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The Iron-Thyroid Connection

Optimal thyroid status is dependent on the presence of many raw materials – not just iron, but iodine, selenium and zinc as well as the hormone known as vitamin D and the amino acid, tyrosine – for both the synthesis and metabolism of thyroid hormones.

Deficiencies in any of the above can impair thyroid function, often seen as lower than optimal triiodothyronine (T3) and thyroxine (T4). If this continues, the body produces more TSH to stimulate the thyroid, resulting in a progressively elevated TSH – subclinical then clinical hypothyroidism. Common symptoms include fatigue, weight gain, constipation, hair loss, intolerance to cold and/or depression. Sound familiar?

Optimal iron status is dependent on stomach acid and the cofactors including retinol [preformed vitamin A], copper and magnesium. So, it would make sense that if you start here, and resolve your iron issues, then you will also start to produce more thyroid hormones and, in time, your body will respond by normalizing TSH [provided you are also supporting your hypothalamic–pituitary–adrenal axis].

Obviously everyone is extremely unique however my top four tips are:

  1. Stop taking Maltofer or Ferro-grad C. Catch up here.
  2. Begin working on your stomach acid, starting by chewing each mouthful at least 20 times. More on this to come.
  3. Increase your intake of magnesium – cacao, kelp, pumpkin seeds and spinach are four of my faves.
  4. Increase your intake of retinol – organ meats and cod liver oil are staples in our household. My Vegie Loaded Spaghetti Sauce will hopefully become a weekly staple of yours.

I really hope this helps you to start to help you resolve your iron and/or thyroid issues. I’ll be discussing this further and in the meantime, for personalised support, please book a complimentary 15-minute consultation here. 

References

Eftekhari MH, Eshraghian MR, Mozaffari-Khosravi H, Saadat N, Shidfar F. Effect of iron repletion and correction of iron deficiency on thyroid function in iron-deficient Iranian adolescent girls. Pak J Biol Sci. 2007;10(2):255-260. doi:10.3923/pjbs.2007.255.260

Mahmoodianfard S, Vafa M, Golgiri F, et al. Effects of Zinc and Selenium Supplementation on Thyroid Function in Overweight and Obese Hypothyroid Female Patients: A Randomized Double-Blind Controlled Trial. J Am Coll Nutr. 2015;34(5):391-399. doi:10.1080/07315724.2014.926161

Soliman AT, De Sanctis V, Yassin M, Wagdy M, Soliman N. Chronic anemia and thyroid function. Acta Biomed. 2017;88(1):119-127. Published 2017 Apr 28. doi:10.23750/abm.v88i1.6048

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