Dec
24
2010

Tips For Healing Underactive Thyroid

Underactive Thyroid is a colloquial term for hypothyroidism, usually caused by an autoimmune condition called Hashimoto’s thyroiditis. This condition appears to be significantly undiagnosed and undertreated. There are a number of nutritional and dietary factors however which play an important role.

Common symptoms of an underactive thyroid include:

  1. Fatigue and low energy levels
  2. Weight gain and difficulty losing weight
  3. Fuzzy thinking and poor concentration
  4. Hair loss and poor quality of nails
  5. Intolerance to cold weather and changes in body temperature

Some tips that may help the thyroid rebuild:

  • Supplement with iodine, zinc, selenium, tyrosine and B vitamins
  • Important superfoods to include are maca (a South American root which balances hormones), coconut oil, brazil nuts, kelp or dulse and B pollen.
  • Avoid overfeeding on soy products and brassica vegetables such as cauliflower, broccoli and Brussels sprouts.
  • Eliminate refined carbohydrates and sugars so as to balance blood glucose. This includes most grains.
  • Determine your metabolic type and eat in accordance with it.
  • Check for heavy metal toxicity in the system and get onto a holistic protocol to detoxify these out of your system
  • Look into your glutathione levels, an important cellular defence nutrient. Supplementing this is particularly useful in autoimmune thyroid disease.
  • Test for intolerance to gluten grains such as wheat, oats, barley and rye with anti-gliadin antibodies and tissue transglutaminase antibodies. Once tested, trial a two to three week exclusion and rechallenge of all gluten grains to observe for adverse symptoms.

The following tests and treatments can be useful:

  • Take your basal body temperature for at least one week per month and aim for an early morning temperature of 36.5 degrees or above.
  • Consider a thyroid reflex test to look at intracellular levels of thyroid function
  • Have your thyroid levels checked including free T3 and free T4, a “reverse T3”, DHEA and vitamin D3 levels
  • In some cases, natural thyroid extract or T4/T3 combinations may be needed.

Recent observations are that in some people, high-dose iodine can aggravate the immune response against the thyroid gland and worsen a thyroid condition. It is recommended to start with low doses with iodine and monitor with ongoing thyroid testing.

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