Reversing Damage to Your Thyroid

The most common cause of hypothyroid is due to progressive damage to your thyroid gland. This damage is caused by autoimmunity and as this damage accrues it eventually leads to hypothyroid. Is it possible to stop or even reverse this damage? A recent study provides some exciting news.


Dr. Michael Ruscio, DC: Hi, this is Dr. Ruscio with some very good news for those who suffer with thyroid autoimmunity.

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A preliminary study has shown that administration of magnesium, selenium, and CoQ10 can actually prevent the damage to your thyroid gland that is often seen with thyroid autoimmunity. Now, this is a preliminary study with a small number of patients, only about 10, but the results are very interesting, and they reaffirm something that much of the functional medicine community has been looking at and hoping to be true for a while, which is that through using different vitamin therapies that are antioxidant in nature, we may be able to quell the inflammatory and autoimmune damage to the thyroid gland and, by doing so, may stop or halt or even be able to reverse the damage to the gland.

This study actually tracked a small group, again, about 10 patients, who either had Hashimoto’s autoimmunity, which can cause hypothyroidism, and Graves’ autoimmunity, which can cause hyperthyroidism. The researchers tracked over a few years these patients’ antibody levels and—this is what is really interesting—did repeat ultrasounds, and they showed in some of these patients—in fact, the majority of the patients—they were able to have a positive impact on the thyroid antibodies, and more impressively, they were able to have a positive impact on the thyroid architecture or structure and even see reversal of some of the damage.

This is a landmark study that shows that through nutritional medicine we may be able to stop and even reverse some of the damage to the thyroid gland that happens in thyroid autoimmunity, so again, very exciting news. Again, the use of magnesium, selenium, and CoQ10 was able to stop thyroid autoimmunity or halt it and reverse some of the damage seen in the thyroid gland.

This is Dr. Ruscio. I hope this information helps you get healthy and get back to your life. Thanks.


Click on the supplement names for more information.

Name Dose Times Per Day With Food
Selenium 1 capsules 1 Yes
Triple Mag 1-2 capsule(s) 1 Yes
CoQ10 1 capsule 1 Yes

Notes:

  • Triple Mag – Slowly increase your dose. If your stools become loose, you are taking too much and need to decrease your dose.

*This information is for educational purposes only.  You should check with your doctor before using any dietary supplements.

What do you think? I would like to hear your thoughts or experience with this.

Dr. Ruscio is your leading functional and integrative doctor specializing in gut related disorders such as SIBO, leaky gut, Celiac, IBS and in thyroid disorders such as hypothyroid and hyperthyroid. For more information on how to become a patient, please contact our office. Serving the San Francisco bay area and distance patients via phone and Skype.

Discussion

I care about answering your questions and sharing my knowledge with you. Leave a comment or connect with me on social media asking any health question you may have and I just might incorporate it into our next listener questions podcast episode just for you!

102 thoughts on “Reversing Damage to Your Thyroid

  1. I have 27 hot nodules on my thyroid (hyperthyroid) but my daughter at 17 was dx’d with Hashimoto’s. I’ve read that previous thyroiditis is what causes the thyroid nodules but not sure if that was accurate. (I do have a diagnosis of SIBO dx’d with a biopsy)

    I would love for my daughter to get help before she gets to where I am. She tried to take the doctor-prescribed pills but her hair was falling out in chunks, so she’s just suffering without anything.

    But since that vitamin combo of magnesium, selenium and COQ10 helps Hashimoto’s, isn’t that just saying that there’s something systemic causing the vitamin deficiencies? Since I have SIBO maybe my daughter does too. I know her bowel transit time is awful.

    It is great news that that combo can actually reverse the damage. Very hopeful!

    1. After being told I had a Nodule by my regular physician, & told there’s nothing to be done, just wait to see what happens, I found Dr. Ruscio. I reluctantly followed his suggestions to reduce the Antibodies and within 3 days amazing difference in the way I felt. I thought my Diet couldn’t be what was causing the pain in my neck but Dr Ruscio was SURE, so I followed his suggestion to give an Autoimmune Paleo Diet a try for 3 months with his other recommendations and now a few years later, I feel NO symptoms. I NEVER have GLUTEN, unless it’s accidentally. I also regularly have FERMENTED FOODS. The Endocrinologist I had seen said there’s NOTHING to be done till I became Hypothyroid! . Thank you Dr Ruscio.
      I will have to be retested to know for sure but I think your Protocol stopped the Inflammation to my Thyroid!

          1. Hi Connie,

            If you look in the table above titled Thyroid Supplement Protocol, you will see the dosages listed out along with links to the suggested products. Hope this helps!

          2. Hi Drew, the ‘thyroid supplement protocol’ doesn’t list out the specific dosages for selenium (mcg) or COQ10.

            I did find the daily maximum for magnesium citrate is 300 mg. could you pls help ?

            thank you so much.

            connie

          3. thank you Drew. i found it. it’s 100 mg/day for COQ10.

            i’m currently taking Levothyroxine to treat hypothyrodisum. to reverse the damage by taking the combination of (1) selenium (2)coQ10 (3) magnesium citrate (4) D3. does it mean i can completely stop taking levothyroxine and stick to the above mentioned vitamins protocol only ?

            could you pls advise ? thank you.

            connie

          4. Hi Connie,

            Glad you found what you were looking for. Definitely don’t stop taking any medications without talking to your doctor, you’ll definitely want to keep them in the loop on this.

    2. Hi Cheryl,
      Thyroiditis is one of the factors we think causes nodules, but this is not well defined. If you use the search box on our homepage you can search for nodule and see some of our past information which may help. You ask a good question regarding deficiencies and if you or your daughter have any digestive problems then malabsorption is possible. It would be a good idea for you both to work with a clinician who works with both the gut and thyroid. Feel free to contact my office should you need help.

    3. Respected Sir,

      I have got some serious issue

      I have got

      Free T4=0.71 ng/dl (normal 0. 71-1.85)

      hTSH=21.03 uIU/ml (normal 0. 47-5.01)

      Anti-TG Ab= > 1000.00 IU/ml ( normal <40 IU)

      Anti-TPO Ab= 29.01 IU/ml (normal < 35 IU)

      my doctor said that I am suffering from autoimmune Hypothyroidism

      what dose this high elevated level of Anti-TG Ab symbolise?

      How is it effect Reproduction?
      infertility?

      I&#039m also a Medical student

      please help me sir

  2. I think it’s great that’s there’s confirmation vitamin therapies can stop or halt progress of damage to the the thyroid. Curious how far into their disease, specifically time of active disease before diagnosis and treatment designed to treat the autoimmunity vs. standard thyroid dosing or standard care protocol.

    The first time I was told I had a TSH at the top of “normal” (so it couldn’t be thyroid…HA) and that I had elevated autonimmune markers (ANA antibodies, they didn’t test TPO because it “couldn’t be thryoid”) was over 20 years before my Hashi diagnosis last year. Affirming the nutritional, lifestyle and supplement approach my doctor and I are doing can help stop further damage is great…but I continue to wonder if it could ever repair my seemingly non-active thyroid enough to get me off NDT.

  3. I love hearing that studies like this are evolving. In the AI community, I’ve seen people report antibodies coming down after diet alterations any numbers of times, so it’s good to hear they are potentially dialing it in from a nutritional angle. I’ve even seen a number of people reporting nodules going away who’ve felt diet changes were a factor. I’ve had my own experiences w/antibodies that seem to have patterned around diet changes as well.

    A few years back one person was inquiring if it was possible or if anyone had seen stories for the thyroid growing back after full removal. She had done the operation to remove it and docs said it had grown back. They told her maybe all of the thyroid wasn’t removed and that was how it happened. There are growing discussions out there over the years that ask this question and it can’t help but leave a person wondering about what’s possible.

  4. I have 27 hot nodules on my thyroid (hyperthyroid) but my daughter at 17 was dx’d with Hashimoto’s. I’ve read that previous thyroiditis is what causes the thyroid nodules but not sure if that was accurate. (I do have a diagnosis of SIBO dx’d with a biopsy)

    I would love for my daughter to get help before she gets to where I am. She tried to take the doctor-prescribed pills but her hair was falling out in chunks, so she’s just suffering without anything.

    But since that vitamin combo of magnesium, selenium and COQ10 helps Hashimoto’s, isn’t that just saying that there’s something systemic causing the vitamin deficiencies? Since I have SIBO maybe my daughter does too. I know her bowel transit time is awful.

    It is great news that that combo can actually reverse the damage. Very hopeful!

    1. After being told I had a Nodule by my regular physician, & told there’s nothing to be done, just wait to see what happens, I found Dr. Ruscio. I reluctantly followed his suggestions to reduce the Antibodies and within 3 days amazing difference in the way I felt. I thought my Diet couldn’t be what was causing the pain in my neck but Dr Ruscio was SURE, so I followed his suggestion to give an Autoimmune Paleo Diet a try for 3 months with his other recommendations and now a few years later, I feel NO symptoms. I NEVER have GLUTEN, unless it’s accidentally. I also regularly have FERMENTED FOODS. The Endocrinologist I had seen said there’s NOTHING to be done till I became Hypothyroid! . Thank you Dr Ruscio.
      I will have to be retested to know for sure but I think your Protocol stopped the Inflammation to my Thyroid!

          1. Hi Connie,

            If you look in the table above titled Thyroid Supplement Protocol, you will see the dosages listed out along with links to the suggested products. Hope this helps!

          2. Hi Drew, the ‘thyroid supplement protocol’ doesn’t list out the specific dosages for selenium (mcg) or COQ10.

            I did find the daily maximum for magnesium citrate is 300 mg. could you pls help ?

            thank you so much.

            connie

          3. thank you Drew. i found it. it’s 100 mg/day for COQ10.

            i’m currently taking Levothyroxine to treat hypothyrodisum. to reverse the damage by taking the combination of (1) selenium (2)coQ10 (3) magnesium citrate (4) D3. does it mean i can completely stop taking levothyroxine and stick to the above mentioned vitamins protocol only ?

            could you pls advise ? thank you.

            connie

          4. Hi Connie,

            Glad you found what you were looking for. Definitely don’t stop taking any medications without talking to your doctor, you’ll definitely want to keep them in the loop on this.

    2. Hi Cheryl,
      Thyroiditis is one of the factors we think causes nodules, but this is not well defined. If you use the search box on our homepage you can search for nodule and see some of our past information which may help. You ask a good question regarding deficiencies and if you or your daughter have any digestive problems then malabsorption is possible. It would be a good idea for you both to work with a clinician who works with both the gut and thyroid. Feel free to contact my office should you need help.

    3. Respected Sir,

      I have got some serious issue

      I have got

      Free T4=0.71 ng/dl (normal 0. 71-1.85)

      hTSH=21.03 uIU/ml (normal 0. 47-5.01)

      Anti-TG Ab= > 1000.00 IU/ml ( normal <40 IU)

      Anti-TPO Ab= 29.01 IU/ml (normal < 35 IU)

      my doctor said that I am suffering from autoimmune Hypothyroidism

      what dose this high elevated level of Anti-TG Ab symbolise?

      How is it effect Reproduction?
      infertility?

      I'm also a Medical student

      please help me sir

  5. I think it’s great that’s there’s confirmation vitamin therapies can stop or halt progress of damage to the the thyroid. Curious how far into their disease, specifically time of active disease before diagnosis and treatment designed to treat the autoimmunity vs. standard thyroid dosing or standard care protocol.

    The first time I was told I had a TSH at the top of “normal” (so it couldn’t be thyroid…HA) and that I had elevated autonimmune markers (ANA antibodies, they didn’t test TPO because it “couldn’t be thryoid”) was over 20 years before my Hashi diagnosis last year. Affirming the nutritional, lifestyle and supplement approach my doctor and I are doing can help stop further damage is great…but I continue to wonder if it could ever repair my seemingly non-active thyroid enough to get me off NDT.

  6. I love hearing that studies like this are evolving. In the AI community, I’ve seen people report antibodies coming down after diet alterations any numbers of times, so it’s good to hear they are potentially dialing it in from a nutritional angle. I’ve even seen a number of people reporting nodules going away who’ve felt diet changes were a factor. I’ve had my own experiences w/antibodies that seem to have patterned around diet changes as well.

    A few years back one person was inquiring if it was possible or if anyone had seen stories for the thyroid growing back after full removal. She had done the operation to remove it and docs said it had grown back. They told her maybe all of the thyroid wasn’t removed and that was how it happened. There are growing discussions out there over the years that ask this question and it can’t help but leave a person wondering about what’s possible.

  7. Hi Dr Ruscio

    thanks for the info. would you recommend a thyroid ultrasound for everyone with elevated thyroid antibodies and suspected hashimotos/graves? It is not routinely done here in New Zealand, but I have a few clients with antibodies and I am wondering if it is worth them getting it done privately (cost approx $200 nzd). Thanks, Marcel

  8. Hi Dr Ruscio

    thanks for the info. would you recommend a thyroid ultrasound for everyone with elevated thyroid antibodies and suspected hashimotos/graves? It is not routinely done here in New Zealand, but I have a few clients with antibodies and I am wondering if it is worth them getting it done privately (cost approx $200 nzd). Thanks, Marcel

  9. How often should someone have a thyroid ultrasound with thyroid nodules or Hypothyroidism with Hashimoto Thyroiditis? Just once in their lifetime or once a year?

    1. Hi Carrie,
      It depends on age and risk. Any conventional doc can advise you on this and I would recommend simply following the conventional guidelines here, where conventional medicine shines 🙂

  10. How often should someone have a thyroid ultrasound with thyroid nodules or Hypothyroidism with Hashimoto Thyroiditis? Just once in their lifetime or once a year?

    1. Hi Carrie,
      It depends on age and risk. Any conventional doc can advise you on this and I would recommend simply following the conventional guidelines here, where conventional medicine shines 🙂

  11. What are your thoughts on Low Dose Naltrexone for the treatment of Hashimoto’s. Do you have any experience of using it either personally or clinically?

  12. What are your thoughts on Low Dose Naltrexone for the treatment of Hashimoto’s. Do you have any experience of using it either personally or clinically?

  13. What’s great about this is that it a therapy that can be used by us laymen (patients) with no real downside. We could all use more Magnesium in our diets and selenium is typically advised for those with Hashi’s anyway. I will be adding CoQ10 to my supps. Are there any dosages you might recommend?

    1. Hi Erin,

      Thank you for your comment! The dosages used in the study were individual doses of magnesium citrate of 75-100mg with a daily total dose of 300mg magnesium citrate. I hope this helps!

  14. What’s great about this is that it a therapy that can be used by us laymen (patients) with no real downside. We could all use more Magnesium in our diets and selenium is typically advised for those with Hashi’s anyway. I will be adding CoQ10 to my supps. Are there any dosages you might recommend?

    1. Hi Erin,

      Thank you for your comment! The dosages used in the study were individual doses of magnesium citrate of 75-100mg with a daily total dose of 300mg magnesium citrate. I hope this helps!

  15. Hi.
    Do you do phone consultations with women that have Hypothyroidism??
    I live in TN and am not well enough to travel.
    Thanks so much.
    Rebecca Hill

  16. Hi Dr. Ruscio,
    Just listening to the podcast 57 from 30th Mar “Your Thyroid and Iodine, Selenium and Vitamin D” and quick question on Vit D:
    – You state that Vitamin D may decrease thyroid antibodies – but I don’t see it within your supplements above. Do you recommend it as part of the Thyroid protocol or are you not including it because we should test ourselves before assuming supplementation?

    Thanks

    1. Hi Charlotte,
      Yes, Vitamin D has been shown to decrease thyroid antibodies and I would recommend using it. It’s not included in this protocol because this protocol is taken from the research study I reviewed protocol in this post. I certainly think adding vitamin D would help. 🙂

  17. Hi Dr. Ruscio,
    Just listening to the podcast 57 from 30th Mar “Your Thyroid and Iodine, Selenium and Vitamin D” and quick question on Vit D:
    – You state that Vitamin D may decrease thyroid antibodies – but I don’t see it within your supplements above. Do you recommend it as part of the Thyroid protocol or are you not including it because we should test ourselves before assuming supplementation?

    Thanks

    1. Hi Charlotte,
      Yes, Vitamin D has been shown to decrease thyroid antibodies and I would recommend using it. It’s not included in this protocol because this protocol is taken from the research study I reviewed protocol in this post. I certainly think adding vitamin D would help. 🙂

  18. Hey Dr Ruscio. I’m a big fan of your podcasts. My question is in regards to thyroid modules. I have a large one in my neck. The blood work shows normal levels. If it’s adrenal fatigue which caused the nodule, should I just treat the adrenals ?

  19. Hey Dr Ruscio. I’m a big fan of your podcasts. My question is in regards to thyroid modules. I have a large one in my neck. The blood work shows normal levels. If it’s adrenal fatigue which caused the nodule, should I just treat the adrenals ?

  20. Hi Dr. Ruscio,

    I took the triple combo of selenium (200mcg.), CoQ10, and magnesium for about two months. When I had lab testing done, my selenium RBC lab value was about 550 (way over range). Do you think it would still be helpful just to take the CoQ10 and magnesium (and no selenium) to lower antibodies and reverse thyroid damage? Any idea what may have caused the selenium to spike so high after such short amount of time?

    1. The good news is most of the benefit from selenium is realized after 3 months. If after 3 to 6 on Mg and CoQ10 you have not seen a decrease in antibodies then they will likely not be any more effective with further use. Once your TPO is below 500, the need for any of these is greatly diminished. See my post on ‘what are normal levels of thyroid antibodies’ for more. I would simply wait a few months and then retest the Se, likely not a huge deal. Make sure to check all this with your doctor.

  21. Hi Dr. Ruscio,

    I took the triple combo of selenium (200mcg.), CoQ10, and magnesium for about two months. When I had lab testing done, my selenium RBC lab value was about 550 (way over range). Do you think it would still be helpful just to take the CoQ10 and magnesium (and no selenium) to lower antibodies and reverse thyroid damage? Any idea what may have caused the selenium to spike so high after such short amount of time?

    1. The good news is most of the benefit from selenium is realized after 3 months. If after 3 to 6 on Mg and CoQ10 you have not seen a decrease in antibodies then they will likely not be any more effective with further use. Once your TPO is below 500, the need for any of these is greatly diminished. See my post on ‘what are normal levels of thyroid antibodies’ for more. I would simply wait a few months and then retest the Se, likely not a huge deal. Make sure to check all this with your doctor.

  22. A family member with hadhimoto’s at 48 years if age was told by her doctor to go gluten free. She did thus fir 6 months or more, list 26 pounds and the nodules, which were many all disappeared altogether. Shevremains gourmet free now.

  23. Very exciting news. I read the paper by Moncayo and the age group was 24- 39 years. Since most hypothyroidism is in women over 60, do you think this protocol would be effective in the older age group?

  24. Very exciting news. I read the paper by Moncayo and the age group was 24- 39 years. Since most hypothyroidism is in women over 60, do you think this protocol would be effective in the older age group?

  25. I heard that you should only be on selenium a short time, is that true? I have been on it with other vitamins and the AIP protocol and my Peroxidase antibodies have lowered from 350 to 220. thank you

  26. Dr. Ruscio I need you to explain me my son’s results:
    TSH 0.183
    T4, Free (Direct) 1.42
    T3, Free 4.5
    Anti -TPO 86 IU/ml
    Anti-TG 2.2 IU/ml
    Thyrotropin receptor Ab <0.50
    Reverse T3, serum 18.3
    Thyroxine (T4) 7.1
    Triiodothyronine (T3) 159
    Vit D 34
    HA1C 5.2
    Glucose 77
    Cholesterol 242
    LDL 185, HDL 43, VLDL 9
    (Three y ago ultrasound showed 3 nodules on his thyroid)

    I’m sending him links to acces your website, and hopefully decide to arrange consultation.
    Thank you for all your work

    1. Hi Tash,

      I’m sorry to hear about your son. Testing can be helpful, but also confusing at times. These results need to be interpreted during a consultation. Feel free to check out: https://drruscio.com/consult-dr-ruscio/ to schedule a consult for your son. There is also a very profound link between the thyroid and the gut, so Dr. Ruscio’s book may also be a great place to start: https://drruscio.com/getgutbook/ – lastly, if you type “nodules” in the search box, it should bring up some helpful information. Good luck!

  27. I’m sorry that I did not include lab ranges

    It is LabCorp and most problematic are

    T3 free (LC ranges 2.0-4.4)
    TSH (LC ranges 0.450-4.500)
    TPO (Ab) (LC ranges 0-34)
    Tg (Ab) (LC ranges 0.0-0.9)
    Thank you very, very much.
    Tash

  28. This is for my daughter. She has very bad thyroid problems and hashimoto’s. Always changing Meds. She and her drs find it Very hard to regulate her thyroid. I am sending her your wonderful sounding report. Thank you

  29. I have been feeling without energy and have had shortness of breath. I’m 62, perfect weight, have a very active life and walk from 3 to 5 miles daily. I went to the doctor and the cholesterol went from 185 to 212 and the TSH from normal to 7.9. The RN was the person who saw me and didn’t pay attention to my TSH level. I’m extremely upset to read that it might be the cause of my fatigue. Any advise? I take Vit D (test came at 25) magnesium, B vitamins, zinc and Vit C. I don’t take any medications. I has Gerd but I stopped eating gluten and I stopped taking Prilosec.

    1. Hi Rosie,

      You may want to find a doctor who has experience with thyroid issues. If you’d like to become a patient of Dr Ruscio’s, you can apply to do so here: https://www.drruscio.com/gethelp

      You also might want to look through the thyroid content on this site as there may be helpful info to show your doctor.

      Good luck!

  30. I have been feeling without energy and have had shortness of breath. I’m 62, perfect weight, have a very active life and walk from 3 to 5 miles daily. I went to the doctor and the cholesterol went from 185 to 212 and the TSH from normal to 7.9. The RN was the person who saw me and didn’t pay attention to my TSH level. I’m extremely upset to read that it might be the cause of my fatigue. Any advise? I take Vit D (test came at 25) magnesium, B vitamins, zinc and Vit C. I don’t take any medications. I has Gerd but I stopped eating gluten and I stopped taking Prilosec.

    1. Hi Rosie,

      You may want to find a doctor who has experience with thyroid issues. If you’d like to become a patient of Dr Ruscio’s, you can apply to do so here: https://www.drruscio.com/gethelp

      You also might want to look through the thyroid content on this site as there may be helpful info to show your doctor.

      Good luck!

  31. I heard that you should only be on selenium a short time, is that true? I have been on it with other vitamins and the AIP protocol and my Peroxidase antibodies have lowered from 350 to 220. thank you

  32. I’m sorry that I did not include lab ranges

    It is LabCorp and most problematic are

    T3 free (LC ranges 2.0-4.4)
    TSH (LC ranges 0.450-4.500)
    TPO (Ab) (LC ranges 0-34)
    Tg (Ab) (LC ranges 0.0-0.9)
    Thank you very, very much.
    Tash

  33. A family member with hadhimoto’s at 48 years if age was told by her doctor to go gluten free. She did thus fir 6 months or more, list 26 pounds and the nodules, which were many all disappeared altogether. Shevremains gourmet free now.

  34. Dr. Ruscio I need you to explain me my son’s results:
    TSH 0.183
    T4, Free (Direct) 1.42
    T3, Free 4.5
    Anti -TPO 86 IU/ml
    Anti-TG 2.2 IU/ml
    Thyrotropin receptor Ab <0.50
    Reverse T3, serum 18.3
    Thyroxine (T4) 7.1
    Triiodothyronine (T3) 159
    Vit D 34
    HA1C 5.2
    Glucose 77
    Cholesterol 242
    LDL 185, HDL 43, VLDL 9
    (Three y ago ultrasound showed 3 nodules on his thyroid)

    I’m sending him links to acces your website, and hopefully decide to arrange consultation.
    Thank you for all your work

    1. Hi Tash,

      I’m sorry to hear about your son. Testing can be helpful, but also confusing at times. These results need to be interpreted during a consultation. Feel free to check out: https://drruscio.com/consult-dr-ruscio/ to schedule a consult for your son. There is also a very profound link between the thyroid and the gut, so Dr. Ruscio’s book may also be a great place to start: https://drruscio.com/getgutbook/ – lastly, if you type “nodules” in the search box, it should bring up some helpful information. Good luck!

  35. This is for my daughter. She has very bad thyroid problems and hashimoto’s. Always changing Meds. She and her drs find it Very hard to regulate her thyroid. I am sending her your wonderful sounding report. Thank you

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