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Thyroid UK
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Is selenium still ok to take if I'm pregnant?

I have Hashimotos and am on 50 levothyroxine which is helping to stabilise my TSH, altho antibodies have gone sky high. Now I'm pregnant I'm a bit nervous of taking supplements. I'm on a general multi vit, an omega complex, a probiotic and 200 of selenium. Any help would be great thanks!

18 Replies

I do NOT know. However, I did look up at a National Institute of Health site in the USA:


I would far rather you followed that link and read it for yourself than quote from it.

That same site has much information about other supplements, etc. as well.



Thankyou for the link Rod. I have another question! It says that taking a selenium supplement is helpful at reducing thyroid antibody levels if you have Hashimotos (which is good for me as my levels are currently >1000!) but then it does go onto say that it's not beneficial if you have hypothyroidism as it can make the condition worse. Surely everyone has hypothyroidism as a result of Hashimotos? Isn't that contradictory? I'm confused!


Not quite so. The T-cell lymphocytes might be attacking your thyroid, that might be resulting in TPO antibodies, but until your thyroid becomes unable to produce enough thyroid hormone, you can remain euthyroid. Even when it starts not to produce enough, it looks like something (maybe thyroid, maybe elsewhere) compensates and increases T3 as if to make up for inadequate T4. Again, deferring the truly hypothyroid day a bit longer. Maybe.

Some people have TPO antibodies but never develop any obvious hypothyroidism.

If there is one thing about thyroid issues, they are never black and white! :-)


I would eat small bowls but often of a mix of fresh fruit and vegetables and get hemp seed as thats fantasitc for its omega 3, 6,selenium and so on. Also good for thyroid function. take a few handfuls of that each day. Raw pineapple is pretty good for hashimotos patients - rich in iodine and other vits and can be soothing for the thyroid too. You will feel a wee energy kick off of them.Goats milk good for the immune system and thyroid function too. .


I tried to find the iodine content of pineapple - and found nothing from a decent source which suggests that it has a significant iodine content.(Though as with all plant sources, it depends very much on the soil in which the crop is grown.)

I would hate to see abi thinking that she was achieving an adequate iodine intake for pregnancy from pineapple when she is not.

It is often suggested that in pregnancy women should take, maybe, 150 micrograms of iodine a day. This conflicts with commonly held view that those with Hashimoto's should not supplement with iodine. (On no good basis, I think perhaps the needs of pregnancy may be considered paramount. But I'd like to know more.)


I checked my multi vit which says it has 30ug of iodine in it. I guess that's ok then? I do love pineapple, especially the dried version made by Urban Fruit, so happy to eat more of that! I'll have to check with my midwife I suppose.


I don't feel confident in answering that and would rather point you at the American Thyroid Association's fairly recently updated guidelines for thyroid and pregnancy. A heck of a read, but here it is:


I think that you'd need more than 30 mcg in total iodine intake.


nutribuff.com/healing-diet/... everything in moderation


Trouble is, that really only asserts without any proper reference. And seems to suggest without evidence that organic pineapple might have more whilst acknowledging that it depends on soil.

It certainly seems to me likely that coastal pineapple would likely have more iodine than inland - but can we have much of an idea as to the iodine content of the pineapple in front of us in the supermarket or on the market stall?

Still have not found any form of authoritative reference for iodine content of any pineapple.




Everything in moderation - just keep eating small plates of food but regular with a mix of nuts and seeds and cereals. Thats what I would suggest. Obviously there are some stuff to avoid during pregancy such as eggs that aren't be boiled right through and so on.


That healthalicious article was interesting.....except that as well as having in intolerance to brazil nuts I also have an intolerance to wheat, gluten and shellfish!! Complicated right?!! I guess I can still eat bacon and sunflower seeds tho!


Eat a couple of brazil nuts a day for your selenium and make sure your TSH is 0.5 to 2, preferably the lower end as you have antibodies.


The problem with that is that I actually have an intolerance to brazil nuts (and peanuts)!! so annoying!! Which is why I got the supplement instead. My TSH is at 3.86 at the moment, but have only been on the Levo for 6 weeks and Endo says levels prob still coming down. He wants to get me to under-2 like you say so will see him again in 6 weeks and might need a higher dose.


oh dear - what about hemp seed? hemp seed is an amazing food source and is rich in selenium, vitamins, omega 3 and 6. I have never heard it being bad for those with thyroid conditions and those who are pregnant too. They do help the thyroid too. I am still learning about thyroid conditions - i suffer from hypothyroidism


When did you have your last TSH test, as you really need your TSH tested again as soon as possible?! It shouldn't be as high as 3.86 in the early days of pregnancy as at this stage, the baby has no thyroid of its own and needs yours. Also, by lowering your TSH, you are also helping with the antibodies.

Tayside NHS,Thyroid monitoring advice Tayside version. You can get this from the internet as I have, although they state this is for their region Under pregnancy, it states," any woman on thyroxine replacement who becomes pregnant should increase their dosage by 25mcg immediately. Further adjustments may be required depending on monitoring TSH every 6 weeks."

The ENdocrine Society's Clinical Guidelines, under recommendations state, "If hypothyroidism has been diagnosed before pregnancy, we recommend adjustmentsof the preconception thyroxine dose to reach a TSH level not higher than 2.5. The T4 dose ususally needs to be incremented by 4-6 week gestation and may require a 30-50% increase in dosage."

Endocrine Abstracts.2009 Thyroxine dose adjustment during pregnancy. A Dawson et al , Dept f diabetes and endocrinology, Hull, UK

Recommendations: "Educate primary care and maternity services that target range for TSH in pregnancy is 0.5 - 2 mU/l. Educate midwives and GPs about the need to increase thyroxine dose during the initial stages of pregnancy".

Hope this of some help.


Wow thanks for all this info!! Yes, I did ask him exactly that, why he wasn't upping my dose straight away, but he seemed to think that the Levo was still probably working to bring the tsh down. Originally it was 12.46, 6 weeks later it was 3.86. I gave bloods nov 26 and he wants another test done in 4 weeks. He aslo says that the hcg produced by pregnancy will stimulate my body to make my thyroid work harder, or something like that. At my next blood test I will only just be 12 wks pregnant and he said he did expect to up my dose then by either 25 or 50. Guess we'll see!


He is right that the hCG can do so - but if your thyroid cannot make what it is being asked to, you have to take it in pills!


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