I'm 63 years old and in pretty good health with the exception of having low thyroid function. I've tried most of the natural techniques to boost function with only marginal success. I've taken thyroid hormones and again it has only provided marginal results. My doctor continues to monitor my T3 and T4 blood levels, but seems confused about what to do now. Is there something he could be overlooking?
It would be wise to have your doctor check to see if you also have a zinc deficiency. Adequate levels of zinc are required for proper thyroid hormone metabolism, and as we age thyroid problems and zinc deficiencies both become more common.
Keep in mind that most laboratory tests for zinc deficiency are not very reliable. A simple alternative is to try the zinc taste test:
- Dissolve 1 gram of zinc sulfate in 1 liter of distilled water
- Taste 5–10 milliliters
If you immediately detect a strong, unpleasant taste, you probably have adequate zinc reserves. However, if you taste nothing and after a few minutes experience a dry, furry sensation in the mouth, chances are good that you have a zinc deficiency.
Recommended supplement dosages in this case generally range from 30–50 mg of zinc (elemental) per day. Also, keep in mind that it may take months for oral zinc supplementation to affect a chronic thyroid problem.