When Mary Shomon suddenly found herself exhausted in the middle of the morning, her doctor told her to get more sleep. When she reported that her hair was falling out and she was depressed and moody, her doctor attributed it to the stress of planning her upcoming wedding. When she went for a bridal fitting and could barely zip her size 8 dress, her doctor reminded her that she was 33 years old and her metabolism was changing. So Shomon started dieting, exercising, and making sure she got plenty of shut-eye. But a few months later, when her symptoms hadn’t improved and bridal consultants started gently steering her toward the size 16 dresses, Shomon’s doctor became alarmed.
“She told me she was going to run some tests. A few days later, I got a message from her saying my thyroid was underactive,” Shomon says. “And I thought, ‘What is she talking about? What’s a thyroid?’”
Fifteen years later, Shomon definitely knows what a thyroid is: She has written eight books on the subject, including the New York Times best seller The Thyroid Diet, and is a leading authority on thyroid disease, treatment, and prevention. She realizes that if her doctor hadn’t taken her symptoms seriously, she might not only be pudgy, depressed, and tired today, but frustrated as well. “I’ve talked with people who have gone years with the same symptoms I had, and their doctors have diagnosed them with everything from mental illness to laziness,” she says. “One woman told me her doctor actually said that her only problem was that she was suffering from fork-in-mouth disease.”
- According to the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists, about 27 million of people in the US are suffering from thyroid disease. Its symptoms are sometimes confused for other disease’s symptoms. The thyroid cancer is not as deadly as the other cancer types, because it develops slowly and it can be removed easily.
But it shouldn’t be ignored. The hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism can cause health problems that can affect the life. The thyroid gland produces hormones that control the nail, hair and skin quality in the body, Control the heart function, fertility, cholesterol levels and sex drive. The hypothyroidism, according to a study, is responsible for 60 percent of the female heart attacks. The thyroid problems are connected to miscarriage, birth defects and lower IQ in babies. The hyperthyroidism has been linked to heart failure, pre-diabetes and osteoporosis.
- Women are more affected than men by the thyroid disease. The blame is to the estrogen and progesterone imbalance for the thyroid hormone imbalance. The hyperthyroidism happens when the thyroid gland works slower and it produces not sufficient amounts of the thyroid hormone. It’s usually caused by Hashimoto’s disease, in which the immune system cells attack the gland and impair its ability to produce hormones.
- Main symptoms are depression, losing focus, constipation, joint pain, muscle weakness, cold sensitivity and weight gain. The hyperthyroidism occurs when the gland produces too much hormone which can lead to excess sweating, insomnia, light menstrual flow, diarrhea, trembling in the limbs, anxiety, irritability and arrhythmia.
The thyroid nodules are swelling and they are common in women over 50 years of age which have 50 percent chances of developing them. The doctors can’t find the cause and they do not cause symptoms and sometimes they grow too big and the airflow is obstructed. The thyroid cancer isn’t common and it does not cause symptoms. It spreads and grows slowly and with gland removing, the cancer eliminates, as well. The goiters are thyroid growths caused by iodine deficiency and it can also be a side effect of the Graves’ disease or Hashimoto’s disease.
When Shomon got the hypothyroidism, she was prescribed Levoxyl. Along with this Synthroid, Unithroid, Levothroid, these are artificial hormones to kick start the thyroid and shrink nodules. These have no side effects but also no effect. After a year of Levoxyl, the signs were still there and she got a natural drug of dry powder pig thyroids. The name is Armour Thyroid, Westhroid, Naturethroid and so on. Veegtarians, there are no vege-versions since this tissue is from many sources and there is no way to see if something is from animal or not.
Shomon and other experts think natural thyroid drugs are far better since they give the main T3 and T4 hormones and the drugs give only T4. We change T4 to T3, active hormones, and drugs work just with a dose of T4. Integrative medicine experts this makes a big pressure on the gland. Hormones in natural cures can change due to the making of them, so this makes regular drugs better in this case. Teitelbaum said natural drugs must achieve the levels set of US Pharmacopeia.
Hyperthyroid drugs are opposite of the hypothyroid cousins, they block the gland. The common ones are methimazole, propylthiouracil. These have side effects, damage the immunity and liver too.
Now Shomon gets nature-throid with boost of T3. She also knows she needs more drugs and she gets mineral and vitamin supplements, np white flour, workouts, enough night sleep and stress-free methods for relaxing (imagery, meditation and yoga. Doctors have not learned this lesson. They focus on the Synthroid even if it is not needed. One reason why people do not improve is since meds are not for them said Hyman.
This gland is of the endocrine system and this goes from pituitary gland of brain to adrenal glands in kidneys. They work together to make vital hormones. One is pushed, the other gland says ouch!, claimed MD Mike Bauerschmidt, director of Full potential health care center, Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. In case of thyroid illness, examine the right cause.
DC Jennifer Greenfield, partner of Center for Chiropractic wellness, Raleigh, NC, sad the adrenal system is imbalance from stress of some kind and changes the hormone cortisol thus slowing the gland down. You end up this way with hypothyroidism. Unless adrenals are addressed, no improvement.
The hypothyroidism is from underlying cause and responds not so well to holistic curing. Drugs are the best here and avoid the thyroid storm of elevated pulse, pressure and temperature. Seek tradicional medicine, said Bauerschmidt.
There are many natural remedies which can manage hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism by balancing, detoxifying and supporting the body. Here are the best ones:
At the beginning of the 20th century, iodine was added to salt in order to prevent the goiter epidemic. However, iodine deficiency has been linked to many thyroid disorders. Experts recommend taking 150-250 mg. of iodine supplements every day especially if you’re lacking the mineral. The supplements can be found in liquid, capsule, tablet or pill form.
OTHER VITAMINS AND MINERALS
Everyone needs zinc (20 to 30 mg a day), magnesium (400 to 600 mg a day), and calcium citrate (800 to 1,200 mg a day) for optimal thyroid function, Hyman says. If you’re hypothyroid, he recommends selenium (200 to 300 mcg a day) to help with thyroid-hormone production. Vitamins A (2,500 to 5,000 IU a day) and D3 (1,000 to 2,000 IU a day for maintenance; 5,000 to 10,000 IU a day for three to six months for treatment) help thyroid hormones bind to the receptors that control metabolism. Daily B-vitamin supplements (25 to 50 mg each of B1, B2, and B6; 50 to 100 mg each of B3 and B12; 100 to 500 mg of B5; 150 to 1,000 mcg of B7; and 800 mcg of B9) help manufacture thyroid hormones. If you’re hyperthyroid, copper (6 to 8 mg a day) helps limit thyroid hormones.
Sea vegetables such as kelp are good sources of iodine. Foods that contain omega-3 fatty acids, including walnuts, flaxseeds, and fatty fish like sardines and salmon, help produce thyroid hormones. Fatty fish is also a good source of vitamin D and iodine. Brazil nuts are an excellent source of selenium. Gamma oryzanol, found in rice-bran oil (a cooking oil popular for frying), may help boost thyroid-hormone production. But be careful with your morning cup of joe: Caffeine can limit absorption of thyroid medication. Wait at least an hour after taking any thyroid drug before drinking coffee or tea.
Cruciferous vegetables (broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage), peaches, strawberries, peanuts, radishes, spinach, and millet are considered goitrogenic, meaning they can hinder thyroid-hormone production by reducing the amount of iodine in the body. Cook them (heat destroys the goitrogens) or avoid eating large amounts if you’re hypothyroid. “For most people, the occasional uncooked goitrogen, like raw broccoli in a salad, isn’t a problem,” Shomon says. If you’re hyperthyroid, however, be sure to include more of these foods in your diet.
Hyman says 30 percent of people with Hashimoto’s thyroiditis have an abnormal reaction to gluten, a protein found in wheat, barley, and rye. He recommends that people who think they have thyroid disease be tested for gluten sensitivity as well.
Thom E. Lobe, MD, founder and director of Beneveda Medical Group in Beverly Hills, California, says soy may or may not be a culprit in thyroid disease: “I don’t like younger women to eat it because it has an estrogenic effect, but for men, the data is unclear.” Estrogenic nutrients may increase levels of the sex hormone estrogen, which can interfere with your body’s production of other hormones like thyroid. Younger women have more estrogen than older, menopausal women. Soy is also considered a goitrogenic food, but Shomon says researchers are unsure if it contains enough iodine-zapping compounds to affect the thyroid adversely. If you’re concerned, limit your intake of soy to fermented foods such as tempeh, which is less goitrogenic than raw soy like edamame, says Lobe.
HERBS AND SUPPLEMENTS
In order to keep your thyroid healthy, Holly Lucille, ND, recommends taking ashgawandha, licorice and Siberian ginseng supplements every day. People with hyperthyroidism can benefit from stoneseed, while ayurvedic herbs such as manjistha and guggul can detoxify the gland. Some thyroid supplement formulas that contain a mixture of herbs can also control the production of thyroid hormones.
HEAVY METALS AND CHEMICAL DETOX
Toxins, pollutants, chemicals, mercury and lead may interfere with the thyroid hormone production and it is recommended to detoxify the gland every 2 weeks. Having steam baths and sauna can help in this. Start with ten minutes and then increase gradually until you reach thirty to forty minutes. You can also soak in a bath with two cups of Epsom salt and eight oz. of baking soda.
AIR AND WATER FILTERS
The chlorine and the fluoride in water can impair the absorption of iodine, and allergens, pollutants and mold can cause thyroid disorders. Install water filter at your home to avoid problems and use HEPA air purifiers.
Exercising regularly is very important, if you are trying to prevent thyroid disease. Aim for thirty minutes a day, three to four times per week. The yoga works effectively against these disorders and it can regulate the production of thyroid hormone.
REDUCE YOUR STRESS LEVELS
Lucille advises meditation, biofeedback, 15 min relaxation daily too. Seven hours of sleep at night as well.
Greenfield advises that bad aligned vertebrae mixes up nerves and thyroid. Get chiropractice.
Jeanette Painovich, Lac, in Los Alamitos, California said this corrects every imbalance inside. She cures hypothyroidism same as spleen qi deficits, herbs for phlegm like kun bu, zhi bei mu, ban xia, bai zhu, astragalus, dong quai and more. Chinese medicine says hyperthyroidism makes depressed liver qi and is cured with chai nu and chen pi.