More and more people have been looking into natural hypothyroidism treatment. Taking daily thyroid hormone replacement medication is the conventional treatment for hypothyroidism, but there are side effects that come along with it.
More often than not, thyroid disorders are treated with thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) medicine or pharmaceuticals like Synthroid and Levothyroxine that have damaging side effects on a patient’s overall health. To add to that, not taking the necessary pill or capsule can lead to a more critical condition.
But, there are some cases that make natural remedies great alternatives to treat hypothyroidism without side effects. Incorporating these thyroid function remedies in a patient’s diet can reduce or, in some cases, eliminate hypothyroidism.
Hypothyroidism Treatment | Natural Alternatives to Try
According to observational studies, even a small amount of supplementary iodine can cause a slight, but notable, change in your thyroid gland function. Eating these foods rich in iodine can help prevent iodine deficiency:
- Sea vegetables
- Raw dairy
But, if seafood and dairy are not an option for you, consider taking an all-natural thyroid supplement that contains iodine and other ingredients that target each thyroid symptom. On the other hand, patients with Hashimoto’s thyroiditis should not take iodine supplements because getting too much iodine over an extended period can increase the danger of developing an overactive thyroid or other thyroid problems.
Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis Definition: Also known as Hashimoto’s disease, Hashimoto’s thyroiditis is a health condition where the immune system attacks the thyroid causing inflammation.
The recommended iodine intake is 150-300 µg daily.
Of all the organs in the body, the thyroid has the highest level of selenium. It is a significant component in the production of the T3 thyroid hormone and can greatly lessen autoimmune effects.
An adequate amount of selenium in our body helps in efficient thyroid hormone synthesis and metabolism. It also decreases anti-thyroid antibody levels and protects the thyroid gland from damage due to radioactive iodine exposures.
The average selenium intake should be 55 µg per day. Salmon, Brazil nuts, beef, sunflower seeds, mushrooms, and onions are some of the foods with high selenium content.
They are also a great addition to your natural hypothyroidism treatment.
3. Vitamin B-Complex
Thiamine and vitamin B12 are essential for hormonal balance and treatment of hypothyroidism.
Vitamin B12 is a vital component for red blood cell production, protein conversion, neurological functions, nerve health, deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA), and fatty acid synthesis. This natural hypothyroidism treatment turns nutrients from food into usable energy for our brain and body.
On the other hand, thiamine can fight the signs and symptoms of autoimmune disease in patients, such as chronic fatigue.
Foods rich in vitamin B-complex include milk, meat, liver, eggs, whole grain cereals, yeast, yogurt, fruits, and green leafy vegetables. One capsule of vitamin B-complex a day is very much required and can be a great treatment for hypothyroidism.
Adaptogen herbs or supplements like ashwagandha can lower cortisol and balance hormone TSH levels. This herb helps our body respond to stress.
In a clinical trial, supplementing ashwagandha for eight weeks helped patients with hypothyroidism increase their thyroxine hormone levels when compared to using other adaptogen herbs such as Rhodiola, ginseng, licorice root, and holy basil or tulsi, which have comparable benefits.
Tyrosine is an amino acid found in our body used by neurotransmitters in our brain and is important for thyroid dysfunction and reduces the risk of thyroid disorders. Supplementing it with L-tyrosine can improve sleep deprivation and fight fatigue and a poor mood by enhancing alertness.
Another reason why it is beneficial in hypothyroidism treatment is it plays a major role in the production of dopamine and melatonin. They are our body’s natural “feel-good” hormones.
The recommended dosage of the L-tyrosine supplement is 150 mg/kg per day.
6. Fish Oil
Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) omega-3 fatty acids found in fish oil are vital for our brain and thyroid function. They can lower the risk for thyroid disease and symptoms such as depression, anxiety, inflammatory bowel disease, high cholesterol, diabetes, arthritis, a weak immune system, and autoimmune disease.
Fish oil is a powerful brain support nutrient, which is a significant building block for optimal cognitive function. The recommended dosage of this natural hypothyroidism treatment is 1,000 µg daily.
7. Essential Oil
Frankincense, lemongrass, and myrrh essential oils can improve thyroid function and heal symptoms of autoimmune disease. Rubbing these oils directly to the thyroid area along with the reflexology points on the feet and the wrists multiple times a day can offer outstanding relief from pain.
A soothing bath using therapeutic-grade essential oils can also combat fatigue. It can relieve muscle or joint pain, improve mood, and reduce anxiety and irritability as well.
This traditional Chinese medicine is popular for alleviating pain and improving symptoms of different health conditions like hypothyroidism. Acupuncture uses needles to prick the skin to target various pressure points in the body.
It helps regulate the flow of energy and correct variances in the body, such as hormonal imbalance. One study revealed that people who have thyroid dysfunction experienced improvements in their thyroid hormone markers when they applied acupuncture therapy regularly.
It also allows you to relax and aids in relieving anxiety and muscle tension, which are both hypothyroidism symptoms. Ask your doctor how you can incorporate acupuncture in your hypothyroidism treatment.
Your gut is a large reservoir of thyroid hormones where the good bacteria in there help convert T3 to T4, which is often deficient in hypothyroidism. Try taking probiotics with Lactobacillus bacteria for your thyroid health.
How to Lower Your Risk of Hypothyroidism
Hypothyroidism and other types of thyroid disease are generally not preventable as they are, most of the time, autoimmune. But in cases not relating to genetic makeup, there are risk factors that can predispose one to hypothyroidism.
They are preventable though. The following are best practices to help keep a healthy thyroid:
1. Manage Stress
Chronic stress can trigger thyroid dysfunction as excess cortisol from it prevents your thyroid from making more hormones.
On top of that, stress can worsen the condition’s symptoms if you already have an underactive thyroid. This is why it’s important to know how to manage stress to prevent thyroid problems.
Practice self-care to control stress. You can try these activities:
- Book reading
- Walking outside
- Taking a bath with essential oils
- Having a massage
- Performing meditation
It’s crucial to make time to relax each day. If it’s difficult for you to do so, start with two or three times a week and then increase the number of days as you go until you can finally make it to every day.
2. Minimize Sugar Consumption
Too much sugar may trigger yeast overgrowth which has been linked to Hashimoto’s disease, the most common cause of hypothyroidism.
Aside from that, your thyroid is also responsible for regulating the metabolism of carbs. If there is low hormone production or central hypothyroidism, your body will have a difficult time balancing your blood sugar levels, leading to metabolic issues, weight gain, or fatigue.
3. Avoid Gluten in Your Hypothyroidism Diet
Gluten is a type of protein present in grains like rye, barley, and wheat. It may cause damage to your gut lining, interrupting thyroid hormone activities and causing inflammation that can reach your thyroid.
The manufacturing of gluten includes bromide, which takes over iodine. You can ask your doctor how you can go gluten-free in your hypothyroidism diet plan to keep your thyroid healthy.
4. Watch Out for Perchlorates
Perchlorates are a type of odorless and colorless salt used in making fireworks and explosives. They can contaminate water systems in the U.S.
High levels of this chemical can lower your TSH levels as it blocks your thyroid from absorbing iodine. Consider having your water tested for perchlorates.
5. Quit Smoking
Smoking is never good for your health as it leaves various types of toxins in your body. The chemical thiocyanate in cigarettes can interfere with your thyroid’s absorption of iodine, blocking the production of thyroid hormones.
Quitting smoking may be difficult, so you might need your doctor’s involvement to help you with this. If you’re a non-smoker, it’s best to not try smoking at all.
6. Perform a Thyroid Neck Check
A thyroid neck check is a test you can do at home to see if there are bumps in your thyroid area that may be a symptom of the condition.
To do the test, follow these steps:
- Use a mirror and hold it in your hand, reflecting the lower front area of your neck where your thyroid is.
- Tip your head back while you take a look at your neck in the mirror.
- Drink water and watch your neck closely as you swallow.
- Check if you see bulges in the area of your neck closer to your collarbone upon swallowing the water.
- If you see something, consult your doctor right away as it may indicate inflammation in your thyroid.
7. See Your Physician Regularly
On top of doing a thyroid neck check, it’s also essential to visit your doctor for a thyroid checkup. This is highly recommended if you think you are experiencing symptoms of the condition or you have a family history of hypothyroidism or any related thyroid disease.
If several members of the family have thyroid issues, your doctor will likely want to perform thyroid tests to monitor your thyroid hormones yearly.
Hypothyroidism is a condition that should not be taken lightly because it can get serious. Conventional medicines can cure the disorder, but there’s a possibility that it can affect other organs and their functions.
This can lead to a more critical condition. Using natural hypothyroidism treatment can be just as effective as modern medicines but doesn’t have harmful side effects.
Some pharmaceutical drugs can have adverse reactions in patients who take them. Herbal or natural medicines utilize our body’s natural healing process, and they are more cost-effective compared to modern medicines.
What other natural treatments for hypothyroidism can you share with us? Leave them in the comments section below!