My past patients and current clients are always asking me what are the natural supplements for hypothyroidism are. One of the top 3, along with selenium and iodine is zinc.
Most menopausal women suffer from weight gain, weight loss resistance, sleeping disorders, anxiety, depression, loss of drives, and loss of energy. You know, their body, energy and attitude are adversely affected. What most menopausal women don’t know is that menopause also brings with it the symptoms of hypothyroidism.
Here are the list of symptoms associated with menopausal hypothyroidism.
- Increased sensitivity to cold
- Dry skin
- Weight gain
- Puffy face
- Muscle weakness
- Elevated blood cholesterol level
- Muscle aches, tenderness and stiffness
- Pain, stiffness or swelling in your joints
- Heavier than normal or irregular menstrual periods
- Thinning hair
- Slowed heart rate
- Impaired memory
Many of our past patients and or current clients who suffer from being in menopause come to us with many of these symptoms.
The problems we always seem to see with these past patients and current clients is that thier thyroid tests either say thier thyroid hormone levels are normal or their tests said they were hypothyroid and the medication they were prescribed has not improved thier symptoms one iota.
The medication may improve your blood work and that’s all your doctor seems to care about.
What we have found is that there can be three different causes to these symptoms.
1. The thyroid gland is malfunctioning
2. The conversion of the inactive thyroid hormone T4, to the active thyroid hormone T3 is malfunctioning.
3. The cell is resistant to the uptake of T3
We have found that if our hypothyroid symptoms are being caused by the first and/or second and/or the third problems above that a deficiency in zinc can be a major part of all 3 problems and be one of the important natural supplements for hypothyroidism.
Zinc is required for the production of T4 within the thyroid gland.
Zinc also plays an important role in the conversion of the inactive form T4 (thyroxine) to the active form T3 (triiodothyronine). T3 is the hormone that enters your cells and becomes the spark plug for the powerhouses of your cells, the mitochondria.
Zinc is also required to keep your T3 receptor sites healthy. These receptors are responsible for the uptake of T3.
One of the symptoms of a malfunctioning thyroid is hair loss. Here is a quote from International Journal of Trichology. (Trichology is the branch of medical and cosmetic study and practice concerned with the hair and scalp.)
“Zinc and other trace elements such as copper and selenium are required for the synthesis of thyroid hormones, and deficiency of these can result in hypothyroidism. “
“How do you test for zinc deficiency?”
There is no method that I can truly endorse. Many of my past patients and current clients use a zinc taste test.
They use 2 tablespoons of liquid zinc solution. Swish the solution around in your mouth for 30 seconds. Spit the solution out. DO NOT SWALLOW! It will upset your stomach. We used this liquid zinc solution that we purchased from Amazon.
If you do not taste anything, they say that is an indication that you are zinc deficient.
If you immediately notice a strong unpleasant metallic taste then they say that you most likely do not have a zinc deficiency.
If you are in-between, you are in between in your need for zinc. I would take a low dose.
If you are menopausal and have the symptoms of hypothyroidism with a normal blood test, or an abnormal blood test and are on medication, but still have hypothyroid symptoms, zinc is one of the natural supplements for hypothyroidism. It is a trace mineral that may help eliminate many hypothyroid symptoms.
We have found that taking 30-60 mg of Zinc a day with food for 30 to 60 days worked best for us and our past patients and current clients. Here is an Amazon link for a combination of zinc and copper
Make sure your Zinc supplement has a small amount of copper in it because taking Zinc will deplete your body of this important mineral.
“You explained the symptoms of hypothyroidism. What are the symptoms of being deficient in zinc.”
They are very similar to being in menopause with some differences. Here are examples of zinc deficiency symptoms.
- Always catching a cold
- White spots on your fingernails
- Chronic diarrhea
- Hair falling out.
- Atrial fibrillation
- Loss of smell or taste
- Acne, rashes or eczema
- Feeling depressed, sluggish, or irritable
- Brain fog
- Loss of your ability to taste
- ADHD or a learning disability
- Loss of sex drive
- Loss of appetite
- Poor wound healing
- Difficulty conceiving
- Sleeping disorders
“one of the natural supplements for hypothyroidism”
It has been said that 2 billion people lack enough zinc within their diets.
Zinc one of the natural supplements for hypothyroidism symptoms is involved in more than 300 known enzymes.
Zinc is the second most abundant element in the body second only to iron.
You also must have adequate zinc levels to properly metabolize vitamin D and vitamin A, both are vital for our thyroid health.
“Are there any side effects from supplementing with zinc?”
There may be side effects if you overdose with any supplement. Studies show side effects may occur when taking over 100 milligrams of zinc for long periods of time.
Excessive intake of calcium or iron can compete with zinc and cause a deficiency. If you are taking either of those elements make sure you are not overdosing yourself with them.
Low dosing is always the best way to supplement.
Cadmium affects zinc levels so make sure you are not exposed to that element. This element is used in batteries. If you work around batteries or have a habit of chewing on them, that’s a joke, then be careful.
If you take too much zinc, you can actually harm your thyroid.
If you have low iron stores and are taking iron make sure you are supplementing with the right balance of zinc and iron.
Zinc can also affect the absorption of thyroid medication. Most practitioners prefer that thyroid medication in the morning then take the zinc supplement at lunch or dinner.
Another problem is copper. Zinc can deplete your body’s copper levels. It is important to take a zinc supplement that has copper within it. Copper is also one of the natural supplements for hypothyroidism
Zinc is not stored in the body. Thus a daily intake of zinc is required to maintain sufficient levels.
Zinc deficiency has also been associated with the bacteria in your gut and may be associated with leaky gut.
Vegetarians have a higher risk of zinc deficiency. Most of us achieve healthy zinc levels through high quality animal proteins.
Even though zinc is a one of the natural supplements for hypothyroidism, always consult with your doctor before supplementing with zinc.
“How much copper should we take if we are supplementing with zinc?”
The standard answer is 1 milligram for every 15 milligrams of zinc that you may take. I prefer to take .3 mg with every 30 mgs of zinc.
“Doc, you usually recommend that we get our needs through our food. Are you saying that we should not do that when it comes to zinc?”
Vicky and I no longer need to supplement with any of the natural supplements for hypothyroidism. The reason is we make sure to eat foods that are high in zinc. I mentioned this in our iodine and selenium class.
Foods high in zinc are:
- Oysters (Cooked) 78.6mg (524% DV)
- Wheat Germ (Toasted) 16.7mg (111% DV)
- Beef (Lean, Cooked) 12.3mg (82% DV)
- Veal Liver (Cooked) 11.9mg (79% DV)
- Pumpkin Seeds 10.3mg (69% DV)
- Sesame Seeds 10.2mg (68% DV)
- Lamb (Lean, Cooked) 8.7mg (58% DV)
- Dark Chocolate 3.3mg (22% DV)
- Peanuts (Roasted) 3.3mg (22% DV)
These are the foods with the highest zinc levels, but there are some caveats.
It is important to follow a gluten free diet if you have Hashimoto’s Disease.
If you are following a gluten-free diet for Hashimoto’s or Graves’ disease, then you may be deficient in zinc if you are not eating enough meat.
Compounds called phytates found in legumes, grains, nuts and seeds can inhibit the absorption of zinc.
To summarize, the best way to achieve healthy zinc levels for menopause and its associated hypothyroid symptoms is to consume foods with high zinc levels. If you so that you will not need to supplement with any of the natural supplements for hypothyroidism
When past patients or current clients could not place these foods in their diet, we recommend a zinc taste test and a zinc supplement.
If you suffer from menopause weight gain and its menacing symptoms like those associated with hypothyroid, We offer a course called The Menopause Diet. If you would like to learn more and possibly enroll in The Menopause Diet,
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- Wada L, King JC. Effect of low zinc intakes on basal metabolic rate, thyroid
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- Betsy A, Binitha M, Sarita S. Zinc deficiency associated with hypothyroidism: an overlooked cause of severe alopecia. Int J Trichology. 2013;5(1):40-42.
- Kralik A, Eder K, Kirchgessner M. Influence of zinc and selenium deficiency on parameters relating to thyroid hormone metabolism. Horm Metab Res. 1996;28(5):223-226.
- Nishiyama S, Futagoishi-Suginohara Y, Matsukura M, et al. Zinc supplementation alters thyroid hormone metabolism in disabled patients with zinc deficiency. J Am Coll Nutr. 1994;13(1):62-67.