When your thyroid gland doesn’t make enough hormone, the condition is called hypothyroidism or an underactive thyroid gland. It is a common endocrine disorder which may display many symptoms. If you feel tired, cannot tolerate cold, and gain weight without any obvious reason, you may be suffering from hypothyroidism. A blood test that measures thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) and thyroxine levels can confirm whether you suffer from an underactive thyroid gland or not. Thyroid hormones are secreted into your blood and carried to all the tissues in the body. This hormone helps your body use energy, stay warm and keep your brain, heart, muscles, as well as other organs working as they are meant to. Over production of thyroid hormone which is known as hyperthyroidism is also not good for your body and leads to various other difficulties. In this article, however, you will know the home remedies for hypothyroidism to cure your underactive thyroid gland.
Remedies for Hypothyroidism
1. Take Enough Iodine to Avoid and Cure Hypothyroidism
Iodine is essential for the production of thyroid hormone but our body is not capable of making iodine. Therefore, we need to take iodine as a part of our diet. Iodine deficiency not only leads to hypothyroidism but also can result into the enlargement of thyroid gland (goiter) and mental retardation in infants and children if mothers had iodine deficiency during pregnancy. Here is the list of foods that contain iodine. Include them in your diet.
- Iodized table salt
- Cows milk
- Saltwater fish
- Seaweed like kelp, dulce, nori
- Soy milk
- Soy sauce
Precaution: Iodine supplement should only be taken when it has been proved that you suffer from iodine deficiency and your hypothyroidism is due to this deficiency. Consult your doctor before taking any supplement. Too much of iodine can actually cause hypothyroidism.
2. Restrict Foods with Goitrogens
Goitrogens are the naturally-occurring chemicals found in some foods. These chemicals interfere with thyroid functioning in various ways. Some of the goitrogens induce antibodies that cross-react with your thyroid gland. Some other goitrogens interfere with thyroid peroxidase (TPO) which is the enzyme that adds iodine during production of thyroid hormones. Goitrogenic foods, in whatever way they function, affect the thyroid gland negatively which is then not able to produce enough hormones required by your body to regulate metabolism. Therefore it makes sense to restrict the intake of such foods, especially raw, as in raw state they have more goitrogens in them. However, they should not be totally avoided too. Why, I will tell you after your read this list of foods having goitrogens.
- Cruciferous vegetables like cauliflower, broccoli, brussels sprouts, cabbage
- Pine nuts
- Canola oil
- • Strawberries
- • Watercress
- • Radishes
Now why you should not totally avoid these foods! Because most of them have beneficial micronutrients that support your digestive, skeletal, cardiovascular, and immune system. What you can do is when you cannot have more goitrogens due to your thyroid problem, don’t take them raw. Steam, cook, or ferment your vegetables so that you are able to reduce the goitrogenic compounds in them. Do not eat the same foods every day and always have richly varied diet of wholesome foods.
3. Have Fish Oil for Hypothyroidism
There is one more thing other than iodine which cannot be produced by your body but is essential not only for thyroid gland but for your over all health. This is omega-3 fatty acids . You can have fish oil which contains omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3 fatty acids decrease inflammation and increase immunity that will help if your hypothyroidism is due some autoimmune response. Some plant-based sources like walnuts and flax seed too have omega-3 fatty acids but fish oil is a better source of these fatty acids.
Precaution: Omega-3 fatty acids may increase bleeding, particularly when you are on blood-thinning medication. Consult your doctor before you start having omega-3 fatty acids if you take blood thinners or if you suffer from a bleeding disorder.
4. Bladderwrack for Hypothyroidism
Bladderwrack is one of the many types of seaweeds which is commonly found on the coasts of the North Sea, western Baltic Sea, and the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. This seaweed is a common food in Japan and in Europe, it is used as a flavoring agent. As bladderwrack contains high amounts of iodine, it is considered to be a good natural remedy for hypothyroidism. It is able to stimulate your underactive thyroid gland. However, you should also understand that bladderwrack or any other food having iodine can help you only when your hypothyroidism is caused by iodine deficiency. Bladderwrack is available in a dietary supplement form and also as component of kelp tablets and powders. Consult your doctor about the dose of bladderwrack or learn some Japanese recipes that use bladderwrack.
5. Coleus Forskohlii Herb for Hypothyroidism
Coleus herb has an active ingredient in it known as forskolin. This is an Ayruvedic remedy that has been used in India since long ago. Forskolin increases the amount of cAMP (cyclic adenosine monophosphate) in body cells by activating an enzyme called adenylate cyclase. Cyclic AMP (cAMP) is an important secondary messengers in your cell which regulates it. Increased cAMP levels among many other beneficial activities, increases thyroid hormone function. Some of the laboratory studies have also confirmed that coleus stimulates metabolism by increasing thyroid hormone production.
How to Take Coleus?
• You can simply chew coleus leaves after thoroughly cleaning them.
• Coleus leaves can also be smoked.
• You may also make coleus tea by steeping its leaves in lukewarm water for for about an hour. Then strain the liquid and drink this.
[Also Read: DIY Home Remedies for Hyperthyroidism]
6. Guggul for Hypothyroidism
Guggul is a resin derived from Commiphora mukul tree and has been traditionally used by Ayurveda for treating various medical condition like obesity, hypolipidemia, inflammation and acne etc. Guggul has many chemical components such as guggulsterones, myrhhanol A and antagonist ligands that makes it a very useful herb. Gugguisterones in guggul can increase the functioning of thyroid gland and stimulate the conversion of T4 thyroid hormone into the more active T3 form. This in turn boosts your metabolism. Guggul also lowers cholesterol levels that usually rise due to hypothyroidism.
How to Take Guggul?
Guggul extracts are there that have guggulsterones concentration in them. Ayurvedic practitioners recommend a dosage of 25 mg of guggulsterones thrice a day. Extracts are recommended to be taken daily for 3- 6 months which may lower high cholesterol and triglycerides associated with hypothyroid. However, because the dosage may vary depending upon the patient’s overall condition, it is always recommended to consult with physician or medical herbalist and in this case an authentic Ayurvedic doctor.
7. Dulse for Hypothyroidism
Dulse is a reddish chewy seaweed found in the North Atlantic and Northwest Pacific oceans. It is high on protein and is also a good natural source of iodine, something that will help your thyroid gland work properly. Dulse provides your body with many other essential trace mineral and nutrients like vitamins A, B1, B2, B3, B6, B12, C and calcium potassium, magnesium, iron, manganese, copper, chromium and zinc. If you plan to take iodine in it’s straight form, hold the thought and consider adding seaweeds like dulse in your diet.
How to Take Dulse?
- Add dulse flakes to your salads.
- Make soups with dulse or other seaweeds.
8. Avena Sativa (Wild Oats) for Hypothyroidism
Nutrients deficient diet is one of the major causes of hypothyroidism. Wild oats or Avena sativa had been traditionally known to alleviate the complications related to underactive thyroid gland. As is is a whole grain, wild oats contain high amounts of iron, zinc and manganese. It has restorative properties that can stimulate your thyroid gland. Oats also contain considerable amounts of B vitamins and selenium both of which are important when it comes to proper thyroid functioning. Because oats are also a low-glycemic food, they have only a mild impact on your blood sugar which helps restore healthy hormone levels. There’s one more benefit that comes from oats. The fiber rich oats help relieve constipation associated with hypothyroidism.
How to Take Avena Sativa?
You just need to take oats with a lots of water. Make oats porridge or soup whatever you want and season them with your choice of flavors that may be iodine rich dulse or kelp too.
9. Nettle for Hypothyroidism
Nettle is a good remedy for both- hyper and hypo thyroidism. If your thyroid gland is slow due to iodine deficiency, you can consider having nettle herb which is a rich source of iodine. You can use dried nettle herb to make tea or use nettle oil to massage your neck area.
Make Nettle Tea for Hypothyroid
- Dried nettle herb- 1 tbsp
- Hot water- 1 cup
- Honey or stevia (optional)- as per taste
- Place nettle in a pot.
- Pour hot water over it.
- Steep for 10 minutes.
- Strain and add natural sweetener if using.
- Have this tea to stimulate your thyroid gland.
10. Black Walnut for Hypothyroidism
Black walnut is a rich source of organic iodine. If you have noticed, hulls of black walnut stain things and it is the iodine in the hulls that is responsible for this. Some experts believe that autoimmune conditions are mainly due to poor nutrition and toxic elements in the tissues like chlorine, fluorine and bromine that interfere with iodine metabolism. Sometimes autoimmune conditions like Hashimoto’s disease also cause hypothyroidism. In such cases black walnut may come to your rescue as it is a good blood purifier. It will flush out all toxins from your system. There is this theory gaining popularity that auto-immune conditions, including Hashimoto’s disease, may be caused by bacteria. Black walnut with its iodine and anti-bacterial properties may prove to be an excellent remedy for hypothyroidism.
How to Take Black Walnut Tincture?
You may find walnut tincture either in pure form or mixed with some other herbs such as Pau d’arco and barberry root bark. Consult a herbalist to know what will suit your individual state of the underactive thyroid gland. Take black walnut tincture only one drop at a time. Pregnant or breast-feeding women should avoid taking this herb.
11. Have Foods with Glutathione
Glutathione, the combined form of three amino acids- glutamine, cystine, and glycine- is an excellent antioxidant that keeps your immune system healthy and functioning in the best way. To treat auto-immune conditions like Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis , your body must have right levels of glutathione. Although your liver makes glutathione, sometimes due to chronic stress, improper diet and unhealthy lifestyle, it is not possible for the body to keep its level at required levels. Therefore, having foods rich in glutathione may help.
Some of the above foods also have goitrogens, not good for underactive thyroid gland. So, Have them with caution. Don’t have them raw and don’t have them daily too!
12. Lifestyle Remedies for Hypothyroidism
Diet and healthy habits are two basic things that go a long way to keep your thyroid gland intact and functioning. Here are some changes that you can bring in your lifestyle.
- Exercise daily. Even a 40 minutes walk will do, but move your body. However certain exercises like circuit training, push ups, lunges and sit-ups and breathing exercises are good for thyroid health. Learn them from an expert.
- Get enough sleep everyday.
- Do not stress yourself.
- Minimize your exposure to toxins in environment.
- Have wholesome and balanced diet, preferably organic one.
- Vitamin D is also crucial for thyroid functioning. So, get your daily dose of sun rays, preferably when it is mild.
The key to keep your thyroid working and producing optimum levels of thyroid hormones is to have such diet that will give your body the required nutrients and also to exercise and lead a stress-less life. These home remedies for hypothyroidism will help you in your fight against the disease.