Carl, 31 was a happy-go-lucky spirit with a regular 9 to 5 job and a taste for adventures on weekends. The adrenaline junkie would opt for his favourite activity with all enthusiasm. But sooner his excitement began to diminish, as lousiness, weight gain and lethargy made his life sluggish. It was affecting his daily work as well. He decided to put on his detective’s hat to investigate the reasons behind these anomalies and consulted his family physician.
“Thyroid it is”, the diagnosis revealed his hypothyroidism, along with a grave concern of deficiency of iron!
Iron, the blood building mineral is critical for functioning of thyroid gland. Iron plays a key role in the production of thyroid hormones. It bonds to an enzyme thyroid peroxidase, important to convert thyroid hormone, thyroxine (T4) to triiodothyronine (T3) (active form of thyroid hormone). Lack of iron leads to low hemoglobin (protein that carries oxygen from lungs to body tissues and brings back CO2 from body tissues to lungs). It also causes low bonding to thyroid peroxidase reducing the production of thyroid hormones.
Deficiency of iron can result due to various reasons such as considerate blood loss, during pregnancy, lack of iron rich diet, etc. Little do people are aware about its effect on thyroid. Patients with thyroid problems suffer from low gastric acid secretion. Gastric acid is essential for uptake of minerals like iron. Iron deficiency also results due to low thyroid hormones. Less iron means less T3 production which results into hypothyroidism.
Both the anomalies in an individual can cause weight gain, depression, increased cholesterol levels, constipation, hair loss and rough/dry skin and what not! Routine check on iron levels is done rarely by the doctors. It is considered that if the quantity of RBCs and the hemoglobin are normal, then iron would also be in normal range. However, this might not be the case every time. Ferritin, which serves as storage iron takes longer time to replenish in low serum iron levels. A simple blood test can detect any problems with iron levels and thyroid hormones.
Boost your Iron levels and calm a troubled Thyroid by:
- Consuming iron-rich foods like legumes and leafy green vegetables.
- Intake of Vitamin B-12 rich foods like fortified cereals, soy milk is must.
- Avoiding foods inhibiting iron absorption like coffee, walnuts, spinach, beets, nuts, chocolate, etc.
- Increased physical activity with exercises will improve metabolism.
- Timely intake of medications and supplements along with timely tests.
Diagnosing the iron levels responsible for hypothyroidism in Carl’s case surely shook the grounds beneath him but helped him to act earlier, preventing the situation from worsening.
Fill your iron banks to sustain the thyroid gland!