Hypothyroidism Natural Remedies
This page looks at hypothyroidism natural remedies, including supplements and herbs for hypothyroidism. It also looks at hypothyroidism
symptoms, and hypothyroidism causes, such as Hashimoto thyroiditis.
The thyroid gland is situated at the base of your neck, and is an important gland that secretes hormones controlling metabolic activity in every cell of the body.
Hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid) is a condition in which your thyroid gland does not produce enough of certain important hormones, or when your body fails to use the
hormones efficiently. As a result, all the body systems function at a slower rate. This disease can affect everything from appetite to body temperature.
Hypothyroidism affects both sexes and all ages, but is most common in women over age 50. The balance of estrogen and progesterone can have an indirect influence on the
thyroid glands. Relatively high levels of estrogen can suppress thyroid function. Therefore, women over 50 who are on synthetic estrogen thereapy are particularly
susceptible to hypothyroidism.
If untreated, hypothyroidism can cause a number of health problems, such as obesity, joint pain, infertility and heart disease.
Hypothyroidism symptoms vary widely, depending on the severity of the hormone deficiency. At the onset of the disease, you may not even notice any specific symptoms.
You may just feel fatigued and sluggish. As hypothyroidism slows your metabolism further, signs and symptoms become more noticeable.
Hypothyroidism symptoms may include:
- Increased sensitivity to cold
- Pale, dry skin
- Brittle fingernails and dry hair
- A puffy face
- Hoarse voice
- An elevated blood cholesterol level
- Unexplained weight gain
- Muscle aches, tenderness and stiffness
- Pain, stiffness or swelling in your joints
- Tingling hands and feet
- Muscle weakness
- Heavier than normal menstrual periods or irregular periods
- Depression and irritability
Hypothyroidism may be due to a number of different factors, including:
- Hashimoto Thyroiditis: Hashimoto's disease is an autoimmune disease and the most common cause of hypothyroidism.
In Hashimoto thyroiditis, the patient's body produces antibodies that attack thyroid tissue and suppress production of the thyroid hormones. The exact cause of Hashimoto's
disease is not known.
- Treatment for Hyperthyroidism: People with hyperthyroidism (overactive thyroid) are treated with radioactive iodine or anti-thyroid medications.
Sometimes the treatment may cause the thyroid gland to under-produce thyroid hormone, resulting in permanent hypothyroidism.
- Medications: Certain medications can lead to hypothyroidism. For example, lithium (used to treat certain psychiatric disorders) and synthetic
- Hormonal Imbalance: Hormonal imbalance, especially estrogen/progesterone, can also lead to hypothyroidism.
- Radiation or Surgery: Radiation therapy of or surgery on the thyroid can affect the thyroid gland and may lead to hypothyroidism.
- Iodine Defficiency: In some parts of the world, iodine deficiency is a common cause of hypothyroidism. However, the addition of iodine to table
salt has virtually eliminated this problem in the United States.
Hypothyroidism Natural Remedies
Hypothyroidism natural remedies include the use of hypothyroidism herbs and natural supplements for thyroid support. Homeopathic remedies can also be used to treat some
of the symptoms caused by the disease.
Hypothyroidism Natural Remedies - Herbs
Hypothyroidism herbs can be used to support thyroid function. Some useful herbs include:
- Coleus (Coleus forskohlii): Forskohlii is an extract of an Ayurvedic herb that increases the levels of cyclic AMP in cells.
Cyclic AMP is essential to synthesize and regulate thyroid hormones, growth hormones, cortisol, DHEA, testosterone, melatonin, and other hormones. Use a standardized
extract, 50 to 100 mg two times a day.
- Guggul (Commiphora mukul): Guggul is another Ayurvedic herb which is beneficial for various conditions, including obesity and
thyroid problems. For people who have hypothyroidism, one of the symptoms is weight gain. Gugul has been found to be able to lower cholesterol and body weight,
lower elevated serum lipids, and raise HDL levels (good cholesterol) simultaneously. It can also support low thyroid function. Take a standardized extract, 250 to
500 mg three times a day.
- Bladderwrack (Fucus vesiculosus): If your hypothyroidism is caused by iodine deficiency, bladderwrack can be used. However, be sure to
use this herb under the supervision of a doctor, since too much iodine can actually cause hypothyroidism.
Hypothyroidism Natural Remedies - Natural Supplements
Several natural supplements can be used as hypothyroidism natural remedies:
- L-tyrosine: L-tyrosine is an amino acid that is used in the synthesis of the thyroid hormone. Recommended dosage is 500 mg two to
three times daily. However, if you are taking prescription thyroid hormone medication, do not take L-tyrosine without direction from your doctor. Also, do not take
L-tyrosine if you have high blood pressure.
- Multivitamin: Take a multivitamin that contains vitamins A, C, E, the B-complex vitamins, and trace minerals such as magnesium, calcium,
zinc and selenium. A high-potency multivitamin provides a base of nutrients required for thyroid hormone synthesis.
- Essential Fatty Acids: Omega-3 fatty acids, such as fish oil, help decrease inflammation and help with immunity, and are important for
Hypothyroidism Natural Remedies - Homeopathy
Homeopathic remedies cannot be used as a substitute for thyroid supplementation. However, they can be used to alleviate the symptoms caused by hypothyroidism.
Choose a remedy that most closely matches your symptoms and follow the instructions of use on the label. It is also advisable to consult with a holistic practitioner.
- Calcarea carbonica: This remedy is for low thyroid function. People who need this remedy tend to feel chill, fatigued, and
overwhelmed. They may have night sweat and a craving for eggs and milk products.
- Lycopodium: This remedy is for right-sided enlargement of the thyroid. People who need this remedy tend to have a lot of gas and
- Sepia: This remedy is for women with low thyroid hormone. They are chilly and irritable and crave salty, sweet, and sour foods.
- Nux vomica: This remedy is for people with low thyroid function. People who need this remedy feel irritable, constipated, achy,
Hypothyroidism Natural Remedies - Diet
If you have an underactive thyroid, eat foods high in B-vitamins, such as whole grains, fresh vegetables, and sea vegetables (such as nori, kombu, and wakame).
Essential fatty acids (as found in flaxseeds, fish) are also important for thyroid function.
Eat antioxidant foods, including fruits (such as blueberries, cherries, and tomatoes) and vegetables (such as squash and bell pepper).
Avoid certain foods that suppress thyroid function, such as broccoli, cabbage, brussels sprouts, cauliflower, soy and soybean products, kale, spinach, turnips, peanuts,
pine nuts, millet, and mustard greens.
Avoid drinking tap water because the fluorine and chlorine in the water inhibit the body's ability to absorb iodine.
If you are taking thyroid hormone medication, do not take iron supplements because iron may interfere with the absorption of the medication.
Balch and Stengler, Prescription for Natural Cures, (John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 2004).
University of Maryland Medical Center (http://www.umm.edu/altmed/articles/hypothyroidism-000093.htm).
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