Natural thyroid treatment is essential to keeping our thyroid healthy. It’s even more important for those who are suffering from hypothyroidism.
We all know our thyroid gland is a vital part of our body. It leads to complex processes such as metabolism.
If you already have thyroid health issues, it requires discipline for a thyroid cure. Hypothyroidism thyroid issues include weight gain, hair loss, and constipation.
Let’s look at some of the best food tips for hypothyroidism and how to kickstart your thyroid naturally.
Natural Thyroid Treatment Tips You Need to Know
1. Don’t Starve Yourself
People with hypothyroidism experience sudden weight gain. It is not good for your health to starve yourself, though.
A sudden decrease in calorie intake affects thyroid function. This results in an overactive thyroid gland with poor hormone production and can promote unintentional weight loss.
To maintain a healthy diet, eat more fresh fruits and vegetables. Also, lower your refined sugar intake for a healthy diet.
2. Increase Your Iodine Intake
According to Women’s Health, our thyroid gland cannot make enough thyroid hormones when it suffers from hypothyroidism. These hormones are not possible without enough iodine.
Iodine deficiency is a common cause of thyroid diseases. Hypothyroidism patients produce fewer thyroid-stimulating hormones (TSH).
TSH Definition: A pituitary gland hormone responsible for stimulating the thyroid gland for thyroxine production and triiodothyronine for the stimulation of metabolism for many body tissues
Lack of iodine also results in thyroid nodules formation. Thus, make iodine an essential part of your hypothyroidism diet.
Unfortunately, our body doesn’t produce iodine, so we have to source it out. You can get iodine from several foods.
Eat more sea vegetables, cranberries, iodized salt, wild-caught fish, egg, and organic yogurt. Thyroid support supplements are also great alternative sources of iodine.
3. Reduce Soy Consumption
Soy falls into a classification of food known as goitrogens. These foods trigger the development of goiter, the enlargement of the thyroid gland.
They also block the absorption of iodine. As we know, iodine deficiency is the primary cause of Hashimoto’s thyroiditis.
So, it helps to avoid goitrogenic foods such as soy.
4. Eat More Nuts
Another mineral that helps maintain a functioning thyroid gland is selenium. It helps to regulate metabolism and TSH.
This natural thyroid medication also helps improve cellular protection. One of the most excellent sources of selenium is nuts.
Adding them to your hypothyroidism diet can help you with your thyroid health issues. But, you also need to watch your intake as nuts are high in fats and calories.
5. Get Rid of Gluten
Gluten contains gliadin which is a protein foreign to our body. It affects our brain and digestive health in a negative way.
It also attacks our thyroid gland. Transglutaminase, which is present in processed meat glue, affects the thyroid’s ability to form chemical bonds.
When this happens, autoimmune thyroid problems such as Graves’ thyroid disease and Hashimoto’s thyroiditis develop. Thus, it is helpful to avoid gluten in your diet.
6. Increase Antioxidants Consumption
Hypothyroidism is a thyroid disease, and free radical production increases with this condition.
Antioxidants can prevent thyroid health problems. These antioxidants act as free radical scavengers.
Our thyroid gland is sensitive. If you have thyroid disorders, increase your antioxidant intake.
Eat more Goji berries, coconut oil, and cranberries.
7. Cook Your Cruciferous Veggies
These include vegetables such as kale, broccoli, and cauliflower. They prevent the uptake of iodine.
Cook these veggies lightly before eating them. Doing so prevents goitrogens from blocking iodine absorption.
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8. Consume More Vitamin B12
Vitamin B12 or cobalamin is a type of water-soluble nutrient responsible for each human cell’s metabolism. It also helps ease the thyroid’s tiredness caused by thyroid disease, such as hypothyroidism.
The disease can lower the levels of vitamin B12 in the body. To keep this from happening, you can add the following foods rich in vitamin B12 in your diet:
- Sesame seeds
Although enriching yourself with vitamin B12 at a recommended amount is generally safe, you should consult your doctor if you have the following conditions and would like to increase your intake of the vitamin:
- Blood-clotting problems
- Stomach issues
- Discolored urine
- Skin disorders
- History of cancer
- High blood pressure
- Heart disorder
9. Eat Sufficient Amounts of Healthy Fats
Healthy fats play an important role in balancing hormone production, including thyroid hormones.
You may want to include the following good sources of healthy fats in your diet:
- Coconut milk products
- Cottage cheese
- Flax seeds
- Olive oil
10. Avoid Processed Foods
Processed foods, such as junk foods and those sold in fast-food chains, contain high amounts of salt. Salt in processed foods does not contain iodine.
These foods only increase the risk of developing high blood pressure. Opt for iodized salt instead as it contains 45 micrograms of iodine in each gram.
To completely avoid eating processed foods, cook your meals at home. This also helps you maintain full control over your food consumption.
11. Avoid Excess Fiber
Fiber is good for your overall health, but too much of it can complicate your treatment for hypothyroidism as it disrupts the absorption of the thyroid supplements or drugs. You can take 20-35 g of dietary fiber each day if you have hypothyroidism.
You may also want to stay away from foods with high levels of fiber like whole grains if your thyroid is underactive. To be safe, ask your doctor as to how you can incorporate fiber in your diet without the risk of breaking your treatment.
12. Try Acupuncture
Acupuncture is a popular alternative relief for many health conditions, including hypothyroidism. It is a practice that stimulates specific pressure points in the body using a needle to alleviate pain and relieve symptoms of certain conditions.
This medical practice can help balance your thyroid hormones. A study showed that participants saw improvements with the symptoms of thyroid dysfunction after having acupuncture regularly for a certain period.
This natural thyroid treatment can also help you relax as it relieves anxiety and muscle tension, which are symptoms of hypothyroidism. You can ask your doctor about how you should try acupuncture for your thyroid dysfunction.
13. Manage Stress
Stress is never good for your health, and it can typically trigger thyroid dysfunction, especially chronic stress. It can also worsen hypothyroidism symptoms, so it’s crucial you manage stress as your natural thyroid support.
You can start with self-care every day, such as the following:
- Reading books
- Taking a walk outside
- Taking a bath with essential oils
- Anything that makes you happy and relaxed
It’s also important to make time to relax each day, so you can properly manage everyday stress. If it’s difficult for you to make time to relax every day, start doing it once or twice a day each week and then gradually increase the number of days as you go.
Why Is Natural Thyroid Treatment Important?
The purpose of natural remedies is to fix the root cause of the problem. Thyroid issues can sometimes be a result of missing nutrients in the body, stress, and poor diet.
Switching to a thyroid-friendly diet is one major factor that can help correct your underactive thyroid or strengthen the gland. Natural thyroid treatments for hypothyroidism have fewer side effects than prescription medications.
Aside from that, following a natural thyroid treatment can also be beneficial for people who are not responding well to medicines.
How Are You Diagnosed with Hypothyroidism?
Commonly, doctors take blood tests as the primary basis for diagnosing hypothyroidism. They often take three measurements:
- Free triiodothyronine (T3)
- Free thyroxine (T4)
- thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH)
Early hypothyroidism shows high levels of TSH and low peripheral production of T3 and T4.
How Doctors Treat an Underactive Thyroid
The conventional way to treat hypothyroidism is the daily supplementation of synthetic natural desiccated thyroid: liothyronine (T3), or levothyroxine (T4). These medications help correct the thyroid levels when the thyroid gland does not function properly.
But they can create a rollercoaster effect on symptoms for some affected individuals. Some cannot absorb these supplements well, so doctors combine supplementation, diet, and conventional pharmaceuticals to help their thyroids.
If an autoimmune disease is the cause of the dysfunction, doctors work on eliminating or managing the disease. But, if they find that the thyroid is able to produce normal levels of the natural thyroid hormone, doctors advise patients to change their lifestyle or address environmental factors that cause the low production of the hormone.
What Happens When You Don’t Treat Your Underactive Thyroid?
Your thyroid affects many parts of your body, and when hypothyroidism is left untreated, it can cause widespread harm. You may experience the following conditions:
- Myxedema – a rare and life-threatening condition involving impaired cognition, extreme fatigue, or loss of consciousness
- Fertility issues – irregular menstrual periods
- Cognitive issues – difficulty in focusing and the feeling of being in a cloud
- Peripheral neuropathy – a condition where peripheral nerves get damaged, causing tingling, numbness, and pain in the arms or legs
- Kidney disease – damage in a portion of the kidney or the whole kidney over time, resulting in kidney failure
- Heart disease – fluid retention leading to high blood pressure or heart failure
- Goiter – inflammation in the thyroid gland when the organ tries extra hard to produce thyroid hormones causing stress
Knowing some daily practices for natural thyroid treatment is essential to achieve or maintain a normal functioning thyroid gland. But, knowledge is in vain if not put into practice.
If the cells in our body are puppets and our thyroid hormones are strings that make them move or operate, then we are responsible for taking good care of those strings. Because in the event that some of the strings break, all others will be affected.
Following these tips can keep you from any other health issues caused by broken strings — unhealthy thyroid. Stay healthy!
Do you know other forms of natural thyroid treatment? We would like to know more about them in the comments section below!
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Editor’s Note: This post was originally published on June 16, 2017, and has been updated for quality and relevancy.