Hypothyroid Home Remedies

by Sam Malone


The thyroid gland is located below the voice box or larynx in the neck. It secretes hormones that play an important role in the body’s metabolic processes. Hypothyroidism is a condition where the thyroid does not function properly resulting in low levels of thyroid hormones. Hypothyroidism is most commonly caused by the inflammation of the thyroid gland, resulting in damage to its cells.

Another common cause is autoimmune or Hashimoto’s thyroiditis which is caused by the thyroid gland being attacked by the body’s own immune system. In this case, the thyroid gland is erroneously attacked by the antibodies that are present in the blood causing damage.

Hypothyroidism also sometimes occurs in women after pregnancy and is known as postpartum hypothyroidism. At times hypothyroidism can result as a side effect when treating hyperthyroidism as the treatment blocks or stops the production of the hormone. Hypothyroidism may also be caused by goiter due to a deficiency of iodine in the diet. While the condition is rare in developed countries, it still occurs occasionally in some developing countries where iodine is not present in salt.

If your doctor suspects you of having a thyroid disorder then you will have to undergo a blood test. The test will determine the levels of the two major thyroid hormones, mainly, T3 and T4, as well as the thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) secreted by the pituitary gland that regulates the production of T3 and T4. TSH levels usually increase in response to a fall in levels of T3 and T4.

Natural healers when considering remedies for hypothyroidism may pay greater attention to T3 levels as it is the most important of the thyroid hormone. This is because, apart from the T3 produced by the thyroid gland, the body also works towards converting T4 into T3. In case your body is unable to do so, you may have normal levels of T4 but still exhibit symptoms and signs of hypothyroidism.

Synthetic hormones such as levothyroxine and hormones derived from those of pigs may be used to treat hypothyroidism but they are not cures. The dosage of these medications will have to be adjusted after some time till a blood test indicates that your thyroid hormone levels are in the normal range.

Home and natural remedies for hypothyroidism can only work in conjugation with conventional treatment rather than cure it.

One such home remedy for hypothyroidism is to exclude foods that affect thyroid function. These include broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, cabbage, kale, turnips, spinach, linseed, millet, cassava, peanuts, pine nuts, as also mustard greens. Consult the doctor before consuming soy products as it has been known that soy products could lead problems with the absorption of thyroid hormones. The same holds true for foods rich in iron or iron supplements and iodine supplements. The latter is only indicated when iodine deficiency is the cause of hypothyroidism. Besides, excessive iodine can actually cause hypothyroidism.

Other things to avoid are alcohol, tobacco and caffeine.

Instead eat foods that are rich in B vitamins and antioxidants. These would includefruits and vegetables like cherries, blueberries, squash, tomatoes and bell pepper.

Omega-3 fatty acids found in certain fish are also available as supplements and can help reduce inflammation and boost immunity. However, you should consult your doctor regarding certain reactions omega-3 has with certain medications.

Certain herbs are reputed to increase thyroid function but further research is required to determine their efficacy if any. These herbs may be used as dried extracts or tinctures or can be had as an infusion. They include Coleus forskohlii (also available as an extract), Commiphora mukul and Fucus vesiculosus. The latter contains iodine and should only be taken if advised to do so by a doctor.

Other measures that may help stimulate thyroid function include alternate applications of hot and cold water to the neck. This should be repeated two to three times every day.

Acupuncture is also reputed to be effective in stimulating thyroid function and certain yoga postures are said to be good for the thyroid gland.

Reference

  1. http://www.umm.edu/altmed/articles/hypothyroidism-000093.htm

Warning: The reader of this article should exercise all precautionary measures while following instructions on the home remedies from this article. Avoid using any of these products if you are allergic to it. The responsibility lies with the reader and not with the site or the writer.
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