Selenium and your Thyroid Problems

Selenium is a mineral that has been found to affect the thyroid. Your thyroid is a large endocrine gland located in the back of the neck. It affects your body's growth and functioning. You could call it the master of your metabolism. It appears that Selenium may be effective at slowing down the onset and progression of autoimmune thyroid disease.

Women are most likely to develop thyroid problems as they develop problems seven times more often than men, and their risk of developing thyroid problems increases as they age. Of course, your chances of developing thyroid problems also increases if members of your family had or has thyroid problems.

Autoimmune thyroid disease is usually a conglomeration of several different types of thyroid disorders caused by the bodies immune system attacking the cells of the thyroid. This can result in hypothyroidism, which is a reduced production of hormones, and hyperthyroidism, which is an excess of thyroid hormone production. Thyroid disease can also be called Grave's Disease and Hashimoto's Thyroiditis. All three affect the thyroid but are different. Autoimmune thyroid disease can be devastating and challenging for your doctors to diagnose. You may experience symptoms such as cold sweats, fevers, hair loss, swelling, fatigue, weight gain and loss, depression, prickly or itchy skin, and constipation amongst other symptoms. These are vague symptoms and many doctors can have a hard time picking Thyroid problems out from the many other possibilities.

Thyroid disease can be caused by a number of different things. If you've been exposed to radiation, sometimes eating too many soy products can cause thyroid disease to act up. There are some heart medications with can cause hypothyroidism. A deficiency of iodine in the diet can lead to Thyroid problems. If you eat to many 'goitrogenic' foods like broccoli and Brussels sprouts you can develop thyroid problems. Lastly, surgery on or around the thyroid can cause problems to develop.
It is thought that a deficiency of Selenium in the diet can also lead to autoimmune thyroid disease. Remember the disease is caused by the immune system attacking the thyroid and Selenium has an effect on the immune system. Selenium may be able to normalize the out of whack immune system in thyroid condition patients.

A Dr. Barbara Gasnier of Medizinische Klinik University in Germany headed up a study of seventy-two women with autoimmune thyroid disease. The women were divided into two groups, one taking a placebo and the other received 200 mcg of Selenium a day. After three months the researchers took blood from each of the women. Nine of the women from the Selenium group had their immune system antibodies return to normal compared to two women of the placebo group. On average the antibodies that attacked the thyroid in the Selenium group decreased forty percent compared to the antibodies of the placebo group which only decreased ten percent.

The daily supplementation of Selenium in this study is higher than the recommended daily intake which is fifty-five micrograms. You need to consult a doctor before taking a Selenium supplement in the management of autoimmune thyroid disease.


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