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In addition to medicine, can I help treat an underactive thyroid with diet and fitness?

By November 24, 2009 - 11:46am
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I am 42 years old and try to take good care of my body. I decided ten years ago to get healthy. I was a hundred pounds overweight, smoked and had several health issues. I first quit smoking. I began therapy and began martial arts. I have achieved my weight loss goals and I'm very healthy. My doctor has been monitoring my thyroid for several years and put me on medication this year. Is there anything I can do from a nutritional or fitness perspective to assist in managing this condition?

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EmpowHER Guest

I also have been on synthroid for about 3 years now.My Dr.did not tell me at the time that once you go on thyroid hormone your thyroid stops working on its own.It's difficult and dangerous to stop taking it once you are on it.A healthy diet,exercise and quality supplements are always good .

November 25, 2009 - 9:28pm

I just found one additional link that is part of the series above. Hopefully this is not information-overload! If it is, let us know and we can help narrow-down the information for you.

-Dr. Jones, Understanding Hypothyroid, Part 3

November 24, 2009 - 4:13pm

What a great question...hopefully we can help you find some answers!

Have you been diagnosed with hypothyroidism or sub-clinical hypothyroidism, or only "underactive thyroid" at this point?

We have a plethora of information to share from our Medical Experts:
- Dr. Greep, Thyroid Disease. Dr. Greep discuses the different types of thyroid conditions, and a primary factor in successfully treating your condition would be to know the underlying cause(s).

- Mind/Body/Spirit Integration to Aid Treatment of Hypothyroidism. Julianna provides a different slant, and is interested in women tuning into their body, and what messages their mind and spirit are trying to tell their body.

- Dr. Jones, Understanding Thyroid Conditions, Part 1 discusses traditional medicine's use of treatment for thyroid conditions, and some problems associated with only diagnosing based on symptoms.

- Dr. Jones, Understanding Thyroid Conditions, Part 2 discusses the importance of additional hormone level testing for hypothyroidism, and if you have Hashimoto's disease (causing the hypothyroidism), from a naturopathic medicine perspective, she states, "When I think about treatment plans for autoimmune Hashimoto’s thyroiditis I always think about avoiding goitrogen’s foods that block iodine utilization in the thyroid gland. Examples would be raw turnips, cabbage, mustard, soybeans, and peanuts. Eating a whole food diet is also essential."

Additionally, Dr. Jones states, "There are also immune modulating herbs that support normal immune function and reduce the immune system attacking the thyroid and other glands." (if you are interested, you can click on the link above to go to this post, and ask Dr. Jones follow-up questions to her post specifically).

- Dr. Marcantel: Thyroid Medications, What's the Difference? discusses the types of medications and other hormone supplements that can be tailored to each patient from a naturopathic medicine perspective.

- Dr. Friedman, Age and Hypothyroidism

- Dr. Carrie Jones, Why Sub-Clinical Hypothyroidism is a Problem.

- Dr. Friedman: Additional Tests for Hypothyroidism.

Women's Personal Stories and Questions related to Thyroid Conditions:
- What Should My Next Step by with my Thyroid Issue?

For even more information:
- American Thyroid Association
- EmpowHer's Hypothyroidism Conditions Site

Let us know what additional information you need, and you can follow-up with any of the above medical experts on their discussion thread (or, add your additional questions here, and we can help you find answers!)

November 24, 2009 - 2:03pm
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