Do you experience any of the following?
- Rapid heart rate/ palpitations
- Weight loss or gain
- Dry skin
- Hair loss
- Excessive sweating/ Intolerance to the cold
- Spontaneous miscarriage
Or you have been trying to fall pregnant and keep miscarrying, and only have maybe one of the above symptoms?
Have you had your thyroid checked recently? Did your doctor also check for thyroid antibodies?
Autoimmune thyroid disease can present with symptoms of hyperthyroidism, hypothyroidism, or no symptoms at all other than trouble staying pregnant.
What is autoimmune thyroid disease?
Autoimmune thyroid disease (ATD) has a genetic predisposition, where the immune system has malfunctioned and attacks the body’s own cells.
Your thyroid is responsible for producing peroxidase (T3) and thyroglobulin (T4). In the case of ATD (hypothyroidism), antibodies are formed against the thyroid parenchyma and eventually destroys this, resulting in hyperthyroidism.
This is thought to be caused by many factors including deficiencies in nutrients such as magnesium, selenium, iodine, zinc, vitamins A and B12.
ADT is also more common in people that produce little to no symptoms, and also tends to affect women more than men.
Indeed in a study by Konastantios, A, T et al (2010), he observes there is an association between spontaneous miscarriage and autoimmune thyroid disease.
- Magnesium is needed for the healthy production of the placental lining.
- Magnesium deficiency is also related to stress. Many women undergoing IVF support or having troubles conceiving understandably become very stressed.
- Stuefer, S et al (2015), found in their study that women with higher blood levels of magnesium had a higher rate of successful pregnancies.
- Konastantios, A, T et al (2010), found women who suffered ATD had a two fold higher risk of spontaneous miscarriage than those without ADT.
- Correcting nutritional levels in women trying to conceive and relaxation techniques have shown to improve pregnancy rates and reduce spontaneous miscarriage.
What can help if you have or suspect you have autoimmune thyroid disease
- Increase your intake of the following nutrients (consult your nutritionist/naturopath first)
- Vitamin D3
- Iodine (if suffer graves disease please seek medical advice first)
- Increase your magnesium intake, especially if trying to become pregnant – whole wheat grains, spinach, quinoa, and almonds are all rich in magnesium
- Reduce stress levels using techniques that work for you – everyone is different here!
- Incorporate aerobic exercise into your lifestyle to stimulate the production of T3 and T4 hormones.
Friedman, M, ND. (2013). Autoimmune thyroid diseases: Treating with nutrients and botanicals. Autoimmune/Allergy, Endocrinology. Sited 17th of March 2018 http://ndnr.com/autoimmuneallergy-medicine/autoimmune-thyroid-disease/
Stuefer, S., Moncayo, H., Moncayo, R (2015). The role of magnesium and thyroid function in early pregnancy after in-vitro fertilization (IVF): New aspects in endocrine physiology ‘BBA Clinical’ 3, 196–204
Toulis, K, A., Goulis, D, G., Venetis, C, A., Kolibianakis, E, M., Negro, N., Tarlatzis, B, C., and Papadima, I. (2010) Risk of spontaneous miscarriage in euthyroid women with thyroid autoimmunity undergoing IVF: a meta-analysis.’ European Journal of Endocrinology’ 162 643–652