Achieving Thyroid Balance with Natural Remedies and Nutrition

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 many sophisticated tasks to keep our bodies working but it needs the right fuel. The best home treatment 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 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 three times a week is highly recommended to keep the thyroid functioning well. Exercising every day is good for an underactive 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.

Other Natural Remedies

In addition to the natural remedies mentioned above, here are some other natural remedies that can be beneficial for thyroid health:

  • Ashwagandha: This herb has been shown to improve thyroid function by reducing cortisol levels and balancing thyroid hormone levels.
  • Omega-3 Fatty Acids: These healthy fats found in fish and flaxseed oil can help reduce inflammation in the body, which can contribute to thyroid dysfunction.
  • Selenium: This mineral is essential for thyroid function and can be found in Brazil nuts, seafood, and meat.
  • Vitamin D: This vitamin is crucial for immune system function and can be found in fatty fish, eggs, and fortified dairy products.
  • Adaptogenic Herbs: These herbs, such as Rhodiola rosea and Eleutherococcus senticosus, can help support the adrenal glands and reduce stress levels, contributing to thyroid dysfunction.

Remember to work closely with your healthcare provider to manage thyroid problems. While natural remedies can be helpful, they should not be used as a substitute for medical treatment. A balanced diet, regular exercise, and proper supplementation can all help support thyroid health and improve overall well-being.

Continue reading below to learn which remedies helped Earth Clinic readers with thyroid issues.

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    List of Remedies for Thyroid Issues