If you have a sluggish thyroid gland, you may be diagnosed with hypothyroidism. Your thyroid gland oversees your metabolism. If it doesn't produce enough thyroid hormone, you can end up feeling fatigued, depressed, constipated and sensitive to cold, and may have a tendency to gain weight. Hypothyroidism is typically caused by Hashimoto's disease, an autoimmune reaction that causes antibodies to attack your thyroid gland, or by not getting enough iodine in your diet, although this is not usual in the United States. Along with prescribing synthetic thyroid hormone medication, your physician may also recommend you take multivitamin supplements.
B Vitamin Complex
The eight B vitamins are required by your body for a number of important functions, including growth and development, immune system reactions, formation of red blood cells and the digestive process. They are also needed for the normal production of enzymes and hormones, including thyroid hormone. Because they are water-soluble vitamins, they are eliminated from your body in urine and need to be replaced daily. A 2008 study published in "The Journal of the Pakistan Medical Association" notes B-12 deficiency is particularly prevalent in hypothyroidism. If you have hypothyroidism, talk to your physician to see whether you need to take a B complex multivitamin containing vitamin B-12.
Vitamin A with Beta-Carotene
Vitamin A, or retinol, is needed for more than just helping you see better in low light. It's also required for bone growth, healthy skin, normal immune system functioning and red blood cell production. Vitamin A works in combination with vitamin D and thyroid hormones to control gene activity and regulate new cell growth. Extra beta-carotene may be needed as it is a precursor of vitamin A. Discuss taking vitamin A and beta-carotene supplements for hypothyroidism with your doctor.
Iron Supplementation with Hypothyroid
Iron is essential for production of hemoglobin, enzymes and hormones, including thyroid hormone. According to a 2009 study published in "The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism," there appears to be a link between iron-deficiency anemia and sub-clinical hypothyroidism. If you have been diagnosed with hypothyroidism along with iron-deficiency anemia, you may need an iron supplement along with synthetic thyroid hormone medication to treat both conditions effectively. However, iron supplements can interfere with absorption of synthetic thyroid hormone medications, and may have to be taken separately. Consult your doctor about the best way to take iron supplements if you are taking synthetic hormone medication.
Other Vitamins and Supplements
Along with some multivitamin combinations, your physician may advise you to take L-tyrosine dietary supplements. University of Maryland Medical Center states that your thyroid gland requires tyrosine to produce thyroid hormone; if your levels of tyrosine are low, it can be a contributing factor to development of hypothyroidism. You may also need to take omega-3 fatty acids to ensure proper thyroid gland functioning. Don't take iodine, or any other dietary supplements, for hypothyroidism unless advised to do so by your doctor.
- University of Maryland Medical Center: Hypothyroidism
- American Cancer Society: Vitamin B Complex
- The Journal of the Pakistan Medical Association: Vitamin B12 Deficiency Common in Primary Hypothyroidism
- Oregon State University Linus Pauling Institute: Vitamin A
- The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism: Hematologic Effects of Levothyroxine in Iron-Deficient Subclinical Hypothyroid Patients: A Randomized, Double-Blind, Controlled Study
- Nutrition MD: Hypothyroidism Nutritional Considerations