On a hot summer day, when the sun is beating down on you, your body will begin to send you signals. Sweating, faster heartbeat, fatigue and dizziness are all symptoms that your body is under stress.
But your body is constantly sending you signals, even when you’re not doing strenuous activities. Understanding the function of our body and its specific systems within helps us to understand the true need for adequate health and wellness.
Proper hydration and electrolyte levels are not what we normally connect to our thyroid as a means of healing, but patients with thyroid conditions such as Hasimoto’s disease or hypothyroidism may be more susceptible to dehydration caused by electrolyte imbalance, and may be more noticeably affected by symptoms.
Electrolytes are salts and minerals that are normally found in our bodies and help our bodies maintain the function of all the bodily processes. We get electrolytes from our food and drinks and get rid of electrolytes through urine and sweat.
Electrolytes become ions that conduct electrical signals in the body. These signals create communication and function within nerves and muscles, as the electrolytes move in and out of cells. Electrolytes are important for fluid balance, muscle contraction, and blood pressure, and play other roles in the body as well.
- Sodium – involved in the regulation of blood pressure, muscle and nerve function, as well as transport of nutrients into the cell.
- Magnesium – involved in the regulation of muscle and nerve function, blood sugar, hormone activity, blood pressure, as well as energy production
- Potassium – involved in the maintenance of heart and brain health, as well as the regulation of blood pressure.
- Calcium – helps strengthen bones and teeth, and muscle function; prevents osteoporosis, and lowers cholesterol levels.
- Chloride – involved in the regulation of body fluids, muscle and heart function.
Thyroid & Electrolyte Connection
The thyroid is necessary for the proper balance of calcium and sodium in the body. If your thyroid is underactive, calcium and sodium levels will be lower than usual, while magnesium will be higher than usual. People with Hashimoto’s or hypothyroidism sweat out more calcium and sodium compared to people with a properly functioning thyroid.
An abundance of clinical research shows that electrolyte imbalances and thyroid imbalances are directly connected. This is partly due to the fact that thyroid abnormalities may lead to changes in renal function, which in turn can lead to electrolyte imbalances.
Thyroid hormones are involved in the metabolism of minerals. People with hypothyroidism generally experience a slower metabolism, resulting in electrolyte abnormalities.
One study that aimed to find out the effect of hypothyroidism on electrolyte and mineral levels, looked at 140 cases of overt hypothyroidism from whom blood samples were collected. Their T3, T4, and TSH levels were measured. Calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, sodium, and potassium levels in the blood were also measured.
Researchers concluded that the higher the TSH levels a patient had, the higher their magnesium and phosphorus levels were, and the lower the values of serum calcium, sodium, and potassium levels were. Ultimately, they found that the more severe a patient’s hypothyroidism is, the more severe their electrolyte imbalances may be.
But there is certainly still plenty of hope available. You may be able to reverse thyroid imbalance rapidly with hydration and proper electrolyte consumption.
If your TSH is a little higher than normal and you’re experiencing thyroid symptoms, part of that could be due to lack of proper hydration, and increasing your water and/or electrolyte intake will increase the efficiency of your thyroid hormones. The electrolyte minerals, specifically sodium, potassium, and magnesium, are actually very nourishing for the thyroid.
The best way to flood your system with electrolytes is by IV infusion. Our Lifestyle Drip menu is full of options to help replenish electrolytes and restore balance to your body.
If you are looking for a quality option for replenishment on-the-go, we carry an excellent electrolyte drink mix in our office. Optimal Electrolyte by Seeking Health is a great alternative to Gatorade and other commercial sports drinks. One 12-ounce serving of Gatorade’s Thirst Quencher contains 21 grams of sugar.
And since a regular bottle of Gatorade contains 32 ounces, you’re actually getting 56 grams of sugar if you finish the whole thing. Aside from the sugar content, we always recommend avoiding added food dyes and other endocrine and hormone disrupting substances.
Optimal Electrolyte by Seeking Health provides key nutrients in an easy-to-use powder form to support peak physical performance. With no artificial flavors or colors, Optimal Electrolyte offers a healthy alternative to high-sugar sports drinks. Key ingredients such as Creatine, D-ribose and Niacin along with important mineral electrolytes such as potassium and magnesium, make Optimal Electrolyte an excellent choice for supporting endurance and energy levels as part of your daily routine or fitness regimen.
Our goal at Kare Health & Wellness is to help you address underlying causes of symptoms and health issues through functional medicine. By assessing all factors of your health, such as thyroid function and proper hydration (and how they are connected), we can begin to address electrolyte imbalances and facilitate thyroid healing.