Underactive Thyroid Remedies

The thyroid gland – a small butterfly shaped gland located at the base of the throat has been likened to the gas pedal of a car. Just like the gas pedal tells the car to move faster or slower, the thyroid gland controls the way your metabolism functions. A slow or an under active thyroid will therefore affect the way your organs function, how much energy you use, and how your body temperature is controlled. An underactive thyroid is also known as hypothyroidism and refers to the condition where the thyroid gland produces an insufficient amount of thyroid hormones in the body. Hypothyroidism is a surprisingly common medical condition and it affects millions of people around the world. The challenge arises in diagnosing the condition correctly as many of the symptoms of hypothyroidism can be confused for other diseases and ailments. 
  • Unexplained weight gain
  • Constant fatigue
  • Dry skin and hair
  • Chronic colds and coughs
  • Puffy face and eyes
  • Hoarse voice
  • Allergic reactions such as skin rashes and itching
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Digestive problems
  • Low libido
  • Aching joints and muscles
  • Poor concentration
  • Irregular menstrual cycle or heavy periods
If left untreated an underactive thyroid can lead to health problems such as hypertension, depression, migraines, diabetes and emphysema. An underactive thyroid can be due to a number of different factors. Possible causes of hypothyroidism include:

  • Autoimmune disease such as Hashimoto’s disease, which causes and inflammation of the thyroid gland and a reduction in the amount of hormones produced
  • Thyroiditis or an inflammation of the thyroid gland can affect the proper functioning of the gland and the production of the thyroid hormones. An infection or trauma of the thyroid gland may lead to thyroiditis.
  • Treatment for hyperthyroidism or an over active thyroid gland may also reduce the functioning of the gland if anti thyroid medications or radioactive iodine are used for long periods of time or in large quantities.
  • Thyroid surgery or the removal of a large portion of the thyroid gland can affect production of hormones.
  • Irregularities of the pituitary gland can affect the production of T3 and T4 thyroid hormones in the thyroid gland
  • An iodine deficiency is a common reason for hypothyroidism
  • Radiation therapy is used to treat cancers
  • Certain medications such as anti-psychotic drugs can result in hypothyroidism

Treatment for Low or Underactive Thyroid

Traditional medical treatment for a low or underactive thyroid includes hormone medication to regulate the TSH levels in the body. Levothyroxine is the most common drug used to treat hypothyroidism. However, if the dosage is not correct or adjusted from time to time, it could lead to side effects such as palpitations, insomnia, and tremors. Therefore thyroid levels have to be monitored regularly in the case of hormone replacement medications.

Besides conventional medication, there are other natural treatments and alternative remedies that can help treat symptoms of hypothyroidism without the unpleasant side effects. Some home remedies for an underactive thyroid include:

  • Massage the thyroid daily to stimulate the gland and increase the production of hormones. You can do this by gently stroking the base of the throat and along the windpipe.
  • Herbs such as Guggul, Bladderwrack, and Coleus have been studied for treating an underactive thyroid. While more research is still needed, the initial results are encouraging. These herbs can be had in the form of dried or glycerin extracts or tinctures. Alternatively you can make herbal teas by steeping the dried herbs in hot water. Before beginning any herbal or natural treatment it is important to check with your doctor and get the all clear as some herbs may counteract with your existing medication and cause more harm than good.
  • A natural diet for hypothyroidism can go a long way towards treating the condition. Experts recommend that you increase your intake of essential fatty acids to your diet. EFAs can be found in foods such as cold-water fish, walnuts and flaxseeds. Iodine rich foods such as seaweed and algae, barley and coconut oil should also be consumed regularly. Antioxidant rich foods such as berries, bell peppers and tomatoes also help build immunity and improve the functioning of the thyroid. There are also foods that slow down or reduce the functioning of the thyroid. These include cruciferous vegetables such as Brussel sprouts and cauliflower as well as other foods such as kale, soy, and beans. In addition to these changes to your diet, it is important to stay away from junk foods, over processed meals, artificial sweeteners and sugar, as well as caffeine and alcohol as these can affect the production of thyroid hormones.

Apart from these natural remedies, it is important that you:

  • Educate yourself about the condition
  • Eat a balanced healthy diet
  • Stay positive
  • Exercise regularly
  • Monitor your hormone levels every six weeks
  • Adjust your medications from time to time or when necessary

  1. http://www.umm.edu/altmed/articles/hypothyroidism-000093.htm#ixzz1zXxGbg6c