You may have seen our recent blog and case study publication on nutrients for thyroid health. But what if you have an autoimmune thyroid condition? The most common cause of thyroid dysfunction, whether it be hypothyroid or hyperthyroid, is autoimmune in nature. This is sometimes called Hashimoto’s disease (usually hypothyroid) or Grave’s Disease (hyperthyroid). Or perhaps you know you have been measured for anti-TPO antibodies or anti-Tg – your levels of anti-TPO can be easily measured and this can help determine whether you need to start looking at your immune system as the cause of your thyroid dysfunction.
If you currently have symptoms of thyroid dysfunction, but your hormones are still with normal ranges, your anti-TPO levels might also be able to predict whether you are headed towards a thyroid condition. People who present with anti-TPO antibodies are likely to progress to outright thyroid disease within the coming years. But what if you could slow the progression or try to reduce your risk?
It’s not just about nutrients
In autoimmune thyroid conditions, your immune system is attacking your own thyroid tissue and causing it to malfunction. Some studies have shown that adding extra selenium and restoring a selenium deficiency can reduce anti-thyroid antibodies. It is important not to over-supplement though and this is especially true for iodine. Your thyroid needs iodine to make the thyroid hormones. However, if your immune system is already attacking your thyroid, adding more iodine can activate the tissue, causing it to be like a red rag to a bull. Excess iodine or suddenly supplementing can cause thyroid antibodies to increase. It is always best to test whether you are deficient in iodine first and even then, to be very careful and use safe moderate food sources instead, such as fish and dairy.
How can you calm your immune system?
Taking thyroid medications or taking nutrients can help support the level of thyroid hormone in the body, but it won’t slow down the progression of the condition or stop your immune system from attacking the tissue. At Glenville Nutrition, we aim to calm the immune system using many approaches including increasing anti-inflammatory omega-3 and optimising your vitamin D. We look at different sources of inflammation such as that possibly arising from the gut. Up to 80% of our immune system is centred here and calming the immune system often begins with the digestive tract.
We also use medicinal mushrooms which are remarkable in their ability to reduce inflammation and balance the immune system. These come in capsule form so you don’t have to eat them all day every day!
For more information on supporting your thyroid condition, why not find out how we can help. Call us on -1-4020777 or email email@example.com