MindBodyGreenThe thyroid gland normally releases many crucial hormones that travel through the bloodstream to reach receptors found throughout the whole body. So a disturbance in thyroid function can cause widespread, noticeable health problems. Nathral to the American Thyroid Association, 12 percent of Americans will develop a thyroid condition at some point in their lives. Women — especially older women — are the ?ala susceptible group for developing hypothyroidism. People who are elderly or who have other existing autoimmune diseases — like type 1 diabetesrheumatoid arthritis and celiac disease, for example — are natural remedies for low thyroid function at a natural remedies for low thyroid function risk. Changes to your metabolismheart function, digestion, energyappetite, sleep or mood … even the growth of your hair, skin and nails can all be caused by hypothyroidism. However, a hypothyroidism diagnosis is not a death sentence!
Balancing Your Thyroid Can Be A Key To Weight Loss | #MealsThatHeal
Please note these remedies mentioned in this article are not meant to replace your thyroid hormone replacement medication. Always speak to your doctor before making any changes to your medication protocol or starting supplements to be sure they are right for you.
My goal at Hypothyroid Mom is to share all the possible treatments for hypothyroidism in the hope that you find what works for you. I personally take thyroid medication every day. The thyroid gland normally releases many crucial hormones that travel throughout the bloodstream and reach receptors that are found throughout the whole body, so a disturbance in thyroid function can cause widespread, noticeable health problems.
According to some estimates, 40 percent of the population suffers with some form of low thyroid function. Women, especially older women, are the most susceptible group for developing hypothyroidism.
People who are elderly or who have other existing autoimmune diseases — like type 1 diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis and celiac disease, for example — are also at a higher risk. Some of the most common symptoms of hypothyroidism?
Changes to your metabolism, heart function, digestion, energy, appetite, sleep, mood — even the growth of your hair, skin and nails. The first step in treatment of hypothyroidism is to eliminate the effects and causes of the thyroid dysfunction, such as inflammation, overuse of medications, nutrient deficiencies, and changes in hormones due to stress. The hypothyroidism diet eliminates foods that can cause inflammation and immune reactions and instead focuses on foods that help heal the GI tract, balance hormones, and reduce inflammation.
Before I discuss the natural treatment of hypothyroidism and a hypothyroidism diet, you first must understand both the potential causes of hypothyroidism as well as the symptoms.
This occurs when the thyroid becomes inflamed and is considered to be an autoimmune disorder. Why does this happen? The immune system mistakenly thinks that the thyroid cells are not a part of the body, so it tries to remove them before they can cause damage and illness. The problem is that this causes widespread inflammation, which can result in many different problems.
Poor diet especially one lacking in iodine and selenium. A diet low in nutrient-rich foods, especially in iodine and selenium which are trace minerals crucial for thyroid function , increases the risk for thyroid disorders. The thyroid gland needs both selenium and iodine to produce adequate levels of thyroid hormones. And these nutrients also have other protective roles in the body; for example, severe selenium deficiency increases the incidence of thyroiditis because it stops activity of a very powerful antioxidant known as glutathione which normally controls inflammation and fights oxidative stress.
In some people, since the pituitary gland makes a hormone called thyroid-stimulating hormone TSH that controls the levels of hormones being pumped out of the thyroid a problem with the pituitary gland can cause changes to thyroid function. An unhealthy gut environment can contribute to nutrient deficiencies and raise autoimmune activity in the body. Gut inflammation can be triggered by food sensitivities or allergies, including those to gluten and dairy.
Other causes of a damaged gut are high stress levels, toxin overload from diet and the environment, and bacterial imbalances. When leaky gut occurs, small particles that are normally trapped inside the gut start to leak out into the bloodstream through tiny openings in the gut lining, which creates an autoimmune cascade and a series of negative symptoms.
Read my new book Eat Dirt: Some evidence shows that people are more likely to develop hypothyroidism if they have a close family member with an autoimmune disease. But according to the National Institute of Health NIH , the likelihood of genetic hypothyroidism is very low and only about one out of every 4, newborns is born with a thyroid disorder.
This condition is known as postpartum thyroiditis. Usually after giving birth the condition goes away with some time. Stress impacts hormones and is known to worsen inflammation. Stress can raise levels of cortisol and adrenaline, which disturbs neurotransmitter function and worsens symptoms of thyroid disease —these include low energy levels, poor mood, low concentration, disturbed appetite and weight gain, and the inability to get good sleep.
Exercise and a healthy diet are important for controlling chronic stress and managing hormone-related neurological function. Research shows that people who regularly exercise usually get better sleep, deal with stress better and usually maintain a healthier weight, too, all of which reduce some of the biggest risk factors and symptoms associated with hypothyroidism.
The thyroid is considered a master gland and in addition to producing crucial hormones, it also helps control the process of turning nutrients from food into useable energy that your body runs on. Because the thyroid plays such a major part in your metabolism, dysfunction can wind up affecting almost every part of the body, including your energy levels and ability to burn calories.
Key hormones produced by the thyroid also help the liver break down cholesterol that circulates through the bloodstream. The thyroid can also stimulate enzymes that are needed to control triglyceride fat levels, so this is why changes in thyroid function can lead to heart problems. Other noticeable effects of hypothyroidism include moodiness and a sluggish metabolism. Essentially when your thyroid is underactive your metabolism will slow down, which might mean you always feel tired or struggle to keep off weight.
Your mood is especially susceptible to changes in hormone levels, so some people with hypothyroidism wind up dealing with depression, anxiety, trouble getting good sleep, and low immunity. The thyroid gland helps regulate chemical messengers called neurotransmitters that control your emotions and nerve signaling, which is the reason an out-of-balance thyroid can mean drastic emotional changes at times. Some of the most common warning signs of hypothyroidism include: Balancing the level of omega-3 to omega-6 fatty acids in your hypothyroidism diet can reduce inflammation and support healthy neurological function.
Wild fish like salmon, mackerel and sardines are some of the best sources of omega-3s to increase neurotransmitter activity and support a healthy mood and immune system. Coconut Oil — Provides medium-chain fatty acids in the form of caprylic acid, lauric acid and capric acid that support a healthy metabolism, increase energy and fight fatigue. A staple of the hypothyroidism diet, coconut oil is easy to digest, nourishes the digestive system and has antimicrobial, antioxidant and antibacterial properties that suppress inflammation.
Coconut oil helps improve immunity and can increase brain function, endurance and your mood while stabilizing blood sugar levels. Seaweeds — Some of the best natural sources of iodine, these help prevent deficiencies which disturb thyroid function and should appear in your weekly hypothyroidism diet. Kelp, nori and dulse are the best choices. Look for dried varieties of these at health food stores and use them in soups, with tuna fish or in fish cakes.
Part of your hypothyroidism diet, probiotics help create a healthy gut environment by balancing microflora bacteria, which reduces leaky gut syndrome, nutrient deficiencies, inflammation and autoimmune reactions. Adequate levels of fats in your hypothyroidism diet support a healthy mood and brain function, while helping to lower inflammation.
Eating plenty of healthy fats also stabilizes blood sugar levels and can help you stay at a healthy weight. Clean Water — Water helps with hydration and digestive function while preventing fatigue and moodniess. For prevention of constipation, low energy and sugar cravings, drink at least eight ounces every two hours. High-fiber foods — People with hypothyroidism may have digestive difficulties, so aim for 30—40 grams of fiber daily.
In addition to a high-fiber diet helping with digestive health, it improves heart health, balances blood sugar levels and supports a healthy weight by making you feel fuller. Some easy ways to increase fiber intake include eating more fresh vegetables, berries, beans, lentils and seeds. Bone broth — Beef and chicken stock contain the amino acids l-proline and l-glycine, which can help repair the digestive lining and improve hypothyroidism.
Bone broth also contains numerous important minerals that nourish the digestive tract and prevent deficiencies like calcium, magnesium, phosphorus and silicon.
As part of your hypothyroidism diet, bone broth has been shown to help overcome food sensitivities, improve energy and fight fatigue, increase immunity, and lower pain of the muscles and joints. For as long as humans have been cooking food over fire, bone broths — chicken, beef, turkey, fish and more — were staples in the traditional diets of every culture. And for good reason. The long cooking process allows easier digestibility and assimilation of key nutrients.
Fruits and Vegetables — These are high in vitamins, minerals and antioxidants that are necessary for combating free-radical damage and lowering inflammation.
They are nutrient-dense and should make up a large portion of a healthy diet since they support digestive health, brain function, heart health, hormone balance and a healthy weight. Goitrogen Foods — Eating large amounts of raw Brassica vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, kale, soy and Brussels sprouts might impact thyroid function because these contain goitrogens, molecules that impair thyroid perioxidase.
These pose more of a risk for people with iodine deficiencies. Tap water — Contains fluorine and chlorine that inhibit iodine absorption. Gluten — Many people with thyroid issues are also sensitive to gluten or have celiac disease, an autoimmune disease that results in an allergy to gluten. Gluten is found in all wheat, rye and barley products, so carefully check ingredient labels to avoid hidden gluten that is lurking in many packaged foods.
Undiagnosed sensitivities to gluten can further raise inflammation, create nutrient deficiencies and worsen hormonal problems. Conventional Dairy — Like gluten, dairy can be especially problematic for the thyroid, triggering reactions that raise inflammatory responses. Sugar — Sugar can disrupt the hormone balance necessary for metabolism. Refined Flour Products — Any food made with refined carbohydrates, like enriched wheat flour, for example, negatively impacts hormone levels and can contribute to weight gain.
Refined flour products include bread, cereals, pastas and all baked goods. If possible, remove most grains from your diet all together, or at least try to greatly limit the amount of products you eat that are made with any flour by choosing percent whole, ancient grains instead like quinoa, buckwheat, etc.
Ashwagandha is an adaptogen herb that helps the body respond to stress, keeping hormone levels better in balance. Adaptogens help lower cortisol and balance T4 levels. The product Stress Manager includes a blend of adaptogens. Studies show that even small amounts of supplementary iodine micrograms cause slight but significant changes in thyroid hormone function in predisposed individuals. The thyroid is the organ with the highest selenium content in the whole body.
Selenium is necessary for the production of the T3 thyroid hormone and can reduce autoimmune affects. Because it helps balance hormone levels, selenium can lower the risk for experiencing thyroid disorder during pregnancy postpartum thyroiditis and afterwards. An amino acid used in the synthesis of thyroid hormones. Thyroxin T4 is naturally produced from the iodination of tyrosine, a nonessential amino acid obtained both from protein-containing dietary sources and through the body making some itself.
Supplementing with L-tyrosine has been shown to improve sleep deprivation and can help combat fatigue and a poor mood by improving alertness and neurotransmitter function. Essential fatty acids found in fish oil are critical for brain and thyroid function. DHA and EPA omega-3s found in fish oil are associated with a lower risk for thyroid symptoms, including anxiety, depression, high cholesterol, inflammatory bowel disease, arthritis, diabetes, a weakened immune system and heightened autoimmune disease.
Vitamin B12 and thiamine are important for neurologic function and hormonal balance. Research shows that supplementing with thiamine, also known as thiamin or Vitamin B1, can help combat symptoms of autoimmune disease, including chronic fatigue.
Probiotics can help heal the gut and aid in nutrient absorption while reducing inflammation. Other benefits of a high-quality probiotic such as Bio-Kult Advanced Probiotic Multi-Strain Formula include helping to maintain a stronger immune system, increasing energy from production of vitamin B12, reducing bacterial or viral growth in the gut such as candida, improving skin health, and helping with appetite control and weight loss.
Josh Axe, DNM, DC, CNS is a certified doctor of natural medicine, doctor of chiropractic and clinical nutritionist with a passion to help people get healthy by using food as medicine. Axe has created one of the top 10 most visited natural health websites in the world at www. Axe has been a physician for many professional athletes. He worked with professional swimmers, including Ryan Lochte and Peter Vanderkaay, providing nutritional advice and musculoskeletal work on the athletes to increase their performance.