Patients suffering with Graves Disease and Hashimotos will often find selenium supplementation incredibly helpful. When it comes to treating your thyroid naturally, one of the micronutrients that is super important is selenium. Not only does selenium help your thyroid but selenium also helps your immune system, this is especially important for people with Graves Disease and Hashimotos disease. I will explain why that is so important for those of you who have Hashimotos or Graves disease.
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So let jump into today’s videos because there are few things you need to know about selenium such as how much to take for thyroid health, why selenium is important and why you need to be careful with brazil nuts.
Its not mistake that the highest concentration of selenium in your body is found in your thyroid glands. Selenium is the building block for the proteins that called selenoproteins.
The first benefit of selenium is that is serves as a powerful antioxidants. Antioxidants protect your cells from the damaging affects of free radicals. Take a look at this picture here. I like to use the apple analogy.
Think of an apple. You have this outer skin of the apple that protects the inside. Once you take bite out of an apple, the apple begins to quickly breakdown- this is why it begins to turn brown after only a few minutes of being exposed to the air. So the skin as long as it isn’t broken, it protects the inside and prevents the apple from rotting.
In the same way the cells of your body have an outer cell membrane much like the skin on the apple. But under the influence of excess free radicals, these free radicals damage the cell membrane or the skin of the apple. This is where antioxidants like selenium come into the equation. Selenium protects your cell membranes against the damaging affects of oxidative stress. This ant-oxidant benefit of selenium and selenproteins is super important for those with Hashimotos, Graves disease and thyroid nodules because these individuals are more prone to damaging effects of oxidative stress as.
The second benefit to selenium as it relates to thyroid function is its ability to delay the progression of ocular disorders. Patients who have Graves often have changes to the structure of the eye- this is what causes the eyeball to protrude out of the orbit.
For patients with autoimmune thyroiditis or Hashimotos, the research shows that selenium supplementation is associated with a reduced TPO antibody levels, improved thyroid ultrasound features, and improved quality of life.
Perhaps you don’t have Hashimotos or Graves disease but your doctor told you that you have low T3 levels or that your Free T3 was low. Here’s another way that selenium can be beneficial to your thyroid. Selenium helps covert T4 into T3. People with Low selenium levels will have a lower amount of the active thyroid hormone in their body.
If you have bloodwork you may notice that your TSH levels are high or high normal, your T4 levels are high or high normal but your T3 or Free T3 was low. This is called low T3 syndrome and is a sign that you have a pattern of Thyroid under conversion. It also puts you at greater risk for production of scar tissue within your thyroid and then ultimately that part of the thyroid gland where the scar tissue takes over becomes non functional.
So those are some preety convincing reasons why selenium supplementation should be considered if you have Graves disease, Hashimotos, Oxidative stress, Low T3, Low Free T3, High T4 levels, (all signs that you don’t properly covert T4 into T3).
But before you start thinking about taking Selenium or eating foods high in selenium there are few more things, I want you to be aware such as the symptoms of excess selenium as well as the symptoms of selenium deficiency.
Symptoms of Selenium Excess and Toxicity
A few week ago, I had a new patient with thyroid disease start care at my clinic, she had all your typical thyroid symptoms, but because she was eating foods high in selenium like a few brazil nuts every day and I felt it couldn’t hurt to just test her selenium levels. Her levels came back incredible high and it once again proved to me test don’t guess.
You see, while low levels of selenium certainly pose concern, high levels or Excess selenium where we are dealing with selenium toxicity is more damaging to your thyroid, damaging to your immune system than low levels.
Main Symptoms Of Selenium Toxicity
- Garlic odor
- Metal taste in the mouth
- Hair loss
- skin rashes
I know some of those symptoms sound identical to thyroid problems but don’t be fooled by selenium toxicity just because you don’t have a garlic odor or a metal taste in your mouth.
Don’t let this discourage you from using selenium supplementation, Selenium like all vitamins and minerals are incredible safe when compared to medications, just know how much you are taking, how long you are taking it for and pay attention your symptoms and finally be aware of your thyroid levels. It’s one thing to use food as medicine, but when you do use it like medicine it needs to be monitored.
So just be careful with those Brazil nuts! Each brazil nut contains approximately 90 MCG per nut. Other foods high in selenium include Red Meat, Fish, Rice, Yeast, Organ meats, and cereals.
So now that you know about symptoms of excess selenium or selenium toxicity, I want you to be familiar with symptoms of selenium deficiency as well as some of the causes- these are going to be many of your Low T3 symptoms. Remember that selenium helps covert T4 into T3. So when you think of selenium deficiency think Low T3 symptoms.
So this is your weight gain, fatigue, hair loss, brittle hair, brittle nails, brain fog, feeling cold all the time, infertility.
Low selenium also affects the enzyme glutathione peroxidase and this is how a selenium deficiency can put the thyroid at a risk for increased oxidative stress.
Earlier in today’s video, I mentioned that selenium is an important anti-oxidant in that it protects cells, it helps the immune system. Low selenium impacts the enzyme glutathione peroxidase which then allows oxidative stress to affect the thyroid. Low levels of selenium can still occur with supplementation and most of this comes down to what you eat and drink, and the needs or demands of selenium within the body.
The research points to cigarette smoking, white rice, coffee, alcohol consumption as well as eating too many eggs. So consider all of these things if you also have Thyroid disease including autoimmune conditions like Hashimotos and Graves disease
- Low T3 Syndrome- Why Doctors Don’t Test For It
- Low T3- Symptoms and Causes
- 12 Symptoms of Low Thyroid That Often Get Overlooked
- 10 reasons Your Thyroid Medication Stopped working
- Why T3 and Free T3 Need To Be Tested on Every Patient with Thyroid Disease
- Hashimotos Disease and High Homcysteine Levels- A Bad Combination for the Heart
- Symptoms of Being Overmedicated with Thyroid Hormone
- 10 Of The Most Common Gut Problems Seen In Patients with Thyroid Disease