It’s always important to have an optimized hyperthyroidism treatment, and you can do this by supplementing your treatment plan with a few natural remedies. You can easily add these to your hyperthyroidism diet without hurting your taste buds, and the effects may be hugely beneficial for you. Find out which natural remedies may help you optimize your medications even more.
In this article:
- What Is Hyperthyroidism?
- What Causes an Overactive Thyroid?
- What Are the Signs and Symptoms of an Overactive Thyroid?
- How Do Physicians Diagnose an Overactive Thyroid?
- Natural Hyperthyroidism Remedies You Can Try
- What Are the Things to Avoid If You Have Hyperthyroidism?
Natural Hyperthyroidism Treatment for a Healthy Thyroid
What Is Hyperthyroidism?
Before we talk about the different natural remedies for hyperthyroidism, let’s first discuss what this condition is all about.
Unlike hypothyroidism where you have an underactive thyroid, hyperthyroidism is a condition where the thyroid creates too much T3 (triiodothyronine) or T4 (thyroxine) hormones, or even both. It can increase your metabolism at a very high level, resulting in irregular or rapid heartbeat or unintentional weight loss.
Depending on the severity of hyperthyroidism, one may need to undergo removal of the thyroid or part of it through thyroid surgery, taking propylthiouracil (an antithyroid medicine), or radioiodine therapy.
What Causes an Overactive Thyroid?
There are many causes of hyperthyroidism, and Graves’ disease is the most common. This disease is an autoimmune disorder that triggers some antibodies in your body to stimulate the thyroid to produce too many hormones.
Graves’ disease is common in women and tends to be genetic. Other causes of hyperthyroidism are as follows:
- Large amounts of tetraiodothyronine consumed through supplementation
- Tumor of the pituitary or thyroid gland
- Tumor of the testes or ovaries
- Inflammation of the thyroid
- Excess iodine
What Are the Signs and Symptoms of an Overactive Thyroid?
The most common symptom of hyperthyroidism is a very high metabolic rate or commonly known as the hypermetabolic state. This causes you to experience thyroid malfunction symptoms like hand tremors, high blood pressure, a rapid heart rate, frequent or excessive sweating, and low heat tolerance.
Other signs of the condition include the following:
- Irregular menstrual cycle
- Weight loss
- Frequent bowel movements
- Toxic multinodular goiter (multiple nodules) or swelling of the thyroid
- Prominent-looking eyes
- Developing breast in men
- Vomiting and nausea
- Hair loss
- Brittle hair
- Sleeping difficulty
- General weakness
- Difficulty concentrating
- Sore throat
- Mild decreases in the count of white blood cells
The following hyperthyroidism symptoms require an immediate response as they can be life-threatening:
- Irregular heart rate or atrial fibrillation
- Loss of consciousness
- Shortness of breath
How Do Physicians Diagnose an Overactive Thyroid?
Doctors or endocrinologists usually conduct a physical exam and take a complete medical history as the first step in the diagnosis. You may see these signs during this stage:
- Enlarged thyroid
- Protruding eyes
- High blood pressure
- Rapid pulse
- Weight loss
Several tests are involved in the later stages of the diagnosis:
- Magnetic resonance imaging or computerized tomography scan – to show if there is a tumor in the pituitary gland that may cause hyperthyroidism
- Ultrasound – to measure the size of the gland if it’s still normal or getting larger
- Thyroid scan – to see if a part of the thyroid or the entire gland is causing the overproduction of the thyroid hormones
- Triglyceride test – to check if your triglycerides are low because if they are, it can be a symptom of a high metabolic rate
- Thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) – to monitor if your TSH levels are lower than your thyroid hormone levels. A lower TSH level means your thyroid hormone level is normal.
- T3 and T4 tests – to measure the levels of your thyroid hormones
Natural Hyperthyroidism Remedies You Can Try
1. Eat More Sea Vegetables
Since one of the most significant causes of hyperthyroidism is iodine deficiency, it’s recommended to eat foods rich in iodine such as sea vegetables. Specifically, the natural form of iodine from sea vegetables is excellent and useful in normalizing most thyroid problems.
Kelp, sea palm, and kombu are just some of the many sea vegetables you can eat to help your thyroid levels.
2. Add Broccoli to Your Meals
As a cruciferous vegetable, broccoli is a great vegetable to add to your hyperthyroidism treatment diet. The isothiocyanates and goitrogens act as a form of natural therapy that may help in restraining your thyroid’s overproduction of thyroid hormones.
3. Take Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Omega-3 fatty acids are one of the most popular supplements taken today. It has plenty of long-term health benefits for your heart, as well as your thyroid.
It helps your cells’ ability to respond to your increased levels of thyroid hormones. Eating fish, walnuts, and flaxseeds and taking the right dose of fish oil supplements may help improve omega-3 in your body.
4. Eat Some Berries
Most berries are great for your thyroid because of their antioxidant properties. Antioxidants have been known to greatly help with thyroid inflammation.
The berries you may take for your thyroid are blackberries, strawberries, blueberries, and cherries.
5. Drink Some Bugleweed Tea
This herb is especially useful for mild hyperthyroidism because it may help reduce your thyroid hormone levels. Add half a teaspoon of this herb into a cup of boiling water and take it as tea.
Another way to make bugleweed is in tincture form, and you can take 2-6 ml of it per day. Do note that this natural hyperthyroidism treatment is not suitable for people with goiter as well as pregnant and breastfeeding women.
6. Make an Indian Gooseberry Paste
Indian gooseberries have been popular in treating many health problems, which now include hyperthyroidism. Its ameliorating effects may help your thyroid control its overproduction of thyroid hormones.
You may mix Indian gooseberry powder with honey and eat it in the morning.
7. Add More Cabbage to Your Diet
Cabbages have different substances that may be especially good for your thyroid. Their dietary goitrogens may help in reducing the overactive production of your thyroid hormones.
Cabbages are better eaten uncooked to benefit more from their goitrogens.
8. Mix Lemon Balm in Hot Water
Lemons have been known to be excellent antiseptics, but lemon balm may help reduce your increased TSH levels. Flavonoids and phenolic acids content of this natural hyperthyroidism treatment is especially useful for thyroid regulation.
Lemon balm may also help prevent Graves’ disease by blocking the stimulation of the antibodies that cause this thyroid disease. You may add two tablespoons of lemon balm to a cup of boiling or hot water and drink this tea about 2-3 times every day.
9. Drink Motherwort Tea
Motherwort herb is known for being a natural beta-blocker that aids in controlling heartbeat irregularities caused by hyperthyroidism. Mix half a teaspoon of this natural hyperthyroidism treatment in a cup of boiling water to make your motherwort tea that you can drink three times a day.
10. Include Spices and Herbs in Your Meals
Spices and herbs have anti-inflammatory properties that help reduce the swelling of an overactive thyroid. This can also help balance thyroid hormones and protect the gland.
You can add the following spices to your recipes for flavor and hyperthyroidism treatment support:
- Black pepper
- Green chilies
11. Increase Your Zinc Intake
The thyroid hormones T4 and T3 influence the metabolism of zinc, which includes the absorption and excretion of the mineral. Having insufficient levels of since in the body affects the thyroid function.
Good sources of zinc include the following:
- Lamb meat
- Pumpkin seeds
- Cocoa powder
12. Consume Foods Rich in Selenium
Selenium aids in balancing thyroid hormone levels and protects your thyroid from dysfunction by preventing cell damage. You can include the following foods in your diet:
- Sunflower seeds
- Oat bran
- Chia seeds
- Brazil nuts
What Are the Things to Avoid If You Have Hyperthyroidism?
1. Avoid Consuming Too Much Iodine
Although iodine is essential for your thyroid, high iodine intake may worsen the symptoms of hyperthyroidism.
You only need 1.1 mg of the nutrient a day, based on the American Thyroid Association recommendation, to balance the production of thyroid hormones and normalize your thyroid health. To avoid having too much iodine if you have hyperthyroidism, stay away from these foods and food additives:
You might also need to stay away from non-seafood foods high in iodine like:
- Iodized water
- Iodized salt
- Egg yolks
- Milk and other dairy products
2. Stay Away from Foods and Drinks with Caffeine
Caffeine can worsen the symptoms of hyperthyroidism as it may cause a rapid heart rate, irritability, nervousness, and anxiety. It is high in foods like chocolate, soda, and coffee.
If you’re into drinking coffee, you can substitute it with other types of hot drinks with no caffeine.
3. Be Aware of Nitrates in Some Foods
Nitrates are inorganic compounds that may make your thyroid absorb high levels of iodine, leading to an enlarged thyroid or worsening the symptoms of hyperthyroidism. They are present in several foods such as:
- Processed meats like bacon or sausage
4. Avoid Soy Products
Soy does not have iodine, but it can disrupt hyperthyroidism treatment medications, like methimazole. Avoid eating these foods:
- Soy-based creamers
- Soy sauce
- Soy milk
There are various kinds of herbs and food you may take to help optimize your thyroid treatment. Sea vegetables, omega-3 fatty acids, and broccoli are famous for their nutritional content that allows normalizing thyroid function.
You may try alternative remedies to help with managing hyperthyroidism and avoiding complications like thyroid eye disease or subacute thyroiditis. There’s no harm in consulting your doctor before adding a few herbs and food into your diet.
For specialist assistance, you can reach out to LIV Health.
Have you tried any of the natural remedies in this article? How was your experience? Share your thoughts and experience with us in the comments section below!
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Editor’s Note: This post was originally published on October 25, 2017, and has been updated for quality and relevancy.