Chen Ben Asher – Functional Nutrition – Silicon Valley – Iron-Thyroid Connection

In a lot of cases, people who have some problems with thyroid are also having low iron levels indicating that there is a link between these two issues. More attention to the iron levels could prevent or at least lower the problems with the thyroid gland.

Thy thyroid patients have low iron level

The main reason for this isn’t hard to find as it is the result of “a lowered production of stomach acid which in turn leads to the malabsorption of iron.”[1] Inflammation can also lower the iron levels as they are pushed into storage. However, to have precise information about the lack of iron, it is important to measure all the metals and things that are important to it, because, for example, serum iron and saturation levels can be normal but Ferritin (which can later influence having a high amount of heavy metals).

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Low iron symptoms

  • Heart palpitations or fast heart rate
  • Exhaustion/ easy fatigue
  • Short of breath/air hunger
  • Burning in legs
  • Achiness
  • Weak, esp. arms
  • Brain fog
  • Hot flashes
  • Pressure behind eyes
  • Nausea and no appetite
  • Diarrhea
  • Stressed/irritable
  • Calves cramp
  • Numbness in hands
  • Pale after walking

In each patient, the symptoms might differ and might even not be present. It needs additional examination.

Iron and thyroid interaction

If the thyroid glands have low level or iron, the chemical reaction that happens to produce thyroid hormone cannot normally happen as “Iron deficiency impairs thyroid hormone synthesis by reducing the activity of heme-dependent thyroid peroxidase by 30 to 50% depending on the severity of the iron deficiency.”[2] The enzyme that is dependent on iron uses iodine ions and hydrogen peroxide to generate iodine and iron as well as selenium for the body to later produce the balanced level of thyroid hormones. Iron-containing protein in high amounts is and should be present in the adrenal cortex as it is involved in the synthesis of corticosterone. And thus, if the iron level is lowered, so is also corticosterone.

Iron-rich foods

This is a natural way how to enhance the iron level. Iron-rich foods are lean meat, liver, eggs, green leafy, different vegetables (collard greens, kale, spinach), wheat germ, whole grain bread, cereals, raisins, molasses and others.[3] At the same time, it is worth remembering that food consumption isn’t as effective as iron supplementation, so it is helpful if the iron is low in a minor way. Also, not for all foods that have a high level of iron are good for the health. Improvement might take 6-8 weeks with the need of daily diet change.

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Knowing the complete iron status and having it in the balance has a lot to do with thyroid function. It is important to have enough iron from foods and food supplements to keep their level in normal but not too much and to control it; we suggest to follow a specialist advice.



[1] Iron and hypothyroidism. Accessed from: http://www.stopthethyroidmadness.com/ferritin/rel=”nofollow”

[2] Your Thyroid Needs Iron. Accessed from: http://www.wilsonssyndrome.com/your-thyroid-needs-iron/rel=”nofollow”

[3] Iron and hypothyroidism. Accessed from: http://www.stopthethyroidmadness.com/ferritin/rel=”nofollow”

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