Hashimoto’s thyroid disease is the most common cause of hypothyroidism in the United States. While around 5 to 10 percent of the general population suffers from this condition, women are 10 times more likely to have this condition than men (1
In this article, we’ll review our favorite supplements for Hashimoto’s.
What is Hashimoto’s?
Hashimoto’s is an autoimmune thyroid disease involving chronic inflammation of the thyroid gland. Your thyroid is a small, butterfly-shaped gland at the front of your neck that produces thyroid hormones. These hormones influence essentially every organ in the body and affect bodily functions like your heart rate, metabolism, body temperature, menstrual cycle, and more.
People with Hashimoto’s often suffer from symptoms like:
- Brittle nails
- Dry skin
- Thinning hair or hair loss
- Weight gain
- Difficulty losing weight
- High cholesterol
- Cold intolerance
- Depression or anxiety
- Heavy or irregular periods
A high TSH with or without a low free T4 first confirms the presence of hypothyroidism. Typically, functional medicine practitioners prefer a narrower and more optimal range for TSH of 1.0 - 2.5 mlU/L. The additional presence of thyroid antibodies in your blood indicates Hashimoto’s autoimmune disease.
Supplements for Hashimoto’s
Let’s review a few important nutrients and supplement blends we recommend for best supporting individuals with Hashimoto’s.
Zinc and Selenium
Zinc and selenium are two essential minerals with antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits. These minerals are required for the conversion of T4 thyroid hormone into the active T3 version that your body needs to carry out essential functions. Read more about T4 to T3 conversion
. Adequate intake of selenium is also required in order to make enough thyroid hormone. Supplementing your diet with selenium has shown to lower thyroid antibodies (1
). Selenium-rich foods include brazil nuts, tuna, halibut, turkey, and brown rice. Foods rich in zinc include oysters, beef, pumpkin seeds, pork, and lentils. If your intake of zinc and selenium is inadequate, we may recommend additional supplementation of these minerals.
Antioxidants are compounds that prevent cell damage caused by molecules called free radicals. Too many free radicals can lead to an inflammatory imbalance in the body known as oxidative stress. Unfortunately, individuals with Hashimoto’s tend to have higher levels of oxidative stress than people without this condition (2
). In fact, some researchers suggest oxidative stress is one potential cause of Hashimoto’s. Oxidative stress also makes hypothyroidism and related symptoms in Hashimoto’s worse. An anti-inflammatory diet
is crucial to reducing oxidative stress. However, we may recommend additional antioxidant support with turmeric, vitamin C, and/or N-acetyl-cysteine (NAC).
Vitamin D deficiency is common in Hashimoto’s thyroid disease and treating this deficiency may slow down the development of hypothyroidism (3
). Vitamin D supplementation may also reduce oxidative stress and increase antioxidant activity (4
). Ask your doctor to check your vitamin D levels at your yearly visit. Most labs suggest that normal vitamin D levels are 30 ng/mL. However, a “normal level” does not necessarily mean optimal. For our patients, we strive for vitamin D levels around 50 ng/mL for best outcomes. You can find Vitamin D in our Root Shop
Root® Thyroid Support Supplement
We compiled all of our most recommended nutrients and botanicals for individuals with thyroid conditions, like Hashimoto’s, into a supplement called Thyroid Support. Here are a few benefits of the ingredients in this supplement:
- Contains zinc and selenium to support optimal conversion of T4 to the active T3 hormone
- Provides vitamin A to support your cells’ ability to use thyroid hormones
- Boosts antioxidant intake to lower oxidative stress with vitamin C, vitamin E, turmeric, and NAC
- Supports optimal thyroid hormone production with iodine and the amino acid, L-tyrosine
- Provides ashwagandha, an adaptogen helpful in lowering stress hormones that may interfere with optimal thyroid health.
Gut Healing Supplements
Your gut, thyroid gland, and immune system all affect each other in different ways. Whenever we treat an individual with an autoimmune condition, we always focus on correcting imbalances in the gut. Poor gut health is a major contributing factor to the development of Hashimoto’s. Plus, once the autoimmune disease is present, ongoing gut issues worsen symptoms of Hashimoto’s.
While gut health is very individualized, we have developed a Gut Health Bundle supplement that provides key nutrients needed to optimize gut health. Our Gut Health Bundle provides:
- Digestive enzymes for supporting proper digestion of carbohydrates, protein, and fat at each meal
- A research-backed probiotic with known benefits for reducing bad bacteria and supporting the growth of healthy bacteria
- Gut Health Rebalance powder to heal the intestinal lining and reduce inflammation with nutrients like L-glutamine, aloe vera extract, and deglycyrrhizinated licorice (DGL)
Used together, this bundle can support optimal gut health, which in turn, may make a significant health impact for people with Hashimoto’s.
Hashimoto’s is an autoimmune condition in which the body makes antibodies to attack your thyroid gland. Foundational lifestyle changes, like eating an anti-inflammatory diet, getting adequate sleep, and managing stress, are instrumental in treating this condition. However, we also see patient success when using certain supplements for Hashimoto’s like zinc/selenium, antioxidants, vitamin D, and probiotics. For the most effective bang for your buck, we’ve compiled these into our Thyroid Support Supplement
and Gut Health Bundle
For more info about treating Hashimoto's at the root cause, join our course: Root Cause: Hashimoto's Hypothyroidism