Are you feeling your body is changing, and not for the better, as you move into your forties or beyond? Are you feeling tired, fatigued or weak?
Are you unable to tolerate cold, or suffer memory or concentration problems? Do you live with constipation, heavy bleeding or long menstrual periods? Is your skin pale or dry, or is your hair starting to thin?
You may be experiencing underactive thyroid, or hypothyroidism.
This is a treatable disease, and once it is identified and treatment is given, you can get back to your normal self!
There are several natural treatments that can be part of your plan to make you healthier and maintain a normal thyroid. You will be surprised how your diet can play an important role treating hypothyroid disease.
Hypothyroidism occurs when the thyroid gland is not producing enough of thyroid hormones T3 (triiodothyronine) and T4 (thyroxine). It can also occur if the thyroid gland is producing enough thyroid hormones but the body is not able to convert enough T4 (inactive thyroid hormone) into T3 (active thyroid hormone).
In either case, there is not enough of the active thyroid hormone in the body and it results in symptoms.
The most frequent thyroid illness is Hashimoto’s disease. Hashimoto’s is an autoimmune condition where the body attacks the thyroid gland and prevents it from creating thyroid hormone. Over time, the lower levels create symptoms in the body consistent with hypothyroid disease.
In many cases these antibodies can also attack other organs causing decreased function of other organs or create other autoimmune diseases as well. The standard treatment for Hashimoto’s is to give natural or synthetic thyroid hormone.
The first step in identifying hypothyroidism is to take a simple blood test for thyroid - stimulating hormone (TSH) levels. To confirm whether you have Hashimoto’s disease, a thyroid peroxidase (TPO) antibody test should be conducted in addition to a TSH blood test.
Once you have been diagnosed with hypothyroid or underactive thyroid discuss the appropriate synthetic or natural hormone treatment with your health care provider.
Next, consider these 5 food changes to improve your symptoms as well.
Focus on Whole Foods
Whole foods are a healthier choice for all health conditions, not just hypothyroidism. Whole foods include vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, legumes, lean proteins, fats and whole grains. These foods are high in nutrients and prevent nutrient deficiencies in the body.
Avoid processed foods, excess sugars and caffeine as they are not high in nutrients and they can even cause deficiencies if eaten in excess.
While it's important to eat whole foods in general, it is especially vital to make sure proteins are part of all your meals. Proteins are used to transport thyroid hormones to tissue.
Fats are Important Too
Cholesterol is important for thyroid function. It is a precursor to proper hormone function in the body. Healthy fats include olive oil, avocados, fish, nuts, flax seeds, chia seeds, as well as hormone-free and antibiotic-free dairy products.
Avoid Raw Goitrogens
Goitrogens are food that interfere with thyroid function. Eating any of the following foods raw can interfere with thyroid function:
- Cruciferous vegetables broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower
- Fruits strawberries, peaches
- Greens kale, kohlrabi, spinach and watercress
- Legumes peanuts and soybeans
- Root vegetables radishes, rutabagas and turnips
Once you have cooked these foods they are safe to eat.
Since one of the underlying causes is autoimmunity, food sensitivities could be playing a role. Having a specialized food allergy panel identifies foods that should be removed from your diet. Some common food allergies include gluten, soy or diary.
Treating thyroid naturally requires a combination of lab work, medications and dietary changes to increase your energy and get your body back to normal.
Foods are an important part of the process. If you want to treat hypothyroidism naturally, make sure to work with a qualified health care doctor like a licensed naturopathic doctor or an integrative medical doctor.
For more information about treating thyroid naturally visit my website, www.HealthyDaes.com
Diabetes Ambassador Champion, National Capital Area Region
Dr. Dae's website: www.healthydaes.com
Dr. Dae's book: Daelicious! Recipes for Vibrant Living can be purchased @ www.healthydaes.com
Dr. Dae's Bio:
Dr. Daemon Jones is your diabetes reversal, hormones, metabolism and weight loss expert. Dr. Dae is a naturopathic doctor who treats patients all over the country using Skype and phone visits. Visit her or schedule a free consultation at her website www.HealthyDaes.com
13 Ways to Treat Hypothyroidism Naturally. (n.d.). Retrieved December 11, 2014, from
"Hypothyroidism Symptoms in Women & Men." WebMD - Better information. Better health.. N.p., n.d. Web. 14 Dec. 2014.
"Hypothyroidism: Symptoms - MayoClinic.com." Mayo Clinic. N.p., n.d. Web. 12 Dec. 2014.
Reviewed December 15, 2014
by Michele Blacksberg RN
Edited by Jody Smith