July 11, 2016

377 Natural Hypothyroid Treatments I [11 July 2016]

Last week I discussed Mark Starr’s book Hypothyroidism Type 2 about undiagnosed low thyroid function. This week I will discuss natural options for improving thyroid health.

There is a ton of information on the internet, much of it contradictory, with everyone sharing their opinion and what worked for them. There is a wide range of approaches to the condition. If you are aware of different options you can choose what you want to try; and if that doesn’t work try something else.

Many people have found that a desiccated whole thyroid supplement works better with fewer side effects than the synthetic T4 hormone usually prescribed. Armour, promoted in the book Stop the Thyroid Madness, is a Canadian brand available by prescription only. The disadvantage of hormones, natural or synthetic, is that you will likely need to take them for life.

At the other extreme, Lily from legitnutritionhawaii.com advises to avoid all external hormones, including “natural” hormones, and to encourage, with diet and lifestyle changes, your glands to heal and make your own hormones. She advocates a high carb, low protein, low fat, mostly raw, strictly vegan diet. She advises to avoid supplements, including iodine unless severely deficient, with the only exception being a good probiotic.

One reason for the wide range of protocols is that hypothyroidism can have many causes. The problem can be a simple nutrient deficiency (iodine, B12, selenium, etc.) which is an easy fix, or an autoimmune condition called Hashimoto’s which is much more complex.

The endocrine system is very complicated, with many glands and organs involved in thyroid function. The pituitary and hypothalamus glands together control thyroid hormone production. Elevated cortisol from stressed adrenal glands inhibit the conversion of T4 to T3. Melatonin, made in the pineal gland, is required for the production of thyroid hormones but in excess will inhibit production of T4. The conversion of T4 to T3 occurs in the liver. Your doctor should look at the health of all of these before deciding on treatment.

See my column #126 from August 2011 for an explanation of thyroid function and tips for improving thyroid health. More on this topic next week.

For more information on this or other natural health topics, stop in and talk to Stan; for medical advice consult your licensed health practitioner.

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