Sydney Southwest Private Hospital

Business Hours
Mon - Fri:
9:00am - 5:00pm

Thyroid conditions are usually treated with medication or surgery, but research suggests that supplements may also be helpful in certain cases.

Conditions that affect the thyroid are fairly common. Some of the most common concerns include hyperthyroidism, hypothyroidism and thyroid cancer. Fortunately, these conditions can usually be effectively treated with medications and/or surgery, which go a long way toward promoting better overall health. Although there is no substitute for medical treatment, research suggests that taking supplements could also be helpful when it comes to managing certain thyroid-related problems. Read on to find out how supplements can help in the treatment of some thyroid conditions, and what to be aware of when considering a supplement…

Which nutrients support thyroid health?

There are a few nutrients that play an important role in maintaining optimal thyroid function. These include selenium, iodine, zinc and iron. All of these nutrients are essential when it comes to optimal thyroid function and thyroid hormone production. Vitamins B, A and E also play an important role in thyroid function, and deficiencies in any of these can put you at greater risk of developing a thyroid-related issue.

Generally, it is possible to get all the nutrients you need for optimal thyroid function by eating a healthy, balanced diet. If, however, you are on a restrictive diet, are pregnant or breastfeeding, or have a health condition, your doctor might recommend that you supplement your diet with the aforementioned vitamins and minerals.

Should you take supplements for general thyroid health?

If you don’t have any thyroid-related problems and you eat a balanced diet that is rich in nutrients, it’s unlikely that you will need to take supplements specifically for thyroid health.

In fact, even if you have a thyroid condition, it is always advisable to speak to your doctor before taking supplements. If you have been diagnosed with a thyroid-related problem, you will have very specific needs, which general supplements may not be able to meet. Rather work with your doctor to make a plan that is customised for your health.

When are supplements helpful?

One of the cases in which it may be beneficial to take supplements is for those who have been diagnosed with Hashimoto’s disease. People with Hashimoto’s disease often have nutrient deficiencies, which can exacerbate the symptoms of the condition. Research suggests that selenium, zinc, vitamin B12, magnesium, iron, vitamin D, curcumin and vitamin C may all benefit those with Hashimoto’s disease.

Some research also suggests that certain supplements could be helpful for those with Graves’ disease. Graves’ disease is an autoimmune condition and a leading cause of hyperthyroidism. The supplements that may help to improve the symptoms of Graves’ disease include selenium, vitamin D, L-carnitine, and vitamin B12.

What precautions should you take?  

Although certain supplements can help to manage the symptoms of some thyroid-related conditions, it is best to avoid supplement blends for general thyroid health unless they have been recommended by your doctor.

If you have a condition such as Hashimoto’s disease or Graves’ disease, speak to your doctor about which supplements could help to improve the function of your thyroid, reduce your symptoms and improve your overall sense of wellbeing.

It is important to understand that some supplements can interact with certain medications and lead to unpleasant side-effects — it is crucial, therefore, that you always discuss the matter with your doctor.

How can we help?

Associate Professor Navin Niles is an experienced Endocrine Surgeon who specialises in thyroid, parathyroid, adrenal and salivary gland surgery. If you have an endocrine issue you would like to discuss, or you have been referred for surgery, we encourage you to arrange a consultation. Associate Professor Navin Niles will work with you to formulate a treatment plan that works best for your needs, and will provide you with all the lifestyle and nutritional information you need to enjoy optimal wellness.

If you would like to find out more about the procedures and services that Associate Professor Navin Niles offers, please have a look here. To arrange a consultation with Associate Professor Niles, please contact us here or give us a call on (02) 9810 9839.