Food For Healthy Bones

Irma Jennings - INHC - Holistic Bone Coach

How Your Thyroid Can Make Or Break Your Bones

December 13, 2017
Irma Jennings

Did you know your thyroid can make or break your bones?

Chances are you know someone with an underactive thyroid. Maybe it’s you…

I’m not surprised. Hypothyroidism has become an epidemic. It’s estimated to occur in up to 6.5 percent of people. It’s twice as likely to hit you if you’re a woman and three times more likely if you’re white.[i]

In a minute, I’ll share with you a great new resource Skelly and I have found for making sure your thyroid is always in tip top shape - naturally.

But if you have an underactive thyroid you know it’s no fun. It causes fatigue, weight gain, and constipation. You can have aches, dry skin, and thinning hair. You might always feel cold. And it can also cause a slowed heart rate, depression, and impaired memory.

All of that is bad enough. But a slow thyroid can also weaken your bones. Let me explain…

Your thyroid plays a pivotal role in building bones. Research shows having too much or too little thyroid hormone can have a harmful impact on bone tissue.[ii]

You see, your pituitary gland secretes Thyroid Stimulating Hormone (TSH). TSH in turn stimulates your thyroid to produce its main hormone T4.

But TSH has another job...

It also communicates with your bone-building osteoblast cells. TSH signals your osteoblasts to build bone or to slow down bone-building. And if you have too much TSH you can get too much bone breakdown.[iii]

In addition, your body has to convert the thyroid hormone T4 to T3 to help build new bone. Without enough T3, bone building slows down and your risk of osteoporosis goes up.

Low thyroid has been linked to an increased risk of fractures.[iv] That’s because hypothyroidism usually comes along with a general slowing of the body’s metabolism. Bone breakdown – what we call “resorption” – can slow down by 40 percent. Bone formation slows down by 50 percent.[v]

In one study researchers found hip fracture risk rose in the first two years after a low thyroid diagnosis - especially in women over 50.[vi]

And if you take drugs for low thyroid, you could still risk a broken bone.

A study in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) found that people who took too high a dose of thyroid replacement hormones had an increased risk of osteoporotic fractures.[vii]

That makes sense because a high dose can swing you from a slow thyroid to an overactive thyroid. A fast thyroid speeds up the process of bone remodeling from 200 to 113 days. But more of that time is spent on bone breakdown and less on bone building. So resorption is faster and bone formation just can’t keep up.[viii]

To keep your bone remodeling at a healthy clip, it’s important to keep your thyroid in balance.

And the first step to a healthy thyroid – just like the first step to strong bones – is the right food.

My colleague Jill Grunewald, HNC has just written the definitive book on thyroid and food with her co-author Lisa Markley, MS, RDN. It’s called:

The Essential Thyroid Cookbook: Over 100 Nourishing Recipes for Thriving with Hypothyroidism and Hashimoto’s.

The Essential Thryroid Cookbook

I met Jill when I was working on my bone-healthy cooking class for PBS. I had to go to Minnesota and I put out a call to my bones community for some contacts there.

As always, you came through. Wendy Buckley put me in touch with Jill and the rest is history.

I was so impressed with Jill,  her story and her healing energy as soon as I met her. And now I LOVE her book.

This is the best guide I’ve found for using food to keep your thyroid in optimal health. It will help you use food as thyroid medicine at every meal.

I love their unfussy, mouthwatering recipes designed with the home cook in mind. Most are so easy you can make them in just 30 minutes or less. And they are all:

  • nutrient-dense with whole food ingredients
  • gluten-free
  • dairy-free
  • free of refined sugars and other highly processed ingredients
  • full of color and flavor

But this is more than a cookbook. It’s a work of art with beautiful photos. And it’s a work of science. Jill and Lisa have done extensive research. They answer all your questions about thyroid health and explain clearly the food-thyroid connection. You’ll learn:

  • the root causes of hypothyroidism
  • key nutrients you need to boost thyroid function and how to get them from your food
  • the connection between digestive health and thyroid imbalances
  • which foods are ''goitrogenic'' and the real story on soy
  • the dangers of ''low carb'' dieting for those with hypothyroidism

If you need hope, healing, and support when it comes to improving your thyroid health, I highly recommend tapping into the wisdom of Jill and Lisa in

The Essential Thyroid Cookbook: Over 100 Nourishing Recipes for Thriving with Hypothyroidism and Hashimoto’s

Click HERE to purchase your copy.







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[i] Fardella C, Poggi H, Gloger S, et al. [High prevalence of subclinical thyroidal disease among individuals attended in health control]. Rev. méd. Chile. 2001;129(2) Santiago feb.

[ii] Dominika Tuchendler and Marek Bolanowski. “The influence of thyroid dysfunction on bone metabolism.” Thyroid Research 2014;7:12.

[iii]Britto, J.M., et al. “Osteoblasts mediate thyroid hormone stimulation of osteoclastic bone resorption.” Endocrinology. Jan. 1994. 134(1): 169-76.

[iv] Williams G. “Actions of thyroid hormones in bone.” Endokrynol Pol 2009, 60: 380–388.

[v] Dominika Tuchendler and Marek Bolanowski “The influence of thyroid dysfunction on bone metabolism.” Thyroid Research 2014;7:12.

[vi] Polovina S, Popovic V, Duntas L, Milic N, Micic D. “Frax score calculations in postmenopausal women with subclinical hypothyroidism.” Hormones 2013, 12: 439–448.

[vii] Munson, JC et al. “Patterns of prescription drug use before and after fragility fracture.” JAMA Intern Med. 2016;176(10):1531-1538.

[viii] Svare A, Nilsen T, Bjoro T, Forsmo S, Schei B, Bjoro T, Langhammer A. “Hyperthyroid levels of TSH correlate with low bone mineral density: the HUNT 2 study.” Eur J Endocrinol 2009, 161: 779–786. 10.1530/EJE-09-0139.

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From my bones to yours,
Irma Jennings, INHC
Your Holistic Bone Coach
[email protected]

30 Essential Foods for Bone Health
30 Essential Foods for Bone Health
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