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Alternative Treatment Methods for Thyroid Disorders

Tuesday 7 April 2020
Thyroid Disorders

Table of Contents


I. Thyroid overview

II. Sugar free diet

III. Vitamin B

IV. Probiotics 

V. Gluten free diet 

VI. Other supplements 


Thyroid overview

Thyroid problems affect a large proportion of United States citizens. The thyroid is an essential butterfly-shaped gland at the base of the neck that is responsible for many hormonal processes in the body. If your thyroid is malfunctioning, it can cause a lot of undesirable side effects. Thyroid disorders like Hashimoto’s disease and Graves’ disease are often inherited, but some causes of thyroid problems can be prevented with medications like Synthroid

The most common thyroid issues are often hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism. 

Hyperthyroidism

This condition occurs when the thyroid gland is overactive and produces too much of triiodothyronine and thyroxine hormones. 

Some common hyperthyroidism symptoms include:

  • Restlessness
  • Nervousness
  • Racing heart
  • Anxiety
  • Weight loss
  • Bulging eyes (Graves’ disease) 

a woman in a dark room looking concerned

Hypothyroidism

This condition is the opposite of hyperthyroidism and occurs when the thyroid gland is underactive and it can’t produce enough of its hormones. Hypothyroidism is usually easier to treat than hyperthyroidism. Most cases of this condition are mild. 

Some common hypothyroidism symptoms include:

  • Fatigue
  • Dry skin 
  • Memory problems 
  • Constipation 
  • Depression [1] 

Several lifestyle factors can raise your risk of developing a thyroid problem. Taking daily medications like Synthroid is the typical treatment for a thyroid disorder, but there are several other remedies you can implement to improve your condition further.  Read on to learn more about possible alternative treatment methods for thyroid disorders. 

Sugar-free diet

When you consume lots of sugary foods, the processes in your body can begin to go haywire. Sugar and processed foods can cause inflammation in the body. When inflammation occurs, the thyroid slows down the conversion of thyroid hormones, which can make symptoms and thyroid disease worse. 

Sugar is dangerous because it only boosts your energy for a short period of time, so cutting out sugar can stabilize your energy levels and improve your hypothyroid symptoms. Less sugar in your diet can also improve your skin and stress levels. 

Vitamin B

Low thyroid hormones often affect the body’s vitamin B12 levels. B12 is a nutrient that helps keep the body’s nerves and cells healthy and helps make DNA. This vitamin also helps prevent a type of anemia that makes people tired and weak. Taking B12 supplements can improve any tiredness that thyroid disease causes. Tell your doctor how much of the vitamin is safe to add to your diet. 

fish on a wood board with lemon wedges

Adding these foods to your diet can improve your B12 levels:

  • Peas and beans
  • Asparagus
  • Tuna
  • Cheese
  • Milk
  • Eggs
  • Sesame seeds

Probiotics 

Probiotics are live bacteria and yeasts that reside in the digestive system. Probiotics are good bacteria that keep your body working the way it should. The two types of probiotics include lactobacillus and bifidobacterium. Lactobacillus is the most common probiotic and is found in yogurt and fermented foods. Bifidobacterium is also found in some dairy products. 

Many studies have linked hypothyroidism and small intestine problems. Altered gastrointestinal movement is seen with hypothyroidism and causes bacterial overgrowth in the intestine, which can lead to chronic GI symptoms, like diarrhea. 

Some forms of probiotics include:

  • Kombucha 
  • Some cheeses
  • Kefir 

blueberry yogurt in small glasses

Gluten-free diet

According to the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness, there is a massive overlap between those with celiac disease and people with thyroid disease. Celiac disease is a digestive disorder that occurs when gluten triggers an immune response in the intestines. 

Some research suggests that cutting out gluten products for those with Hashimoto’s disease and hypothyroidism can be beneficial. Removing wheat and gluten from the diet can help improve thyroid symptoms. [2] 

Other supplements

Nutritional deficiencies are not the sole cause of thyroid disorders, but they can definitely  contribute to negative symptoms. Not having enough of certain micronutrients and minerals can aggravate symptoms of low thyroid function. 

Vitamin D: There is increasing evidence of a link between autoimmune thyroid disorders and vitamin D deficiencies. One study suggests that 72 percent of subjects with thyroid disease were deficient in vitamin D. Those who took vitamin D supplements for 12 weeks had improvements in their thyroid hormone levels. [3] 

Omega 3’s: Dietary fats are not always bad for your health. Fat can be a positive energy source, and omega 3’s have been found to have benefits to the human body. Omega 3’s lower bad cholesterol as well as improve factors that help blood coagulation. Omega 3’s can decrease inflammation that can affect thyroid function. 

Foods high in omega 3’s include:

  • Coldwater fatty fish (salmon, sardines, mackerel, tuna)
  • Plant oils (flaxseed, soybean, canola oils)
  • Nuts and seeds (walnuts, flaxseeds, chia seeds)
  • Fortified foods (dairy products, juices, soy drinks) [4] 

spinach leaves in a colander

Glutathione: Glutathione is a substance produced by the liver and is found in many fruits, vegetables, and meats. This substance maintains the body’s immune system and helps repair tissue and make essential proteins in the body. This “master” antioxidant can be helpful in many disorders, including thyroid-related issues. 

Some foods high in glutathione include:

  • Spinach
  • Broccoli
  • Garlic
  • Chives
  • Tomatoes 
  • Cucumber 
  • Almonds [5]

You must talk to your doctor before beginning a natural treatment plan. Your doctor will help you determine which natural treatments are safe for you. If you have severe thyroid problems, then natural remedies will not fix all of your symptoms, but they can help make your symptoms better and possibly improve your quality of life. 

The content in this article is intended for informational purposes only. This website does not provide medical advice. In all circumstances, you should always seek the advice of your physician and/or other qualified health professionals(s) for drug, medical condition, or treatment advice. The content provided on this website is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.