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Thyroid Triggers Everyone Ignores | Butter Nutrition

Thyroid Triggers Everyone Ignores | Butter Nutrition

When it comes to low thyroid issues, subclinical or otherwise, it’s easy to get caught in the weeds with what to do about it.

But going down rabbit holes with expensive testing + supplements often doesn’t yield results and can even be counterproductive.

If you zoom out, the reason for low thyroid symptoms is pretty obvious and easy to change with a focused approach.

Root Causes of Thyroid Issues

When it comes to pinning down the root cause of your thyroid issues, these are the key areas you’ll want to pay attention to. I’ve yet to see a client with thyroid issues that doesn’t line up with at least one of these (usually multiple).

The Liver

The liver (along with the thyroid and gut) are the key locations that thyroid hormone conversion occurs. This is where the conversion of inactive thyroid hormone (T4) to active thyroid hormone takes place (T3) that helps to give you energy and make your metabolism run flawlessly.

What do you think happens when the liver is overwhelmed with too much work to do because the body is accumulating toxins (‘work’) faster than it can get rid it? If you guessed reduce thyroid hormone conversion, you’re right on target.

Improve liver health to improve thyroid hormone conversion.

Key supports: adequate protein, carbohydrates, therapeutic fiber and zinc to support healthy detoxification, along with reducing nutrition excess and toxin exposure.

The Gut

Just like the liver, the gut is key for activating thyroid hormone. When your gut is overwhelmed with poor digestion, bacterial overgrowth, pathogens and inflammation, its going to have a ripple effect on thyroid health.

Recent integrated medicine case reports support this, finding that symptoms originally attributed to thyroid dysfunction were instead caused by suboptimal gastrointestinal health. [1]

Key supports: short-term probiotics and dietary modifications, long-term focus a healthy biliary-liver axis

Under eating, over exercising or dieting (especially low calorie, low protein and low carb diets)

Low thyroid symptoms (or hypothyroidism) can be self-induced by not meeting your body’s fuel needs. Just like you wouldn’t expect your house to stay warm in the winter if you couldn’t afford to pay your electricity bill, the body works in a similar way. This is an adaptive mechanism to help you survive when your body’s not getting the amount of fuel it needs.

Meet your body’s daily caloric and macronutrient needs to set the stage for thyroid hormone homeostasis.

Key supports: adequate calories for daily expenditure, balanced macronutrient diet

Mineral Imbalances

Several years ago in my nutrition studies, I learned about the mineral balance needed to support optimal thyroid health, namely calcium and potassium. These two super-important minerals must be in good balance with each other, but it’s something that I rarely see when working with my clients experiencing thyroid symptoms.

So, if you’re dealing with these thyroid symptoms, the first line of nutritional and in this case mineral defense, may be getting your calcium and potassium levels back in balance! If you don’t know your calcium and potassium levels, you may want to. It’s pretty easy to find out with Hair Analysis.

Alright, so we need proper balance between calcium and potassium (a.k.a. the thyroid ratio in hair analysis) to support optimal thyroid health from the mineral perspective, but the common American lifestyle compounds this problem twofold — forcing calcium level too high (often by supplementing too much vitamin D), and potassium levels too low.

This makes the thyroid ratio go way out of balance, and chances are, you may be familiar with the way that makes you feel.

You see, calcium slows things down in the body if you have too much of it, but high calcium levels are now commonplace due to Vitamin D supplementation. In short, it’s often not from eating too much calcium-rich food, but instead a product of vitamin D supplementation. Vitamin D supplements tell your gut to absorb more calcium from your food than you would otherwise. The even worse supplement combination would be supplementing high amounts of vitamin D and calcium at the same time.

According to Trace Element Lab, “The inhibitory action of calcium on the thyroid has been suspected since the last century, but more recent studies have confirmed its effects. It is known that calcium decreases thyroid activity and that calcium absorption is increased in thyroid insufficiency. Vitamin D would also be considered to contribute to lowered thyroid function due to its close, synergistic relationship to calcium.” [2]

Key supports: balancing calcium and potassium levels (more on that here)

What about thyroid meds?

While thyroid meds can be extremely helpful in the short-term (and long term for people with thyroid removal), they can be a double-edged sword.

In an over-simplification, taking thyroid medication is like buying energy for your body with a credit card.

Seems harmless at first, right?


Credit cards can be an incredible tool for getting things you want, but they can also be very dangerous if the right money management is not in place to back up what you are “spending”.

If you take thyroid medication without addressing the root cause behind it, you are essentially purchasing that “increased energy” with a credit card! If your body doesn’t have the nutritional stores to pay for that energy, that thyroid medication could be digging you deeper and deeper into a nutritional deficit that will worsen things over time.

This if often why someone needs to ‘up’ their thyroid med dose over time.

The message I am trying to get across is that if your energy is low by way of reduced thyroid function, then there is a nutritional aspect that needs to be addressed.

No Magic Pill

This is what is REALLY causing low thyroid symptoms, and there’s not a magic pill or supplement that’s going to change it. Only habit changes and addressing the root cause.

When it comes to your thyroid health, remember to zoom out.

Sometimes the cause is clearer than you think!

Need help?

Need help navigating thyroid symptoms with nutrition support? Consider the following:


healthy and unhealthy thyroid graphics

healthy and unhealthy thyroid graphic


1. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/35999903/
2. http://www.traceelements.com/Docs/The%20Nutritional%20Relationships%20of%20Thyroid.pdf