January is Thyroid Awareness Month, an educational effort sponsored by the American Thyroid Association to promote awareness of the prevention and treatment of thyroid-related issues.
According to the American Thyroid Association, hypothyroidism (or an underactive thyroid gland) is the most common thyroid disorder affecting up to 15 percent of Americans.
When this tiny gland responsible for regulating metabolism, body temperature and digestion is underactive, common symptoms include fatigue, cold hands and feet, weight gain, dry skin, depression and more.
If you’re experiencing any of these symptoms (particularly if thyroid disease runs in your family), it’s time for a trip to your doctor for a simple blood test to check your thyroid hormone levels.
For natural ways to support thyroid health, check out these supplements.
Hypothyroidism is commonly associated with high cholesterol, high triglyceride levels and impaired cognition. Since omega-3 fatty acids are known to help with all of these symptoms, many experts recommend a good omega-3 fatty acid supplement to support thyroid health.
A study published in the journal Clinical Endocrinology also found hypothyroidism to be linked to inflammation in men under the age of 50.
Fish oil is known to reduce inflammation and therefore could help with certain thyroid conditions.
The American Heart Association recommends eating at least two servings of fish per week to get enough omega-3s from your diet. While there is no official recommendation on supplement dosage, several health organizations recommend between 250 – 500 milligrams daily to maintain general health.
We recommend: Nordic Naturals Omega-3 Softgels
A multivitamin is often referred to as a good “insurance policy” for filling in dietary gaps, and this holds true for getting your fill of nutrients to support a healthy thyroid.
A common symptom of a thyroid condition is fatigue. Research suggests that a vitamin B1 (or thiamine) deficiency may result in mild symptoms of fatigue.
Another important nutrient, vitamin B12, works to convert the food we eat into energy that the body can use for essential functions.
Selenium and magnesium are two minerals that play roles in thyroid gland function.
You’ll find these key nutrients and more in a multivitamin to nourish the thyroid and support general health.
We recommend: Nature’s Way Alive!® Max 3 Daily Multi-Vitamin Tablets
Though vitamin D is typically known for its benefits to bone health, a body of research suggests that this vitamin may also play a role in mood disorders, heart disease, certain types of cancer and more.
A study published in the Scientific World Journal found that study participants with a vitamin D deficiency had lower thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) levels than subjects with normal vitamin D levels.
Current recommended dietary allowances of vitamin D for adults between the ages of 18 and 70 is 600 IU/day, though dosages up to 4000 IU/day are considered safe.
We recommend: Jarrow Formulas Vitamin D3 Softgels
Karen Morse, MPH, is a freelance health and nutrition writer. In her free time, she enjoys Pilates, exploring nearby hiking trails and cooking up fresh, seasonal eats in the kitchen. Her work has appeared in Clean Eating, Weight Watchers, YouBeauty.com and others.