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Helping your Thyroid with Supplements

The Thyroid is a small, butterfly shaped gland located just below the Adam’s Apple and is responsible for your metabolism. Normally the thyroid gland produces a steady flow of the hormone thyroxine, commonly called T4, which the body then converts to triiodothyronine, or T3, the active hormone that regulates metabolism.

If too much hormone is released, then your metabolism speeds up, your heart races while you feel hot and anxious. This condition is Hyperthyroidism and occurs when the Thyroid releases too much of the hormone T4.  Hyperthyroidism only occurs in about 1% of the population of the USA.

When the thyroid does not release enough T4, your metabolism slows.  You might possibly feel overly tired, have cold feet and hands, experience weight gain along with constipation and even depression, menstrual irregularities, infertility and elevated serum cholesterol, mental confusion, dry skin, muscle aches and cramps. More women than men have the occurrence of Hypothyroidism.

Mineral deficiencies and stress brought on by lifestyle often impact the increase in Hypothyroidism in the population according to naturopathic physician Dean Neary practicing in Everett, WA.  Minerals suggested to aid in overall cellular function are Selenium, Zinc and Cooper to name a few. These minerals are essential to the biochemical pathways converting T4 to T3. “Zinc aids the process that signals the thyroid gland to product thyroid hormones” according to Dr. Richard Shames and Dr Karilee Shames.

Antioxidants are important too, since they also help in the processes needed to produce the T4 hormone and then the conversion of the T4 into T3.  Free Radicals can block the conversion of T4 into the active hormone T3.  Along with antioxidants and minerals, the trace element Iodine is important in maintaining a healthy thyroid. Iodine deficiency causes an enlargement of the thyroid called goiter says Jacob Teitelbaum, MD.  Iodine is now added to table salt to help reduce the occurrence of goiter.

Teitelbaum goes on to say that the amino acid L-tyrosine, a precursor to T4, is the backbone of the thyroid system. L-tyrosine assists in all the body’s hormone processes. The thyroid hormone is basically tyrosine plus iodine, according to Dr. Shames.

Lifestyle changes can be effective for many people with hypothyroidism. Adding exercise as well as diet changes can made differences in the need for hormone replacement. See your physician for testing and know that even with a “normal” result on the test, some thyroid therapy may be needed while you are working on your diet, exercise and adding natural supplements with zinc, selenium, cooper and magnesium, B vitamins, and antioxidants.  Stay Well, Elise.

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