How do I keep my thyroid healthy?

There are few things you can do to keep your thyroid healthy: 

  1. Minimize radiation exposure to your neck whenever possible. For example, wear a neck shield when getting dental x-rays and avoid unnecessary medical imaging.
  2. Eat a balanced diet.
  3. Don’t take thyroid boosters or other iodine supplements unless directed by a medical professional. Iodine is important to the production of thyroid hormones, but too much iodine can be dangerous.
  4. Have your thyroid examined and function tested at your regular wellness exam.
  5. If you are prescribed thyroid hormone medications, take them as directed. Do not skip doses or take extra doses based on how you feel. Also, take thyroid hormones on an empty stomach—no food, coffee, vitamins or minerals (this may also include birth control pills with iron).

A well balanced diet should include all the minerals needed to help support the function of the thyroid. Deficiencies in some minerals can contribute to thyroid issues (see below), but excess supplementation of these minerals is not recommended.

  1. Iodine: Iodine is needed for the production of thyroid hormone. Generally, there is ample iodine in the diet, mostly in iodized salt. Iodine deficiency is very rare in the United States and excessive supplementation with iodine can actual worsen some thyroid problems.
  2. Iron: You also need sufficient iron levels to make thyroid hormone and to help it get into other cells in the body. Insufficient iron levels alter and reduces the conversion of T4 to T3, besides binding T3.
  3. Trace Minerals: Zinc, selenium and chromium help you convert inactive T4 to active T3. 

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.