Hypothyroidism, (HypoT), is simply an insufficient amount of thyroid hormone production. In this article, we will be discussing different natural therapies and supplements. Usually, under producing thyroid hormone is due to several problems:
1. Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, an auto immune disease, which destroys tissue.
2. Removal of the thyroid gland surgically or chemically
3. Exposure to excessive amounts of iodide. Iodide is added to many over the counter cold, sinus medicine, heart prescriptions and contrast dyes given before x- rays.
4. Lithium, a treatment drug choice for depression and anxiety. Long periods of use can bring on “Myxedema”, a rare but fatal condition of the thyroid.
5. Chronic periods of long time uncontrolled stress.
Statistically, says Dr. Isaac Elias, there is a ‘secret’ epidemic of hypothyroid disease. Today 60 million American women have thyroid problems and many others, who do not yet know, they have thyroid issues.
The stress of life, compounded by unhealthy fast food diets, increased environmental toxic loads are causing thyroid and adrenal burnout. Toxins are all absorbed by our tissues, including the thyroid gland.
As in other articles on Hypothyroid, most medical treatment or therapies is on synthetic drugs like synthroid. This helps the gland to produce more hormone and balance out the system. You will take this drug for the rest of your life.
Sometimes this does not work for everyone. At times, it may take up to a year for a doctor to find the correct balance. Also, many people are trying to stay away from taking pharmaceuticals.
Complications due to Hypothyroid Disease:
Birth defects during pregnancy, studies show babies born to women with thyroid issues have increased risk of heart, kidney and brain defects. This is from studies done by David Nagey, M.D. at John Hopkins Medical School. Nagey says that infants are at risk for physical abnormalities like cleft palate and extra fingers.
Infertility issues for woman, due to low levels of thyroid hormone, it can interfere with release of the egg from the ovary, impairing fertility.
Heart problems can be common with HypoT. Thyroid issues have a known effect on cardiovascular issues including blood pressure, tissue function and lipid levels.
Natural Therapies for Hypothyroidism
In alternative and functional medicine, practitioners are looking at more natural therapies, foods and herbs to help balance out hormones. This has been done for many years in Traditional Chinese Medicine and in Ayurvedic medicine. Look at www.merryherb.com for further info on therapies.
1. Acupuncture is used to decongest the liver, common in Hypothyroidism.
2. Your dietary defense is the first component to review. Stop using the traditional energy foods like caffeine. Use more protein to transport the thyroid hormone. We will have an article later on food and thyroid issues.
3. Take care of mental health issues. If depression or anxiety is a problem, there are many herbs, foods and therapies available to help.
4. Repair Heart issues if its high blood pressure or high cholesterol.
5. Food or chemical sensitivities get tested or find out by elimination what food or chemical you may be allergic to.
6. Practice relaxation to de-stress your body with exercise, walking or yoga. Recommended yoga pose for the thyroid is a shoulder stand, sarvangasana.
7. Address Inflammation and try lowering your level which for many is high. Inflammation is a major cause of disease.
8. Decrease fatigue by slowing down your “to do” list and discover the use of nutrients or herbs to help the rundown feeling.
9. Increase good sleep patterns, make sure you are getting required 8 hours of sleep each night or take naps.
10. Massage to help tissue, blood and lymph flow, decreases blockages and muscle tension.
11. Aromatherapy can help overall body, with use of essential oils specific to your particular problem. For instance, sleep use lavender, for fatigue use peppermint or citrus or if depressed use chamomile.
12. Gut issues, such as leaky gut, common in auto-immune disease like Hypothyroid, find a doctor willing to help with resolving this issue. Or try Herbs or Probiotics.
Supplements for Hypothyroidism
Everyone needs some supplements, so it depends on what your short on and how it affects your health. Sometimes it is something that can be easily remedied by a supplement or a specific food. It can aid symptoms of hypothyroid problems.
1. Vitamin D there is a strong association with deficient vitamin D with Hypothyroid patients. You can eat food high in D, like milk or yogurt. You may still need a supplement to receive adequate amounts.
2. Omega3’s are building blocks for hormones that control immune function. High Omega 3’s are in fish, eggs, flax seeds and walnuts. Omegas 3’s are essential fatty acids used to control inflammation.
3. Glutathione is a strong anti-oxidant it helps balance out hormones and the immune system.
4. Probiotics are needed, to keep the microbiome in your gut is necessary for proper function of all body processes. A microbiome is a collection of microorganisms inhabiting our body’s environment. Use a supplement with the most probiotic diversity. And eat foods like kefir, fermented veggies or good quality yogurt.
5. Iodine and tyrosine, because you need adequate supplies to make thyroid hormone. Iodine is in table salt, seafood and seaweeds. Do not overdo iodine it can cause even lower hormone levels and some people are very sensitive to iodine. Tyrosine is an amino acid present in protein, so increase protein intake to about 25% of your calories.
6. DHEA that when stressed out and fatigued, lowers and disrupts hormones like DHEA and progesterone. This can affect your fertility.
7. In Homepathy the most beneficial for hypothyroid are Calcarea Carbonica, Sepia, Lycopodium, Graphite, and Nux vomica. Homeopathy is much more of a choice than we ever thought says Dr. Vikas Sharma M.D.
8. Digestive Enzymes, these will help with absorbing nutrients better. And especially effective, if you have leaky gut syndrome, an auto-immune situation.
9. Thyroid glandular is a product made from glandular tissue. Some practitioners do recommend this.
10. Vitamin B has many interactions with thyroid function and hormone regulation; says Dr. Raphael Kellerman, M.D., Doctor of Functional Medicine in New York City. This includes the whole vitamin B complex and extra B 12 at times.
Food intolerance or sensitivities like gluten or goitrogenic food, are some other areas to look for possible reactions with Hypothyroid symptoms.
Cindy Burrows, B.S., M.T., Herbalist, is a Natural Health Consultant helping individuals start health programs to improve their life, wellness and happiness. Cindy is a speaker, writer and entrepreneur of several businesses.