person takes extra levothyroxine and doesn’t have enough deiodinase enzymes for its conversion, the medication will not be effective – there still be no or not enough means to convert or activate it. Selenium and zinc have proven to be highly important for the whole process as they are able to activate thyroid hormone.
Avoiding hormone disruptors
Thyroid function can be influenced by an environment like chemicals and pollutants. Some of them can be fluoride, chlorides, mercury (still can be found in dentistry amalgam fillings), even soya beans which contain compounds that inhibit thyroid peroxidase enzyme which catalyzes reactions that are needed for thyroid hormone synthesis and others.
Nutrition is a crucial part of the thyroid gland function as it is much more than just doing a blood test and consume some pills or hormone replacements. Even certain drugs can interfere with thyroid function. Successful treatment includes diet and lifestyle changes which can be made by a nutritional therapist. A personalized nutrition program can help.
 Institute for Optimum Nutrition. Accessed from: http://www.ion.ac.uk/information/onarchives/underactivethyroid