Why Those With Thyrois Disorders Become Vitamin Deficient

There are numerous reasons that those with thyroid disorders become vitamin deficient. Thyroid disorders can make it difficult for the body to absorb vitamins. The deficiency reason, however, depends on the vitamin itself as well as the individual’s lifestyle.

Here are a few main causes for vitamin deficiency in those with thyroid disorders:

  • Diet—This is a huge factor in almost every single medical problem. With thyroid disorders, it can be a real problem if the diet is high in refined foods and sugars. Usually, just changing the diet won’t help if it is a moderate to severe deficiency. The deficient vitamins will have to be supplemented to correct those deficiencies at least on a part-time basis.
  • Lack of sunlight—For those suffering from vitamin D deficiency this can be a big factor since sunlight is a major source of vitamin D. Other reasons for vitamin D deficiencies can be having darker skin, living in high latitudes, or living where there is a lot of air pollution.
  • Medications—Many medications can interfere with the absorption of thyroid hormone. When this happens, perhaps it can be corrected by simply changing the medication. Other times supplements will have to be used at least temporarily to correct the problem..

4397922489_e5cf4b038c_zA single vitamin or mineral deficiency for someone with a thyroid disorder may have a drastic effect on their health. This includes all thyroid disorders including Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis, hypothyroidism, hyperthyroidism, and Graves’ Disease.

Here are the most common deficiencies found in those suffering from thyroid disorders.

  1. Vitamin A—This vitamin has numerous roles in the body that are important. It helps sustain the well-being of the epithelial tissues, plays a significant role in immune system function as well as vision, and other sources. Some people try to supplement vitamin A with bets-carotene, however, often their bodies have problems converting beta-carotene into vitamin A. This deficiency can be difficult to determine, but has three main symptoms: night blindness, decrease/loss in appetite, susceptibility to infection. Since thyroid hormone is necessary to convert beta-carotene to vitamin A so supplementing with beta-carotene won’t help.
  2. Vitamin D—You know it is important for strong bones, but it is also important for the health of the immune system. Those suffering from all types of thyroid disorders are likely to have a vitamin D deficiency. This deficiency is extremely easy to determine with a simple blood test. This deficiency is significantly higher in those suffering from autoimmune disease. Though sunlight is the best source of vitamin D, if someone is deficient, supplementation of D3 is usually necessary
  3. Iron—This is essential for the synthesis of thyroid hormone. If you have an Iron deficiency, it definitely impairs thyroid hormone synthesis because it reduces activity of heme-dependent thyroid peroxidase (4). Iron has other important functions. While it is important for women to be iron deficient during their menstrual cycle, it also can affect women during menopause. Even men suffer from iron deficiencies especially if they are vegans or vegetarians. Iron plays a part in producing red blood cells which help deliver oxygen to your body’s cells and tissues. If your thyroid disorder is being treated with levothyroxine, you should take the medication two to three hours apart from the supplement because it can interfere with the absorption of the medicine.
  4. Selenium—This mineral is extremely important to thyroid health. It is necessary for the conversion of T4 to T3, and an essential mineral for an immune system that works at the optimal level. There have been some studies that show that selenium can lower thyroid antibodies. Some people have drastic improvement when taking selenium supplements, however, others only show minimal improvement. Brazil nuts and sardines are good sources of selenium. Since selenium is best if it is taken with vitamin E and other nutrients, it is sometimes recommended that they take a whole food supplement.
  5. Iodine—While there is a controversy as to whether or not supplements of iodine should be used, iodine is important to thyroid health. It is imperative that you be tested to be sure. If you have an iodine deficiency, take the steps to be sure your iodine levels are what they should be for optimal thyroid health.

Whatever the case, those with thyroid disorders should be tested for all vitamin and mineral deficiencies. Along with their thyroid medication they can add to their healthcare treatment plan if they are not deficient in vitamins and minerals.