Think about this official statement: “Eating specific foods or taking supplements won’t help you control hypothyroidism. But they can make you feel better, lower your stress, and prevent disease. Make sure you keep up with the medication your doctor prescribes. Natural treatments can’t replace the traditional ones.”- source WebMed.com
About 40 percent of the US population suffers of low thyroid function, other countries are following as they are accepting the life style and processed food. Older women are the most susceptible groups well as elderly and people with other autoimmune diseases – like type 1 diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis and celiac disease have a higher risk.
Hormones essential to our metabolism
Your thyroid gland is a small gland, normally weighing less than one ounce, located in the front of the neck. The thyroid is most often situated just below your “Adams apple”.
The function of the thyroid gland is to take iodine, found in foods, and convert it into thyroid hormones triiodothyronine (T3) and thyroxine (T4) then released into the blood stream the hormones are transported throughout the body where they control metabolism by converting oxygen and calories to energy. Thyroid cells are the only cells specialized to absorb iodine then together with the amino acid tyrosine the cells make T3 and T4. Thyroid gland produces about 80% T4 and about 20% T3, but T3 has about four times hormonal strength compared to T4.
All cells in our body depend on thyroid hormones for regulation of their metabolism.
However, the thyroid gland is under the control of the pituitary gland, a small gland the size of a peanut at the base of the brain. The pituitary gland produces Thyroid Stimulating Hormone (TSH) which stimulates the thyroid gland to produce more hormones (T3, T4) when the level is too low in the blood. The relation is similar like in the furnace and the thermostat. But this is not the end the pituitary gland itself is regulated by the hypothalamus. The hypothalamus produces Releasing Hormone (TRH) which triggers the pituitary gland to stimulate the thyroid gland and release TSH.
Hypothalamus controls many bodily functions but one of the major functions of the hypothalamus is to maintain homeostasis – to keep our body in a stable, constant harmonious functioning. This is not the end of the story, the pineal gland influences pituitary gland secretion of FSH and LH through an undescribed transmitting molecule.
The hypothalamus as well as pituitary and thyroid gland respond to a variety of signals from the internal and external environment like hunger, body temperature, blood pressure and levels of hormones in the circulation and controls our daily bodily rhythms such as the night-time secretion of melatonin from the pineal gland and the changes in cortisol – the stress hormone and body temperature 24 hours daily. It is important to notice that function of the glands respond to our stress accumulation and emotional experiences and even more important is that our gland system responds to our repeated thought-emotional patterns level. So, complete, lasting healing can be only done when all subtle influences are included in treatment.
Note: The two paragraphs are in bold to emphasize that at current stage the “official”scientific observation of dysfunction of Thyroid, Pineal and Hypothalamus glands does not include the mechanism and clear cause of dysfunctions, in most cases. So, like many other autoimmune, severe diseases and newly generated diseases the whole area is left foggy opened to numerous medical and pharmaceutical industry manipulation.
Hypothalamus produced hormone corticotrophin – releasing hormone, dopamine, growth hormone-releasing hormone, somatostatin, gonadotrophin-releasing hormone and thyrotrophin-releasing hormone.So when the proper Hypothalamic functioning is compromised by head trauma, brain tumors, infection (due to increased presence of toxins, parasites and other pathogens), surgery, radiation and sudden weight loss it can lead to disorders of energy balance and thermo – regulation, disorganized body rhythms, (insomnia) and symptoms of pituitary deficiency.
Pituitary deficiency (hypopituitarism) ultimately causes a deficiency of hormones produced by the gonads, adrenal cortex and thyroid gland, loss of growth hormone and chain of numerous other irregular bodily functions.
Commonly known facts :
When we talk about the thyroid gland the problems occur when it becomes either under-active (hypothyroidism) or overactive (hyperthyroidism). The problems are more common in women than men.
Causes of Thyroidism
Thyroid diseases may come from inappropriate TSH levels, or from the thyroid gland itself. Hypothyroidism is commonly caused by Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, an autoimmune disturbance where the body makes antibodies that destroy parts of the thyroid gland. Pituitary problems, hypothalamus problems, surgical intervention, certain medications, and iodine deficiency (2 billion people worldwide) can also cause hypothyroidism.
Hyperthyroidism is most commonly caused by Graves’ disease – when the immune system produces an antibody that stimulates the entire gland and lead to over-activity and higher levels of thyroid hormones. When the pituitary gland makes too much TSH (a secondary hyperthyroidism) is constant stimulation of the thyroid gland it is usually caused by pituitary tumour.The opposite case is when the pituitary gland becomes insensitive and no longer responding to high levels of TSH. Thyroiditis is hyperthyroidism that is a caused by thyroid gland inflammation. A toxic nodular goiter or toxic thyroid adenom is another form of hyperthyroidism where abnormal nodules of tissue constantly produce not needed thyroid hormones.
The four types of thyroid diseases are associated with radiation treatment to the head, neck, or chest; other cases are genetic mutation associated with thyroid diseases or with other types of severe diseases.
Causes of Thyroidism – Holistic view
- Inflammatory disorders Hashimoto’s thyroiditis is the most common cause – the thyroid becomes inflamed and it is considered to be an autoimmune disorder. The immune system mistakenly thinks that the thyroid cells are not a part of the body, so it begins to attack itself by producing antibodies that try to destroy the thyroid gland.This widespread inflammation results in many different problems.
- A diet low in iodine and selenium and other important nutrients: iodine and selenium are trace minerals crucial for production of adequate levels of thyroid hormone and prevention of thyroid disorders.
- Hormone glands imbalances- A problem with the pituitary gland can cause changes to thyroid function since pituitary gland makes thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) but it is believed to be only a few in every 100 cases. Other glands like hypothalamus and pineal gland also hawe significant influence.
- Gut inflammation (leaky gut syndrome) can cause thyroid problems as well as food sensitivities or allergies, including those to gluten and dairy.High stress levels, toxin overload from diet and the environment, and bacterial imbalances also case thyroid problems. When leaky gut occurs it creates an autoimmune chain reaction of negative symptoms.
- Genetics – Sometimes newborns have dysfunction of the thyroid gland (congenital hypothyroidism) but genetic hypothyroidism is very rare.
- During pregnancy,some women begin to produce very high levels of thyroid hormones, followed by a very rapid decline (postpartum thyroiditis)but after giving birth the condition goes away gradually.
- Interactions of certain medications can cause hypothyroidism, especially recovering from severe disease treatments, surgery, or medications for mental health or heart disease.
- Lack of activity/exercise and a healthy diet are very important for reducing chronic stress effects and managing hormone-related neurological function. Regular exercise generates better sleep, reduces stress and helps weight normalization.
- High levels of stress impacts hormones and worsen inflammation by raising levels of cortisol and adrenaline, that further disturbs neurotransmitter function and worsens thyroid disease. Under stress, your body releases the hormone cortisol. Too much cortisol can interfere with thyroid hormone production.
Low levels of T4 and T3 in blood slow down metabolism:
- Depression, confusion or forgetfulness (often mistaken for dementia in seniors)
- Coarse and dry hair,hair loss, constipation, dry, scaly skin
- Fatigue or a feeling of sluggishness
- Increased menstrual flow (women)
- Irritability, intolerance to cold temperatures
- Muscle cramps
- Weakness, slower heart rate, weight gain
If hypothyroidism isn’t treated, the symptoms will progress. Severe form of hypothyroidism, myxedema, can develop rarely causing low body temperature, dulled mental processes and inability of heart to pump enough blood to meet the body’s needs. When additional physical stresses such as infections, cold temperatures, trauma, or the use of sedatives occurs people with severe hypothyroidism can experience Myxedema coma that includes loss of consciousness, seizures, and slowed breathing.
high levels of T4 and T3 in the blood speed up your metabolism:
- high blood pressure, increased heart rate with abnormal rhythm or palpitations
- increased body temperature, increased sweating
- Clamminess, increased appetite accompanied by weight loss
- feeling agitated or nervous, tremors in the hands, feeling of restlessness even though the person is tired or weak, interrupted sleep
- frequent bowel movements, sometimes with diarrhea
- puffiness around the eyes, increased tears, sensitivity to light, or an intense stare
- stopped menstrual cycles, bone loss (osteoporosis)
Graves’ disease may cause a bulge in the neck, eyes to bulge out and possibly double vision.
Thyroid storm (considered a medical emergency) is increased over-activity of the thyroid gland. It can appear if hyperthyroidism is not treated / not treated properly, it can cause life-threatening complications and can be triggered by trauma, infection, surgery, uncontrolled diabetes, pregnancy/ labour, or overdose of thyroid medication.
Recognizable symptoms are:
- Fever, coma, confusion
- high blood pressure, irregular heartbeat- can be fatal
- Weakness, jaundice associated with liver enlargement
- mood swings, shock, muscle wasting
The Diagnosis of Thyroid disease is made on the basis of physical exam and clinical history and confirmed by laboratory tests. Laboratory tests usually measure TSH and thyroid hormones, levels of associated antibodies. Biopsy is used to test for serious diseases. Ultrasounds and nuclear thyroid scans allow for visual and functional examination while Functional stimulation test is used to distinguish if the pituitary and thyroid glands are causing the medical symptoms.
Treatment: If hypothyroidism is diagnosed it is usually treated by thyroid hormone replacement therapy (synthetic thyroid hormone) to replace the missing thyroid hormone. Treatment is usually life-long. Most people do not experience side effects except if too much thyroid hormone is taken.
Hyperthyroidism can be treated with iodine which blocks the release of thyroid hormones and do not destroy the gland while radioactive iodine can destroy parts of the thyroid gland and get hyperthyroidism under control in about 80% of cases. Anti-thyroid medications can bring hyperthyroidism under control within 6 weeks to 3 months but larger doses usually cause side effects like skin rashes, liver cell injury, nausea, loss of taste sensation and, sometimes decrease of blood cell production in the bone marrow.
Surgical removal of the thyroid gland, thyroidectomy, may be required if there are or benign nodules but the removal of the gland leads to hypothyroidism, and hormone therapy for the rest of life.
How to Restore Thyroid Health Naturally
Introduction and general tips
Consider food to be your medicine and get off all processed junk food, sugar and gluten. The first step is to eliminate the effects and causes of the thyroid dysfunction: inflammation, overuse of medications, nutrient deficiencies, and changes in hormones due to stress. Introduce the diet that 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. A great place to start is the diet plan below, and use of l-glutamine as a key amino acid that reduces cravings for high-glycemic carbohydrates and helps win over the sugar habit.
The thyroid gland is located to connect and harmonize functions of our mind and body. Rushing while eating moves food so quickly from mouth to stomach that the information (intelligence) transfer between mind and body is significantly reduced. So the situation is created that the mouth doesn’t know what the stomach is doing and vice versa.
Our life and general health will benefit greatly if we sit down, slow down, savor, breathe and chew your food. Since the thyroid is the master of our metabolism, we want to eat slowly and enjoy so the messages reach our control centers and we eat consciously- witnessing all processes.
Rethink the use of your cell phone
Connection between cell phones and brain tumors is well known now. The radiation of the phone we hold is so close to our thyroid gland. Getting a headset to use while speaking on the phone might be one of possible alternatives.
Find Your Voice
Thyroid gland located in the throat is so obviously connected to the center of our communication with the world. Holistic practitioners find in their practice that people with hypothyroid tend to “swallow down” what they really want to say. The part of healing is to learn to express our truth, all we feel, think, believe… The people with hyperthyroid usually talk too much, and can benefit by listening more.
Do Yoga and Meditation
The yoga asanas, like shoulderstand (sarvangasana) can stimulate and support thyroid gland and the entire endocrine system. It was reported in numerous studies that deep meditation, like Transcendentl Mediation, can revitalize all disrupted hormonal processes.
Basic Natural Remedies for Thyroid
- Ashwagandha, known as an adaptogenic herb, is proven to heal thyroid and adrenal issues.It helps both hyper and hypothyroid symptoms and is especially good as a natural treatment for hypothyroidism and Hashimoto’s. Other adaptogenic herbs are holy basil, rhodiola, ginseng and licorice root.
- Selenium has powerful antioxidant-like functions, studies have shown that selenium helps balance out T4 in your body hormones, a therapeutic dose of selenium daily is critical and significantly benefit thyroid function. Foods high in selenium to consume are Brazil nuts, Spinach, and posibly Eggs for vegetarians; and Chicken, Canned sardines, Cooked halibut, Yellowfin tuna, Beef liver, Boneless turkey, Grass-fed beef for non-vegetarians.
- B Vitamins, especialy thiamine and vitamin B12 we need to actually improve thyroid function. For people on vegan or vegetarian diet, these vitamins are a must since B12 is balancing hormones naturally and treats chronic fatigue syndrome. B12 foods are: Raw cheese, Cottage cheese, Raw milk, Eggs and Beef liver, Sardines, Salmon, Grass-fed beef, Tuna, Lamb… Thiamine foods include: Green peas, Asparagus, Brussels sprouts, Sesame seeds, Sunflower seeds, Pistachios, Ground flaxseed, Spinach, Herring, Crimini mushrooms
- Probiotics are critical for digestive function since thyroid problems are linked to leaky gut syndrome (proteins leak through the gut in the bloodstream and cause inflammation including thyroid gland). Probiotics heal leaky gut syndrome. Probiotic foods are: Coconut kefir, Kefir, Cultured vegetables, Kombucha, Natto, Probiotic yogurt, Raw cheese, Kvass…
- Proteolytic Enzymes, like bromelain, can reduce inflammation- autoimmune-related thyroid condition like Hashimoto’s disease.
- Sea vegetables are a good natural source of iodine to support the hypothyroidism by incorporating some sea veggies into your salads ans soups.
- Raw cruciferous vegetables (kale, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, broccoli and cauliflower)may not be the best choice, it needs cooking since it contain goitrogens that may disrupt the thyroid if consumed in large quantities.
If you can use these natural remedies you’re going to see great results in thyroid function.
How to Deal with Hypothyroidism
The Hypothyroidism Diet Plan
If you are vegetarian start the healing process by adjusting the recommendations below:
- Coconut Oil – is easy to digest, nourishes the digestive system and has antimicrobial, antioxidant and antibacterial properties that suppress inflammation. It stabilizes blood sugar levels, helps improve immunity and increases brain function, endurance and mood.
- Seaweeds (kelp, nori and dulse) are the best natural sources of iodine and prevent deficiencies which disturb thyroid function. Make sure it comes from non polluted ocean or sea areas.
- Probiotic-Rich Foods (kefir, organic goat’s milk yogurt, kimchi, kombucha, natto, sauerkraut and other fermented veggies) help balancing microflora bacteria that reduces leaky gut, nutrient deficiencies, inflammation and autoimmune reactions.
- Sprouted Seeds (flax, hemp and chia) provide a type of omega-3 fat (ALA) that’s critical for proper hormonal balance and thyroid function. Plenty of healthy fats support healthy mood and brain function, blood sugar levels and healthy weight.
- Clean Water – hydrates body and supports digestive function, prevents fatigue, low energy and sugar cravings, constipation and moodiness. It is recommended to drink at least eight ounces every two hours.
- High-fiber foods –help with digestive health, balances blood sugar levels, it improves heart health, and supports a healthy weight. To reduce digestive difficulties, get 30–40 grams of fiber daily by eating more fresh vegetables, berries, beans, lentils and seeds.
- Fruits and Vegetables – should make up a large portion of a healthy diet since they contain high amounts of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants they support digestive health, brain function, heart health, hormone balance and a healthy weight that are necessary for combating free-radical damage and lowering inflammation.
- Bone broth – can help repair the digestive lining and improve hypothyroidism since beef and chicken stock contain the amino acids l-proline and l-glycine and numerous important minerals (calcium, magnesium, phosphorus and silicon) that nourish the digestive tract and prevent deficiencies. It also helps overcome food sensitivities, increase immunity, lower pain of the muscles and joints, improve energy and fight fatigue. Use traditional long, slow cooking process.
- Wild-caught fish (salmon, mackerel and sardines)–provide omega-3 fatty acids essential for hormone balance and thyroid function, reduce inflammation and support healthy neurological function.
Foods to Avoid to Treat Hypothyroidism
- Goitrogen Foods – for people with iodine deficiencies eating large amounts of raw Brassica vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, kale, soy and Brussels sprouts might impact thyroid function (contain goitrogens that impair thyroid perioxidase). It is best to steam them for 30 minutes before consuming and keep portions moderate in size.
- Tap water – Contains fluorine and chlorine that inhibit iodine absorption.
- Gluten – people with thyroid issues are sensitive to gluten or have celiac disease, an autoimmune disease that results in an allergy to gluten which is found in all wheat, rye and barley products. Check ingredient labels to avoid hidden gluten in many packaged foods to prevent further inflammation and hormonal problems.
- Conventional Dairy – is problematic for the thyroid since it raises inflammatory responses.Do not use conventional cow’s milk and dairy products that are pasteurized and not organic. I would recommend consumption of organic, raw goat’s milk or organic A2 cow’s milk.
- Sugar – it’s best to avoid use of sugar since it contributes to hormonal disturbances, fatigue, mood changes, worsened depression and weight gain.
- Refined Flour Products (bread, cereals, pastas and all baked goods) – negatively impacts hormone levels and can contribute to weight gain so it is recommended to remove most grains from your diet. Uou may use 100 percent whole quinoa, buckwheat and other ancient grains instead.
Natural Hypothyroidism Supplement usually prescribed by Dr. Josh Axe
- Ashwagandha (500 milligrams daily)
- Iodine (150–300 micrograms daily)
- Selenium (200 micrograms daily)
- Probiotic Supplement (50 billion CFU per serving)
There are five specific things you want to consider when choosing a probiotic supplement in capsule form
- High CFU Count: Choose a probiotic brand that has a higher number of probiotics, from at least 25 billion to 50 billion per serving.
- Strain Diversity: Select a probiotic supplement that has five or more probiotic strains.
- Survivability: Look for strains of Bacillus coagulans, Saccharomyces boulardii, Bacillus subtilis, and other cultures or formulas that have hardy probiotics that can make it to the gut and are able to colonize.
- Prebiotics: To support the growth of probiotics once they get into your system, it is essential that prebiotics are also included in the formula.
- I recommend soil-baed probiotics that are shelf-stable, meaning it doesn’t need to be refrigerated.
- L-tyrosine (500 milligrams twice daily)
- Fish oil (1,000 milligrams daily)
- Vitamin B-Complex (one B-complex capsule daily)
- Essential Oils – Use only 100% Pure, Certified Organic, Wild Sourced and Therapeutic Grade oils.
Combine three drops of Frankincense Oilwith five parts Lemongrass Oil and five parts Clove Oil. Rub these directly on the thyroid, which is located at the front lower part of your neck.
To summarize again:
- Return to your true self, to Natural life – Stop living junk life, relations
- Eat as much as possible healthy food – Stop consuming junk food
- Be grateful for every moment of your life, enjoy it, love and allow to be loved