More than 30 million women and 15 million men suffer from symptoms of low thyroid function or poor metabolism, and conventional medicine has few workable solutions for addressing this growing epidemic. But there are some ways you can address low thyroid function naturally without having to just suffer for the rest of your life without hope.
Whether a product of exposure to environmental toxins, persistent anxiety, stress, hormone imbalance or some other trigger, low thyroid function can be devastating. Symptoms include an inability to lose weight, chronic fatigue, difficulty thinking clearly, low energy, depression, and in severe cases, sufferers can feel as though nothing will ever help them feel normal.
But medical expert Dr. Mark Hyman says there are solutions to low thyroid function that won’t break the bank, and won’t lead to a lifetime of pharmaceutical drug dependency. These include the following seven natural steps:
1) Discover the underlying causes of your low thyroid symptoms and address them directly.
Many people who suffer from low thyroid function are unaware that the root causes of their disease could be the things they eat and the things to which they expose themselves. This includes food allergies and conditions such as Coeliac disease, marked by a severe reaction to the gluten protein found in wheat, barley, rye, spelt and some oats.
Other triggers include heavy metal toxicity from things like vaccines and contaminated rice, as well as nutritional deficiencies and chronic stress. Identifying which nutrients you might be lacking, or determining whether or not your body is storing toxins like mercury and pesticides, can sometimes be difficult. For this reason, it might be helpful to consult with a physician who specialises in these areas:
2) Maximise your nutritional intake.
In order to maintain a well-functioning thyroid, it is important to feed your body with thyroid-boosting nutrients such as iodine, zinc, omega-3 fatty acids, selenium and full-spectrum, whole-food-based vitamins. Taking a high-quality probiotic is also important, as the substances that the body uses to make a significant portion of thyroid hormones must first be converted by gut bacteria in order to be usable.
3) Eliminate stress from your life.
Constantly worrying and stressing yourself can take a huge toll on your glandular system, which is why you need to put a stop to it immediately. Adopting a comprehensive stress management program for your life, which may include relaxation techniques, meditation, stretching and exercise, will help minimise the release of the hormone cortisol, which can overstimulate the thyroid gland and cause dysfunction.
A well-functioning thyroid is dependent upon a proper balance of thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH), as well as free triiodothyronine (T3) and free thyroxine (T4) thyroid antibodies. Physical exercise, particularly aerobic exercise, can help achieve this balance by triggering the production of these important substances, which tell the thyroid when to produce hormones, and how much to produce.
5) Supplement your diet.
Since much of today’s food is lacking in critical nutrients, it may be essential to supplement your diet. Many low thyroid sufferers have inadequate vitamin D levels, for instance, or aren’t consuming enough vitamin A. Getting tested and consulting with a healthcare practitioner who can assist you in how to eat properly will go a long way in addressing your thyroid issues, hopefully bringing you back into balance.
The University of Maryland Medical Center recommends eating plenty of foods high in vitamin B, which include fresh vegetables and sea vegetables, and avoiding those that interfere with thyroid function. These include soybeans, peanuts, millet and some cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli.
6) Take some time for heat therapy.
One of the best ways to detoxify your body of heavy metals, pesticides and other poisons that make thyroid problems worse is to use heat therapy. One common issue among thyroid sufferers is that, as they begin to lose stored fat, toxins are released from fat tissue that further inhibit thyroid function, triggering a fresh set of symptoms. But using an infrared sauna, for instance, can help draw out these toxins from fat tissue and expel them through the skin via sweat.
7) Embrace thyroid hormone replacement therapy.
When all else fails, thyroid hormone replacement therapy is another option that, if used correctly, can bring about positive results. Desiccated thyroid is a natural thyroid gland extract found in some over-the-counter supplement products, which may help bring your thyroid function back into the optimal range. Natural hormone replacement products like Armour Thyroid, which is also composed of desiccated thyroid, is another option available for those under the care of a trained physician.