The Best Hyperthyroid Supplements to Treat Hyperthyroidism Naturally

Certain supplements have the potential to reduce inflammation and treat autoimmunity. 

This is extremely important for hyperthyroid patients when you consider that, in most cases, hyperthyroidism is caused by an autoimmune condition known as Graves' disease. 

Learn more about how to supplement for hyperthyroidism and what you can do to take control of your symptoms in this guide: 

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Do supplements Actually help patients with Hyperthyroidism & Graves' Disease? 

​Yes! Supplements can absolutely help you treat your hyperthyroidism. 

Having said that you need to be realistic:

While taking these supplements won't cure your disease state, they can certainly help with your symptoms and, if coupled with other changes, may dramatically improve your quality of life.

And that's really what we are after.

So which supplements should you consider using?

The first step is to consider what kind of disease hyperthyroidism is.

Causes of graves and hyperthyroidism

If you've read the research you will know that around 90% of patients with hyperthyroidism have an autoimmune condition known as Grave's disease (1).

This is also true for hypothyroidism, by the way, about 90% of hypothyroid patients have an autoimmune disease known as Hashimoto's thyroiditis (2).

The fact that hyperthyroidism is usually caused by an autoimmune disease is VERY important because it means we can target your immune system to help improve your condition.

​What you may not realize is that autoimmune disease is a manifestation of other problems in your body. 

Why?

Because several factors have been shown to be involved in the cascade that leads to autoimmune disease, things such as stressful situations (3), nutrient deficiencies and changes to your gut.

This is why so many people focus on therapies targeting your GI tract when treating autoimmune diseases. ​

If we can take supplements that target these pathways we can cool down the inflammation and autoimmunity in the body and reduce the symptoms of hyperthyroidism (and really treat the disease itself).

Make sense? ​

Now when it comes to hyperthyroid patients this is a little bit more complicated than that, though.

Why?

Because many patients diagnosed with hyperthyroidism eventually undergo thyroidectomy or RAI which effectively destroys their thyroid gland.

This means they switch from being hyperthyroid to hypothyroid, and this change also means that you need to use different supplements.

If you've had a thyroidectomy or RAI as a result of your hyperthyroidism then you can find relevant supplements in this post.

​If you still have your thyroid then please keep reading!

Our goal with these supplements will be to take you from a relapsed state to remission, and that is possible in some patients if they follow these steps completely.

usings supplements to treat hyperthyroidism

Using these supplements can help prevent the removal of your thyroid gland or undergoing RAI.

And this is a good thing considering so many patients who undergo these treatments suffer from debilitating weight gain and other problems. ​

Let's talk about which supplements help hyperthyroid patients and which ones you should consider using: ​

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#1. Probiotics (#1 for a reason!)

The first supplement we need to talk about is probiotics. 

Why?

It turns out that autoimmune disease may originate (in many cases but not all) in your GI tract.

Various factors (including stress, hormone imbalances, nutrient deficiencies, etc.) can damage the intestinal lining of your gut - the tight junctions.

This lining is meant to act as a barrier which allows the absorption of good materials and prevents other more sinister materials from being absorbed.

When damage occurs the lining in your GI tract becomes compromised ​resulting in the absorption of bacteria and/or undigested proteins which can trigger autoimmune disease. 

This process by which this occurs is known as molecular mimicry.

The breakdown of the lining of your GI tract is known as increased intestinal permeability or leaky gut. 

So where do probiotics fit in?

Probiotics and prebiotics can help improve the structure of your GI tract and reduce the permeability of these tight junctions.

Probiotics also help to reduce inflammation and act to balance intestinal microflora leading to a healthy population of gut bacteria.

What about prebiotics?

Prebiotics are designed to help HEALTHY bacteria grow and really act as a food store for these little guys.

Probiotics themselves directly act to help populate your GI tract while prebiotics promotes the growth of the new healthy bacteria.

dysbiosis with a poor diet

You can see the connection between your brain, GI tract and intestinal function in the image above. 

What you need to realize here is that while probiotics are helpful in improving GI function you may need more therapies than just this supplement.

For instance, many patients with autoimmune disease also suffer from inflammatory conditions such as IBS or SIBO/yeast overgrowth.

The probiotic I recommend below is safe to use in these conditions and should be the first place to start. ​

 How to Supplement with Probiotics and Prebiotics

Why I like it

High Microbial Diversity (29 Strains of Bacteria)

May help reduce inflammation in the GI tract

Safe to use with SIBO and Yeast Overgrowth

Contains Soil Based Organisms (Heat Stable Bacteria)

How to tell if you Need it

Patients with the following conditions should consider using probiotics:

  • Those with autoimmune disease and hypothyroidism or hyperthyroidism (including Graves' disease)
  • Those with intestinal issues such as IBS, IBD, chronic constipation, acid reflux, etc. 
  • Those people who have tried and failed other less intense probiotics
  • Those patients who have never taken probiotics before or aren't sure where to start on their journey
How to Use

  • 1-2 capsules per day with meals
  • Alternate taking with and without meals, also pulse probiotics in large doses on occasion to provide variety to your dosing schedule
My Recommended Brand and Product

Always have at least one other probiotic on backup so that you can alternate your probiotic dosing (this helps provide a more natural environment for your GI tract), these are high-quality bifidobacteria and lactobacilli based probiotics:

#2. Zinc

​Next on the list is Zinc. 

Zinc makes the list for hyperthyroid patients because it has some special features that make it stand out.

First:

Zinc has been shown to balance the immune system and it's required for optimal immune function (4).

Many patients are zinc deficient due to diet or other factors, so getting adequate zinc is helpful if you are suffering from autoimmune disease like Graves'. ​

Second:

Zinc acts as a potent anti-inflammatory agent. 

Again, this is helpful from the immune perspective because autoimmune diseases are a combination of altered immunity and inflammation.

Taking zinc can cool down the body and reduce inflammation (5).

Third:

It can actually balance thyroid hormone function (which is especially helpful if you are in the 50% of hyperthyroid patients who suffer from weight gain).

Zinc has been shown to normalize the T4 to T3 conversion process (6).

Believe it or not many hyperthyroid patients actually suffer from weight gain, and this supplement can improve that. ​

How to Supplement with Zinc

Why I like it

May help boost immune function and help autoimmune disease

Helps normalize thyroid conversion process

Helpful in patients with hyperthyroidism and Graves'

Reduces inflammation and reduces oxidation

How to tell if you Need it

Patients with the following conditions should consider using Zinc:

  • Those suffering from autoimmune diseases like Graves' (or any others)
  • Those with weight gain, especially after thyroidectomy or post-RAI
  • Those with hair loss or hair breakage (zinc can improve hair texture and quality)
  • Those with skin issues (acne, dry skin, rashes, etc.)
  • Those who do not have a whole foods natural diet
  • Most patients following the standard American diet
How to Use

  • 30-60mg of Zinc Picolinate per day (Do not exceed 60mg per day)
  • Take in divided doses throughout the day if possible (preferably with a meal)
My Recommended Brand and Product:

#3. Liquid Vitamin D3

​Vitamin D (specifically vitamin D3) should almost be standard if you have hyperthyroidism or Graves' disease. 

Why?

Because it has been shown that low levels of Vitamin D can exacerbate and even cause hyperthyroidism to begin with.

In addition, these studies have also shown that taking Vitamin D3 may be able to reverse the condition (7).

That's very powerful information and something that shouldn't be taken lightly. 

It has also been shown that hyperthyroid patients with Graves' disease show a low level of Vitamin D3 at baseline (8) compared to other patient populations. 

If you have Graves' disease or hyperthyroidism you need to get your Vitamin D levels evaluated and take a D3 supplement (the active form). 

Low levels of Vitamin D have been shown to increase the risk of developing autoimmune disease and in the specific case of hyperthyroidism may be able to reverse it.

Check your serum levels and treat to a level of around 50ng/mL. 

How to Supplement with Vitamin D3 & K2

Why I like it

May improve immune function

May help reverse Graves' disease in certain patients

Most patients are deficient in Vitamin D

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)
  • *Note: only supplement with vitamin D in the D3 form! Do not use Vitamin D2 (this is what most physicians recommend)
Low vitamin D and vitamin B12 kathy
How to Use

  • Base dosing on Blood levels of Vitamin D3, if unknown start with 5 drops daily (5,000 IU's/day) and check blood levels within 4-6 weeks
  • Take in AM with fatty meal (Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin and this will increase absorption)
  • Okay to pulse dosing and/or take larger doses less frequently (mimics our ancestral dosing with the sun) - for instance, you can take a large dose once a week if necessary
My Recommended Brand and Product

#4. Fish oil with Astaxanthin

Next up is Fish oil.

Fish oil is incredibly helpful for patients with hyperthyroid because it's a very potent anti-inflammatory agent (9).

Reducing inflammatory is critical to normalize thyroid function due to immune issues. 

As inflammation increases thyroid function becomes abnormal which leads to conversion problems and can promote antibody production.

Taking fish oil helps reduce this cycle.

Oh, and fish oil has also been shown to help with weight loss which is a definite plus for many hyperthyroid patients who suffer from weight gain.

​The combination of fish oil plus exercise has been proven to reduce fat stores in the body and increase lean muscle mass

If you decide to take fish oil I recommend a very high-quality product that also contains astaxanthin which further increases the anti-inflammatory effects of fish oil. 

combination of fish oil and exercise for weight loss

How to Supplement with Fish Oil

Why I like it

May help to reduce leptin resistance and lower leptin levels

Helps reduce inflammation and promote normalization of immune function

Helps normalize thyroid function

Can be combined with exercise for even more weight loss

How to Use

  • Recommended dose ranges from 2,000mg to 6,000mg per day (depending on condition)
  • Start titration at 1,000mg per day and increase up to therapeutic dosage as recommended
  • Higher daily doses will be necessary for weight loss and treating insulin resistance
  • Duration of therapy should be consistent for at least 3 months (6+ months for insulin resistance + weight loss)
My Recommended Brand and Product:

Take up to 4 capsules daily as tolerated of a high-quality supplement like the one listed below: 

#5. Magnesium glycinate

Magnesium makes the list because many hyperthyroid patients are also magnesium deficient.

In fact, it has been shown that thyroid dysregulation increases magnesium excretion from the kidneys (10) which means that thyroid patients are especially prone to developing a magnesium deficiency. 

Couple that with the fact that magnesium is involved in proper immune function (11) and it's easy to see why this supplement might be helpful.

Beyond its benefits to the immune function, magnesium is also involved in over 300 cellular processes so normal levels are necessary for optimal living.

If you take magnesium, make sure to take the right form of magnesium.

In this case, I recommend using magnesium bound to glycinate which will increase absorption and improve outcomes. 

How to Supplement with Magnesium Glycinate

Why I like it

Superior absorption over other forms of magnesium

May help promote immune function

Hyperthyroid patients are often deficient

No Allergenic Fillers & well tolerated

Who should use it
  • Anyone with thyroid related issues including hyperthyroidism, Graves' disease or Hashimoto's thyroiditis
  • This form of magnesium is better for patients with low serum magnesium and in patients who have high fasting insulin levels
  • Patients with symptoms of muscle cramps, twitches, etc. 
How to Use

  • Start at 100-150mg per day take at night
  • Titrate dose until you have 1 loose bowel movement in the morning (you may require higher doses of magnesium glycinate because more magnesium is absorbed)
  • Dose ranges from 300mg-600mg per day
Best Place to Buy

#6. Liquid Iodine

Iodine makes the list because iodine can be used as a therapeutic agent in TREATING hyperthyroidism and Graves' disease.

High doses of iodine have been shown to reduce thyroid production and alter thyroid conversion in the periphery.

This effect is on par with other pharmaceutical interventions and can be used as a natural treatment over these prescription medications.

Iodine in the thyroid gland

In fact, iodine was used prior to the discovery of newer medications for treating hyperthyroidism.

Using iodine in this way can allow you to take control of other aspects that may have triggered your autoimmune disease (Graves') and allow you to treat those without undergoing RAI or thyroidectomy.

In order to get this effect, you must use high doses of iodine, but I don't recommend doing this without the supervision of a physician.

You can read more about iodine supplementation here. ​

How to Supplement with Iodine

Why I like it

May alter thyroid function depending on dosage used

May help detox harmful halides

If deficient will improve other systemic symptoms

Generally works very quickly in deficient patients

How to tell if you Need it

Supplementing with Iodine can be difficult. I have only had 2 documented scenarios in which patients truly reacted negatively to Iodine supplementation and many more patients who have done quite well on Iodine. 

If possible I recommend testing your urinary excretion of iodine prior to supplementation. If you decide not to test yourself then start out at very low doses (~200-300mcg/day) and slowly increase the dose based on your symptoms. 

If you experience the side effects of bromism or bromoderma, then cut your dose and try again after several days. 

How to Use

  • Start at 200-300mcg per day and slowly titrate dose based off of symptoms - discontinue if you experience negative side effects and seek professional help
  • To suppress thyroid function you will need doses in excess of 25mg per day (don't do this without physician supervision)
My Recommended Brand and Product:

For low doses start at 200-300mcg per day:

For higher doses I recommend these:

#7. Adrenal Adaptogens

​Adrenal adaptogens are very important for any patient with thyroid related issues. 

Why?

Because adrenal function is closely tied to thyroid function.

Studies have shown this relationship.

What's important for you to understand is that these changes to cortisol and adrenal function may manifest as the subjective symptom of fatigue or low energy.

Many patients with hyperthyroidism (Graves') or hypothyroidism commonly present with fatigue.

This is felt to be, at least in part, due to changes in cortisol levels.

Taking adrenal adaptogens have been shown to normalize cortisol levels and many patients report an increase in symptoms when taking these supplements.

In addition, adrenal adaptogens help your body tolerate stress, help with weight loss and can improve sleeping patterns (12).

Taking an adrenal adaptogen or adrenal supplement should be the baseline for anyone with hyperthyroidism or any thyroid problem. 

It's best to match your supplement to your cortisol level if possible, if not then you can always start with an adrenal adaptogen which can both lower or increase cortisol based on what your body needs. 

How to Supplement with Adrenal Support

Why I like it

May improve and normalize energy levels

Almost ALL hyperthyroid patients have some element of cortisol dysfunction

May help boost immune function and improve sleeping patterns

Most patients experience improvement in 1-2 months

How to tell if you Need it
  • Serum Cortisol - AM cortisol should be between 14-16, anything less may be a problem (note: normal serum level doesn't rule out adrenal fatigue)
  • If you aren't sure where to start or haven't had your cortisol levels tested I recommend starting with adrenal adaptogens (or some combination of adaptogens)
  • Those with thyroid related issues should at least trial adrenal supplements
  • Those with abnormal serum cortisol levels should target their treatment to their cortisol
  • In some cases, cortisol levels may be "normal" which indicates further testing is warranted if you have the symptoms of adrenal fatigue
  • You can also learn more about adrenal supplements here
How to Use

  • For mild to moderate cases of adrenal fatigue: use 1-2 capsules of adrenal adaptogens as tolerated each day
  • For cases of high cortisol: take up to 600mg of phosphatidylserine each day (preferably at night)
My Recommended Brand and Product:

Adrenal Adaptogens​ + Adrenal Glandulars (for mild to moderate cases of Adrenal fatigue)

Phosphatidylserine - Soy Free (for cases of ELEVATED cortisol)

​Over to you

Supplements, if combined with other lifestyle factors, can dramatically improve thyroid function in hyperthyroid patients.

Your goal should be to target your supplementation to specific deficiencies in your body.

That being said certain supplements can almost be considered "standard" for hyperthyroid patients given that this hormone imbalance leads to certain deficiencies.

​Now it's your turn:

Are you suffering from hyperthyroidism?

Have supplements helped reduce your symptoms or improved your condition?

Why or why not?

Leave your comment below!​

References (Click to Expand)

This post was most recently updated on February 18th, 2019

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.

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