Supplements for Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis to Boost Thyroid Function & Conversion

*Note: This article has been updated on 1/17/2019 to contain new information*

Do you ever get confused with which supplements you should or shouldn't be taking? 

The truth is this:

There are some specific supplements which are VERY helpful to patients with Hashimoto's and Hypothyroidism and there are a lot of others with a bunch of "hype" and no science or legitimacy backing their use. 

Today I want to show you what I consider to be the best supplements for Hashimoto's and hypothyroidism, but more specifically... 

Why I like them. 

Let's look at the facts and the science so you can get on the right track to feeling better and treating your Hashimoto's...

If you want the quick version here are the top supplements I recommend for patients with Hashimoto's in 2019 (keep reading for detailed information on why these are helpful and how to use them)

More...

Not all Supplements are Created Equal

​This should go without saying, but not all supplements are created equal.

Unlike the pharmaceutical industry, the supplement industry is not regulated very well.

As a result, some supplement companies have included sub-par ingredients into their supplements (less biologically active ingredients) and in some cases do not even have the quantities that they claim on the package!

Supplement companies may be lying

​This can be frustrating for patients who don't understand this. 

They get and purchase cheap supplements from places like GNC, Walmart, Target or Walgreens and they don't feel any different after taking them.

Afterward, they feel like supplements either don't work or they are a waste (or both). 

And they are (or rather, they can be). 

Unless you get HIGH-quality ingredients from reputable high-quality brands.

When patients use HIGH-quality supplements that are targeted to their nutritional deficiencies the results can be very impressive. 

In this article, when I make a recommendation you can rest assured that the brands I recommend are high-quality and the same ones that I use in my office. These brands and exact supplements have worked well for me in treating over a thousand patients. 

Your Supplements Should be Targeted to YOUR Body and YOUR Needs

Before we jump into which supplements are the best and why we need to talk about the approach that I take when recommending supplements. 

In general, I don't recommend the shotgun approach.

That is:

Where you take supplements because your friend did or you read online that it helps with every condition under the sun.

Supplements can be very helpful, but they need to be used correctly.

I let a combination of the following guide my judgment when I make supplement recommendations to my patients:

  1. Literary Studies (Meaning have these supplements been shown or proven to actually help reverse disease)
  2. My own personal clinical experience (Meaning do the supplements ACTUALLY work - many supplements show promise in testing and in certain studies but they fall short in clinical practice)
  3. What I've seen works (Including the opinions of other experts and what I've personally seen/used)
  4. What other experts use and recommend​ (With so many supplements it's impossible to know and understand everything about them, but knowing what works with other patients and other providers is very helpful)

This approach makes targeted supplementation a VERY powerful ally when treating Hypothyroidism and Hashimoto's. 

The "Basic" Supplements Every Hashimoto's Patient should Consider Using

In my office, I use a Comprehensive Functional Blood Chemistry Panel to find nutrient deficiencies in EACH patient. 

And this is the ideal approach. 

However, it isn't always necessary. 

Sometimes, certain nutrient deficiencies can be assumed based on your symptoms. Other times you can order direct labs to assess nutrient status. 

In some cases (such as Zinc and Selenium), the best way to test for a deficiency is to use a trial of the supplement!

When you read through this list keep all of these in mind. 

#1. Zinc

Zinc happens to be one of the top 5 most common nutrient deficiencies among all groups of patients including those with Hashimoto's. 

There is a good chance that your zinc levels are low which means that supplementing may be beneficial for you. 

But before you run out and supplement, you need to first consider the various types of Zinc available. 

Not all formulations of Zinc are equally effective because they are not all equally absorbed.

Studies have shown that Zinc bound to picolinic acid or Citrate (1) have superior absorption when compared to other forms. 

For this reason, and because Hashimoto's patients often have gut issues, you'll want to find zinc in either formulation. 

Why it's good for thyroid health & Hashimoto's

Zinc helps thyroid function in several key ways:

  • Zinc can help boost T4 to T3 conversion in those who are deficient (T3 is the most important thyroid hormone in your body so this is very important)
  • Lowers inflammation (2) and acts as an anti-inflammatory agent 
  • Balances and regulates the immune system (3) - those who are zinc deficient often find themselves getting sick repeatedly
  • Reduces free radicals while acting as an anti-oxidant
  • Plays an important role in hair growth - while not important to thyroid function itself, this is still very important for those who suffer from hair loss!
How to Supplement with Zinc
Why I like it

Powerful anti-oxidant with anti-inflammatory capabilities

Many patients are deficient in zinc

Includes other factors that may reduce inflammation

May help increase peripheral T4 to T3 conversion

How to Use/Dosing

  • Dosing Zinc depends on Zinc status in your body. For those who are severely Zinc deficient, you may want to use doses as high as 30 to 60 mg per day. For those on a maintenance dose (those who have repleted Zinc stores) a dose of 5mg is typically sufficient. You'll also find that you are probably getting Zinc already from multiple sources such as protein powders and multi-vitamins. 
  • I find better success when using Zinc in combination with Selenium and other nutrients such as iodine. By using them together you get a synergistic effect which is greater than just using Zinc by itself. 
  • Use Zinc in the morning (or night) and take doses ranging from 5mg to 60mg per day. Do not take with your thyroid medication (if you are taking any). 
My Recommended Brand and Product

#2. Selenium

Selenium is another fantastic nutrient and supplement for those with Hashimoto's or thyroiditis of any type. 

Selenium has been shown in some studies to reduce inflammation and antibody levels in patients with Hashimoto's.

And this is important whether your antibody levels are elevated or not.

Why?

Because it is estimated that about 90% of patients with Hypothyroidism (4) have autoimmune thyroiditis as the cause of their hypothyroidism, even if antibody levels are negative in the serum. 

That means there is a good chance that your hypothyroidism is caused by an autoimmune disease and you may benefit from looking at your immune function. 

Why it's good for thyroid health

Selenium, like Zinc, can help enhance thyroid function in many different ways:

  • First, like Zinc, it can help enhance T4 to T3 conversion (5) in those people who are deficient
  • Second, it can potentially help reduce total  antibody levels (6) in certain individuals with Hashimoto's (this benefit seems to apply to those who have Selenium deficiency or inflammation directly in the gland)
  • Third, it may also help with hair regrowth as it is involved in the hair growth process (again, this probably only applies to those who are deficient)
  • Fourth, using it may make your weight loss efforts easier (it won't directly lead to weight loss but studies show that those who consume more Selenium are lower in weight compared to those who don't)
How to Supplement with Selenium
Why I like it

May reduce thyroid antibodies

May help improve immune function if deficient

May help boost T4 to T3 conversion

High absorption for hypothyroid patients

How to Use + Dosing Information
  • There is a potential risk of Selenium toxicity if you use too much. Because of this, your daily dose should not exceed 400mcg per day. I find that most people are fine with somewhere between 50 to 150mcg per day. 
  • Some individuals with Hashimoto's do well on higher than normal doses (up to 400mcg per day) so you might want to experiment with these higher doses if you don't find benefit at lower doses. 
  • Use Selenium in combination with Zinc for best benefits (see my recommended supplement below)
  • Symptoms of toxicity include: hair loss, fatigue, nail damage, diarrhea, and nausea (if you experience any of these you may be taking too much)
  • Take Selenium each day at least 60 minutes away from your thyroid medication (if you are taking any)
My Recommended Brand and Product

#3. Adrenal Support

After testing Hundreds of Hypothyroid and Hashimoto's patients I've never found a patient that didn't also have adrenal related problems. 

The degree of adrenal fatigue may vary from mild to severe, but almost every patient has it to some degree.

For this reason, I recommend that adrenal support be a part of most hypothyroid (including autoimmune thyroiditis) treatment plans. 

Why it's good for thyroid health

The adrenals and thyroid function are intricately linked.

As TSH levels increase, cortisol levels increase as well.

Thyroid and cortisol levels are linked

Your body uses a combination of cortisol and thyroid hormone to control metabolism and energy production. 

When one system isn't working as intended the other increases to pick up the slack.

In the case of hypothyroidism, cortisol increases to keep pace while thyroid hormone is low.

Unfortunately, this can't and won't last forever.

When your adrenals "poop" out, you get the signs and symptoms of adrenal fatigue: 

  • Extreme fatigue despite regular rest
  • Feeling "wired but tired"
  • Cravings for sugar and salt
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Anxiety and inability to "shut off" your brain
  • Experiencing a crash in the midafternoon
  • Reliance (or even addiction) on caffeine for energy

Because almost everyone can relate with one or more of the following symptoms, I recommend treatment for Adrenal fatigue in most Hypothyroid patients. 

There are three primary ways to treat the adrenals (with supplements):

1. Using Adrenal Glandulars

I find glandulars to be more effective in patients with extreme adrenal fatigue. They seem to cause an immediate boost to energy while supplying critical nutrients, such as enzymes and hormone precursors, to help the adrenals repair themselves. 

Adrenal glandulars can be used for both low and high cortisol. 

*Note that my preferred adrenal supplement is a Glandular. I find that this works the best in hypothyroid patients. 

2. Using Adrenal Adaptogens​

Adrenal adaptogens help the body tolerate day to day stress levels. I find these may be necessary to use in combination with Glandulars, and in some patients, I prefer a combination of the two. 

Adaptogens are plant-based compounds which help the adrenal glands in an indirect way by reducing the impact stress has on your body. 

Adaptogens can be used for both low and high cortisol (they help balance cortisol). 

3. Using Phosphatidylserine

Phosphatidylserine can help attenuate (or lower) cortisol levels in patients with HIGH serum am cortisol (or elevated salivary/urinary levels). 

This supplement should only be used if you have HIGH cortisol levels. 

Patients with high cortisol tend to experience heart palpitations or a racing heart late at night (usually around 2-3pm). ​

How to Supplement with Adrenal Support
Why I like it

May boost energy and well being

Almost all hypothyroid patients have adrenal problems

Helps the body tolerate continued stress

Most patients experience improvement in 1-2 months

How to tell if you Need it

Not all patients will need cortisol testing prior to using these supplements, but you can utilize these tests if they are available to you. 

You have many options when it comes to cortisol testing but I routinely recommend starting with serum cortisol and then moving to salivary or urinary cortisol only if necessary. 

  • Serum Cortisol - AM cortisol should be between 14-16, anything outside of this range may be an indication of cortisol dysregulation (note: normal serum level doesn't rule out adrenal fatigue)
Increased cortisol causes weight gain
How to Use

  • 1-2 tablets per day if using glandulars (preferably taken in the am and at noon)
  • If using supplements designed to lower cortisol like phosphatidylserine then use at night
  • Adrenal glandulars and adaptogens can be used at the same time but should not be taken at the same time as your thyroid medication
My Recommended Brand and Product:
Thyroid Adrenal Reset Complex mini image

Adrenal Glandulars (for high/low/normal cortisol)

A.R.C II (Adrenal Reset Complex) mini

Adrenal Adaptogens (for high/low/normal cortisol)

Phosphatidylserine - Soy Free (for cases of ELEVATED cortisol)

#4. Probiotics and Prebiotics

But not just any probiotics, mind you...​

Just like supplements, not all probiotics are created equal!

In my patients with Hashimoto's, I prefer to use high potency probiotics which contain at least 10+ different species. 

This variety in probiotic species more rapidly helps improve intestinal bacterial concentration and helps improve immune function more rapidly. 

Another added bonus is that high doses of probiotics also tend to work better for patients who are trying to lose weight. 

The right probiotics can also help promote regular stooling which is ideal for those who suffer from constipation from low thyroid function.  

thyroid metabolism reset poster for side bar
Why it's good for thyroid health

About 20% of thyroid hormone (7) is converted in the gut!

This means that a large portion of thyroid hormone is activated in the gut. 

If you are experiencing any inflammation or gut imbalance, then you may see that 20% decrease down to something less desirable. 

The net effect will be a reduction in free thyroid hormone and persistent symptoms. 

This is also the major reason that your gut can't be ignored if you have Hypothyroidism or Hashimoto's. ​

 How to Supplement with Probiotics
Why I like it

High microbial diversity (18 strains of bacteria)

May also enhance weight loss efforts

Ultra high potency with 350 billion CFU's in each serving

Heat stable packaging and probiotics to preserve potency and increase deliverability

How to tell if you Need it

Most people with Hashimoto's will benefit from the use of probiotics. A trial of probiotics should be undergone if you have elevated antibodies and especially if you have abdominal/gut symptoms. 

You don't necessarily need to use probiotics every day, but a short burst of high-potency probiotics may help with both immune function and weight loss. 

I typically recommend probiotic use off and on for people with Hashimoto's every few months. 

How to Use

  • 1 packet daily x15 days - this will jump start immune function and load the body with beneficial probiotic species
  • Start with ultra potency and multi-species probiotics (very high dose to stimulate immune function and to restore gut function)
  • After 1-3 rounds switch to a high/moderate potency daily probiotic
  • Focus on probiotics with a high concentration of well-studied bifidobacteria and lactobacilli species (like the probiotics listed here)

​#5. Vitamin D3 + K2

*Update: While Vitamin D is still very important for your overall health I now recommend attempting to get all of your vitamin D naturally through sunlight. This can be augmented with daily supplementation of no more than 1,000 IU's per day. 

New research shows that you can increase your vitamin D with supplements but simply forcing your Vitamin D higher doesn't show clinical benefit. 

It's, therefore, better to get your vitamin D up higher but to do it the "all natural way".*

Vitamin D is another one of the 5 most common nutrient deficiencies that I see in my patients. 

Unless patients are supplementing with it already (and in very FEW other cases), I almost always find that Vitamin D levels are low.

Many patients, even those that work in the sun, wonder why their Vitamin D levels are so low.

I'll fill you in:

​In order to get adequate Vitamin D from sun exposure you need to meet the following conditions:

  • Be out in the sun between the hours of noon and 2pm, when your shadow is smaller than you (the time of day with the most UVB rays)
  • 40% of your body must be uncovered
  • There cannot be any clouds obstructing the sun (otherwise UVB rays will bounce off the clouds)
  • You must NOT be wearing any sunscreen (most sunscreens block ALL UVB rays)

​How many people actually meet those criteria? 

Not many...

And that's why I recommend that most patients take Vitamin D as a supplement.

I don't, however, recommend blindly taking Vitamin D.

Please get your levels checked before supplementing as there are downsides to over supplementing. 

Why Vitamin D is good for hypothyroid patients

It is estimated that around 1 billion (8) (yes that's BILLION) people suffer from vitamin D deficiency.

​And vitamin D is critical to several functions in the body:

  • Involved in proper development of bone and muscle (9)
  • Regulates immune function
  • Prevents onset and development of autoimmune disease
  • Acts as a steroid pro-hormone
  • Helps maintain calcium homeostasis in the body
  • And these are functions NOT related to thyroid function

​(Why isn't every Doctor checking EVERY patient for Vitamin D deficiency?)

In addition to these amazing benefits low levels of Vitamin D can actually make your hypothyroidism worse (10)!

Vitamin D Deficiency and hypothyroidism

Because of this, I recommend that EVERY patient gets their Vitamin D levels checked and that they supplement with Vitamin D to achieve a blood level around 50 ng/ml (My updated recommendation is to check your Vitamin D and aim for the same level, but while only using a low dose of D3). 

In my experience patients with Hypothyroidism tend to do better on Liquid Vitamin D due to the potential for absorption issues (this is still true). 

I also recommend the use of vitamin K2 in addition to Vitamin D3 due to potential issues with calcium regulation which can occur if your dose of D3 is excessive. 

Higher levels of Vitamin D3, if accompanied by vitamin K2 deficiency, may increase your risk of developing cardiovascular disease and pathologic calcium deposition into other tissues (like kidney stones, etc.). ​

How to Supplement with Vitamin D3 & K2
Why I like it

Highly absorbable and highly potent

Affordable Pricing

Well Tolerated

No Allergenic Fillers

How to tell if you Need it
  • Check serum levels of Vitamin D and aim for a range around 40-50ng/ml
  • Always supplement with Vitamin K2 to ensure proper calcium signaling (high levels of Vitamin D with low levels of Vitamin K2 may increase your risk of calcification in arteries and in other places in the body)
  • Do your best to increase your D3 by naturally increasing your exposure to sunlight and UVB rays (within reason)
How to Use

  • Use no more than 1,000 IU's per day
  • Take in AM with a fatty meal (Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin)
My Recommended Brand and Product
vitamin d3 k2 liquid

​#6. Vitamin B12

​Vitamin B12 is very important for patients with Hypothyroidism and Hashimoto's. 

Thyroid hormone is required for proper stomach acid production and stomach acid is required for proper B12 absorption.

Low thyroid hormone = low stomach acid = high risk of developing vitamin B12 deficiency.

​In addition to the mechanism mentioned above patients with Hashimoto's are at increased risk for developing the autoimmune condition of pernicious anemia. 

Recall that having 1 autoimmune disease puts you at risk for developing other autoimmune diseases.

This is another mechanism by which hypothyroid patients may be at risk for developing vitamin B12 deficiency.

When you combine these 2 mechanisms some studies show that up to 40% of hypothyroid patients are vitamin B12 deficient (11). 

b12 deficiency and hypothyroidism

In addition to being deficient, it can also be hard to diagnose as standard laboratory studies don't differentiate between cellular deficiency and serum deficiency. 

Many patients may have so-called "normal" serum B12 levels but still, experience the signs and symptoms of B12 deficiency that then improve with proper replacement therapy.

Some patients even report an improvement in vitamin B12 at supraphysiologic levels of vitamin B12.

Supraphysiological levels refer to higher than normal levels - and indeed some patients simply respond better to these levels.

I have many personal patients who notice increased energy levels with vitamin B12 shots and simply continue to use them despite higher than normal serum levels of B12. 

Why B12 is good for Hypothyroid patients

​Replacing Vitamin B12 is very important because many of the symptoms of B12 deficiency may mimic symptoms of hypothyroidism. 

This may explain why some patients who take medication may remain symptomatic. ​

Vitamin B12 deficiency may result in any of the following symptoms: 

  • Fatigue and a subjective sense of having low energy that does not resolve or improve with high-quality sleep or with thyroid hormone replacement
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty catching your breath with exertion or exercise
  • Changes in mood including depression or anxiety
  • Brain fog, difficulty concentrating or inability to pay attention
  • Macrocytic anemia (as measured by MCV)
  • Numbness, tingling or other issues with nerve fibers

​If you have any of the symptoms above, are still symptomatic after starting thyroid hormone or have low levels of vitamin B12 as indicated by laboratory testing then supplementing should be something to seriously consider. 

A couple parting thoughts:

1. Diagnosing vitamin B12 deficiency can be difficult with serum markers so make sure that you check more than just serum B12. Serum levels only indicate how much B12 is in the blood not how much is actually getting into the cells. Use the markers below to help with testing and determining if you are deficient. 

2. I've found that patients with Hypothyroidism and Hashimoto's do far better on B12 injections over oral forms of B12. Theoretically, sublingual B12 should offer similar absorption as B12 injections but in my experience, this just isn't true. 

You can find more info about B12 shots in this post. If you can't find B12 then your second best option is sublingual B12 which should be used over tablet/capsule supplements. ​

How to Supplement with Vitamin B12
Why I like it

May Boost Energy levels and reduce fatigue

May help increase metabolism and fat loss

Helps improve mood and increase concentration

Generally works very quickly (within 1-2 weeks)

How to tell if you Need it

I recommend checking the following lab tests:

  • Serum B12 - Should be > 1,000
  • Homocysteine levels - Should be < 9
  • MCV - Should be < 92

Any values outside of this range (or if you are experiencing the symptoms of B12 deficiency) then a trial of B12 may be appropriate. 

One problem with testing for B12 is that it is highly inaccurate, so it's possible that your serum levels may be "normal" even though you are actually still deficient. 

For this reason, it may be wise to trial a B Complex and assess how you feel before and after. 

Low serum B12 levels
How to Use

  • Take 2 capsules of methylcobalamin each day combined with other pre-methylated B vitamins in a highly absorbable and powerful B complex.
  • If you are severely deficient in Vitamin B12 you may need to use Methylcobalamin injections (B12 shots).
  • Methylated formulations of B12 and V vitamins are safe if you have the MTHFR genetic defect. 
My Recommended Brand and Product:

#7. Supplements to Support High-Quality Sleep

High-quality, deep sleep tends to be underrated in terms of its importance for overall health. 

When I create treatment plans for patients I make improving sleep a priority, so high on the list that the first month is dedicated to improving sleep if it is lacking. 

Low quality sleep will increase inflammatory levels (12), increase blood sugar levels (13)decrease the body's ability to lose weight (14) and overall decrease how quickly patients can get results.

Not only this but sleep plays an important role in regulating your immune system. Decreased sleep may cause an increased risk of TRIGGERING autoimmune disease (15).

In addition, some studies show that lack of sleep leads to an increase in TSH (16) and an increase in circulating levels of thyroid hormone. 

Because the TSH is increasing this is probably due thyroid resistance and elevated reverse T3 levels in this state of chronic stress. ​

Bottom line?

Sleep reduces immune function AND thyroid function.

​If your sleep is suffering then you absolutely need to focus on it and make it a PRIORITY. 

It's just as important (if not more important) than supplementing with active thyroid hormone.

So how do you know if you need to work on improving your sleep?

You should be focusing on the following:

  • 8 hours minimum of high-quality sleep per night
  • Repay your sleep debt if you have one (Lack of sleep builds up like an unpaid credit card, the more you have the worse it gets) -> you may need 9-10+ hours of sleep per night for several weeks to repay this debt
  • Improving your sleeping conditions if you don't have a dark, cool and quiet room to sleep in
  • Ensuring hormone imbalances, medications or other factors are not decreasing the depth and quality of your sleep
  • Address adrenal factors that may be causing increased energy levels at night

The truth is that most patients who don't get enough sleep know it and generally know they need to do something about it. 

I've personally dealt with sleep-related issues and know just how much even 1-2 hours of sleep loss can impact the body's ability to function. Much of the tips I discuss below I actually personally use to improve my overall quality of sleep. 

With that in mind, I want to focus on just a couple of tips that may improve your depth and quality of sleep.

Please note that this is just the beginning, and various factors including hormone imbalances, anatomical issues, medications, etc. can all be impacting the quality of your sleep and may need to be addressed.

How to get started with proper sleep hygiene:

  • Consider the use of earplugs to reduce noise
  • Consider the use of a sleep mask if you can't get your room pitch black
  • Reduce the temperature in your room
  • Use applications or glasses to remove blue light from electronics 3 hours before bedtime
  • Set an alarm for when to go to sleep in addition to waking up
  • If it takes you 30-60 minutes to fall asleep make sure to set your alarm with enough time to get 8 hours of sleep, not just 8 hours in your bed
  • Avoid drinking water or fluid 3-4 hours prior to bed
  • Avoid caffeine after noon and never consume more than 200mg per day
  • Avoid stimulating activities and exercise programs at night
How to Supplement to Boost and Improve Sleeping patterns 
Why I like it

May help to improve energy levels

May helps to reduce levels of inflammation

Helps reduce brain fog and mental fogginess

Required lifestyle change for optimal results

How to tell if you Need these supplements
  • You should be getting 8 hours of high-quality sleep each and every night
  • If you find yourself waking up exhausted then you should consider checking for sleep apnea or a trial of the following supplements to improve sleep
  • Those living at elevation (> 4,000 feet) may need an overnight pulse oximetry test
How to Use

  • Take each supplement as indicated on the bottle or as recommended below
  • Start with supplements that don't contain melatonin, if these supplements don't work then add more supplements until you are getting 8 hours of quality sleep each night
  • In addition to these supplements make sure you practice adequate sleep hygiene, that means: blackout curtains for your bedroom, noise canceling earplugs, glasses that remove blue light and avoiding electronics 3 hours prior to your scheduled bedtime
My Recommended Brand and Products:

For minor sleep issues start with supplements containing 5-HTP which may promote proper melatonin production and induce sleep naturally (take 100mg 30 minutes before your scheduled bedtime): 

For more difficult cases consider the addition of melatonin + 5-HTP, start with 1-3mg of melatonin and don't be afraid to use melatonin if you need it. I've found through urinary testing that MANY patients with sleep issues have low nighttime levels of melatonin. 

For more difficult cases consider using serotonin and GABA potentiators. These supplements help enhance GABA and serotonin neurotransmitters in the brain and help induce deep sleep. 

​#8. GI Supplements (Based on symptoms) 

Patients with hypothyroidism and Hashimoto's are at increased risk for developing GI related issues - usually related to decreased motility from lack of thyroid hormone. 

Thyroid hormone helps to increase intestinal motility which promotes natural breakdown of nutrients and promotes normal levels of bacteria in the small intestines.

When you have a lack of thyroid hormone circulating in the blood you are more prone to developing conditions like constipation, SIBO, SIFO, and acid reflux.

And if you think about it, it just makes sense:

If your GI tract isn't moving properly you will have constipation (too much movement would lead to diarrhea as is seen in hyperthyroidism).

If you over digest your food you allow more bacteria to feed off of it promoting SIBO and SIFO.

If your intestines slow down acid stays in your stomach longer which increases the risk of developing acid reflux.

In addition to all of these, it's important to realize that a majority of T4 is also converted in the GI tract. 

As a result, GI related issues (like those discussed above) may necessarily decrease T4 to T3 conversion.

Downstream these GI issues also result in decreased nutrient absorption due to changes in HCL and increased risk for developing sub-clinical nutrient deficiencies (most notably iron and B12 deficiency).

For this reason, it's essential to treat and reverse these GI conditions as they arise. 

Now consider this:

Some GI conditions WILL require the addition of thyroid hormone to completely eliminate. That's just the way it is.

If you have decreased motility due to lack of thyroid hormone potentiating your SIBO, simply taking herbal antibiotics will NOT fix the problem.

Make sense?

So in addition to the therapies recommended below make sure to treat the underlying cause (if possible), but the management of these conditions is also very important.

It should also be stated that simply replacing thyroid hormone will not necessarily resolve these issues either - so you really need the combination of thyroid hormone replacement + supplement replacement. ​

Don't take the shotgun approach to GI health and supplementation. 

​Treat the conditions that are present: 

How to Supplement with Targeted GI Supplements
Why I like it

May improve overall health

Many thyroid patients have GI issues contributing to overall health

May help to reduce inflammation and autoimmunity

Up to 75% of Hashimoto's patients have some GI related issue

How to tell if you Need these supplements
  • Target your supplements at the GI problem you are experiencing: Constipation, SIBO, gas/bloating, chronic diarrhea, etc.
  • When in doubt consider advanced stool testing to find actionable data including bacterial/fungal sensitivities and more information using comprehensive stool analysis
sibo and sifo examples
How to Use

  • Use as indicated on the bottle/container or as recommended below
  • For constipation use magnesium citrate at night (starting at 300mg) and titrate dose up until you have 1 loose bowel movement every day
  • For SIBO/gas/bloating read this post about SIBO and consider using combination therapy to decrease intestinal bacterial and fungal burden to reduce symptoms
  • For acid reflux use the combination of betaine + HCL to help increase stomach acid to promote nutrient absorption and food breakdown
  • For IBS/IBD/abdominal pain or increased intestinal permeability (leaky gut) consider using combination supplements to cool down inflammation and help heal the intestinal barrier
My Recommended Brand and Products:

Supplements to promote regular bowel movements and to treat constipation: 

Supplements to relieve gas/bloating: 

Supplements to relieve acid reflux: 

Supplements to improve leaky gut and intestinal permeability and to heal the intestinal lining: 

A Word About Iodine

Iodine gets a lot of attention in patients with hypothyroidism (especially with Hashimoto's).

I won't get into a huge discussion about it here but my general feeling is this:

Generally speaking (in most patients) taking Iodine is safe as long as it is coupled with adequate selenium supplementation.

I have however seen a handful of patients with Hashimoto's who have experienced negative symptoms after using iodine. But these cases all occurred in people who were using high doses of iodine without selenium or other nutrients. 

My experience suggests that iodine is both safe and necessary even for those with Hashimoto's. 

Remember:

Your body can't create iodine which means you must get it from your diet or from supplements. 

With that in mind I recommend proceeding with caution, and whenever possible to start low and go slow with iodine while avoiding high doses (higher than 1mg per day). 

The concerns over radiation contamination and heavy metal contamination with sea sources of iodine are largely overblown. You can learn more about why that is here

How to Supplement with Iodine
Why I like it

May improve thyroid function

May help detox harmful halides

If deficient will improve other systemic symptoms

Generally works very quickly in deficient patients

How to Use
  • Doses of around 75mcg to 150mcg per day are optimal for human health. Always use selenium with iodine to avoid harmful reactions. 
My Recommended Brand and Product:

Note: If you are using my recommended T3 conversion booster then you don't need to supplement with additional iodine. 

Wrapping It Up 

​If you have Hashimoto's then there are some supplements that can make a huge impact on your overall health. 

Based on my experience, current scientific literature, and what other experts are using, I've come up with some recommendations for patients:

As I mentioned above it's best to target your supplements based on your own personal nutrient deficiencies, but in the absence of a Comprehensive functional blood chemistry panel - these supplements will definitely help. 

Now It's your turn.

​I want to hear from you!

What supplements have you tried for your Hashimoto's or Hypothyroidism?

What has worked the best for you?

Help other patients out by giving your advice below!

References (Click to Expand)

Dr. Westin Childs

Dr. Westin Childs is a Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine. He provides well-researched actionable information about hormone-related disorders and formulates supplements to treat these disorders.He is trained in Internal Medicine, Functional Medicine, and Integrative Medicine. His focus is on managing thyroid disorders, weight loss resistance, and other sex hormone imbalances.You can read more about his own personal journey here.

102 thoughts on “Supplements for Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis to Boost Thyroid Function & Conversion”

  1. I just read the small print on the bottle of the Adrenal support.
    It reads….bovine….
    I have a beef allergy, surely this means that it is not good for me?

    • Hey Renata,

      Yeah, the adrenal support does have bovine sourced glandulars in it. I wouldn’t recommend it if you have a beef allergy. In your case I would recommend an adrenal supplement with adaptogenic herbs in it like this one here.

  2. Another brilliant article, thank you so much. If you ever come to Ireland on holiday, let me know because I’d love an appointment ! ! Thanks again

      • Dr Childs,

        Can you recommend good multivitamin formula for patient with Hashimoto desease who takes 100mg of Synthroid and has only left lobe of thyroid.
        i had papillary carcinoma 10 years ago. Now left portion doesn’t have nodules. TSH is 2.5.
        Thank you

  3. I have Hypothyroidism going on 10 years now and still on the same dose as I started 10 years ago ,Synthroid 75 mcg and I also have Addisons Disease have this going on 30 plus years now, and take Hydrocortisone 20 mg 2x a day,and Bupropion HCL SR 100MG 2X a day, recently I went into menopause and started gaining a lot of weight,plus bad night sweats and hot flashes and depression. I am only 5’2 and I never ever weighed this much in my life 197lbs!! my current Dr doesnt even care that I weigh this much ,I have been to so many Drs over the years ,I have to stay in my area and not 1 of them, has ever helped me and being on Disability Medicaid, I am very limited in finding a Dr.,especially looking for a ” good Dr” and I do not have the extra money to pay for a office visit to a Dr who does not accept Medicaid. I try to eat healthy and clean I do not smoke or drink and I try to exercise the best I can.

    My recent labs showed that my Cholesterol Total 252 H
    Triglycerides 204 H
    LDL -Cholesterol 140 H
    Non HDL Cholesterol 181 H
    T3 99
    TSH 3.29
    Alkaline Phosphate 211
    ALT 31
    RED BLOOD CELL COUNT 5.76
    HEMOGLOBIN 16.2
    HEMATOCRIT 50.8
    MCHC 31.9
    TSH IS LISTED AGAIN 0.20 L
    And I HAVE A VERY FATTY LIVER with elevated liver enzymes ( ultrasound was done and found nothing )

    I recently purchased “New Chapter 40 + every womens One Daily Multi Vitamins” it is made with organic vegetables and herbs and Nutrients for Bone,Hormone, and Digestion Support,I just started this and I hopes it helps me.

    Supplement Facts
    Serving Size 1 TABLET
    Servings Per Container 72
    Amount Per Serving % Daily Value
    Vitamin A – (100% As Beta Carotene) 5000 IU 100%
    Vitamin C 60 Mg 100%
    Vitamin D3 1000 IU 250%
    Vitamin E 30 IU 100%
    Vitamin K1 70 Mcg 88%
    VITAMIN K2 – (MK-7)(FROM MENAQ7) 10 Mcg 12%
    THIAMINE-VITAMIN B1 2 Mg 133%
    RIBOFLAVIN-VITAMIN B2 2 Mg 188%
    Niacin 20 Mg 100%
    Vitamin B6 5 Mg 250%
    Folate 200 Mcg 50%
    Vitamin B12 25 Mcg 417%
    Biotin 150 Mcg 50%
    Pantothenic Acid 10 Mg 100%
    CALCIUM – (FROM ALGAE) 25 Mg 3%
    IODINE 75 Mcg 50%
    MAGNESIUM – (80% CULTURED,20% FRM ALGAE) 6 Mg 2%
    ZINC 7 Mg 50%
    SELENIUM 75 Mcg 107%
    COPPER 750 Mcg 38%
    MANGANESE 1 Mcg 50%
    CHROMIUM 60 Mcg 50%
    MOLYBDENUM 10 Mcg 13%
    MIXED CAROTENOIDS 3 Mg N/A*
    BREAST SUPPORT BLEND – (SPROUTED SEEDS)(ORGANIC BROCOLLI, CAULIFLOWER, KALE, DAIKON RADISH, CABBAGE, MUSTARD) 50 Mg N/A*
    HORMONE SUPPORT BLEND – (ORGANIC CHASTE TREE (BERRY), ORGANIC RED CLOVER (FLOWER), ORGANIC RASPBERRY (LEAF) 50 Mg N/A*
    STRESS/ENERGY SUPPORT BLEND – (ORGANIC SCHIZANDRA (BERRY), ORGANIC MACA (ROOT) ORGANIC CHAMOMILE (FLOWER) 30 Mg N/A*
    CARDIO SUPPORT BLEND – (ORGANIC FENUGREEK (SEED), ORGANIC OREGANO (LEAF) GRAPESEED EXTRACT (NOT CULTURED), ORGANIC HAWTHORN (BERRY AND SEED) 20 Mg N/A*
    DIGESTIVE SUPPORT BLEND – (ORGANIC ALOE (LEAF), ORGANIC PEPPERMINT (LEAF), ORGANIC CORIANDER (SEED) ORGANIC CARDAMON (FRUIT), ORGANIC ARTICHOKE (LEAF) 10 Mg N/A*
    FULL SPECTRUM HERBAL EXTRACTS GINGER – (RHIZOME) 3.2 MG HYDROEHTANOLIC EXTRACT AND 0.8 MG ORGANIC SUPERCRITICAL EXTRACT 4 Mg N/A*
    TUMERIC (RHIZOME) – 3.2 MG HYDROETHANOLIC EXTRACT AND 0.8 MG ORGANIC SUPERCRITICAL EXTRACT 4 Mg

    • Hey Kathleen,

      It can be tough to find good Doctors in the insurance model, but it sounds like you are heading in the right direction. You could consider bioidentical hormones like biest + progesterone – but it may be difficult to find a Doctor willing to prescribe these in the insurance model.

      • I have been to so many Drs and no one will help me with the weight gain or dealing with the High Cholesterol, I Have had these same lab results for the last 4 years now ,my current Dr I asked him for a script for “Cytomel” he said I didnt need it or even a script for a appetite suppressant, I am worried and very depressed that I will have a massive heart attack, I even asked my Dr for a higher dose of Synthroid he said I dont need it ,the dose is just fine according to him. Something is wrong somewhere with me weighing almost 200 pounds,I cant seem to loose the weight no matter what I do !! I eat clean no junk or processed food, 4 years ago I weighed 140 lbs and I felt good, like I said something is very wrong. Would 7- keto with DHEA AND VITAMIN b-6 100 MG help? Is there a supplement I could take to increase my metabolism or a appetite supplement ?

        • It’s unlikely that one supplement will radically increase your metabolism and cause significant weight loss. Your best bet is finding a good doctor willing to work with you that specializes in hormones and weight loss.

    • Overall, it looks like a pretty good multivitamin, but I noticed a few things lacking. There is not much calcium and magnesium and there is no iron. So you will need calcium and magnesium supplements, and get your iron levels done before you decide to supplement with iron. Try to get it through your diet first.

  4. I have had success with methylayed Vitamins; I purchased one that is in sublingual from methyl-life.com. I take Deplin which is methylfolate (Dr. Prescribed). I have been off thyroid meds for 5 weeks now and feel good 80% of the time. The other 20% I feel either hyper or hypo. I think this fluctuation might be normal as things are evening out? I also take picolinate zinc and molybdenum (to help bind with excess metals) I use the mo-zyme forte form. I keep up with my vitamin A, D, E, and don’t eat dairy in any form. I hope everyone can solve their thyroid problems! My diagnosis is Hashimotos and I plan to go in for blood draw in a few weeks. There are a few things that might be helping too, but I’m still playing around with them and trying to perfect things…

    • Hey Darleen,

      I’m glad you’ve found what works for you! Keep up the good work and thank you for sharing 🙂

  5. Two things ~ I’m disappointed in your recommendation to supplement with hormone D, as it depletes magnesium and increases calcium absorption in soft tissue. Simply supplementing with a good magnesium will raise hormone d levels. Also, I have taken a Life Extension Zinc with copper supplement, but every time I get nauseous immediately, even with food. Any ideas on why?

    Excellent article otherwise!

    Thank You!

    • Hey Deb,

      No problem and I would consider zinc without the copper, or at least checking your copper/zinc ratio prior to supplementing.

  6. Hello! I have Hashimoto and I take selenium pills every day. What do you think should take selenium each day? Or should take the pills within a certain period? Laboratory analyzes are very expensive… Thanks! 🙂

  7. Supplementing Zinc and Selenium without being tested for deficiencies is incorrect… Too much Zinc causes issues with Copper… And too much Selenium causes more issues.

    • Great assumption, but where’s the data showing that testing is an adequate indicator of tissue levels of zinc/copper/selenium? In addition, where are the studies showing that supplementing to these “normal” levels actually has clinical benefit? There’s a test for everything nowadays, but what good are they if they don’t give you any actionable data?

      My recommendations are based on treating hundreds of patients. What is your recommendation based on? You say they cause issues but do you even know what issues they cause? It sounds like you are just regurgitating what you’ve read elsewhere.

  8. Hello Dr. Childs,

    I was recently diagnosed with subclinical hypothyroidism (TSH 3.75 and FT3 2.3) after struggling with vague but frustrating symptoms (persistent weight gain, hair loss, depression). My doctor put me on 10 mcg of T3 medication and things have been getting slightly better.

    However, I have been wondering what the underlying cause of my sluggish thyroid might be. I’d prefer to not be on medicine forever.

    I had the lab test me for serum iodine and the results came back below the range at 29.1 ug/L (range: 40 – 92). I know there is a lot of controversy around iodine and whether this is a reliable test. Should this low reading concern me? Is it possible that I am iodine deficient and that is what is causing my hypo symptoms? I have tested negative for thyroid antibodies three separate times, so I know the source of my thyroid trouble isn’t autoimmune in nature.

    Thank you for your time and thoughts. I appreciate it!

    • Wow, Sarah! Your TSH is hiiiigh!!! Did they also test your reverse T3 and T4? If you are on facebook, I would also recommend joining the group “Hashimoto’s 411.” You’ll learn a lot from people who walk the same journey.

      Best wishes!
      ~deb

  9. I just ordered BioGanix extra strength thyroid support before I found your site. The bottle calls for taking two capsules a day and contains 150 mcg of iodine in each capsule. Do you think this is too much to start off with or is it a small enough amount? Also I have been taking Levothyroxine for a few years. I am convinced it is making m gain weight as I do Crossfit 4 days a weeks and eat relatively healthy. I have thought about trying Nature-throid. What do you usually put your patients on?

    thank you.

    • Hey Alicia,

      Each patient is different and requires a different dose and type of medication or a combination of thyroid medications.

  10. I love you’re thorough explanations in EVEYTHING I’m literally at an all time low I have been on levo for 4 years now for hashimotos my gen doctor just keeps adjusting my levels I really really just want to feel normal again 🙁 I’m a 28 yr old guy with my whole life ahead of me the levo worked in the beginning I seriously feel like I’m at a standstill now! I’m constantly tired no energy in pain high anxiety insomnia and depression I wish I could even comprehend on where to go from here i wish I could just make an appointment with you and advice on who to find what to look for? I’m begging for help! Thank you

    • Hey Ricardo,

      I’m glad you’ve found it to be helpful! It’s my experience that most patients do far better when their thyroid medication has T3 in it. Unfortunately finding a provider to give you the medication can be difficult. Treating hashimoto’s also requires some degree of educated guesswork with trial and error – it usually takes me about 4 months to get people significant improvement in their symptoms. If possible try to find a doctor who shares a similar practice philosophy as me nearby.

      • Trying to find a Dr who has greater knowledge of thyroid disorders, and works by more than the traditional thyroid blood testing, is like trying to find a needle in a haystack. A very large haystack! In my experience in 16 yrs, they treat off of blood work versus patient symptoms. It’s extremely frustrating when I KNOW there is a way to feel better. At the same time it is extremely overwhelming to try to figure it all out on your own. With so much info out there it’s so confusing!

  11. I am 43 and have had Hashimoto’s for 5 years, my thyroid is still in good condition. In the beginning the doctor tried me on levothyroxine it made me 10x worse, she tried me on armor & again I had the same problem. I decided to try a natural approach and decided to treat my symptoms not the disease, since I was told I would have it for the rest of my life and there isn’t a cure. The one vitamin that has helped me from taking 4 naps a day has been one called Thyro-slim. I take a high dosage of vitamin D, Vitamin C, Calcium, Magnesium, Probiotics, Enzymes, Omega 3, and Coconut Oil. Lately though, in the last 6 months, I have been feeling sluggish again. I feel this is because of the depression medication I had to get back on about a year ago. I’m not sure if they are co-related but I’m not sure where else the sluggishness could be stemming from. However I don’t feel that I can get off my meds yet. There were a few vitamins you mentioned above that I am going to try. I also recently was told that different foods you eat can effect the different antibody that is effecting you. Last time I was tested about 6 months ago, my thyro-perixodase antibodies were at 67, my anti-globulin ones were fine. So I heard that certain foods will make your thyro-perixodase antibodies increase, foods that I was putting in my morning juice like spinach & apples. Very upsetting especially since I loved drinking my morning green juice it always made me feel better and helped me keep the weight off. I have an allergic intolerance to whey, gluten, soy, & Sulfites. Needless to say this makes my diet very hard. Besides trying the supplements you mentioned above do you have any other recommendations? Also my libido is in the toilet this has been since the beginning, which has been a curse for me, since I used to have a very active imagination that would help me write romance, but since it’s non existent I can’t seem to write it anymore. Would you have any hints on how to get that back on track as well? I would so appreciate any help in this matter. Thank you so much for trying to help all those like myself who feel lost in this battle we are having with our own body.

    • Hey Michelle,

      Make sure you look into your androgens, so especially DHEA and testosterone. If you have low testosterone (most Hashimoto’s patients do) you can consider using transdermal testosterone to boost libido and to also help reduce antibody levels. In addition look into insulin levels which help drive down testosterone levels.

      • Dr. Childs,
        Is there a brand that you suggest for the DHEA & the testerone? I’m intolerant to whey, gluten, soy, & Sulfites.
        Thank you for your help in this matter. I’m looking forward to living again, instead of feeling like a zombie!
        Sincerely,
        Michelle

        • Testosterone is a prescription, for DHEA you can try it but I generally recommend taking it via the transdermal route which is also prescription – so you would need to see a Doctor to get either or both.

    • I started taking 5-htp for the same symptoms, because I can’t handle SSRI or other type of depression/anxiety medication. It could be low serotonin levels from SAD or an unbalanced Axis. This has helped greatly with my sleep, blues, my anxiety, concentration, and fatigue. It is a precursor for serotonin, so if you have low serotonin it might help. It is not indicated to be used concomitantly with certain types of antidepressants. I also take adrenal support from gXXX, multivitamins + selenium (recommended by my endo cousin). I am on 25 mcg of levothyroxin, and 5 mcg cytomel daily. It was the 5-htp that made a difference with sluggishness I attributed to hypothyroidism.

  12. Can you give me any advice on drinking alcohol as a patient with Hashimoto?
    I hear from some to not drink at all and others that one drink is ok so I am unsure of what to do.
    Is it because of the drugs I am on (synthroid, liothyronine) the reason not to drink or is it that not having my thyroid working makes alcohol bad for me?
    Would love your take on this- thank you!

    • Hey Lynda,

      I recommend avoidance of alcohol due to a number of reasons, including but not limited to the excess strain in puts on your liver.

  13. My TPO’s are over 1000 but my TSH is normal. Hashimoto’s that has not affected my thyroid yet according to MD. U/S shows diffuse, enlarged thyroid “consistent with Hashi’s”. Inability to lose weight, severe anxiety, all over pain (“fibromyalgia”), and severe fatigue 24/7. Just treat with supplements at this point and see if any improvement? I take “Natural Calm” (magnesium drink), but nothing else right now. Thanks much!

    • Hey Dena,

      Treatment is a matter of perspective in these cases. In my opinion patients who have hashimoto’s (especially active inflammation) + symptoms should get treated with thyroid hormone. It seems your provider feels differently.

  14. Hello Dr Childs, below are my recent blood results. I’ve been taking Levothyroxine 0.100 mg for a little while now and my symptoms seem to have worstened. I feel sluggish and depressed and have gained a lot of weight. In addition I feel that the medication was making me edgy and not myself. I stopped taking Levothyroixine for 3 days now and am trying to get a referral to see an endocrinologist pending the results of a thyroid ultrasound. A couple of years back I was told that I have nodules on my thyroid. I am now on a grain and Soy free vegan diet but it has still been hard for me to lose any weight. Any suggestions on supplements or on how to tackle Hashimotos? Thank you Dr.

    Free T3 2.7 pg/ml
    Reverse T3 19 my/dl
    Free T4 1.1
    TSH 4.26 mIU/I
    Thyroid peroxidase Antibodies 515 IU/ml
    Thyroglobulin Antibodies 4IU/ml

  15. Hi I was diagnosed with hashimotos 12months ago and take 100mg of levothyroxine. My tsh is 1.5 and I have just been told I have iron deficiency. My antibodies are 1300 and I am 34. I have so many symptoms and feel so fed up I am backwards and forwards to the Dr’s and not getting anywhere. Where do I start with vitamins etc

  16. I was diagnosed with hypothyroidism in 2011 and have been on 100mcg of Levothroid since then. I’m almost 39 now and my husband and I have been TTC for almost a year and a half now to no avail. I just got my thyroid retested and requested from more in depth tests instead of just TSH. TSH came back at 1.58, Free T4: 1.1, Total T3: 84 but TPO AB at 246! Could this be causing my infertility? I have Kaiser and so far they have not responded about my test results and it’s been almost a week. Looking for recommendations to help my condition. Thanks!

  17. Good morning!
    I have Hashimoto Disease and Celiac Disease, both of which I seem to finally have a firm regulated grip on. However, staying at a steady weight is easy, losing is difficult.

    I am going to start eating more paleo, and to heal my gut along with taking more than Just Vitamin D as i do have a deficiency. What is your suggestion to help me start to lose now that i’ve managed my weight to stop gaining?

  18. I have hashimotos. I am seein a dr who put me on naturethroid but now refuses to raise the dose anymore because the tsh is .8. My ft4 is below range at .7. I am depressed. I have tried 2 brands of selenium. I seem to get high anxiety and heart palps later in the day from it. I cannot find info on that happening to anyone. My selenium was tested at 230 mcg. In range.

  19. Hi Dr. Child’s,
    Thank you for this site. I was recently diagnosed with Hashimoto’s with hypothyroidism. I am on synthroid. It seems to be helping but it remains to be seen if I am on the right levels. Since I am new to all this my question is: do I really need to go gluten free? Dairy free? I do not feel like I’ve had any issues with food but I do have a few symptoms of having a “leaky gut” when it comes to alcohol. So yes, easy answer is to avoid that but does it mean I need to be gluten free?

  20. I was on synthroid .150 for over 12 yrs. I have Hashimotos with a total thyroidectomy. Last year late Dec 2015. I switched to nature-throid 2 grain. I took that for 11 months. And switched back to Synthroid Nov 2016. I was 100% allergic to T3. I was miserable. Plagued with migraines and blackout spells 5-7 days a week. I never lost weight, and none of the miracle life changing things that I read about after taking Nature-throid happened for me. I’m stuck at my heaviest weight due to the year of pure hell being on the nature-throid. I actually gained 17 lbs! It’s been approximately 8 weeks of being back on synthroid. My issues with migraines have drastically diminished.I’m down to 1 migraine every 7-9 days now. I’m feeling so much better being back on synthroid. I’m going to start taking some additional supplements to help me even more. I just wanted to put it out there that nature-throid, armour, porcine products just aren’t for everyone. Please do your research before changing thyroid meds you may be sorry in the end…. and if natural thyroid meds work for you, great! Just keep in mind this isn’t a cookie cutter disease.

    • Hey Kami,

      Thanks for sharing your story. Unfortunately the story is even more complex than NDT doesn’t work for everyone (though I do agree with that statement). In your case you were most likely reacting to an inactive ingredient or you simply didn’t have a high enough dose. Just because naturethroid didn’t work for you doesn’t mean WP thyroid wouldn’t, etc. I would also point out that you (or other patients) have no way of knowing what/how they will react to medications until they actually try them, so no amount of research can really prepare patients for switching medications.

      The bottom line is that each person is unique and that needs to be taken into account while titrating and changing thyroid medications.

  21. I have hashimotos. It went undiagnosed for years. At this point my body has become resistant to natural thyroid requiring large doses that send me into hyper state and blood pressure soaring. I have been researching and found Low Dose Naltrexone has been successful in lower inflamation levels in autoimmune diseases. What are your thoughts on Low Dose Naltrexone? Pradeep Chopra wrote the article

    • Hey Deborah,

      You may just be dealing with reverse T3 issues, most patients (by the time they need to see me) I generally drop their NDT dose and increase their T3 only dose and have great results.

      In regards to LDN I do use it frequently and have discussed how I use it in multiple case studies on my site and in this article as well: https://www.restartmed.com/naltrexone-weight-loss/

  22. Hi
    My 18 yr old doughter has been diagnosed with hashimoto for the past year. I’m not 100 percent sure of her tests results of recent but is on 150mg of thyroxine daily . She has extremely high antibodies . IIn the 1000s. As a teenager that danced 24/7 after school hours including weekend completions etc was fit and energetic. We are now extreme opposite.
    Initially I thought the weight gain was for to a knee operation that stopped the dancing dreams. The moods were to being a teenager and depression from missing out on her dreams.
    After diagnosis we hoped the metabolism would adjust . But no. I have learnt since about leaky gut etc . I am hoping to have her try the recommended supplements and encourage continually gluten free and low sugar foods. Although I feel that her body and fatigue craves these in a effort to increase the energy levels . Of course costs make it difficult to retain a specialist to continue blood tests to check these various hormone and chemical levels .Would you recommend the supplements without further testing.?
    I beleive her t3 and t4 are at reasonable levels last I knew.
    She no longer lives at home and is studying at uni and working . This is concerning as the energy required to meet deadlines and pay bills is exhausting for anyone without thyroid issues.
    I can supply my daughter with the supplements. Her main concern is the weight gain and difficulty in losing it. Very depressing for a young girl. Adding exercise in the day is almost impossible.
    Thank you for your time .

    • Hey Inese,

      Probably the single best thing she can do is clean up her diet, cut out sugar, and cut out refined carbs (preferably gluten free as well). There is really no reason to waste money trying various things until she is ready to commit to this step. If she is unwilling to make this change then long term improvement will be very limited. The good news is that she will probably experience a significant improvement with this one change alone (though it will most likely not take her to 100%), but it should be the first step.

      I can’t speak to the supplements and her labs because she isn’t my patient, but it would be a good idea to try some supplements in addition to the dietary changes for maximum benefit.

  23. Hello,
    Thank you for the information you provide on your blog and your videos. I am going to try some of the supplements that you recommend. My questions are:
    1. Can they all be taken at the same time or is it better to take some in the morning & others at night?
    2. Can I assume these supplements will not interfere with thyroid medication?
    Thanks for your advice!

    • Hey Kathleen,

      How to take each supplement is outlined in the post above, and all supplements should be taken away from your thyroid medication due to potential absorption issues.

  24. Super helpful article Dr. Childs. I am a 60 year old women, physically active and not overweight. I have had hypothyroidism/hashimoto disease for the past 20 years. For last few years i have been on Tirosint 100mcg. Recent blood panel showed with std. range TSH 3.80 m/U/L even though I had stopped taking Tirosint for over one month, although i hate being dependent on Tirosint I did begin taking it again. Also, my B12 was 1569 pg/mL indicating High level so i stopped taking my sublingual B12 and am suffering brain fog and fatigue. Would you recommend continued used of B12 regardless of the High level? I also have high cholesterol 245 total/160 LDL but refuse to take Lipitor. I have added all your recommended supplements to my shopping list and look forward to any feedback you may have. Again thanks so much for your article.

  25. Hi,
    I am on a limited budget. Which supplement would you recommend in getting started.
    I have Hashimoto’s Thyrodis and have severe IBS.
    Thank you
    Danielle

    • Hey Danielle,

      There is no “best” supplement necessarily, instead I would focus on whatever your biggest problem is based on symptoms and labs and then go from there.

  26. hi doctor i have this lab result and all doctors here playing game with me i need your advice please

    THYROID PEROXIDASE ANTIBODIES >900 H

    CHOLESTEROL, TOTAL 212 H 125-200 mg/dL KS
    HDL CHOLESTEROL 31 L > OR = 40 mg/dL KS
    TRIGLYCERIDES 434 H <150 mg/dL KS

    i tryed many doctor many things but still my life misreble

  27. The large problem that I have with all these great people who what to truly put the word out and help all of us with this horrible Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis…….is just ONE HUGE THING! GREED!!! I can’t a straight answer from anyone for going on 19 years! I have great health care, so no issues there. I get on to all these sites and I try to do as much research I can and then a “WOW” word pops out! Great, finally starting to get somewhere…..oh but only if I order YOUR BOOK or YOUR Supplements or get on YOUR webinar. How about this! Why don’t all of the docs get together and make enough women so sick that their begging for cures, fixes, anything to get back to any kind of life at all!?!?!?!? OH WAIT……WE ARE ALREADY THERE!!

    I don’t want pity! I want someone to give me my life back! One that I was proudly serving my family and country!!!

  28. Dr Child’s I have been struggling with uncontrolled hoshimotos since 2013. Prior to that my hypothyroidism was well controlled. Now my numbers are: tsh 0.01, t4f 0.55,t3f 3.83 and RT3 is 8.7. I continue to gain weight despite trying a very low calorie Dr led diet, keto, paleo, and weight watchers. I have literally gained 35 lbs in 4 months. I am now taking 1 grain WP thyroid, estrogen, progesterone, testosterone, and $1,000 worth of supplements. Please tell me what to do?

  29. I’m 23 and was diagnosed with Hashimotos last year, along with some of the vitamins listed above (Selenium, Vitamin D3, vitamin B12) I am also taking Iron 16mg, Thytrophin PMG, and A-F Betafood, and a daily multi vitamin.. I plan to start Zinc as well. I know it seems like a lot, what is your input? I’m not on the prescription either..

  30. Hello Dr. Childs,
    That was a very informative supplement article.Thank you! Is this info also applicable to non-Hashimoto hypo patients?(I am Hypo but not Hashi).
    I have been taking 12.5mg of iodoral for the past 6 months to help with fibrocystic breasts and this has helped greatly. But for hypothyroid issues, do you think this is too high of a dose and can hurt the thyroid gland?
    In your article you recommend both Iodoral and Kelp as Iodine supplement. Can either be used for hypo based on personal choice or both serve different purposes? Little confused here.Please comment. Thank you…

  31. Are there any supplements on this list that you strongly advise to use, or NOT use, while breastfeeding? My daughter is over 12 months, but still nurses several times per day. I have hypothyroidism and autoimmune issues, and though I’m supplemented with Synthroid, I still struggle daily with multiple symptoms.

  32. Dr. Childs, your blog is totally helpful….I did buy all these supplements but I have not used any of them because I’m doubtful since I don’t know how to read my blood test. And, I still can’t find a doctor who can explain all my blood test….my doctor is usually helpful, but short and keeps telling me all my test have not changed or are fine….I am never sure what that means.
    These are my particulars for 2017:
    High Sensitivity TSH 3.290
    Free T4 0.96
    Free T3 2.7
    Ferritin 18.6
    Hb A1C 5.5
    Magnesium 1.9
    TRF %Sat 13
    Cholesterol 222
    Triglyceride 239
    HDL/Chol Perc 19.4
    LDL Calc 131
    Vitamin B12 1177
    Vitamin D 25-OH 15.6
    Thyroglobulin AB 429
    SGPT (ALT) 46
    ANION GAP 19

    I’m a 45 yr old female at 177lbs and I just feel like I’m losing my mind with this HASHIMOTO’s thing…..I am so scared of what all this really means to me….what I do know is I’m afraid to eat, I am always tired and the tipping point came when I didn’t recognize my own daughter for a good 15 secs…I literally didn’t know who she was but I recognized the face….I really want to understand these blood tests so that maybe I can help myself better until I find the right doctor.

    –KYAS.

    • Hi KYAS,

      The single best thing you can do is find someone willing to work with you and listen to you and evaluate your lab tests in conjunction with your symptoms. A bunch of lab tests by themselves are relatively useless without accompanying symptoms and a full history.

  33. Hello. I read your article and started two weeks ago on 50 mg on Zinc (split into twice daily at 25 each time), Selenium 200mg twice daily, a soil based probiotic once daily, a D3 5,000 IU’s once a day, B12 sublingual 2000mg once a day, I also take a regular womens multi vitamin. I have had some vaginal bleeding since starting. Its outside of my regular period and has been constant for about two weeks. I feel a lot better and I am finally dropping some weight but I was wondering if this is normal in women. I am also on 75 mcg of Levothyroxine and 10 mcg twice daily on liothyronine.

  34. I have Hypothyroidism and gave been taking meds for 25 years now. 7 or so years ago, I was diagnosed with Sjogrens Syndrome. I suffer with joint pain everyday of my life along with extreme fatigue and no energy. I have a terrible problem with hair loss and my hair is very sorry, brittle and very dry. What are your suggestions for these symptoms? Thank you

  35. Hello, I am glad I stumbled on to your site.I had my thyroid removed a year ago because I had a tumor. They tested me every month for about 4 months, they are now testing me around 6 months. I have been at the 150 level of levothyroxine since a month after removal. I don’t feel that it is working but the doctor said my labs are normal. They were normal even before they found the tumor. The only way they found it was I requested an ultrasound on my throat because my older sister had cancer on her thyroid. Which she said her labs were also normal and an ultrasound was how they found it. So I was wondering if you recommend the same supplements for me as well?

  36. I found your artical very informative. I’ve had a low thyroid condition for 45 years. I have been very low to the high normal. It’s been up and down. In summer its normal to higher and come fall it drops. My dosages have ranged from 300 mcg to 750. I’ve been on a number of different thyroid medications. It wasn’t till 2 weeks ago that I came across an artical on Adrenal Gland. So I’m now studying about that and how to heal it. But I will take all you have said and apply it to what I already know and am doing and hoping I will have a better winter this year.
    As a last comment all you have reported is right on. For those that can’t lose weight maybe suggest getting checked for Celica disease.

  37. Helllo Dr Childs. Above you mention that “In my patients I prefer and recommend soil based organisms.” However the probiotic supplement that you recommend doesn’t seem to be soil-based. Can you explain a little more? Thank you for your help.

    • Hi Johanna,

      I’ve changed some of my recommendations and will update this post to reflect those changes in 2018. The supplement I recommend is correct but the reason/logic hasn’t been updated yet.

  38. I was diagnosed with subclinical hypothyroidism a year and a half ago. I started on Nature Throid and immediately felt better. I am a very active mom and a runner and was so thankful to finally have my energy back. However, the issue of hair loss that I already had worsened considerably. In fact, it comes out in wads in the shower and is all over my clothes throughout the day. I am suffering from anxiety and even starting to feel depressed from this now. I have never been a depressed person in my life. I am 47 and definitely approaching menopause. My NP put me on a testosterone cream and recently a projesterone cream. (My testosterone was a 12). She indicated my vitamin D was 68 and my B-12 level was excellent. I supplement with both. However, my ferritin was at 20. The last bloodwork also showed my TSH at 2.57 and my Free T3 at 2.4. She said my T3 is too low and wants to increase my NDT. My only concern is the major hair loss I am experiencing and it worsening. I don’t know what to do. Do you have any advice?

    Thank you!

    Gloria

  39. I have a friend with Hypo who takes Bladderwrack daily as well as her thyroid meds and feels ten times better than when she was just taking the tyroid meds alone. I have been trying to do some research to see if there is any science behind it, but a lot of what I read says not to pair the two. I’m looking for something to pair with my Synthroid (just boosted to 75mcg/day) to help me feel better. No energy, constipation, headaches, and dry skin are my main complaints.
    thank you!!

  40. I had my thyroid removed 2 years ago. I take 125 of synthroid and feel horrible. I’ve been to 3 different doctors to tell them I feel horrible but they all want to give me an anti-depressent. I’m tired, I can’t loose weight, my joints and muscles hurt all the time and the list goes on. My thyroid was so large I had a hard time swallowing do they removed it. My Gerd is once again back. I’m at my wit’s end. No one tells me nothing. Is this as good as it gets?

  41. Hi Dr. Child’s,

    I have severe leg cramps and am wondering if this could be related to Hashimotos? If so, what do you recommend I do?

    Regards,
    Millie

  42. Hi! I have hypothyroidism and most likely hashi’s due to my antibodies being high on my last BT. On doing research I also think I have adrenal fatigue due to continued wearyness and acheyness especially in armpits and legs on a regular basis.I am using Thyroid-S and my T4/T3 are in range and my TSH low. I am considering Ashwagandha but confused about all the conflicting information on whether it is advisable with hashi’s. I do not want to worsen my condition, however, it sounds good if it works. I take a multivit with iron, selenium and magnesium. Do you think Ashwagandha would help? I am sick of feeling like I am wading through treacle.

  43. Had a total thyroidectomy 5 years ago. I’m on Synthroid 125 and feel great. Weight is an issue but I’m 63 and female work out and do Keto. I eat Brazil nuts for selenium. Would this supplement benefit me?

  44. Hi, I have dealt with hypothyroidism diagnosed over 30 years ago now and only have treated with Synthroid or in more recent years levothyroxine. I am now interested in supplements and possibly switching to a more natural thyroid medication, so weighing all this great info. My weight has climbed slowly over these many years, but recently with probable menopause starting, it has gotten to the highest point ever, resulting in my recent research. My biggest question so far is about gut health. I used to be constipated a lot in my younger days, but in recent years, it seems to be the opposite, mostly loose and occasionally IBS. I am NEVER constipated anymore. What is likely the cause of this? I didn’t see much info on here, other than the recommendation about using GI Revive for leaky gut/intestinal permeability. My doctor said she wasn’t concerned as long as it wasn’t diarrhea, but my suspicion is that I’m not processing nutrients sufficiently. P.S. I also have had alopecia universalis all of my adult life (autoimmune-related), and recently have struggled with low iron and fatigue. Any suggestions?

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