About Hypothyroidism and Natural Thyroid Treatments
Many people with hypothyroidism are starting to venture outside of the prescription realm in search of natural thyroid treatments. If you have been diagnosed with this condition and are looking for information about hypothyroidism and ways that you can help gain control of your body using more natural methods, then you’re in the right place. You should take comfort in knowing that you aren’t the only one looking for alternative measures to treat your condition. Other candidates include people who are already taking a lot of prescription medications as well as those who believe in the power and health benefits of using naturally occurring elements to treat and heal the body.
Some natural approaches can cause significant improvement in the symptoms that accompany hypothyroidism, but it is important that you understand that hypothyroidism is a serious condition, therefore it’s a good idea that you run any treatment ideas by your doctor before you begin using them. For some people, the severity of this condition may require the use of hormones and other prescription drugs in order for the body to function properly, so listen to what your doctor has to say and the suggestions that he or she make for your specific situation.
What is Hypothyroidism?
Hypothyroidism is a condition in which the thyroid gland is underactive. The thyroid has a hand in many different bodily processes, but the most important and significant process in relation to the thyroid gland is metabolism. Metabolism is the rate at which your body burns energy doing everything it needs to do from enabling the heart to pump blood to the process of digestion. When the thyroid gland fails to produce a sufficient amount of thyroid hormones, the body will slow down as it uses less energy. This results in the characteristic symptoms associated with hypothyroidism, such as fatigue, tiredness, inability to concentrate, nausea, bloating, sore muscles, achy joints, acne and wrinkles, and problems with weakened hair and nails.
Cause of Hypothyroidism
Hypothyroidism is commonly passed down through one’s bloodlines, meaning that a person is more likely to have this condition if they have a blood relative that also suffers from it. An underactive thyroid isn’t strictly a condition that is predetermined by genetics, however. Trauma to the thyroid gland or even a surgical procedure performed on or near the thyroid gland can also cause it to malfunction. Temporary hypothyroidism can crop up in individuals who experience inflammation of the thyroid gland, which is often the result of an infection or physical tissue damage. If the inflammation proves to be a chronic issue then the thyroid may also become sporadically underactive depending on whether it is inflamed or not.
Deficiency in iodine, an element that is essential for thyroid hormone production, can also lead to hypothyroidism. Back before regular table salt was iodized, or supplemented with iodine, many people all over the world suffered from iodine deficiency and the subsequent underactive thyroid that would have resulted, although the latter condition was largely undiagnosed in the population. Nowadays, we are able to get most of the iodine that we need through the use of iodized salt. There are still countries in the world, such as India and Chile, where the public suffers from severe iodine deficiency.
Issues with the pituitary gland will also contribute to the development of hypothyroidism. The thyroid gland works very closely with the pituitary gland. In fact, if it wasn’t for the pituitary gland, the thyroid would be fairly useless. You see, the thyroid gland will not release its hormones until it receives the signal from the pituitary gland in the form of the TSH hormone. If the pituitary gland is releasing a small amount of the thyroid stimulating hormone, then it’s basically telling the thyroid gland that the body doesn’t need a lot of the thyroid hormone at the moment, when in reality the hormone is desperately needed.
Natural Thyroid Treatments
One of the most positive natural thyroid treatments involves restricting one’s diet. Items like caffeine, sugar, and grainy carbs (such as white bread) can lead to hormonal ups and down and also contribute to excess fat buildup of which the body will struggle to dispose of due to a sluggish metabolism. Healthy proteins can really help out the body because protein carries the thyroid hormone to all of the cells of the body. When a shortage of this hormone occurs, you can use a boost in protein to ensure that all of the hormones available get carried to cells. Alcohol and dairy intake should also be avoided.
Iodine supplements, or simply eating more foods that contain iodine, like seafood, can encourage thyroid hormone production. Probiotics are another of the greater natural thyroid treatments because healthy thyroid function relies heavily on the bacteria in the digestive tract. Studies have suggested that the thyroid is extremely sensitive to stress, and therefore cutting back on stress levels may prove to be a good compliment to other natural thyroid treatments or prescription medication.
If you suspect that your immune system could be in better shape, which can directly affect the thyroid gland’s workload, then you might consider taking vitamin C supplements or searching for an immune system support supplement at a local health food store or pharmacy.