Selenium: The Missing Link for Treating Hypothyroidism? | Chris Kresser

Selenium: The Missing Link for Treating Hypothyroidism?

by Chris Kresser

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This article is part of a special report on Thyroid Disorders. To see the other articles in this series, click here.

A healthy thyroid is a critical component of one’s overall health, and many people are struggling with thyroid disorders such as hypothyroidism, specifically Hashimoto’s autoimmune thyroiditis. In this autoimmune condition, the immune system attacks the thyroid gland, with the resulting inflammation leading to an underactive thyroid gland or hypothyroidism. Hashimoto’s disease is the most common form of hypothyroidism and was the first condition ever to be classified as an autoimmune disease.

I’ve written extensively about thyroid health, focusing on a multitude of environmental factors that may affect thyroid function, including gluten, gut health, stress, excess iodine, and vitamin D deficiency. I’ve also discussed why dietary changes are always the first step in treating Hashimoto’s, and why replacement thyroid hormone is often necessary for a successful outcome.

There Is yet Another Nutritional Factor That May Play a Role in Thyroid Health: Selenium.

Selenium deficiency is not thought to be common in healthy adults, but is more likely to be found in those with digestive health issues causing poor absorption of nutrients, such as Crohn’s or celiac disease, or those with serious inflammation due to chronic infection. (1, 2) It is thought that selenium deficiency does not specifically cause illness by itself, but that it makes the body more susceptible to illnesses caused by other nutritional, biochemical or infectious stresses, due to its role in immune function. (3) Adequate selenium nutrition supports efficient thyroid hormone synthesis and metabolism and protects the thyroid gland from damage from excessive iodine exposure. (4)

Several research studies have demonstrated the benefits of selenium supplementation in treating autoimmune thyroid conditions.

One study found that selenium supplementation had a significant impact on inflammatory activity in thyroid-specific autoimmune disease, and reducing inflammation may limit damage to thyroid tissue. (6) This may be due to the increase in glutathione peroxidase and thioredoxin reductase activity, as well as the decrease in toxic concentrations of hydrogen peroxide and lipid hydroperoxides which result from thyroid hormone synthesis. (7)

Another study followed patients for 9 months, and found that selenium supplementation reduced thyroid peroxidase antibody levels in the blood, even in selenium sufficient patients. (8) While these studies show promise for the use of selenium supplementation in preventing thyroid tissue damage, further research is needed to determine the long-term clinical effects of selenium treatment on inflammatory autoimmune thyroiditis.

Additionally, selenium is also essential for the conversion of T4 to T3, as deiodinase enzymes (those enzymes that remove iodine atoms from T4 during conversion) are selenium-dependent. As I’ve explained before, T3 is the active form of thyroid hormone, and low T3 can cause hypothyroid symptoms. A double-blind intervention study found that selenium supplementation in selenium deficient subjects modulated T4 levels, theoretically by improving peripheral conversion to T3. (9In cases of severe selenium deficiency, conversion of T4 to T3 may be impaired, leading to hypothyroid symptoms. As T3 conversion is not performed by the thyroid, the dependence on selenoproteins for this conversion demonstrates how significant selenium deficiency could lead to hypothyroid symptoms.

So the Question Is, Should You Start Supplementing with Selenium If You Have Hypothyroidism, Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis, or Low T3 Levels?

As the answer often is, it depends.

These preliminary studies show the positive effects of selenium supplementation on inflammatory activity in autoimmune thyroid conditions, but the long term effects of supplementation on thyroid health are still unknown. And we know that selenium is an essential component of the enzymes that convert T4 to T3, but whether supplementation will increase serum T3 levels is unclear.

While it seems that selenium supplementation would be an obvious solution to poor thyroid function, long term consumption of high doses of selenium can lead to complications such as gastrointestinal upsets, hair loss, white blotchy nails, garlic breath odor, fatigue, irritability, and mild nerve damage. (10) Additionally, supplementing selenium in the context of low iodine status may actually aggravate hypothyroidism. Mario Renato Iwakura discusses this particular topic extensively on Paul Jaminet’s Perfect Health Diet blog.

Moreover, a large clinical trial examining the effects of selenium supplementation on prostate cancer risk in over 35,000 men found that those with normal to high selenium levels at baseline experienced a significant increase in the risk of prostate cancer after supplementing with 200 mcg/d of selenium. For more details on this study, see my article “Important Update on Selenium Supplementation“.

For now, the best option for most people may be to include selenium-rich foods in the context of a healthy Paleo diet. Great sources of selenium include: brazil nuts, crimini mushrooms, cod, shrimp, tuna, halibut, salmon, scallops, chicken, eggs, shiitake mushrooms, lamb, and turkey. Brazil nuts are particularly rich in selenium; it only takes one or two per day to improve your selenium status and boost immune function. (11)

Making sure your selenium intake is optimal may give your immune system and thyroid the boost it needs to help it function better. It is especially important for those managing thyroid conditions to ensure their selenium status is adequate.

365 Comments

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  1. Since I started using selenium, my hypothyroidism has improved.I had to stop using levothyroxine tablets. and i am very happy..

  2. Hi Chris,

    I took levothyroxine (75mcg) for 20 years, and selenium may have played a role in helping me get off it completely.

    I’ll explain below. The helpful selenium for me would be in the form of eating cheddar cheese 20g to 60g a day. I am not absolutely sure it is just this though, as it could be an effect from a combination of things. I will tell you about the two other things, which top my list of possible things which have allowed me to get off levothyroxine completely.

    It has only been two weeks since I stopped taking levothyroxine, so I won’t know if I’m cured until this lasts for months.

    Already, it is unbelievable though, since I have fantasized that I would stumble upon a dietary change which would make my thyroid function normally, and I would be able to get this monkey off my back.

    Not only did I hate the idea of taking synthetic hormone for the rest of my life, it made me feel tethered to the medical establishment, since you HAVE to see a doctor, get a TSH test, and prescription in order to get the drug. (I went a few years, ordering levothyroxine from India with no prescription, managing it on my own, and going to a lab every 3 years or so to get a TSH.)

    In the past, any complete cessation of my thyroid medication (levothyroxine) would result in me hitting a wall of fatigue on about the 2nd or 3rd day off the medication. So, to go two weeks without any medication, and feeling absolutely wonderful and fine (not hyper or hypo) is extraordinary. That’s where I am now.

    Although I have done many dietary changes, which may have created a synergistic environment of thyroid healing, my top three suspects are:

    Green tea (just one cup)
    Cheddar Cheese (known to support the thyroid function)
    Red beans (dried not canned) and brown rice every day

    I retired a few years ago, and have been reading more things on the Internet, discussing things with my brother (who is also hypothyroid), and experimenting with my diet.

    I am thin, (have literally never been overweight in my whole life), very athletic, eat a fairly healthy diet, but get in diet ruts, eating what I think makes me feel optimal. I realize now I have been unwittingly avoiding some foods, which have probably disturbed my sleep in the past, because they made me go hyperthyroid. In other words, these foods were probably good for me, but they scared me, because they threw my thyroid level off.

    The problem for people who are hypothyroid and on levothyroxine, is that the symptoms of hypo and hyper, at least in the beginning stages, can be similar, for example, a loud heartbeat (palpitations), including feeling it bang in your chest.

    Although a too rapid pulse is hyperthyroid, it’s surprising some of the crazy things a heart with do when hypothyroid, so it can get hard to tell.

    Both hyper and hypo and have cognitive similarities also, like difficulty concentrating. Hypo tends to feel foggy and cloudy, whereas hyper is usually jittery and like you are thinking too much or too fast. Hyper can result in fatigue too, especially if the hyper is making you lose sleep.

    I won’t go into detail here, but before I was diagnosed with hypothyroidism, I lived for two years, without being tested or diagnosed with hypothyroidism. I was a zombie, and felt dead. My heart rate went down to 30BPM at night, and I’d wake up with all four of my limbs asleep, and I would feel dead. I’d wake up, and my heart would jerk back to life.

    That is what happens when your metabolism gets seriously slow. I know my heart rate at night because it was measured with a Holter device, a few days before I started on levothyroxine. So I came back from the living dead when I started on levothyroxine.

    I mention this, because I was scared of ever feeling those symptoms of being hypothyroid again. So while I didn’t always feel great when I was on levothyroxine, I maintained a diet which made me feel stable.

    The sadness of this now strikes me, as I know with certainty that although I love cheese, I avoided eating it, because it would make me feel bad, but the bad was going hyper. In other words, cheese is what I think may have supported my thyroid function so well, in combination with the levothyroxine I was taking, it made me go hyper.

    After some years of treating myself, i went to a doctor. I didn’t feel bad at the time, but I felt jittery at times, and had bad dreams, and would wake up and urinate too much.

    I requested an A1C for diabetes, and it was fine. I was hugely relieved. My TSH came back way below 1, so hyperthyroid. I reduced my medication from 100mcg (of levothyroxine) to 60mcg and felt really well again.

    About a year later, the 60mcg felt too low and I went to 75mcg. Then I began my diet adventures.

    I’ve been eating brown rice for decades, every day, usually with lentils. I switched the brown rice for quinoa, for the complete set of proteins. It was okay, but I thought I was eating too much quinoa, like two cups a day.

    I reduced the quinoa, went back to brown rice, but instead of lentils, I ate red beans, which take a lot longer to cook. Immediately, the red beans felt fantastic. I had good dreams, and slept well.

    But it was about 4 days after I started drinking a cup of green tea in the morning that I noticed I was going very hyper, and that’s when I decided to try just stopping thyroid medication to see how long I could go.

    I’ve read on the web that green tea can cause thyroid cell enlargement and lead to hypothyroidism, but there is one rate study backing that up, and the rats were given a high concentrate of green tea extract.

    Having one cup of ordinary green tea is not going to worsen hypothyroidism. Green tea is a distinguishing feature in the extraordinary longevity of the Japanese, according to Scientific American. And, indeed, no MDs are going to tell hypothyroid patients they should avoid green tea, or any other food. I think doctors should tell people with hypothyroidism to avoid raw broccoli. Potato chips are another really bad food, but that’s just my personal opinion.

    So, I’m on this one cup of green tea in the morning, lots of red beans and rice, some quinoa, (usually mixed with my morning oatmeal), and the 20g to 60g of cheddar cheese in my beans, and I’m feeling wonderful and balanced, and well.

    I have considered that it may just be one of the top three suspects: cheddar cheese, green tea, red beans & rice. And after many months, I may experiment with eliminating those things to see if I feel different when one is removed.

    Right now though, with only two weeks off my levothyroxine, I just want to continue with what I’m eating now. If I’m feeling great for 6 months, then I’ll try to narrow it down and share it with the world for free.

    I was never a big meat eater, and ate mostly chicken, so it was reading about quinoa that put me over the edge to try being a vegetarian again.

    I have a huge fear of soy, because when I was diagnosed with hypothyroidism 20 years ago, I had been eating way too much soy, and it is implicated in causing hypothyroidism. I also loved raw broccoli.

    By too much soy, I mean I would buy a brick of soy curd, put tomato sauce over it and eat the whole thing. So I’m trying to be more moderate in things right now.

    I just wrote this for both Chris and other people. The comments here are really great. It’s confusing for people with hypothyroidism to read stuff on the web, because there is a huge variety, with all these naturopaths who want to get you on their program or product.

    When I lived as a zombie for two years, I had a red herring symptom which mislead my physician from thinking my problem was thyroid related, so he never tested me. Instead, I found out he thought I was an alcoholic. Ironically, I’m a health nut, and at that time did not drink alcohol, coffee or tea.

    My two years spent as a zombie humbled me. The information on the web at the time was very poor and incomplete. Today, I would have had access to information to realize I needed a TSH. I felt like a different person for two years, detached, behind a foot of plate glass, dizzy, and often like I was dying. I was even tested for a brain tumor by an ER physician. It was negative, of course. I was hypothyroid.

    I would encourage everyone to explore varying their diet. Manual massage of the thyroid, at least in one dog study, shows that it makes thyroid function worse. I tried it once anyway. It seemed to make it worse.

    I do a set of daily exercises I’ve developed for myself, to increase my core strength, flexibility. One exercise I do consists of turning my head from side to side slowly, as well as head rolls.

    Now entering my mid-60s, I feel better in terms of physical and mental well-being than I felt when I was a young and a professional athlete. I think it is because of much better diet, and a more balanced, less stressful life.

    I’d be happy to answer any questions about my own experience with hypothyroidism. Naturopaths, in general, are much more interested in and in tune with thyroid issues and diet.

    There used to be an MD on the web — I forget his name — but I think he was also a naturopath, and he wrote well about the horrors of hypothyroidism, which he struggled with. He died in middle age.

    One guy in the comments here wrote about how it was his testosterone that was off, more than thyroid. And women often have female hormone issues which are tangled with thyroid issues.

    I think it is unfortunate that because thyroid medication is so cheap, there is very little funded research in the relationship between diet and thyroid, or getting people off thyroid medication. Lots of older women, especially, go hypothyroid and are put on levothyroxine, and it’s never considered if this is absolutely necessary.

    One small anecdote about selenium and cheddar cheese. My father used to eat a small about of cheddar cheese and crackers every night, with one beer. He stopped it around age 75, encouraged to stop the one beer, because my mother was a religious fantatic. He stopped eating cheddar cheese also after going through heart surgery. It was then he went hypothyroid.

  3. Brazil nuts definitely do help convert thyroid hormone to active thyroid hormone. So will Boost nutritional drink. I stayed away from all these drinks because of all the stuff they put in them, but I always trusted Boost. Not anymore though, had a problem with it, checked the label and sure enough, selenium. I can’t eat Brazil nuts either.

    • Hey Timbo…thank you for sharing your detailed history on some overlooked factors of what could be affecting many individuals thyroid function, including my own. Actually fascinating how “well” you may have it narrowed down through trial and error. I’m going through a roller-coaster phase currently with my thyroid and it’s extremely life-disrupting. Hoping to find some answers to help contribute back to others suffering as well, cause most doc’s don’t seem to have the time/focus to really pin it the true complex interactions down. Would love to know more how your self-experiment is going…best of luck and again, thank you for your insights! (and certainly Chris as welll!)

  4. I have had Hashimoto’s disease (hypothyroidism) for 11 years. Before being diagnosed I felt like death! I started out on Levoxyl 50 mcg. And eventually needed, over the course of time, up to 250 mcg. It made me felt better, however, my symptoms did not go away, joint pains, fatigue, weight gain, brain fog, rough and dry skin, constipation, depression etc. After much research I started on Hypothyroidism herbal formula i ordered from NewLife Herbal Clinic, i followed the treatment procedures faithfully for 8 weeks. It made a huge difference! It eliminated all my symptoms including my terrible joint pains. Go grain free of hypothyroidism!, Contact NewLife Herbal Clinic via their official website (Visit www . newlifeherbalclinic. com or email [email protected] newlifeherbalclinic .com). This NewLife hypothyroidism herbal formula helped me tremendously.

  5. Chris,

    I have both Celiac and Hashimotos. I am unable to take selenium is there anything else someone with Hashimotos can take to improve thyroid function

    • Apologies in advance as I am not answering your question, but I am curious as to why are you unable to take Selenium?

    • I’ve had digestive issues with taking a selenium capsule all at once. I take very small amounts through the day to avoid these problems.

    • in Homeo (william schabe Company) there will be special drops for thyroid – Thyrodium 3x & selenium 3x which regulates the thyroid function . Homeo cures better than Iodine tablets .

  6. I have graves disease, I was treated with iodine radiation to zap the thyroid. I take Levothyroxine and Liothyronine (extra T3)
    Would it benefit me to add the brazil nuts into my diet?

    • hi Rita,
      My brother has hypothyroid disease. He alternates between taking 1 and 2 brazil nuts daily. It didn’t cause any negative effects so he eats them daily. I would say start by eating 1 and see how it feels. If no negative effects, try eating 1-2 daily. Of course if it causes upset stomach or something else, stop taking them. Try it and let me know how it went. thanks

    • Not a Doctor, but I would never take Generic for my Thyroid and not Synthroid. I take Armour Thyroid and the Brand name, no Generic!.

      Generics by Law can have as little as 80 mcg or mg up to 120 mcg or mg. One month you may get the dosage you need and the next batch may be higher or lower so it causes flips from Hypo to Hyper and people do not know this about Generic. A smart Pharmacist will know this, if they don’t they do not know their drugs!!! My Endocrinologist told me this and she was correct. I kept flipping and was so sick all the time. I never have those flips on Armour Thyroid. Well and happy!

  7. I’m hypothyroid, I always feel full, and bloated and still always hungry, exhausted as well as moody, depressed, use to be 110lb went to 146lb in 3 weeks. be come suicidal but Thank god that’s not me told the doctor about this. They tasted me my tsh was 58.3 it’s now in the normal range. Suicide thoughts are gone but Extreme fatigue continues as well as muscle and joint pain. Cannot seem to get the weight off was walking 6 miles 3 to 4 times a week. Can’t seem to get a doctor in Florida that cares enough to help. I’m always told I’m getting older. Ugh I’m only 48. With that said do you think Brazil Nuts will help.

    • Tammy,

      Please see the website ‘Stop the Thyroid Madness’. There is a lot of information there. Many people with hypothyroidism are not getting proper dosages, due to too much reliance on TSH by doctors in tests. It is a complex issue, please see the site.

      Best wishes

    • Sounds just like me before I was finally diagnosed with fibromyalgia. The symptoms you describe are text book indicators. I was put on thyroxine years ago but continued to feel like I was 80 years old, despite being in 40’s. After my GP told me “You’re just getting older” I found a new GP who took me seriously and referred me to my wonderful rhumatologist!! We are still working on getting my meds right but I am already having less pain and it’s such a relief just to be heard!!! Find yourself a new GP who will listen.

    • Please go to an Endocrinologist they can work wonders I promise. I am a man but I was diagnosed with hypothyroidism and they put me on synthroid. That helped my TSH levels a little but I still felt like crap. So I went to an endocrinologist and low and behold I had low testosterone also. That is not a problem for you most likely but all that hormone stuff is connected. It would be worth it to go I promise. Things like Cushings disease are more common than you think.

      • They did little to help me I’m on Armour I read it’s from low iodine and a virus or any change that triggers for me it a new child born paleo diet will lower the pain level a lot

    • My brother had all the symptoms you described. He was having suicidal thoughts and after treatment this was resolved but some symptoms still remain. He’s taking 1-2 brazil nuts daily. Try eating 1 brazil nut daily and if you’re feeling okay with it, try 2. My brother alternates between 1-2 daily. If you feel it makes you feel worse, stop taking them. Brazil nuts contain seleneium which I read helps with thyroid disease. So try it and see. thanks

    • I’ve had this problem as well and generally the endocrinologist or physicians never really give you enough thyroid medicine. There is somebody on Facebook that says he wants to find out why all of us have thyroid problems to begin with but in the meantime you’re gonna want to find a physician who will give you more thyroid medicine. Preferably nature thyroid. I’m going to take some selenium and a little tiny bit of iodine because I don’t have an appetite either and my weight will not come off. The guy on Facebook said that a lot of times if we’re hypothyroid, lack of selenium, d3, calcium, magnesium and others might be preventing the thyroid medicine or the thyroid hormone to connect to our DNA and even though the measurements say we have enough in our body, if it’s not connecting to the DNA we will not feel the benefits of the hormone.

      • FLORINATED WATER!!!!!! is the major reason thyroid disease is thru the roof……#1..FLORIDE IS POISION!!!! it has never been proven to reduce cavities..FLORIDE DESTROYS YOUR THYROID!!!! It Exaserbates other conditions as well #2 PLASTICS!!!! #3 HEAVY METAL TOXINS!!!!! Watch thepowerhour.com Dr Joyce Riley and Dr Sherri Rogers.. another great person to listen to The Health Ranger mike adams, he is a heavy metal toxicology expert.. i was taking 325 mcg of synthyroid daily..my hair still falling out, cold hand’s and feet, dry cracking skin, unbelievable fatigue, puffy swollen legs..my T4 wasnt converting to T3..i had to ask 3 different endocrinolgists for Cytomel (converts T4 to T3). 25 mcg’s of Cytomel in addition to the 325 mcg synthyroid..the doctors dont want to prescribe it why??? It took care of my lingering symptoms..i now started taking iodine drops, 50,000 iu vit D a week, magnesium oil both internal and spray on skin…listen to those shows i indicated above..

        • Not only fluoride but also gluten! I am now seeing a thyroid specialist and was tested for a wide variety of things. I am deficient in iodine, zinc, selenium, magnesium and vitD3 – all of which are vital for conversion of T4 to T3. Currently taking supplements but only on week 3 so no results just yet. I’m on synthetic T4 only – no GP prescribes natural thyroid in Australia so struggling to find a doctor who will but that is the ultimate goal for me. Also have similar symptoms: chronic fatigue, foggy brain, weight gain even though I don’t eat a lot, etc etc. Terrible that so many of us are being denied adequate care by our medical systems

          • Hi, in some country in europe like in greece you can buy in pharmacy t3 pills without any prescription. Legally.

          • Jill you CAN get natural thyroid supplement in Australia. You have to get onto a doctor with more than a rudementary knowledge of thyroid diseases and one who seeks out more than the stock standard Big Pharma medications. Natural thyroid supplements with both T3 and T4 can then be made up by a Compound Chemist. There are at least 5 in Melbourne

            • Thanks Renata. It’s just a case of finding that doctor which is my problem at the moment. I continue to be hopeful that I will start to feel normal in the not too distant future.

        • is your thyroiditis cured? I drink a whole lot of tap water. I am also diagnosed with Hashimotos. Tried going to a naturopath, ended up taking Armour (pig gland). For 3 mos now. I feel a little better but they want me to take more and I find the irritability side affect is something i can’t tolerate. I am doing Yoga, trying to destress naturally and take in more foods with iodine. I am at my wits end and I want to heal myself if at all possible. However as a nurse I know the importance of thyroid function … any HELP or READING anyone can suggest.

    • Hi Tammy,
      I too have had the same issues you have, plus Celiacs. I found a functional doctor who tested my thyroid in depth and I have Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis. She encouraged me to do the Autoimmune Paleo nutritional protocol. I started immediately and followed it to the “t”…within a week my joint pain was gone. Within two weeks I had more energy then I have had in years, by week three I felt well….the only word I can use to describe is “happy” and at peace. Furthermore I also lost 16 lbs. I feel so good I have decided to stay on this protocol indefinitely. I would encourage you to try it, google Hashimoto’s and look at the symptoms. Try the Autoimmune Paleo diet, google it and you will find tons of stuff, http://autoimmune-paleo.com is an excellent source of information. Plus they may be able to help you find a functional doctor in your area. Facebook has several Hashimoto groups and autoimmune groups, when members ask about help with doctors there is always someone in their state or area with a suggestion. Good luck and I hope you find the answers you need to restore your health.

    • I live in FL too, and I’m currently looking for a natural Dr. to help me. My thyroid was removed and I’ve felt suicidal, depressed, tired, no energy, achy, brain fog….I’m tired of living like this. This is no quality of life.

      • I have met Carol Roberts MD and am very impressed by her. She’s in Naples. I have no affiliation with her practice.

      • Check out Dr Amy Myers website. She’s in Austin, Tx. Many different options for treatment. She’s an MD AND a Functional Medicine Dr. Very informative. She’s on facebook. Good luck.

        • I have no affiliation whatsoever with Tim Smith (other than getting helped by him with thyroid issues) so I feel comfortable recommending him. He’s an MD in Sebastopol who does phone consults globally. He’s quite expensive I will say but worth it to me. His book is “Renewal Research” and his website is renewalresearch.com. He has made a special study of thyroid issues – knows the ins and outs – his book has a good chapter on this topic. Re selenium – blue corn chips apparently have quite a lot of bioavailable. I myself am leery of sardines because of mercury which has reached every corner of the ocean including the Marianas Trench.

    • I am a 50 year old woman. Only a few short years ago, I was very active and very fit. In the past three years, I went from a size 5 to a size 12. 125 pounds to 155. I was tired and depressed and stressed and everything was sore and stiff, especially my knees. Im a nurse in a very fast paced facility…so this wasnt good. I started researching my symptoms and it all leads to hypothyroidism. Like you, everyone tells me, “oh its your age….just take some ibuprofen and dont worry about it”. I read about how selenium plays a key part in the conversion of T4 to T3 and how without enough, your thyroid could suffer. I purchased a bottle of Spring Valley Selenium (about $6) and have been taking one 200 mcg pill in the morning and one at night. Its been about three weeks. Now, I dont know how it will work for you and Im not a doctor, but in those three short weeks, my pain and stiffness has subsided enough for me to be able to do exercises that require bending the knees. Im sleeping better and the best part……I’ve lost nine pounds! I went from 155 to 146. I am on a low carb diet, but honestly, thats nothing new. Whats new is that the diet is actually working. Like I said, this is my experience and I wanted to share it with you because your comment resonated with me.

      • Amazing. I recently stop taking thyroid medications T3 and T4 to see if I can make any changes naturally. I star to take selenium 200mg and started gluten free diet. I am so happy to see your post. I am glad it is working for you. I reileze nobody talking about staying away from soy. What is everybody’s feeling and experience with soy? Thanks, Sal

    • Hi Tammy, I don’t know where you are in florida, but Dr. Jeffrey Dach specializes in thyroid disorders, and only treats them naturally without synthetic meds like Synthroid. He is in the Broward county area. I wish you all the best; it’s been awhile since your post, and I hope you have made some progress on this very challenging and complicated journey.

    • Tami, where in Florida do you live? The complaints you have just listed many have found relief doing the AIP diet (autoimmune protocol diet). It is very restrictive but there is a Facebook Group that is very supportive and the women have changed dramatically. I pretty much follow it as well and have gone from 195 pounds to 133 pounds. I highly suggest you look into it as many women have turned around their lives and how they feel just being on it.

    • I stopped my 112mcg daily after 3 years and post RAI for Graves disease and started taking sea kelp and 200mcg selenium daily instead. all these fat bloated and hungry symptoms went away. when I forgot to take selenium for two days, I woke up with my finger joints flared up and looking knobby, and deformed with arthritis. Selenium helped with the inflammation immediately. Fluoride from toothpaste and city water supply also greatly increased these flare ups. Removing all fluoride from my life and supplementing sea kelp and selenium really improved they way I feel daily over synthetic levothyroxine.

      Not only that, using iodine topically on my beasts firmed then up and eliminated hard, large nodules that had formed.
      I have found zero ill effects from removing Levo. In fact, the one day I took it and did not take my selenium and sea kelp made me feel retched! ! I had a ringing in my head, and a coldness in my bones/lower legs that I could not rid. Not to mention the awful moods swings.
      The miraculous thing for me is how quickly and noticeably the effects from these empirical experiments manifest themselves. This gave me confidence to listen to my own body and continue supplementation. I will always have endless bottles of Levo as a back up, should other I’ll effects develop. I am not a doctor, but I hope this information helps some people make decisions for themselves. I am a 42 year old Hispanic woman with no children and have spent the last few years removing as many harmful toxins from my daily life as possible. I have a motto, if I’m not willing to eat it, I won’t put it on my skin. Therefore, results may vary depending on a person’s toxicity load and liver and kidney function, where T3 and T4 is converted and metabolized. This could be a reason why my effects are so quickly notable. I take no other medications.
      Again, I hope this information helps.

      • Congratulations ? I also am stoped taking medication and doing research to find right natural way to fix my body. So far I am taking Selenium, Zinc and I started gluten free diet. Also soy free diet. I don’t see anybody talking about soy free diet is there a reason for it ? Do you know anything about it. Thanks, Sal

    • It sounds like your symptoms are related to an autoimmune disease such as Hashimotos. There is currently a documentary series online that is the most informative you will find anywhere. Theres a link below to sign up and be able to watch the remaining episodes. #5 of 9 will be released later this evening. I hope you find it helpful!

      http://urltag.net/Blnnx

    • You may have a T3 conversion problem, so whatever thyroid hormone you are taking (probably T4) isn’t working. This happened to me. I was on a generic T4, then on a name brand one, for about 1 1/2 years, and those did not help. I now see a very knowledgeable naturopathic doctor and am now on a natural dessicated T4/T3 combination, and my health has improved a lot. I still have some issues with soft tissue and joint pain. I buy the pills from him. I still have some issues, and have been thinking of getting my selenium tested, which could be a factor in why I don’t feel 100%. . Also, if you are deficient in vitamin D, (a crucial vitamin for thyroid hormone production), you will not improve. Once the naturopath tested me for key vitamin deficiencies, (which were vit. D, B12, and Iodine) I began to feel better. I had much less fatigue and over time, my brain fog got better. I also went gluten free and dairy free because of the Hashimotos’s. I was able to reverse almost completely my very high thyroid antibodies and I think it was due to the medication and the new diet. I get tested every 6 months to make sure the thyroid antibodies are low. Many doctors before my naturopath tested only my TSH levels and said it was normal and my fatigue, brain fog, hair loss and sleep issues might be from depression! I kept searching for the answer! It was not traditional medicine that helped me.

  8. I don’t understand why you don’t recommend just getting tested for selenium deficiency instead of guessing if you need selenium or not.

  9. I had 1/2 of my thryoid removed in May 2015 due to a nodule.

    So far (Jan 2016) my t3 and t4 levels are normal but my TSH is on the rise. I’ve started feeling more tired, my bowels are slowing down and I think I’m gaining weight. I want to try the selenium pills and iodine treatment before going on synthroid, which is what my ENT said she will start me on if I start to go hypo.
    My question is, I keep seeing “start slow”. Can anyone tell me exactly what that might look like and how long would it be to get to “normal” dosage?
    Thanks all.

    • I saw a dietician for diet r/t thyroid function.
      She warned me that doses higher than 400 mcg. Can cause digestive upset. Best source is brazil nuts, just 2 or 3 a day. 5 has 340mcg. Selenium.

    • I experienced immediate and wonderful effects from supplementing 200 mcg selenium. Have you tried it? I’m wonder as this comment is coming to you a year later.
      Please see my lengthy comment above describing the wonderful results selenium and sea kelp had for me.
      Blessings!

  10. What about the claim that Brazil nuts are unsuitable for selenium supplementation because:
    – their selenium content varies widely depending on the soil they were grown on
    – they contain a very small amount of radioactive radium
    ?

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