Updated: 2020, Jun 16

Is It Safe To Take Thyroid Supplements For Hypothyroidism?

Are you considering taking a thyroid supplement? Are they safe to use? Must read this article to know all about thyroid supplements, pros, cons, and more.
Is It Safe To Take Thyroid Supplements For Hypothyroidism?
Certain supplements can help boost thyroid function. (Image/Shutterstock)

If you have an underactive thyroid gland (hypothyroidism), you know all about dealing with metabolism and energy issues. You might also have an idea mood and sleep disorders, or about hair loss. There are plenty of problems, but there remains only one possible goal for hypothyroidism: to replace what your thyroid isn’t giving you.

How does hormone replacement therapy work when you have hypothyroidism? By taking a pill every single day, and that pill acts as your thyroid.

Do Thyroid Supplements Work?

thyroid supplements

All indications say that yes, they certainly do. The reviews are mostly positive. People that take them tend to say that if you find the proper formation that suits you, then yes! Thyroid supplements work. The supplements provide the body with thyroid hormones that are needed.

Thyroid hormone therapy deals with the two main thyroid hormones, T3, and T4. Their interaction in the body (or poor interaction, rather) is what causes hyperthyroidism). With supplements, however, T4 is all that matters since T3 will become T4 in your body anyway. (Although T3 is combined for specific reasons sometimes).

It’s very important to know your correct T4 dosage. A thyroid screening can determine the specific type of hypothyroidism that you have (there are 3 types of underlying causes of hypothyroidism) in order to get have a better treatment plan. Knowledge never hurts, right?

Yes. Actually, even the OTC supplements have spoken of pretty favorably.

Synthetic vs. Natural Supplements

If you’ve started looking at possible hormone supplements, you may be wondering what some of the main differences are between natural and synthetic supplements. Well, natural supplements were all that were available to patients and doctors for a long time.

Hormone material was derived from animal sources (pigs) because that’s all they had to use back then. That’s where the material still comes from today, but it’s not even nearly as simple as just “synthetic” and “natural” now because there are levels we’re finding ways to do everything.

Doctors object to the natural supplement because of the manner in which the material is collected and recorded (in grams of thyroid rather than milligrams), which they say makes it impossible to regulate proper hormone strengths.

On the other side of the debate, synthetic thyroid hormone supplements are criticized for being harmful to various side effects, mainly for worsening already present thyroids.

Claims have even been made a patient’s hypothyroidism to worsen or even unable to absurd thyroid or overtime?

So, which is right? Will you go the answer is different for each individual because hormone supplement therapy is an individualized process? A synthetic OR natural supplement would be best depending on any factors that may interfere with the supplement (pre-existing conditions, other medications).

All supplements and medications have fillers and binders in them, so consider if you would react well to any or all of these. (Both natural and synthetic supplements filler products have caused bad reactions).

Ingredients To Look For In Thyroid Supplements

  • L-Tyrosine – an amino acid found in meat and vegetable proteins, L-Tyrosine is needed for proper brain functions (because if helps neurotransmitters). L-Tyrosine also supports proper blood pressure. Because amino acids are precursors to hormones (turn into them in the body), the more L-Tyrosine you can get in your diet you’re better off.
  • Ginger – Ginger may assist the thyroid by maintaining cholesterol levels. It is also good for digestive aid.
  • Seaweed – Look for it in your supplements because this sea plant is rich in iodine.
  • Kelp – Look for the brown seaweed as a supplement because it’s chock-full of iodine, and is one of the best natural sources there are, particularly if you suffer from goiter.
  • Black Walnut – Because of their high selenium content. Getting enough selenium in your diet may prevent swelling of the thyroid as well as goiter.
  • Iodine – Thyroid supplements may contain iodine or thyroid hormones—and sometimes both. When it comes to the thyroid, it’s possible to get too much of a good thing. The recommended minimum iodine intake for most adults is 150 micrograms a day, according to the National Institutes of Health Office of Dietary Supplements. A review published in September 2014 study in the journal Endocrinology and Metabolism found that excessive levels of iodine are unsafe and could result in hypothyroidism and autoimmune thyroiditis such as Hashimoto’s thyroiditis.
  • Vitamin B Complex – Energy vitamins, also good for the immune system and focus.

According to the Mayo Clinic, supplements such as calcium, iron, multivitamins containing iron, and antacids containing magnesium or aluminum can potentially have interactions with thyroid medications.

Pros and Cons of Thyroid Supplements

  • Pros: Hypothyroidism symptoms can be controlled and assisted, life is better enjoyed, weight loss hormone regularity, better mood. Synthetic supplements cause some pretty bad things, often irreversible, while the natural supplements are often poorly regulated and of sub-standard quality.
  • Cons: There can also be disadvantages in the form of negative side effects like weight gain and mood fluctuations, from synthetic drugs. Synthetic hormones may inhibit your body’s ability to synthetic thyroid in the future, fillers, it can take a very long time to figure out your proper dosage.

Are The Supplements Safe and Effective?

The reviews for thyroid supplements are incredibly positive, and the supplements are both safe and effective provided that you find the right formulation that you require and are getting the T4 dosage that is appropriate.

Conclusion

Over-the-counter thyroid supplements may seem like a good idea to someone who believes they may have a thyroid condition. But thyroid supplements actually can cause problems with the thyroid.

Self-medicating can lead to the development of the conditions you’re trying to avoid.

Finally, talk with your doctor about all the medications and supplements you take.

Author

Dr. Ahmed Zayed

Dr. Ahmed Zayed Helmy holds a baccalaureate of Medicine and Surgery. He has completed his degree in 2011 at the University of Alexandri

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