Last Modified on Apr 14, 2016
Treatments for thyroid problems are all about achieving balance; hyperthyroidism (over-active) and hypothyroidism (under-active) each have their own challenges. A crucial part of any home treatment is proper diet. The thyroid cannot do its job without getting the right fuel. Exercise is also essential for achieving and maintaining proper thyroid function. In addition, certain supplements like Guggulsterone can be used as natural thyroid aid.
What Does the Thyroid Gland Do?
The thyroid gland, located in the front of the neck, has an influence on almost every metabolic process. Hyperthyroidism refers to too much thyroid hormone being produced. Hypothyroidism means not enough thyroid hormone is secreted. The thyroid cannot make necessary hormones without iodine. Iodine is also needed to process medications. Thyroid problems range from a harmless goiter (an enlarged gland) to thyroid cancer. Regulating a malfunctioning thyroid can be incredibly frustrating; there are numerous and varying side effects.
The thyroid helps regulate the metabolism: all of the chemical reactions needed to maintain the living state of cells. There are two types of metabolism. Catabolism is molecules breaking down to get energy. Anabolism means building all the compounds that cells need. Proper nutrition ensures that the necessary nutrients are available for use by the cells.
The thyroid also helps to regulate calcium. Calcium is needed by almost every cell, particularly in the nervous system, heart, muscles and bones. The hormone calcitonin and the parathyroid manage calcium levels. Other hormones secreted by the thyroid produce proteins and increase oxygen in cells, which makes organs work harder.
To summarize, the thyroid is the “Master Hormone” that helps our cells get energy and receive the ‘food’ the cells need, including calcium. The thyroid gland can be thought of as the conductor of an orchestra; when it isn’t working as it should, the ‘music’ is an off-key and off-pitch jangle of noise instead of a symphony.
Natural Remedies for the Thyroid
The thyroid performs a multitude of sophisticated tasks to keep our bodies working, but needs the right fuel. The best home cure for the thyroid is good nutrition. Some foods that supply iodine and some that block iodine from the thyroid are listed below. Exercise and a natural thyroid booster are suggested as part of a treatment regimen.
Foods That Help the Thyroid Function Better
Seaweed (kelp, dulce and nori), shellfish and ocean fish are excellent sources of iodine.
Low fat cheese, yogurt and ice cream, eggs and cow’s milk are also good sources.
Many people do not receive enough iodine from their diet. We used to get 25% of our iodine from wheat, but a change in how the flour is produced has removed that iodine source from our diet. Iodine was added to salt in 1924 to help prevent so many people from developing goiters and was generally successful. We need at least 150 mcg daily. The average iodine intake per person in the U.S. used to be 250 mcg; it is now 157 mcg. While sea salt has traces of many minerals, it does not have as much iodine as iodized table salt. If you suspect you need more iodine, iodized sea salt is a good option.
Foods That Slow Your Thyroid
These foods are called ‘goitrogens’ and lower thyroid function, preventing the thyroid from producing thyroid hormone properly. The anti-thyroid properties are strongest when eaten raw. It is believed that this anti-thyroid property is inactivated by cooking, but anyone with hypothyroidism should eat these foods sparingly, if at all.
- Nuts: almonds, pine nuts, peanuts
- Any vegetable in the broccoli family: broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, cabbage
- Green leafy vegetables: kale, mustard and spinach
- Fruit: pears and peaches
- Misc.: Turnips, corn, millet, soy (isoflavones block iodine) and canola oil
Exercise and Supplements
Walking or working out for 40 minutes at least 3 times a week is highly recommended to keep the thyroid functioning well. Exercising every day is good for an under-active thyroid.
Guggulsterone or guggulipid is used in Ayurvedic medicine as a natural remedy to regulate the thyroid. This is particularly useful for hypothyroidism. A high quality multivitamin with high levels of vitamins B, D, E and C, iodine, selenium and zinc is also helpful.
Thyroid problems require really learning about your body. While treatments differ for different thyroid ailments, the overall requirement of a malfunctioning thyroid is receiving the nutrients it needs. While good nutrition is always important, a thyroid cannot be regulated if it is receiving the wrong foods. Exercise and a natural thyroid supplement comprise the rest of the treatment regimen.
Remedies for Thyroid
The Popularity of Thyroid Remedies - Full List
|Apple Cider Vinegar||2||2011-05-14|
|Apple Cider Vinegar, Coconut Oil||0||2009-05-13|
|Avoid Non-Stick Pans||0||2010-01-28|
|Fluoride And The Thyroid||0||2013-04-30|
|MB, TSP, STS, Lugol's, Turp, Borax||0||2014-11-16|
|Raw Food Diet||1||2010-11-03|
|Supplements for Hyperthyroid||1||2008-03-08|
|Thyroid Gland Removal Remedies||0||2013-06-04|
|Thyroid Related Hair Loss||0||2013-08-22|
|Weaning Off Meds||0||2011-09-21|
Dear TedI am just wondering if the ACV therapy would help with my hypthyroidism and thyroid eye disease? I was diagnosed with being hypthyroid in 2009, and having the eye disease in 2010. Have had the eye problem now for 13 months, and there is protrusion of the eyes. I am always on the lookout for anything that can help me. Have just come off prednisone after 8 months and symptons are returning. My doctor says I have high antibodies which are attacking my own eye tissue, and that it will eventually resolve itself within 2 years. I hope that to be the case too! Adding to all my problems I'm also perimenopausal. I would appreciate your response. Thankyou!
Replied by Marlane
Geelong, Victoria, Australia
Replied by Prosperity
Posted by Mariana (Tauranga, New Zealand) on 01/05/2008
I am on Thyroxin for an underactive thyroid gland. But, I still have this horrible feeling of mucous in my throat that effects speech. I have gone back to drinking cider vinegar, 2 or 3 times a day and now i feel so much better and the is no feeling of mucous in the throat. Its natural and it wonderful
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Replied by Brenda
Fayetteville, North Carolina
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Replied by Kelly
Posted by Tracy (Frederick, MD) on 11/14/2007
Have been using the ACV remedy for about 2 mos and notice the immediate difference in my skin and in my lack of joint pain (I suffer from Carpal Tunnel). However, I also started to notice that my skin was getting dry and I was constantly tired and kind of depressed. All symptoms that I had before I got my thyroid checked. I have hypothyroidism and take Levothyroxin once daily in the am. I had been starting my day with the thyroid pill, then my ACV tonic. WELL, I just read on the Medicine bottle to take this medicine at least 4 hours prior to any antacids, iron or vitamin/mineral suppliments. Basically, the ACV was just washing away my meds. So I adjusted my times and don't take the ACV til later and I'm back to my old self, with the added ACV bonus! SO, check you medicine labels!!!
Replied by Joyce
Posted by Lana (Ormond, usa) on 11/13/2007
Ingesting ACV has long been used for medical treatment and is sometimes very effective.. HOWEVER, one should also take an iodine supplement, such as kelp tablets or kelp extracts while using this therapy. Extended ACV consumption can remove iodine from the body, and can result in thyroid problems. (Salt also causes the same problems which is why commercial salt has added iodine.) I learned all this back in the early 1970's, and have not found this important information on iodine/ACV interaction in any articles or books recently. However I have not covered your entire site. So in case no one has mentioned this yet, it really needs to be addressed.
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Replied by Nichevy
Atlanta, Ga, Usa
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Replied by Jen
Overland Park, Ks
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Albuquerque, New Mexico
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Posted by Nikki (Bernalillo, NM) on 05/13/2009
I have been reading about Apple cider vinigar and coconut oil on your site but I do not have a thyroid or parathyroid glands. they were taken out due to thyroid cancer. I am wondering if I can still use the ACV as long as I wait till after 4 hours of taking my synthroid and cytomil I am on? I want to take that for loosing weight. also would the coconut oil do any good if I do not have a thyroid for it to improve on?? thank you for any advise you can give..
Replied by Ladyliza
Granada Hills, Ca
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Posted by Rob (Manhattan, New York) on 01/28/2010
Non-Stick Pans & Thyroid disease
Perfluorooctanoic acid, used in non-stick pans and water-resistant fabrics may cause/contribute to thyroid disease. British researchers identified a link between the chemical (PFOA) & higher rates of thyroid disease.
Adults with the highest level of the chemical in the study were more than twice as likely to report thyroid disease... The study was published online in the Jan. 20, 2010 issue of Environmental Health Perspectives. It is not conclusive whether the chemical causes the thyroid problem or the thyroid malfunction results in the higher rate of chemical in the blood stream..My take...why take chances...get it out of the kitchen.
Replied by Phil
Replied by Demaisra
Posted by Catherine F Clark (Chicago, Illinois, USA) on 09/02/2007
BSM [blackstrap molasses] is good stuff. However, if you wish to use milk, use raw milk. Raw cow's milk does not have the problems associated with pasturized, homogonized milk. Also, please be aware that soy is not the wonderful thing the soy industry would have you beleive! If you have hypothyroidism, unfermented soy is the worst thing you can ingest! Almond milk and any seed milks are very good. We drink goat milk when we have milk. BSM would fit in with goat milk very well.
Replied by Cynthia
Replied by Shanti
Tiruvannamalai, Tn, India
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Sydney, Nsw Australia
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Posted by Bev (Elroy, WI) on 04/07/2008
I have continued the borax detox for fluoride toxicity 1-2 times per week. I had reduced my thyroid dose as my pulse rate was elevated which I thought was improvement of thyroid function. I don't think this was the case. Shortly after I had reduced to 2 1/2 from 3 1/2 grains, reducing 1/2 grain every two weeks, I began to experience fatigue again. Stayed at 3 gr. for about 10 more weeks and began having worsening of symtoms, muscle pains, hair loss, dry eyes, weight gain etc. This week I plan to consult with Dr. John Lowe regarding the possiblily of thyroid resistance and switching from Armour to Cytomel [T3].
Posted by Bev (Elroy, WI) on 12/13/2007
I had been treated with zithromax for pneumonia but what seemed to trigger the severe, sudden onset of reflux was taking 200mg of ibuprofen twice within the week for pain in my neck during that time. The ibuprofen caused a gastric ulcer since I had been on periodic courses of prednisone earlier for acute asthma which resolved after seven weeks of antibiotics. When I got the pneumonia I had no asthma but a high fever, fatigue and pain in the neck. Steroids can cause ulcers but I didn't think the effect would last that long as I was not taking any at the time. I woke up choking at night with reflux and started protonix. Stopped after about one year and since use digestive enzymes, honey, camomile, ACV with baking soda. Caution: Prevacid ia a fluoridated medication. Along with the reflux, I began severe hypothyroid symptoms I believe caused by Diflucan and Advair which are both fluoridated. Have been doing the borax detox twice a week and have reduced thyroid medication from 3 1/2 to 2 1/2 gr Armour.
Replied by Donna
Posted by Bev (Elroy, Wisconsin) on 09/11/2007
After reading the info on fluoride on Earth Clinic I realised that the onset of my severe hypothyroid symptoms of extreme fatigue, weight gain, hair loss etc. was caused by taking repeated doses of Flucanazole to prevent yeast during repeated antibiotics for acute asthma [healed after 90 days on Zithromax]. My TSH [thyroid stimulating hormone] is less than .01 which shows hyperthyroidism so I have had a hard time finding a doctor willing to treat me. Now I know it is because the fluoride inhibits the pituitary gland from producing TSH. I live in a fluoridated community so my exposure has been long term. For several years I have had reverse osmosis water but it is very disappointing to find there is no acceptable whole house removal system. It was recommended to me to take cool showers as skin absorption is greater than drinking. I am hoping to convince our city council to drop the fluoride. I was happy to hear that borax can be used for detox. Yesterday I mixed 1/8 tsp of borax and sea salt in one L of water. During the night I awoke with a headache. By morning it was so bad that I vomited the aspirin, snack and enzymes I took to combat it. I couldn't keep anything other than sips down without dry heaves until early evening.I am thinking that is a detox reaction. I am going to hold off another day and dilute it further. I currently take Armour Thyroid and about $400 of supplements, mainly enzymes to prevent reflux, keep spinal alignment, joint stiffness, fatigue, sinus infections, constipation, hair loss and all those other nasty hypothyroid effects. I was also taking the apple cider vinegar and baking soda [about 8 days now] at the same time so may be that was too much at once with the borax. I will keep you posted on my progress. Thank you for this wonderful website.
Replied by Jill
Posted by Kathie (Houston, Select State/province) on 05/28/2011
It is my understanding that high cholesteral can only be a cause of poor funtioning thyroid gland or the liver (granted there are a few that have a hereditary gene that can cause high cholesterol). So, if you have high cholesterol, get your thyroid checked (you want your TSH under 3) and get your liver enzymes checked as well (though a poor functioning liver does not always show up on tests). Treat these conditions and your cholesterol will improve. I urge to treat them with things mentioned here on the site and not take drugs.
My case, my Dr. put me on Synthroid for my thyroid ( my TSH was a whopping 104! ). I did not get into the natural approach until years later and when I tried to switch over to natural thyroid I experianced extreem panic attacks, heart palpitations and major vertigo. If you have a thyroid issue, look into natural approaches, it is very difficult if not impossible to switch from synthetic thyroid to natural thyroid if you have been on it for a long time..
Replied by Gnosis
Replied by Bry
Posted by Sundar (Balasore, Odisha) on 10/05/2014
Please, tell me the process for using coconut oil for thyroid and weight loss.
Posted by Jennifer (Florida, US) on 08/16/2014
This is my first time on this website. I am reading a lot about coconut oil which I have heard about for a very long time because in my country (the islands) the older people used coconut oil on their skin, hair and to cook. My question is I have a nodule (lump) in my thyroid I am on medication for many years now , do you think by taking the coconut oil it will shrink the lump? I have been seeing an ENT Dr.for many years.
Posted by Nancy (New York, New York) on 08/31/2013
I have a tendency towards hyperthyroid (I'm not on any meds) but EVCO made my heart race and my hyperthyroid and insomnia symptoms a million times worse. I took tons of Magnesuim chloride and glycinate and exercised and my symptoms went away. The only other supplement that made me suddenly go into a hyperthyroid state like that was Iodine.
Replied by Danny
Replied by Bill
San Fernando, Philippines
Posted by Carmen (Chicago, Il, Usa) on 12/02/2010
Does anyone use Coconut Oil while hyperthyroid (Graves')? I've seen a couple of statements on the web that it supports both thyroid conditions; Hyper and Hypo. While I fully understand the mechanics behind the HypO support, I'm confused how it can work for HypER conditions. Supposedly it can stimulate a thyroid or slow it down. If that's the case, why do hypOthyroid patients become slightly hypER when using Coconut Oil on a regular basis? Does it balance itself out at some point? I haven't seen any studies on the HypER-support, so I'm skeptical and just plain curious. So I figured, I'd ask the people here. Does anyone have info on this?
Replied by Alimaacd
New Fairfield, Ct
Replied by Chandra
Choa Chu Kang, Singapore
Replied by Dawn
Port Of Spain, Trinidad
Replied by Charine