Approximately 15 million U.S. residents live with hypothyroidism, which is characterized by an underactive thyroid gland. Hyperthyroidism is also common, but has the opposite effect, making more than enough thyroid hormone and disrupting thyroid function.
Symptoms of thyroid disease can encompass a wide range, including dry skin, increased body weight, impaired memory, elevated blood pressure, and an increased risk of heart disease.
It is commonly believed that hypothyroidism is a chronic condition without a definitive cure, necessitating a lifetime of management through thyroid medication such as levothyroxine.
However, there are many natural remedies for hypothyroidism that may reduce symptoms and may even reverse the condition in some people. Some of the most common natural hypothyroidism treatments include dietary changes, supplements, lifestyle changes, and peptide therapy.
Let’s take a look at what works and how to know which natural remedies are right for you.
What is hypothyroidism?
Hypothyroidism, also known as underactive thyroid, is a condition in which the thyroid gland doesn’t produce enough hormones. Insufficient levels of the thyroid hormones thyroxine (T4) and triiodothyronine (T3) can cause health problems such as fatigue, hair loss, weight gain, and sensitivity to cold.
This condition is often due to autoimmune diseases like Hashimoto’s thyroiditis or iodine deficiency. Despite usually being a lifelong condition, hypothyroidism can be managed effectively for a healthy life and, in some cases, reversed entirely.
Typically, when a patient is diagnosed with hypothyroidism, they’re prescribed a daily intake of thyroid hormone replacement drugs.
These medications (most frequently levothyroxine) can sometimes trigger side effects, and missing a dose might escalate the symptoms. They also do nothing to actually treat the root causes of hypothyroidism, which (in 90+% of cases) is Hashimoto’s.
The natural remedies we use for patients, on the other hand, treat the root cause of hypothyroidism for long-lasting results, and better improvement of symptoms than medication alone.
If you’re struggling with hypothyroidism, schedule a free phone consultation with us. Our patients prove that you can permanently reverse hypothyroidism.
1. Hypothyroidism Diet
This dietary approach closely mirrors the Whole30 diet and is a helpful reference for those starting their dietary shift.
We recommend following AIP for only 1-6 months, then reintroducing foods slowly to identify your specific allergies and sensitivities. Once you are done with the autoimmune protocol, you can switch to a balanced diet high in vitamin B12 and vitamin D.
When purchasing any food, we recommend always opting for organic, especially when it comes to animal products like meat and eggs. Reference the Clean 15 and Dirty Dozen lists from the EWG to make an informed decision about buying organic vs. conventional produce.
Foods to Eat
- Eggs (as long as you don’t have an egg allergy)
- Seafood (especially fatty fish, rich in omega-3 fatty acids)
- Apple cider vinegar
- Cruciferous vegetables
- Herbs like garlic and turmeric
- Gelatin, bone broth
- Green tea
- Arrowroot starch
- Cacao/low-sugar dark chocolate
Eat moderate amounts of:
- Maple syrup
- Monk fruit
The autoimmune system diet is low in carbohydrates, so you may experience some weight loss during this period.
Foods to Avoid
- Grains, especially gluten-containing grains
- Nuts and seeds
- Dried fruits
- Vegetable oils like canola oil
- Beans/legumes (because of the potential allergen lectin)
- Chocolate candies full of dairy and sugar
- Processed foods
You should also avoid these alternative sweeteners:
- Sugar alcohols (erythritol, xylitol, mannitol, sorbitol)
Supplements for Hypothyroidism
The best herbal remedies for hypothyroidism are:
- Iodine: Iodine, mainly found in seafood, is vital for thyroid hormone production. Restoring low iodine levels can prevent goiters and potentially autoimmune diseases like Hashimoto’s thyroiditis. Too much iodine can be harmful, so talk to a healthcare professional before taking iodine supplements.
- Probiotics: Beneficial for gut health, probiotics can restore balance to the bacteria in your gut, aiding in the repair of leaky gut and supporting your immune system.
- Selenium: This nutrient, present in various meats, fish, and eggs, may improve thyroid conditions and overall mood when added to Hashimoto’s thyroiditis treatment.
- Vitamin D: Primarily produced from sunlight, vitamin D aids in adequate thyroid hormone production. Deficiency can lead to Hashimoto’s disease and hypothyroidism.
- Chasteberry: Used to manage hormonal imbalances in women, chasteberry is well-tolerated and may help in treating thyroid conditions.
- Glutathione and NAC: These important antioxidants can help combat oxidative stress, which tends to worsen hypothyroidism. NAC can boost your liver’s production of endogenous glutathione.
- Curcumin: The active ingredient in turmeric, curcumin has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, making it beneficial against Hashimoto’s disease.
- Ashwagandha: Lowers cortisol levels and stimulates the endocrine system, leading to higher thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) levels in those with thyroid disorders.
Stress significantly impacts thyroid dysfunction. Reducing your daily stress levels can improve hormone balance and potentially reverse hypothyroidism.
- Meditation: Meditation offers a simple method for alleviating stress, and in turn, lessening mental and behavioral hypothyroidism symptoms. High cortisol (stress hormone) levels worsen thyroid function by increasing production of reverse T3 in your blood. You don’t need to follow any specific meditation structure; just learn what works for you to find stillness.
- Sleep: Achieving a full eight hours of quality sleep is crucial for effective stress management.
- Sleep quality: Improving sleep quality can be achieved by reducing exposure to blue light, which is emitted from most electronic devices, an hour before bedtime.
- Relaxation: Not only is sleep important, but relaxation is also key. Engaging in yoga or picking up a hobby are effective ways to relax and reduce stress.
- Outside time: Spending time outdoors, particularly in lush green areas, can contribute to reducing stress levels and it’s also great for your immune system. The negative ions found in the air in nature have been shown to reduce inflammation and promote antioxidation.
- Acupuncture: The Ayurvedic practice of acupuncture may be a safe and natural way to help with thyroid problems in hypothyroid patients. However, most research connecting acupuncture and hypothyroidism consists of individual case studies, so larger-scale studies are needed to confirm this correlation.
Peptide therapy, a burgeoning field in medicine, presents a safe avenue for addressing low thyroid issues within your body. Essentially, peptides are a chain of amino acids too small to qualify as a protein.
The application of peptides has seen a surge in popularity for the treatment of hypothyroidism. Certain peptides appear to have positive effects on inflammation, Lyme disease, and autoimmune dysfunction — all of which are fundamental causes of hypothyroidism.
Interestingly, targeted peptide therapy may also be beneficial for Graves’ Disease, the autoimmune disease that causes hyperthyroidism.
Peptide therapy is less likely to cause the side effects related to non-specific immune suppression drugs usually prescribed for autoimmune disease, such as constipation, diarrhea, or an increased risk of infection.
Hypothyroidism can result in many undesirable symptoms like dry skin, chronic fatigue, memory loss, high cholesterol, and an increased risk of heart disease. Fortunately, it’s possible to reverse this condition in many people, especially with support from a qualified functional medicine provider.
Several natural treatment strategies help with managing hypothyroidism, including:
- Eliminating food allergens from your diet and gradually reintroducing them one by one to determine if any specific allergy is provoking thyroid issues
- Considering supplements such as iodine, probiotics, and curcumin which can have profound benefits for your thyroid
- Finding positive ways to cope with everyday stress
- Getting high-quality sleep
In our quest to reverse hypothyroidism, we focus on the symptoms and root causes including:
- Hormonal imbalances
- Food sensitivities
- Diminished heart rate
- Compromised gut integrity, often referred to as “leaky gut”
- Nutritional deficiencies
- Exposure to toxins
Colorado residents: If you are experiencing symptoms of hypothyroidism, schedule a free phone consultation today! We serve patients locally in the Denver, CO area and throughout the state of Colorado.
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