Natural Treatments For Hypothyroidism

October 2, 2023

The thyroid gland is located in the neck and produces hormones responsible for metabolism and protein synthesis. A thyroid may stop functioning properly because of factors such as age, pituitary gland disorder, and autoimmune diseases. When the thyroid stops producing the normal amount of thyroid hormone, it is called hypothyroidism. Women are more likely than men to suffer from this condition.

Symptoms include fatigue, constipation, diarrhea, hair loss, memory loss, sensitivity to cold, and weight gain. If it's left untreated, hypothyroidism can lead to obesity, joint pain, heart disease, and infertility. Some medical treatment regulates thyroid hormone levels and stops symptoms, though natural remedies have also shown promising results in improving symptoms of hypothyroidism.

Reducing Sugar In Diet

Blood sugar levels indirectly correlate to lower thyroid production. When large amounts of carbohydrates or sugars are ingested, the body’s blood sugar will spike. Consequently, the pancreas releases insulin into the blood to bring these levels down. Fluctuating blood sugar levels causes the body to release the stress hormone cortisol, which, in large amounts, will stop the production of thyroid hormones.

Therefore, reducing sugar in the diet is essential to regulating thyroid function. Obvious solutions are to replace sugary beverages with water and to discontinue eating sweets. Switching from simple carbohydrates (white rice) to complex carbohydrates (brown rice) is another way to help regulate blood sugar. It is key to read ingredient labels as sugar is often added to items as unsuspecting as spaghetti sauce.

Gluten-Free Diet

Gluten is a protein in wheat and is similar in structure to the thyroid hormone. Hypothyroidism is believed to be caused mostly by autoimmune disorders, which occur when the body attacks helpful molecules mistaking them for foreign invaders. With similar structures, the body often mistakes the thyroid hormone for the gluten protein and tries to destroy it. This causes lower thyroid hormones in the body, resulting in hypothyroidism. A gluten-free diet requires eliminating all sources of gluten, which is found in wheat, rye, barley, and other grains. Partaking in a gluten-free diet is an all-or-nothing endeavor. Any amount of gluten intake can trigger an autoimmune response since it is often mistaken for the thyroid hormone.

Low-Impact Exercise

Since joint pain is a symptom of hypothyroidism, it is important for individuals with the disease to participate in low-impact exercises, which are considered easier on the body, particularly the joints. Swimming, elliptical workouts, and walking are all ways to burn calories without causing more pain to the joints. The fatigue that accompanies hypothyroidism makes it difficult for patients to be motivated to exercise at all. Mind and body exercises like tai chi, pilates, and yoga are great alternatives to raise the heart rate and calm the mind. These exercises also reduce the stress involved when one suffers from a chronic disease.

Vitamin B-12

Studies have shown a vitamin B-12 deficiency in many of those suffering from hypothyroidism. Vitamin B-12 is a water-soluble vitamin the body cannot make. It is only made by bacterial microbes and archaea usually found in the soil where livestock feed. These bacteria then grow and live in the animals’ guts, making more B-12. Humans can then attain it from eating animal products like meat, fish, eggs, and milk. Vitamin B-12 is necessary for metabolism in cells and plays a vital role in the proper function of the nervous system.

Cardiovascular Exercise Training

Cardiovascular exercise training involves all exercising that raises the heart rate while using large muscle groups. This type of exercise makes the cardiovascular system stronger. The heart and lungs are better able to transport blood and oxygen to all parts of the body. Swimming, as mentioned before, is one of the lowest impact exercises that can raise heart rate. Bicycling and machine workouts are other ways to raise one's heart rate. Exercise is helpful in burning calories since weight gain is common with hypothyroidism. Not only is exercise beneficial for hypothyroidism, but it can also reduce stress and depression, make bones stronger, promote better sleep, and lessen fatigue.

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