Diet is one of the most important aspects of any natural thyroid treatment, particularly when dealing with hypothyroidism, which is basically an underproduction of the thyroid hormone, as well as a similar condition called Hashimoto’s Disease, an autoimmune disease in which the body becomes allergic to that hormone.
While both conditions can cause recurring illnesses as well as constant feelings of fatigue, hypothroidism is also characterized by an intolerance of cold temperatures, increase in weight, despite a loss of appetite, as well as weakness in the muscles, slow speech, depression, frequent infections and hair loss that includes the eyebrows. In addition sufferers may experience swelling and drooping of the eyelids known as myxedema, as well as develop yellow bumps there. The skin may also become dry and scaly with an orangish yellow cast to it, especially on the palms of the hands. Women with under-active thyroids often have painful menstrual periods.
One way to test yourself for an underactive thyroid is to take your temperature immediately upon waking in the morning by placing it under your arm for approximately fifteen minutes. If your temperature is under 97.6 it is generally a sign that you may have hypothyroidism. However, it is important to remember to keep very still and quiet while doing this as any motion can disturb the reading. If you find that your temperature is low, speak to your doctor about whether he/she needs to prescribe Armour thyroid extract for you. This is a raw thyroid glandular substitute that should be taken along with any natural thryroid treatment you use.
Those with underactive thyroids needs to avoid most refined flours and sugars, as well as any processed foods. In addition they need to stay away from leafy green vegetables such as leafy Brussels sprouts, kale, spinach, cabbage, and mustard greens, as well as turnips and fruits such as pears and peaches, which are known to further, block the gland’s function. On the other hand, parsley, prunes, apricots and dates should be eaten, as well as egg yolks, chicken and fish. At one time it was also considered beneficial to consume raw milk and cheeses, although these can cause other health problems, and are difficult to come by for most people not living in very rural areas.
Additional aspects of any natural thyroid treatment should also include daily dosages of Vitamin B complex taken with meals, riboflavin (also known as vitamin B2), Vitamin B12 (especially in lozenge form, amino acid (L-Tyrosine), sea kelp (because of its high iodine content) Vitamins A (with beta carotene), C (taken in moderate amounts), E and zinc, as well as brewer’s yeast and iron chelate (essential for the production of hemoglobin). Unsaturated fatty acids also help proper thyroid function. Herbs such as black cohosh, bayberry and goldenseal, generally available wherever health foods and other supplements are sold are very helpful. Lastly, chlorine found in drinking water, as well as anything containing fluoride (including toothpaste and mouthwash) should also be rigorously avoided since they can actually block the iodine receptors within the thyroid gland. For more information about thyroid diseases readers can contact specialists in internal medicine at Yale-New Haven Hospital 203 688-4242.