How to Treat Hypothyroidism Naturally
The thyroid, a small gland in the shape of a butterfly placed in your neck, is the gland that is in charge of providing you with energy, moving your metabolism and controlling the cells in your body to make sure they are all doing their job and everything functions well. Unfortunately, many people have developed a thyroid disease – hyperthyroidism (enhanced thyroid function) or hypothyroidism (low thyroid function). An underactive thyroid is often linked with elevated reverse T3 levels, lack of iodine in your body, drinking chlorinated or fluoridated water, etc. The symptoms of the disease include quick weight gain, fatigue, bad skin, inability to focus, irritability and hormonal imbalance.
Dr Datis Kharrazian, one of the most appreciated educators in natural medicine, laboratory analysis and nutrition, and the writer of “Why Do I Still Have Thyroid Symptoms? When My Lab Tests Are Normal” argued that most of the people suffering from hypothyroidism have an autoimmune condition called Hashimoto’s, which means that their immune system attacks thyroid tissue and tries to get rid of it. As this is an autoimmune disease, relying only on your prescribed medication is not going to do much for you. Instead, you should focus on making dietary changes and resisting the foods that are making the symptoms of hypothyroidism worse.
Caffeine and sugar are your enemies when you have hypothyroidism. Therefore, staying away from those two is a good defense against hypothyroidism symptoms. When we say stay away from sugars, we don’t say eliminate them completely (although, that would be wise), but avoid them as much as possible. Refined carbohydrates such as flour also fit into this category, because your body treats and processes them as if they were sugar. You can replace these starchy carbohydrates with vegetables of a lower glycemic index which you will be able to eat in unlimited amounts. As for caffeine, if you really like the taste of coffee, there are decaffeinated coffee-like beverages that might appeal to your taste. Finally, up the daily water intake, as your body needs more of it when suffering from hypothyroidism and drinking more can alleviate some of the symptoms.
Taking in enough protein is very important when having hypothyroidism, because it helps the thyroid hormone get to the tissues and it can even help in normalizing the function of the thyroid gland, to some extent. Now, it does make a difference what sources of protein you will use. For example, it is not the same if you use grass fed meats or meat from the animals treated with antibiotics and hormones (of course, always choose the natural variant). Other good sources of protein are eggs, fish, legumes and nuts. Of course, make sure that none of those products are GMO.
Also, even though soy is an excellent source of protein, we will exclude it from our diet when trying to treat hypothyroidism because it usually contains some hormones that can negatively impact the function of the thyroid and disrupt the hormonal system. Soy products include soy milk, tofu, fake meats made of soy, soy beans, etc.
Eating healthy fats can help you treat your hypothyroidism. For instance, coconut oil is said to be very good for controlling the thyroid hormone levels. An expert in coconut oil research, Dr. Ray Peat says that coconut oil warms your thyroid and helps it control the levels of cholesterol. Other sources of healthy fats that can help you with your thyroid are red palm oil, extra virgin olive oil, the fat from egg yolks, etc.
Start eating gluten-free food. Gluten is structurally almost the same as the tissue of your thyroid gland. So, when you eat foods rich in gluten, your body becomes confused, and if you are one of those people suffering from the autoimmune Hashimoto’s, your body will attack your thyroid gland and worsen your condition.
Avoid eating goitrogens regularly because they disrupt the function of your thyroid. If you don’t know what we are talking about, goitrogens are the substances that interfere with the function of the thyroid gland by not letting the body take in enough iodine, which leads to the thyroid enlargement. These substances are contained in foods such as broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, kale, kohlrabi, turnips, spinach, peanuts, soybeans, strawberries, peaches, etc. However, this doesn’t mean that you should expel them from your diet altogether. Good news is that when you cook them, the goitrogens get lost, so you can eat those foods that can be cooked without worrying too much. However, you should avoid eating these foods fresh if you want your thyroid to function properly.
Glutathione is there to help you. It is an antioxidant that improves your immune system and helps fight Hashimoto’s by helping your body deal with the autoimmune attacks on your thyroid and healing the thyroid tissue. The foods containing this powerful antioxidants are rare, but there are those that help the body produce it itself, and those are asparagus, avocado, spinach, squash, grapefruit, raw eggs, etc.
Make sure your diet is based on whole foods and not processed ones.
Stress is your worst enemy when suffering from hypothyroidism. Therefore, learning to control it and get over it is the key to successful dealing with the disease. Getting enough sleep and thinking positively will help you in that. Also, find a way to control your emotions and try living a more relaxed life, without letting every little thing get to you and upset you.
Exercise is also very important, particularly because it helps the body get rid of toxins that are disrupting the endocrine system and your thyroid. Find a physical activity that you like and have fun while doing it. It will help you in more than one way. Namely, exercising will also help you control your stress levels and get rid of tension, get your heart pumping and help improve your metabolism. It will also help with some of the symptoms, such as depression, sluggishness, weight gain, etc.