Many people are unaware of the effects that your thyroid and thyroid medication s have on bone health. A proper thyroid balance at every age is imperative!
Thyroid hormones are key regulators of skeletal development in childhood and bone density in adulthood.
Hypothyroidism in children may cause slow bone maturation and decreased growth, but what’s also interesting is that people who may be taking too much thyroid medication (such as Synthroid, Cytomel, Armour thyroid) increases activity of osteoclasts (the cells that break down bone) and put you at increased risk of fracture. This is the same of people with hyperthryoidism, where a high bone turnover can cause an increased risk of fractures.
Thyroid stimulating hormone requirements decrease with age, so a 20 or 30 year old will often require a higher dose than in their 50’s or 60’s. We do see an increased need during pregnancy frequently.
5 Key Steps to Take For Supporting Your Thyroid and Bone Health:
· Know your bone density – this test can help inform you about your risk of breaking a bone
· Know your thyroid numbers – TSH, Free T3, Free T4 – ensure they are balanced and even though you may feel better outside one of the ranges, know if has lasting effects on other areas of your body
· Get 4-5 serving of calcium rich foods daily in your diet – see list of non-dairy calcium containing foods here (most of my patients are dairy free and rely on non -dairy sources of calcium)
· Check vitamin D levels and supplement if needed – vitamin D is imperative for the absorption of calcium into the bones. Unfortuantely here in Canada most people are deficient in vitamin D especially throughout the winter months
· Engage in weight bearing exercise – I advise many of my patients to strap on velcro weights of 2-3 pounds to their wrists or ankles when going for walks, the added weight will help strengthen bones and protect you from fractures.