Signs of Low Collagen In Hypothyroid Patients

Signs of Low Collagen In Hypothyroid Patients

Thyroid patients think I’m being facetious when I say if you aren’t careful, your thyroid will steal your beauty.

I’m not. 

And the thyroid’s effect on collagen is a perfect example of why that is. 

Thyroid hormones are known stimulators of collagen (1) which means, if you don’t have enough thyroid hormone, your collagen will suffer. 

Given collagen’s important role in maintaining the structure of tissues that impact your physical appearance, it’s easy to see how thyroid problems accelerate the aging process. 

Don’t worry, though, because this problem can be halted and even reversed, provided you fix your thyroid and collagen. 

Before we talk about that, let’s dive into the symptoms associated with thyroid-related collagen decline so you will know if this is a problem for you: 

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#1. Wrinkling of the Skin

Collagen’s role in the skin is simple: 

Keep it supple, plump, firm, and hydrated. 

As collagen declines, so too does the quality, texture, and appearance of your skin. 

One of the first signs of thyroid-related collagen decline is the appearance of wrinkles (2), faster than you would otherwise expect. 

Everyone will get wrinkly skin, there’s no stopping that, but if you see those wrinkles creep up within proximity to your thyroid diagnosis, then you know there may be a connection. 

Improving your thyroid function will help prevent future loss of collagen, but it may not fix the rapid decline that has already occurred. 

In order to do that, you will need to not only fix your thyroid but also support your collagen (more on that in a minute). 

#2. Less Flexibility and Mobility

Collagen’s role in the body is to maintain the structure and function of whatever tissue it’s a part of. 

We know that 80% of the dry weight of tendons is made up of collagen so it’s no surprise that a decline in collagen will negatively impact tendons and ligaments. 

Patients with thyroid disorders often experience stiffness and pain in both their joints and muscles

The prevailing thought is that this stiffness stems from a condition known as hypothyroid myopathy (3) which impacts general muscle health. 

But given that thyroid muscles connect to tendons which then connect to joints and bone, it makes sense that some of this pain may actually be related to collagen loss. 

#3. Joint Pain

Joint pain is not as common compared to muscle pain in thyroid patients, but for the people who get it, it can be very hard to treat

The joint pain from collagen loss is thought to be related to the inability to maintain cartilage. 

Cartilage is the tissue that prevents your bones from grinding against each other by absorbing shock and reducing friction (4). 

When someone says they have “bone on bone” in their joints, what they really mean is they don’t have any cartilage. 

Due to thyroid hormone’s action on collagen differentiation and turnover, a lack of thyroid hormone may accelerate this bone-on-bone problem leading to arthritis. 

#4. Gastrointestinal Problems

Collagen is needed by the body to ensure the function of the cells that line your gut. 

These cells act as a defense against intruders that do their best to sneak by. 

When collagen is low, the defense structure of these cells is limited which causes increased permeability. 

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You’ve probably already heard of this condition even if you don’t recognize it by this name as most people refer to it by “leaky gut”. 

When your gut is more permeable, it sets the stage for the development of several conditions including hormone imbalances, gut-related infections and overgrowth syndromes, and nutrient deficiencies (5). 

Thyroid patients are already more prone to developing gut conditions due to the impact that thyroid hormone has on gut motility so this effect of decreased collagen just adds fuel to the fire. 

#5. Weakening of the Muscles & Slow Muscle Recovery

The amino acids needed for muscle growth are different from what collagen provides, but that doesn’t mean collagen isn’t important for muscle health. 

Studies have shown that people who take collagen supplements experience faster muscle recovery after workouts. 

Why this happens is not completely understood but it probably has to do with how collagen supports the structures that surround muscle tissues. 

Either way, if your body is recovering slowly after workouts then you may not have enough collagen. 

#6. Changes in Hair Texture

Your hair is really an extension of your skin which is why the same things that cause skin problems often cause hair problems as well. 

Collagen is one of those. 

We’ve already discussed how it can impact the quality of your skin, and it has a similar impact on your hair. 

It does this by supporting disulfide bonds which prevent breakage of the hair (6). 

As collagen declines, your hair will have less sheen and your individual hair strands will be more prone to breakage. 

#7. Cellulite

Cellulite is the dimpling of the skin that occurs as subcutaneous fat builds up underneath the skin and pulls it down. 

This process creates the characteristic dimpling that people are constantly trying to get rid of. 

But what’s interesting is that you don’t need a lot of fat for this to occur, because it can happen in people who are lean and muscular as well. 

In this way, the presence of cellulite may have more to do with the quality of the structure of your skin instead of the amount of subcutaneous fat present.

When collagen is doing its job, it acts to fill in the gaps between fat cells which reduces the appearance of cellulite on the surface of the skin (7). 

Studies also show that collagen may help with fat loss which is probably why people who take it see a reduction in cellulite and total fat mass. 

#8. Blood Pressure & Circulatory Issues

The more collagen found in your arteries, the more pliable and soft they will be. 

And, whether you realize it or not, you actually want your arteries to be soft because when they stiffen it increases blood pressure and your risk of several diseases (8). 

As collagen declines, you will start to see your blood pressure increase and you may develop other circulatory issues like cholesterol and plaque buildup. 

Preventing Collagen Loss Is In Your Power

Let’s say you’re a thyroid patient who has noticed several of these symptoms, what are you supposed to do now? 

The answer is easy: 

Replace that lost collagen and make sure you slow down any future loss. 

We’ll talk about replacing collagen in just a second but, for now, let’s focus on how to prevent future loss. 

No matter what, you’re going to lose collagen over time, there’s nothing you can do about that. 

But the rate at which you lose that collagen is something that is entirely within your control. 

We know from research that there are factors that can accelerate how quickly your body degrades collagen. 

And understanding these factors is important because it means if you just do the opposite, you can preserve the collagen already in your body. 

Based on solid evidence, here’s what we know accelerates collagen loss: 

All of these are modifiable risk factors that you can eliminate by changing your lifestyle. 

For instance, if you’re worried about the sun, simply wear sunscreen. 

If you’re worried about sugar, cut it from your diet.

And the list goes on. 

While you can do a lot of good for your body by slowing down collagen loss, it won’t fix the collagen that was already lost. 

For that, you need some different treatments. 

The Best (and Easiest) Way to Build Up Collagen

Luckily, it’s actually really easy to fix this problem by providing your body with the building blocks it needs to create collagen on its own. 

One of the most simple ways to do that is by supplementing with collagen peptides. 

Collagen is too big of a compound for the body to absorb so you can’t take it whole. 

But what you can do is break apart the proteins found in collagen into smaller fragments known as collagen peptides which can then be absorbed through the gut. 

These peptides are small chains of amino acids that can be taken up directly and deposited into tissues that require collagen like your joints and skin. 

These peptides can come in many different varieties but some have been studied specifically for their effects on certain tissues. 

VERSIOL for instance, has been studied for its effects on the skin (15). FORTIBONE for its effects on bone (16). And FORTIGEL for its effects on tendons and ligaments (17). 

These are the peptides that I recommend and take myself but you can use whatever you want. 

If you don’t like the idea of getting your collagen from a supplement, you can also get collagen from your diet. 

In general, the same tissues in humans that contain high amounts of collagen are the same in animals as well. 

And if you eat those tissues, you will be consuming their collagen that your body can then use. 

For instance, when you boil a chicken carcass with bones, tendons, and ligaments, the collagen in those tissues will move into the broth that you can drink. 

You can also just eat chicken with the skin on or consume organ meats.

I personally think it’s easier to just take 20 grams of collagen peptides each day, as opposed to making bone broth, but you do whatever works best for you. 

What To Expect

What’s amazing is that many of the symptoms of low collagen start to improve within about a month of daily use. 

When it comes to the skin, studies show a reduction in fine lines and wrinkles in as little as 30 days (18). 

Collagen-related benefits to bone and cartilage take longer, but benefits to gut health can be seen in just a few days. 

Given the sheer number of benefits replacing lost collagen provides, it makes the short list of supplements that just about every thyroid patient should consider. 

It won’t necessarily improve your thyroid directly, but it will help manage some of those pesky symptoms that tend to hang around even after optimizing your thyroid medication. 

And a lot of these improvements can be seen in the mirror which makes them easy to track. 

Collagen is a great supplement for thyroid patients but there are plenty of others that are just as good. 

And if you want to see the list of those, make sure to check out this article next

Scientific References

#1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3219173/

#2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC10180699/

#3. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK519513/

#4. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/30368550/

#5. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC9198822/

#6. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC10942009/

#7. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/26561784/

#8. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5429168/

#9. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3561332/

#10. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8597149/

#11. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4664499/

#12. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/20620757/

#13. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/25266053/

#14. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/26477918/

#15. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/24401291/

#16. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8441532/

#17. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4045593/

#18. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8824545/

Signs of Low Collagen in Thyroid Patients

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About Dr. Westin Childs

Hey! I'm Westin Childs D.O. (former Osteopathic Physician). I don't practice medicine anymore and instead specialize in helping people like YOU who have thyroid problems, hormone imbalances, and weight loss resistance. I love to write and share what I've learned over the years. I also happen to formulate the best supplements on the market (well, at least in my opinion!) and I'm proud to say that over 80,000+ people have used them over the last 7 years. You can read more about my own personal health journey and why I am so passionate about what I do.

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