Hypothyroidism Diet + Natural TreatmentThe 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. According to the American Thyroid Association, 12 percent treatments for low thyroid Americans will develop a thyroid condition at some point in their lives. Women — especially treatments for low thyroid women — are the most susceptible group for developing hypothyroidism. People who are elderly or who have other existing autoimmune diseases — like type 1 diabetesrheumatoid arthritis thtroid celiac disease, for example — are also at a higher risk.
Hypothyroidism Diet + Natural Treatment - Dr. Axe
The 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. According 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 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. Changes to your metabolism , heart function, digestion, energy , appetite, 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! There are many ways to treat hypothyroidism naturally through dietary changes and other natural remedies. Find out how to start your journey below.
The thyroid is a small gland located on the base of your neck, sometimes described as butterfly-shaped. In one way or another, your thyroid is connected to the way every organ in your body functions. Hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism are the two conditions that affect how an improperly working thyroid might cause symptoms throughout the body.
When you produce too much thyroid hormone, you may have hyperthyroidism. If left unchecked, people with hyperthyroidism can lose bone density and develop an irregular heartbeat, increasing their risk for stroke.
There are medications commonly prescribed to limit the activity of the thyroid. Surgery may also be recommended as a last resort to remove all or part of the thyroid. The opposite of an overactive thyroid is, logically, an underactive thyroid.
People at risk for thyroid disease are encouraged to avoid radiation exposure as much as possible, such as X-rays or dental treatments. There is no cure for a hypothyroidism diagnosis, but there may be ways to naturally increase thyroid hormone production through dietary means. The first step in natural treatment of hypothyroidism is to eliminate the causes of 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. This is an autoimmune endocrine disorder that occurs when the thyroid becomes inflamed.
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 thyroid gland needs both selenium and iodine to produce adequate levels of thyroid hormones. In some rare cases, because the pituitary gland makes a hormone called thyroid-stimulating hormone TSH — which 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. Food sensitivities or allergies, including those to gluten and dairy, can trigger gut inflammation. 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.
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 congenital 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.
The symptoms often disappear within 12—18 months but can also lead to permanent hypothyroidism. Specific medications seem to lead frequently to the development of underactive thyroid. 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 restful 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 more often maintain a healthier weight, all of which reduce some of the biggest risk factors and symptoms associated with hypothyroidism.
Because the thyroid plays such a major part in your metabolism, dysfunction can affect almost every part of the body, including your energy levels and ability to burn calories. The thyroid can also stimulate enzymes that are needed to control triglyceride fat levels; this is why changes in thyroid function cause 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 deal with depression , anxiety, trouble getting good sleep and low immunity.
The thyroid gland helps regulate chemical messengers called neurotransmitters, which control your emotions and nerve signaling. This 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: Hypothyroidism is diagnosed when TSH is high.
Sometimes, TSH can be high, but the thyroid is still producing enough hormones. This condition is referred to as subclinical or mild hypothyroidism. Mild hypothyroidism is usually the early stage. In some cases, people with an extremely underactive thyroid may fall into what is known as a myxedema coma , characterized by declining mental status, hypothermia and the slowing of many internal organs.
If you or someone you know has severe thyroid problems and begins to show major lethargy or stupor, seek emergency medical attention at once. Myxedema comas are rare and occur most often in the elderly and women, especially in the winter months. But some of them become cancerous over time.
If your physician suspects you have thyroid nodules, he or she should have them evaluated to check for cancer cells. For patients with thyroid cancers, a common conventional treatment method is known as radioiodine, or radioactive iodine. Balancing the level of omega-3 to omega-6 fatty acids in your hypothyroidism diet can reduce inflammation and support healthy neurological function. 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 mood while stabilizing blood sugar levels. Try kelp, nori, kombu and wakame. You can look for dried varieties of these at health food stores and use them in soups, with tuna fish or in fish cakes.
As part of your hypothyroidism diet, probiotics help create a healthy gut environment by balancing microflora bacteria. This 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. For prevention of constipation, low energy and sugar cravings, drink at least eight ounces every two hours. Some easy ways to increase fiber intake include eating more fresh vegetables, berries, beans, lentils and seeds. 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.
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 — People with hypothyroidism may want to stay away from 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 which impair thyroid perioxidase. These pose more of a risk for people with iodine deficiencies. Gluten is found in all wheat, rye and barley products.
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. People with thyroid issues have a difficult time losing weight. Refined flour products include bread, cereals, pastas and all baked goods.
If possible, remove most grains from your diet altogether. 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.
Adaptogens helps lower cortisol and balance T4 levels. In fact, in clinical trials, supplementing with Ashwagandha for eight weeks helped hypothyroidism patients significantly increase thyroxine hormone levels, which reduced the severity of the disorder.
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. Because it helps balance hormone levels, selenium can lower the risk for experiencing thyroid disorder during pregnancy postpartum thyroiditis and afterwards Other studies have shown that when selenium deficiency is resolved through supplementation, patients experience on average 40 percent reduction in thyroid antibodies compared to a 10 percent increase when given a placebo.
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.
Omega-3 fish oil supplements can also help balance levels of omega-6s in the diet, which is important for ongoing health. Vitamin B12 and thiamine are important for neurologic function and hormonal balance. Research shows that supplementing with thiamine can help combat symptoms of autoimmune disease, including chronic fatigue.
Probiotics can help heal the gut and aid in nutrient absorption while reducing inflammation. To improve thyroid function and heal symptoms of autoimmune disease, try some of these essential oil protocols on top of your hypothyroidism diet:.
From the sound of it, you might think leaky gut only affects the digestive system, but in reality it can affect more. Click here to learn more about the webinar. Josh Axe is on a mission to provide you and your family with the highest quality nutrition tips and healthy recipes in the world Hyperthyroidism The thyroid is a small gland located on the base of your neck, sometimes described as butterfly-shaped. Hyperthyroidism When you produce too much thyroid hormone, you may have hyperthyroidism.