Google the words “natural thyroid treatment” and you’ll get over 5 million search results. Individuals and alternative-care companies promote everything from going gluten-free to taking a multivitamin specifically to treat thyroid diseases.
Though thyroid medication is the standard treatment, the medicine often comes with side effects. Opting for a natural thyroid treatment will cause fewer side effects and fit into your overall lifestyle better.
I have struggled with my own thyroid issue for a few years now. After I learned that I had hypothyroidism, which most of us females can easily suffer from, I started to make some of these natural treatment options a part of my healing journey. This has allowed me to not only feel better but keep me off any prescriptions.
Worried you might be dealing with a thyroid issue? Then start by taking an at-home thyroid test to find out what your hormone levels look like to figure out the best treatment.
What is a Thyroid Gland?
Around 15 million Americans have some kind of thyroid problem. However, up to 60% of those are completely unaware of it. The reason for this is most of them don’t know about the thyroid gland and its functions. They start to give importance and start learning about it only when the thyroid disease takes over their health.
It’s important that you understand the basic functions of human body parts. So the question boils down to, what is a thyroid gland?
The thyroid gland is a butterfly-shaped endocrine gland that is normally located in the lower front of the neck.
This thyroid gland makes and stores hormones that help regulate the heart rate, blood pressure, body temperature, and the rate at which food is converted into energy.
Thyroid hormones are essential for the function of every cell in the body. They help regulate growth and the rate of chemical reactions (metabolism) in the body. This is why when you have an underactive thyroid you can have hypothyroidism, and with an overactive thyroid, you are suffering from hyperthyroidism. An underactive thyroid is more common in females today.
What Causes Thyroid Disease?
Understanding the causes of thyroid disease is as important as understanding the thyroid gland before you undergo any thyroid treatment.
- Thyroiditis: This is a condition when your thyroid gland is suffering from inflammation. Thyroiditis can lower the amount of hormones your thyroid produces.
- Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis: Hashimoto’s is an autoimmune condition where the body’s cells attack and damage the thyroid.
- Postpartum Thyroiditis: This condition occurs in 5% to 9% of women after childbirth. It’s usually a temporary condition.
- Iodine Deficiency: Iodine is used by the thyroid to produce hormones. An iodine deficiency is an issue that affects several million people around the world.
- A Non-Functioning Thyroid Gland: Sometimes, the thyroid gland doesn’t work correctly from birth. This affects about 1 in 4,000 newborns. If left untreated, the child could have both physical and mental issues in the future.
- Graves’ Disease: This is a condition when your thyroid gland produces too much hormone. This problem is also called diffuse toxic goiter (enlarged thyroid gland).
- Nodules: Hyperthyroidism can be caused by nodules that are overactive within the thyroid.
- Excessive Iodine: When you have too much iodine (the mineral that is used to make thyroid hormones) in your body, the thyroid makes more thyroid hormones than it needs.
All of these thyroid problems can be treated with natural thyroid treatment. But if the problem stays unattended, the natural treating process alone might not cure the disease. Always do a periodic check-up to ensure you find out the disease in the early stages.
How to Check Your Thyroid at Home?
There are two ways by which you can check your thyroid at home.
- The Mirror Test: A mirror test is basically a test that doesn’t require any home testing kit. The only thing you will need is a mirror and a glass of water.
How to Take the Test:
- While holding the mirror, look at your neck and locate the thyroid gland. The thyroid gland is usually on the lower front area of your neck, above the collarbones, and below the voice box.
- As you look at the mirror, tip your head back and drink a mouthful of water.
- Did you see any bulges or protrusions in the thyroid gland area when you swallow the water?
- If you see any bulges or protrusions in your thyroid area, see your physician as soon as possible.
- Thyroid Testing Kit: If you are looking for a more accurate way, another way to check your thyroid at home is to use the thyroid testing kit. Many labs give you an opportunity to test your thyroid at home.
Among all the thyroid testing kits, EverlyWell is the best kit in the market. I have personally used it. These thyroid tests evaluate TSH, TPO antibody, T3, and T4.
When looking to get either an at-home thyroid test or a blood test at the doctor’s office, there are a few markers that are the most important. EverlyWell does a good job of hitting most of the points that you need in order to get a clear picture of your health. Here is what you want to check:
- Thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH): TSH is the first test most physicians do to check thyroid hormone imbalance. TSH is produced by a pituitary gland that regulates the balance of thyroid hormones.
- T4: T4 is a hormone produced by the thyroid gland. This test is usually done to see the level of your T4. High T4 leads to an overactive thyroid, whereas low T4 leads to an underactive thyroid.
- FT4 & FT3: This test is a method of measuring T4 or T3 that eliminates the effect of proteins that naturally bind T4 and may prevent accurate measurement.
- T3 – Triiodothyronine: These tests help diagnose hyperthyroidism or show the severity of hyperthyroidism.
- Thyroid antibodies: These tests help identify different types of autoimmune thyroid conditions.
- Calcitonin: This test is used to diagnose C-cell hyperplasia and medullary thyroid cancer, both of which are rare thyroid disorders.
- Thyroglobulin: This test is used to diagnose thyroiditis (thyroid inflammation) and monitor the treatment of thyroid cancer.
Thyroid treatment gets easier once you find the underlying cause of thyroid disorder. You can perform a simple neck check self-exam to help with early detection and check for lumps or enlargements in the neck that may point to a thyroid condition.
Common Signs of Thyroid Problems
Another way to find out if you have a thyroid disorder is to look at its symptoms. Treating thyroid symptoms is easier than a major thyroid surgery. Here are some of the common signs and symptoms of thyroid problems.
- High Heart Rate: High heart rate is often a symptom of hyperthyroidism.
- Excessive Tiredness: When your heart and blood pressure are not functioning fast enough, you might experience excessive feelings of exhaustion. This is often associated with hypothyroidism and is commonly the first sign of trouble.
- Anxiety: Anxiety is often associated with hyperthyroidism. Natural thyroid treatment works best for anxiety.
- Weight Gain or Loss: If you notice rapid weight loss it might be an indicator of high thyroid function. Alternatively, rapid weight gain might be an indicator of low thyroid levels.
- Feeling Chilly or Overheated: If you often experience extreme cold you may be experiencing a symptom of hypothyroidism. Alternatively, if you feel extremely hot or excessive sweating you may be experiencing a symptom of hyperthyroidism.
- Trouble Concentrating: Trouble concentrating is a symptom of both underactive and overactive thyroid.
- Muscle Aches and Trouble Swallowing: If you are experiencing muscle aches and pain without any obvious causes, you most likely have a thyroid problem.
- Dry or Oily Skin: Dry skin is most commonly associated with hypothyroidism. Oily skin is caused when the thyroid is too active.
- Growth on the Neck: If you see growth or swelling on the neck, understand that it’s an extreme thyroid disorder. You need thyroid treatment as soon as possible.
These are some of the most common signs and symptoms of thyroid disorder. If you notice any of these symptoms make sure to do an at-home test and visit a physician. If the symptoms are mild, you can treat them with natural thyroid treatments.
How to Treat Thyroid Naturally?
We talk about the thyroid gland, the symptoms of thyroid diseases, and how to check the thyroid at home. So far, you have learned the basics of thyroid function and how to diagnose your thyroid.
Now, let’s go deeper into the thyroid treatment part. Understand that anything that is natural is good for health. The medical medicines might show fast results but they also have many side effects. The medicine might cure thyroid diseases but the side effects might give birth to other problems.
1. Food that Help Treat Thyroid
Food has a great impact on our bodies. The food we eat determines our level of healthiness. If you are looking for natural thyroid treatment, start eating these foods. Using your diet is the best way to detox your thyroid.
- Roasted Seaweed: Most of the time thyroid disorder is caused by deficiency of iodine. Including seaweeds such as kelp, nori, and wakame will help keep your thyroid function normal as seaweed is a great source of iodine. Or try in the supplement form.
- Salted Nuts: Nuts are another great food not only for the thyroid but for overall health. Adding brazil nuts, macadamia nuts, and hazelnuts will boost thyroid treatment. Opt for nuts that are higher fat to carb ratio.
- Fish: Fish contains Omega-3 fatty acids and selenium to help decrease inflammation. Some of the best fish for thyroid treatment are salmon, cod, sea bass, haddock, and perch. Sometimes the smell of fish gets to me, so I also take this Omega-3 supplement to help!
- Fresh Eggs: Eggs are another great source of selenium and iodine. Try adding one egg a day to your diet.
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2. Best Essential Oil for Thyroid Treatment
Essential oils are another great thyroid treatment option.
- Lemongrass Oil: If you notice trouble swallowing or inflammation on your thyroid area. Take a few drops of lemongrass oil and apply it to the area. The anti-fungal and anti-inflammatory properties help detox your thyroid while maintaining its natural lymphatic function.
- Frankincense Oil: Frankincense oil is another great oil for thyroid treatment. This oil is packed with anti-inflammatory, immune-boosting, and pain-relieving properties.
- Myrrh Oil: This oil also has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. Myrrh oil is best suited for people suffering from hypothyroidism.
3. Natural Supplements that Treat Thyroid Problems
Be it bodybuilding or fighting diseases, supplements play a great role to support our health. When it comes to thyroid treatment, adding supplements and herbs to your diet can be helpful in a great way.
- Iodine: Iodine is an essential ingredient that your thyroid needs to make thyroid hormones. If you want to treat your thyroid you should keep the iodine supply in balance with a safe and effective iodine supplement. The recommended minimum iodine intake for most adults is 150 micrograms a day.
- Vitamin B: If you are looking for thyroid treatment related to hypothyroidism, you don’t want to lack vitamin B in your diet. If you can, make sure to include the entire vitamin B complex and vitamin B12 in your diet. If you can’t get them all through food, here is a good B12 supplement.
- Selenium: Selenium helps support thyroid synthesis and metabolism. It is one of the undeniable supplements for thyroid treatment. It helps reduce levels of antibodies against thyroid peroxidase. Click to read more on selenium and thyroid health.
- Ashwagandha: Ashwagandha helps our body handle and manage stress, combat aging, strengthen and build muscles, aid neurological disorders, relieve rheumatoid, arthritis and help boost levels of thyroid hormones.
- Zinc: Zinc plays an important role in the conversion of thyroid hormone from T4 to T3. It helps improve thyroid function and hormone levels. If you are looking for thyroid treatment, you shouldn’t disregard zinc supplements. Daily Cleanse by HUM Nutrition is a good combo of the few supplements above including selenium, zinc, and other detoxifiers.
- Tyrosine: Tyrosine is another nutrient that helps thyroid hormone production and conversion. Protein is a great source of tyrosine.
- Vitamin D: We all get vitamin D from the sun. But most of us don’t go out in the sun which leads to vitamin D deficiency in many individuals. Vitamin D supplements improve TSH levels in subjects with hypothyroidism as well as thyroid antibodies in people with autoimmune thyroiditis.
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4. Physical Therapies
Physical therapies can also help ease thyroid symptoms and can be added to the thyroid treatment regimen.
- Hot and cold therapy: In the process of thyroid treatment it’s important that you treat the symptoms too. Hot and cold therapy which is also known as contrast hydrotherapy can help you ease muscles and joint pain associated with an underactive thyroid. You can do this by sitting in the sauna and then jumping into a cold shower for a few minutes.
- Acupuncture: Studies out of China, Italy, Korea, Russia, and Macedonia show that acupuncture either by itself or along with other treatments eased symptoms and improved the markers used to measure thyroid hormones.
5. Physical Activities
There is no denying the fact that physical activities are helpful. It doesn’t matter if you are undergoing thyroid treatment or not. Exercise is something that everyone should add to their daily life.
- Walking: Walking is the easiest and simplest workout that you can do to keep your thyroid health and overall health healthy.
- Water Aerobics: Another great way to exercise if you have swelling in your ankles or feet.
- Yoga: Yoga is the best and only way to stretch and strengthen your inner muscles. One study found that people with hypothyroidism had better lung strength after practicing yoga breathing for 6 months.
- Tai Chi: Tai chi is also known as moving meditation. It’s basically a slow form of martial arts. This form of martial art can help reduce stress, improve strength, balance mood.
- Meditation: Taking time to relax, and breathe may help with symptoms but they will not regulate your thyroid.
I cannot stress enough to use yoga as a part of your healing process. I recommend either trying a 12 week program like Yoga Burn, or chose your own pace at Yoga Download.
How is Thyroid Disease Medically?
Having talked about natural thyroid treatment, here are some medical ways to treat thyroid. But understand that everything that is not natural has side effects. Choosing the kind of thyroid treatment solely depends on you.
- Antithyroid drugs (methimazole and propylthiouracil): These are medications that stop your thyroid from making hormones. But both methimazole and propylthiouracil can cause itching, rash, hives, joint pain and swelling, fever, changes in taste, nausea, and vomiting.
- Radioactive Iodine: This thyroid treatment basically targets and damages the cells of your thyroid, preventing it from making high levels of thyroid hormones.
You should also understand that a large dose of radiation can cause death! Small doses of radiation over a long period of time can cause the cells to multiply. However, these cells are mutated. Some other methods doctors have come up with are:
- Beta-Blockers: Beta-blockers are a way to control your symptoms. It doesn’t change the amount of hormones in your body.
- Surgery: Surgery is a permanent form of thyroid treatment. In this case, you will need to take thyroid replacement hormones for the rest of your life.
- Thyroid Replacement Medication: This medication is a synthetic thyroid hormone mostly used for extreme thyroid cases.
You can use these drugs to replace your thyroid hormones but you will have to undergo certain side effects such as increased appetite, weight loss, heat sensitivity, excessive sweating, headache, hyperactivity, nervousness, and anxiety. Keep in mind that most clinical medications are synthetic (man-made) and always come with some side effects. If your thyroid problem is extreme there is no option but to use prescription medications.
Thyroid Medication and Treatment FAQs
- What is the best natural thyroid medication?
There is not just one natural thyroid medication that will solve all of your problems. What I did to alleviate mine was to start with taking a little bit of iodine to raise my underactive thyroid. If you have hyperthyroidism, this would be the opposite. You need to start with figuring out which side your hormones are on and take what will help balance. I suggest reading the hyperthyroidism natural treatment guide, or the hypothyroidism natural treatment guide.
- What’s the most common medication?
The most common treatment is levothyroxine (Levoxyl, Synthroid, Tirosint, Unithroid, Unithroid Direct), a man-made version of the thyroid hormone thyroxine (T4). It acts just like the hormone your thyroid gland normally makes. The right dose can make you feel a lot better.
- Is there a natural thyroid medication?
Natural thyroid products are available in “grains.” It is estimated that 1 grain of Armour Thyroid (or about 60 mg) is about the same as 88 mcg of levothyroxine. Thyroid replacement medications take a long time to break down in your system, so they only need to be taken once a day. Here is a similar supplement.
- Can Thyroid be cured permanently by Ayurveda?
Ayurvedic medicine can be used alongside standard treatments to help you manage your thyroid disorder. Ayurvedic medicine isn’t meant to be a replacement for standard treatments, as there’s limited research backing its effectiveness. But it can be a complementary treatment option. Don’t discontinue standard treatments if you have severe thyroid isues.
Let’s Treat Your Thyroid Naturally
Thyroid disease is often a lifelong medical condition that you will need to manage constantly. But you can always cure your thyroid problem at an early stage by natural thyroid treatment. Try all the natural remedies mentioned above and see which one works best for you. It may take some time to find the right treatment option for you and control your hormone levels.
For many, the advantages of adopting a natural thyroid treatment plan outweigh the disadvantages. But in case you had surgery to remove your thyroid, a natural thyroid treatment plan won’t work for you. No matter what you read online, or what you heard from people. To be on the safe side always talk to your physician, get tested, and explore treatment options together.
Remember, step one is to get tested!