People have been switching to natural remedies in recent years. The same is happening in the field of hyperthyroidism treatment.
Natural thyroid medicine is the preference for hyperthyroidism patients nowadays. They are opting for natural alternatives to levothyroxine.
What exactly does natural medicine for thyroid do for you?
Natural Thyroid Medicine: Ask About These Types
What Is Levothyroxine Sodium?
Levothyroxine sodium is a treatment made to replace or provide more of the thyroid hormone, thyroxine, in hypothyroidism patients. It may be a part of thyroid hormone replacement therapy.
Aside from that, it can be taken orally in the form of levothyroxine sodium tablets or via injections.
Since this is the most commonly prescribed thyroid medicine for people with hypothyroidism, a shortage in supply can happen. In some cases, people look for alternatives.
1. Porcine Derived Whole Thyroid Glandular Medication
A natural thyroid medication you can find is from the entire thyroid glands of pigs.
It contains all four essential thyroid hormones. These are the T4 (triiodothyronine), T3 (thyroxine), T2, and T1 hormones.
Whole thyroid glandular medication comes with iodine, glandular tissue content, and thyroglobulin protein. These benefit the wellbeing of the body.
T2 can help burn fat and increase metabolism. The glandular in this natural desiccated thyroid (NDT) drug rebuilds your weak thyroid gland.
2. Desiccated Porcine Thyroid Medication
Desiccated animal thyroid extract was an early way to treat hypothyroidism.
This is a powder for medical use. It is also a combination of T3 and T4 hormones.
Common brands of this NDT include:
- Acella – NP Thyroid
- Armour Thyroid
- WP Thyroid
This type of levothyroxine alternative contains a higher concentration of the T3 to T4 ratio. Therefore, taking too much can lead to excessive thyroid hormone production.
3. Liothyronine (T3) Thyroid Medication
T3, or triiodothyronine, is an active thyroid hormone.
It aids in the delivery of energy and oxygen to cells and tissues. Patients who need the T3 hormone may switch to this natural medication.
It lowers your cholesterol levels and reduces your body weight, making it a better natural alternative.
Common T3 brands are Cytomel, which is in the form of a tablet, and Triostat, an injectable.
4. Liothyronine (T3) and Levothyroxine (T4) Combination
This is a thyroid medication combination of the hormones T3 and T4.
T4 is an inactive hormone that helps convert the active T3 hormone into a usable form for the body. Thyrolar is a familiar T3-T4 combination thyroid prescription brand.
There is also a generic version of this medication.
This kind of natural thyroid medication treatment may benefit patients who do not respond well to T4 only thyroid medication.
5. Thyroid Compounds
This type of natural thyroid medication is for patients sensitive to common medicine. These lack ingredients that cause allergies like lactose and gluten.
Thyroid compounds can be quite expensive, especially if you are treating a lifetime illness. You need to refrigerate this type of thyroid medication to preserve activity.
6. Adaptogenic Herbs
These herbs serve as agents that help deal with both physical and emotional stress.
Adaptogenic herbs are a popular choice in Chinese medicine. Ashwagandha falls under this category.
It is a natural remedy for thyroid and adrenal issues. It aids stress by managing cortisol levels.
Probiotics help with digestion. It helps in leaky gut syndrome.
Leaky Gut Syndrome Definition: This problem starts in the gut and can inflame the thyroid gland.
Kefir, kombucha, and yogurt are good sources of probiotics.
Of course, when choosing which probiotics to consume, it is ideal that research is done beforehand on which probiotics strains are best for your condition.
For example, if your body is suffering from constipation as a side effect of a thyroid problem, then bifidobacteria probiotic supplements may be a good option.
Selenium is a trace element that plays a substantial role when it comes to thyroid hormone metabolism, according to the National Institutes of Health (NIH). It is present in seafood and organ meats.
The highest concentration of this trace element is in the thyroid gland. So when a disease, such as Hashimoto’s disease or thyroiditis, attacks the thyroid glands, the level of selenium in the body is affected.
Selenium supplements have been found to help in leveling out thyroxine levels in people with:
- Autoimmune thyroiditis
- Graves’ orbitopathy
9. Vitamin B Supplements
A deficiency in vitamin B, specifically B12, is a common phenomenon for patients suffering from hypothyroidism. Therefore, these patients can benefit from additional vitamin B as thyroid supplements to help treat their symptoms.
Vitamin B12 is important when it comes to the production of the thyroid levels. Aside from that, it helps people suffering from fatigue and muscle weakness because of hypothyroidism gain more energy.
Vitamin B is available in the food we eat:
- Whole Grains
Additional Tip: Manage Your Diet
There are no specifics to follow when it comes to a diet for thyroid issues, although some advise a high-fiber diet, which you should also be careful with.
While a high-fiber diet can help manage other signs and symptoms of thyroid disease like high blood pressure and constipation, too much can interfere with your body’s ability to absorb thyroid medicine.
Importance of Managing Your Diet
Thyroid issues slow down metabolism. This affects the whole body:
- It can increase your cholesterol levels.
- Your body will have a hard time burning calories even at rest.
- It lowers energy levels, leaving you feeling fatigued.
What You Should Eat
When deciding your meal plan, you should make sure you eat food that has the nutrients you need to supplement you. In particular, you need foods rich in iodine, selenium, and zinc:
- Saltwater Fish
- Brazil Nuts
What You Should Avoid Eating
A good rule of thumb is to avoid consuming too much iodine, fiber, and fats.
Other foods you should also avoid are:
- Soy-based food: These contain estrogen, which can make it hard for you to absorb your thyroid hormone supplements.
- Iron and Calcium Supplements: Iron and calcium supplements may interfere with your ability to absorb thyroid medication.
- Alcohol: Drinking too much alcohol may damage your liver. Consequently, this makes you absorb too much artificial thyroid hormones.
Overall, you should consult a health professional beforehand when it comes to your diet, especially if you are pregnant or have other medical concerns.
Whether you prefer natural or synthesized medication, it is best to talk to your doctor first. Undergo tests to check if your body accepts natural remedies.
Open up about your history on taking levothyroxine and if there were side effects also. This way, your doctor can prescribe the most suitable thyroid medicine dosage for you.
Have you tried any of these natural thyroid medication alternatives? Let us know in the comments below!
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Editor’s Note: This post was originally published on September 18, 2017, and has been updated for quality and relevancy.