Come Back To The Basics
The thyroid gland is part of a larger system called the endocrine system. The endocrine system is a network of glands that secrete hormones to regulate most of your bodys processes, such as metabolism, growth, digestion, and energy levels!
Simply put, your hormones are chemical messengers that tell your body what to do and when to do it. If your hormones are out of balance, as occurring with an under-active thyroid, several bodily functions can slow way down.
This is why constipation, weight gain, and fatigue are commonly reported with hypothyroidism.
Your hormones are chemical messengers that tell your body what to do and when to do it.
Coming back to the basics and focusing on the foundations of health are key for supporting your hormonal health and boosting energy levels.
The Basic Foundations of Health:
- Get seven to eight hours of uninterrupted sleep per night
- Eat a nutrient-dense diet and drink 2L of water per day
- Move 20-30 minutes every day at a moderate intensity
- Stress management
How To Take Care Of Your Thyroid Naturally
A slew of conditions could be responsible for thyroid problems. Many people struggle with thyroid, and most people go undiagnosed. People with serious thyroid problems can have underlying conditions like Graves disease, toxic adenomas, subacute thyroiditis, thyroid cancer and pituitary gland malfunctioning. A stagnating liver can cause the thyroid gland to malfunction. Here are several ways to naturally take care of your thyroid naturally.
Consider Taking Specific Supplements
There are specific supplements that can better help you balance hormones & your thyroid. The best place to start is by choosing supplements in which the majority of the population is deficient. This includes supplements such as selenium, magnesium, omega-3, and vitamin D3 with vitamin K2.
For those who have hypothyroidism, there are a few additional supplements that can be highly beneficial. A sample of these includes Ashwagandha, iodine, methylated B vitamins, adaptogenic herbs, glutathione, and turmeric.
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Improve Your Gut Microbiome
Our overall health is intimately connected to our gut!
Autoimmunity has been linked to the microbiome. Supporting your microbiome includes eating a varied diet rich with fiber and prebiotics. For some people, using a probiotic can offer benefits.
MegaSporebiotic is the most common probiotic we use in my practice. Its the only probiotic of its kind that actually produces antioxidants in the digestive tract and survives the pH of the stomach acid.
Other Less Common Causes Of Hyperthyroidism Include:
- Plummers disease
- Thyroid or pituitary tumors
- Excess iodine intake
For reasons that were still trying to understand, over 25% of patients who have one autoimmune disease have more than one. Along with the comorbidity of other autoimmune diseases, the following are risk factors for Graves disease:.
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Keep Track Of Whats Working
One of the biggest ways that Ive found what works for me is paying attention to what Im doing and how it impacts my health. I use a range of apps and my Oura ring to keep notes on whats happening with my health, exercise changes, what Im eating, and so on.
You dont need to obsess over health to keep track of it. The best way to see what helps, what doesnt, and even what might be hurting, is to have it written out in front of you.
Hyperthyroidism And Heart Disease
Hyperthyroidism affects the heart much in the same way it negatively affects bone health.
Ive mentioned that hyperthyroidism can result in an increased heart rate and palpitations. But the real picture is this the increased cardiac output can be 50-300% higher than in other people without thyroid disease.
This significantly impacts the heart and can ultimately result in heart failure, atrial fibrillation, and dilated cardiomyopathy.
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Home Test For Thyroid Insufficiency
A simple home test that can be done is something called the Barnes test. It is done by taking your temperature under the tongue first thing in the morning. 97.2-98.2 is considered normal. If you find your temperature falls below this, that may be a sign of under-active thyroid. Menstruating women should only take this test the 2nd or 3rd day after menstruation begins.
Should People With Thyroid Problems Avoid These Supplements
Iodine: Yes. Avoid it as a supplement whether you havehyperthyroidism or hypothyroidism. The effect of iodine supplements can vary byperson, causing the thyroid to produce either too much or too little hormone.
Certain alternativemedicine websites or doctors tell patients that iodine is good for yourthyroid, Dr. Nasr says, but if there is anybody who shouldnt take iodine, itis thyroid patients. Such claims aremade because iodine deficiency is the No. 1 cause of thyroid conditionsin the world, he says. But thats not true in the U.S., where we have iodine inour diets. Iodine is added to many foods, and not just salt, he says.
However, Dr. Nasr says that people on restrictive diets may consider adding a daily multivitamin that contains the recommended daily allowance of iodine.
He also assures patientsnot to worry that you are getting too much iodine from everyday foods. You wouldhave to eat a ton of it to cause problems, he says. Its not, dont eatanything with iodine. Its, dont eat a bunch of iodine. And patients shouldbe careful with iodine-concentrated supplements.
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What Are Thyroid Nodules
Thyroid nodules are growths that develop within the thyroid gland, which is located in your throat, just behind your Adams apple. When thyroid tissue grows abnormally, it creates a nodule, or lump. Thyroid nodules can occur as a single lump or as multiple nodules, and they can be solid or fluid-filled.
Thyroid nodules are actually quite common, affecting up to 65 percent of the general population. The estimated annual incidence of thyroid nodules in the U.S. is approximately 0.1 percent, which is equal to about a 10 percent lifetime probability of developing one.
According to research published in JAMA, most thyroid nodules are benign and clinically insignificant, but about 10 percent of nodules harbor a clinically significant cancer, 5 percent cause compressive symptoms and 5 percent progress to a functional disease.
How To Heal Your Thyroid: Can Natural Remedies Help
This article was co-authored by Zora Degrandpre, ND. Dr. Degrandpre is a Licensed Naturopathic Physician in Vancouver, Washington. She is also a grant reviewer for the National Institutes of Health and the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine. She received her ND from the National College of Natural Medicine in 2007.There are 24 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page.wikiHow marks an article as reader-approved once it receives enough positive feedback. This article has 29 testimonials from our readers, earning it our reader-approved status. This article has been viewed 1,679,097 times.
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How To Take Care Of Your Thyroid On A Plant
Eating a diet that supports your thyroid is completely possible to do without animal products. The key thing to remember is to stay away from processed foods as much as possible because remember: Whatever you put in your body is used as either fuel or has to be circulated through the organs to be detoxified because its a foreign agent to the body. This slows down all the bodys intended purposes, including producing thyroid hormones. Your body doesnt recognize chemicals, additives, hormones, pesticides, and excessive amounts of processed salts and sugars. It needs real food.
Here are some key nutrients to focus on and the best sources:
More About Avoiding Iodine
In addition to avoiding the above foods, its important to avoid additional iodine.
Iodine can be found in herbal supplements, even if its not noted on the label. Remember that even if a supplement is available over the counter, it can still have a harmful effect on your body.
Before taking any supplements, talk to your doctor.
When it comes to iodine, balance is essential. While excessive iodine can lead to hyperthyroidism, an iodine deficiency can cause hypothyroidism.
Dont take any iodine medication unless directed to do so by your physician.
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Improve Your Sleep Routine
Not getting enough sleep can add to your bodys stress load, so prioritizing quality shuteye is key to healing your thyroid, according to Safdieh. One study published in the Annals of Occupational and Environmental Medicine even found that night shift workers, who typically have poorer sleep quality, are at higher risk for thyroid diseases than people who work a daytime schedule. There are lots of ways you can get better sleep, from developing a nighttime routine to limiting caffeine intake during the day.
Exercise For Boosting Thyroid Function
When youre dealing with low thyroid and are already tired, exercise might sound like the last thing you want to think about. But you need to be able to move your body to promote health.
Still, endless cardio is probably going to hurt more than it will help. Exercise does cause a certain amount of stress in the bodybut after that, it leads to a reduction in stress. This isnt the case when youre overtaxing your body with exercise.
Some of the best ways that you can support your body with exercise when your thyroid is low are:
- Yoga: Research finds that it helps reduce hypothyroid symptoms and lowers stress.
- Rebounding: I spend a few minutes a day jumping on a mini-trampoline to get my blood flowing and increase lymph drainage.
- Walking: You dont have to power walk to get benefit from a morning stroll or a family walk after dinner.
- Strength training: Weight-bearing exercises are good for bone density but theyre also known for being great for those who have thyroid problems.
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Get A Good Nights Rest
Research shows that poor sleep quality can interfere with thyroid function. Therefore, you should take measures to help induce rest, such as ensuring a comfortable bedroom, avoiding light sources, and eating light meals. Furthermore, you should avoid the use of electronic devices and the consumption of stimulants.
Although you cant control many factors that indicate the weakening of the thyroid, its in your hands to maintain habits that help its proper functioning. So, if you suspect you have a thyroid problem, its essential to see a doctor or endocrinologist.
Get Celiac Disease Diagnosed And Treated
Celiac disease, an autoimmune condition that causes your intestines to react abnormally to gluten is three times more common in people with autoimmune thyroid disease like Hashimoto’s thyroiditis and Graves’ disease.
It’s unclear why exactly this association exists, but it may be in part due to the genetic component that autoimmune diseases have, as well as the fact that both conditions are fairly common. Additionally, celiac disease causes poor absorption of essential minerals like iodine and selenium, which can lead to deficiencies and trigger thyroid dysfunction.
While scientific data doesn’t traditionally support the use of a gluten-free diet in treating people with autoimmune thyroid disease, some studies have shown that a low-gluten diet may be beneficial for people with Hashimoto’s disease in helping to prevent potential complications and possibly even the progression of the condition.
If you think you might have celiac disease, talk to your doctor about getting tested. Even if you don’t have celiac disease, you may still have a gluten sensitivity or intolerance that can benefit from a gluten-free diet.
That said, if you want to try limiting or avoiding gluten, it’s important to only make a big dietary change under the guidance of your doctor.
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What Is Hypothyroidism And Do You Actually Have It
Hypothyroidism is one of the most common reasons people give for not being able to lose fat. While it can be scoffed at as merely an excuse for not following a proper diet or exercise program, it is nevertheless a very real condition that is relatively common.
Hypothyroidism occurs when the thyroid doesnt produce enough thyroid hormones. It is usually characterized by having insufficient T4 and raised TSH which has increased in order to raise T4 levels. While this is a simple explanation, it is extremely insufficient to cover the wide range of thyroid problems as there are many variations of hormone imbalances that could be responsible for an under active thyroid.
Difficulty losing weight is the most notable symptom of an under performing thyroid, but some other common symptoms include constipation, sensitivity to cold and cold skin, fatigue, dry skin, brittle nails, and decreased immune function.
Healthy Thyroid Happy Life
If you suspect you might have hypothyroidism, reach out to your healthcare provider and inquire about getting your serum TSH and free T4 levels tested.
With that said, TSH levels dont always tell the whole story. Therefore, it could be helpful to see an Endocrinologist or a Naturopathic Doctor for more comprehensive lab work.
Although there are a variety of holistic things you can do naturally to support the thyroid, sometimes pharmaceuticals are needed to obtain an optimal state.
The daily choices we make have a profound impact on hormones, energy levels and overall health.
If youre looking to support your thyroid, make sure to reduce intake of goitrogen-containing foods, ensure adequate supporting nutrients, and focus on the foundations of health! Show your thyroid some love and take the best possible care of your sweet self! Because when you feel well, everything seems possible.
All included information is not intended to treat or diagnose. The views expressed are those of the author and should be attributed solely to the author. For medical questions, please consult your healthcare provider.
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Dealing With A Thyroid Disorder Stress And Diet Play Key Roles In Thyroid Function So Its Smart To Make Lifestyle Changes Part Of Your Treatment Plan For Healing Your Thyroid
We see thyroid problems very frequently in our practice, says Gabriella Safdieh, MD, a pediatrician and rheumatologist at Parsley Health New York. Hypothyroidism, or an underactive thyroid, is the most common among her patients, she says, while hyperthyroidism, or an overactive thyroid, is less prevalent.
We see a lot of something called Hashimotos thyroiditis, which is an autoimmune disease, Safdieh notes. In fact, autoimmune thyroid disorders are the most common autoimmune diseases. Hyperthyroidism can be caused by an autoimmune disease called Graves disease, and Hashimotos is the most prevalent cause of hypothyroidism. With Hashimotos, your body starts producing antibodies against your own thyroid, Safdieh says. The result is an inflamed thyroid thats not able to do its job.
The thyroid is a small gland at the front of the neck. Its part of the endocrine system and produces hormones T3 and T4 which help regulate many processes and organs in the body. Many people dont realize the thyroid is one of the master glands in our body, Safdieh explains. Not only does it control energy levels and metabolism, but it also helps to control mood and can play a role in depression and anxiety. So when the thyroid isnt working properly, it can affect everything from body temperature and metabolism to mood and digestion.
Learn To Listen To Signals From Your Body
Hypothyroidism is different for everyone, and everybody responds differently to treatment. Ive learned my body well enough to know when Im feeling like I need a medication dosage change, Flores says. Overall, medication is helpful because I need it to function, but for me, I don’t think medication alone is the answer.
Lee Parks, MD, an endocrinologist and the clinical director of the Vanderbilt Thyroid Center at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, Tennessee, says appropriately treated hypothyroidism shouldnt result in weight gain, fatigue, or other common hypothyroidism symptoms. But lifestyle tactics are just for basic good health, not a replacement for treatment, Dr. Parks adds.
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Utilize Better Testing Options
In some cases, patients receive blood work reports that do not reflect a thyroid or hormonal imbalance according to established cutoff values. This can lead many people to believe that there is another cause for their symptoms. However, conventional testing can frequently have parameters that are too limited, resulting in a lack of proper information that supports hormone and thyroid problems.
To ensure that you are receiving the most in-depth and accurate results, consider utilizing more comprehensive labs such as micronutrient tests, inflammation, omega-6/omega-3 ratios, cholesterol particle/number, and autoimmune markers.
For those concerned with cost, the process is often much more affordable than most would think. There are several labs in Charleston, SC where you will receive superior testing that costs less out-of-pocket than traditional labs. For more info consider speaking with your physician and practitioner to customize an approach to your needs.
Once youve received your results, it is best to work with a chiropractor, functional medicine practitioner, holistic doctor in addition to your current physician. These practitioners will take a more comprehensive approach to your imbalances, and can help you utilize lifestyle changes to reach your health goals better than using your physician alone.
Can Hyperthyroidism Be Cured
Traditional treatment for hyperthyroidism can include medication and surgery.
If the thyroid is completely removed, technically hyperthyroidism is reversed, however, now the patient has hypothyroidism and has to be on levothyroxine for life. This option is only considered in very extreme circumstances.
While you can not cure an autoimmune condition, you can put it into remission and eliminate symptoms with surgical, pharmaceutical, and natural therapies.
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