Hashimoto's Hypothyroidism and Exhausted? Here are Supplements for more energy!
What does having Hashimoto’s hypothyroidism feel like?
Hashimoto’s hypothyroidism causes you to feel tired, gain weight and/or difficulty losing weight, constipated depressed and anxious. It can leave you experiencing infertility, high cholesterol levels, dry skin, dry hair, hair loss and much more.
Often the symptoms get progressively worse over years as the thyroid gland gradually slows its production of hormones leaving the person with Hashimoto’s feeling as if they have little control over how miserable they feel or how much weight they are gaining.
Personally I thought I was a hypochondriac, secret eater when in my 30’s I experienced persistent weight gain, foggy brain and profound fatigue regardless of eating less, exercising more and a suitcase full of supplements promising miracles and delivering fools gold.
Whilst I was complaining of the signs and symptoms of early hypothyroidism my blood tests and lab results were not quite bad enough to medicate. Medically the condition is called ‘sub-clinical hypothyroidism’ and doctors typically take a ‘watch and wait’ approach monitoring thyroid results until the condition deteriorates into full blown hypothyroidism and they are permitted to prescribe medication (Nordio & Pajalich, 2013).
Until your blood tests show a high thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) level there are no medical solutions excepting anti-depressants and symptom management of the depression, constipation, rising cholesterol etc. Yet the Hashimoto’s sufferer can be experiencing real and unpleasant symptoms of a gradually slowing thyroid (Davis & Tremont, 2007).
Natural Solutions for the Sub-Clinically Hypothyroid
The good news is there are a range of natural solutions with varying levels of scientific research offering the sluggish subclinical hypothyroid some respite.
Natural Remedies Researched by Science
Great news for the subclinical hypothyroid with Hashimoto’s thyroiditis is a new study showing improved thyroid function and reduced Hashimoto’s thyroid antibodies after 6 months on 2 easy to find nutrients!
The good news:
The study found:
- Reduced thyroid antibodies - this means the immune system attack on the thyroid had reduced slowing the destruction of the thyroid gland.
- Improved TSH levels – TSH levels measure how much thyroid hormone the brain is telling the thyroid to make.
Why do I need to care about reduced thyroid antibodies?
Researchers have found the larger the number of thyroid antibodies the worse a person feels and the worsened negative impact on their ability to perform daily tasks (Watt, et al., 2012).
So reducing antibody numbers may mean you have more energy and feel better!
Why do I need to care about improved TSH levels?
Improved TSH levels mean feeling better as well.
Plus for those wanting to avoid being medicated it possibly means staving off your need to take thyroid hormone replacement. For those wanting to wean off their thyroid medication it may be a reduced dosage. Reducing medication must always be done with your doctor’s agreement.
Show me the science!
The study was published in the Journal of Thyroid Research.
It was a double-blind, randomised, control trial over 6 months comparing the effects of:
• Selenium (in the form of 83 g selenomethionine)
• Combined treatment of 83 g selenium with 600 mg of inositol (in the form of myo-inositol).
• Well being: The group taking the combined treatment felt significantly more improvement in their wellbeing than group only taking selenium.
• Antibody levels: Both groups reduced both antibody levels by over 40% antibody levels specifically:
• Selenium only: TPOAb decreased by 42% and TgAb decreased by 38%.
• Combined treatment of selenium + inositol: TPOAb decreased by 44% and TgAb decreased by 48%.
• TSH: Only the combined treatment group saw an improved TSH with a reduction of 31%
The Bottom Line
The “Against Selenium + Inositol” argument
For me 1 study is not strong evidence. Ideally we need to see this study repeated a few more times with large numbers of people. The study was not placebo controlled nor was there an investigation into side effects.
The “Pro Selenium Inositol” argument
Pro- Selenium: There is already mounting evidence for the use of selenium in reducing thyroid antibodies in Hashimoto’s (Toulis, et al., 2010) and whilst it is not conclusive it’s a low risk strategy that might just be extremely helpful.
Pro - Inositol: Inositol has a biological function in the thyroid in signalling TSH hormone (Nordio & Pajalich, 2013) and it is beneficial for women with PCOS (Unfer, et al., 2012) which is a condition also commonly found with Hashimoto’s (Kachuei, et al., 2012).
My bottom line: If you are a woman wth Hashimoto’s subclinical hypothyroidism not yet on medication this combination of selenium and inositol might just be the helping hand improving your quality of life.
Davis, J.D. & Tremont, G. (2007). Neuropsychiatric aspects of hypothyroidism and treatment reversibility. Minerva Endocrinology, 32(1), 49-65. Retrieved from: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17353866
Kachuei, M., Jafari, F., Kachuei, A., & Keshteli, A. H. (2012). Prevalence of autoimmune thyroiditis in patients with polycystic ovary syndrome. Archives of Gynecology and Obstetrics, 285(3), 853-856. doi: 10.1007/s00404-011-2040-5
Nordio, M., & Pajalich, R. (2013). Combined treatment with myo-Inositol and selenium ensures euthyroidism in subclinical hypothyroidism patients with autoimmune thyroiditis. Journal of Thyroid Research, 2013. Retrieved from: http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2013/424163
Toulis, K. A., Anastasilakis, A. D., Tzellos, T. G., Goulis, D. G., & Kouvelas, D. (2010). Selenium supplementation in the treatment of Hashimoto’s thyroiditis: A systematic review and a meta-analysis. Thyroid, 20(10), 1163-1173. doi:10.1089/thy.2009.0351.
Unfer, V., Carlomagno, G., Dante, G., & Facchinetti, F. (2012). Effects of myo-inositol in women with PCOS: A systematic review of randomized controlled trials. Gynecological Endocrinology, 28(7), 509-515. doi: 10.3109/09513590.2011.650660
Watt, T., Hegedüs, L., Bjorner, J. B., Groenvold, M., Bonnema, S. J., Rasmussen, Å. K., & Feldt-Rasmussen, U. (2012). Is thyroid autoimmunity per se a determinant of quality of life in patients with autoimmune hypothyroidism? European Thyroid Journal, 1(3), 186-192.doi: 10.1159/000342623