Are you packing on unwanted pounds despite dieting and exercising? Do you feel cold all the time?
If so, your thyroid may be to blame. This butterfly-shaped organ in your throat governs your metabolism and several other critical bodily functions. Here are eight natural remedies for hypothyroidism and an overview of potential problems you should recognize.
What Causes Hypothyroidism?
Hypothyroidism results from many causes. About one-fifth of cases result from congenital reasons, meaning you inherit the condition with your genetic code.
However, other instances result from environmental damage or structural harm. Brain damage that impacts your pituitary gland can cause your body to send the wrong signals to your thyroid, telling it to produce less hormone than necessary.
Some nutritional deficiencies can cause hypothyroidism. For example, a shortage of iodine can result in the condition.
Symptoms of Hypothyroidism
How do you know if you have hypothyroidism? Look for the following symptoms that your body has started operating more slowly than usual:
- Fatigue: You might feel tired all the time, regardless of how much you sleep.
- Weight gain: Because your thyroid governs metabolism, you’ll notice pounds creeping on even if you diet and exercise.
- Constipation: Since your food moves more slowly through your digestive system, you might experience problems with the go.
- Brittle hair and nails: Slower absorption means you don’t get as many nutrients. As a result, you may notice more hair in the sink after brushing. Your nails become brittle and may peel or break easily.
- Dry, scaly skin: Again, a lack of nutrients leaves your skin cells without the vitamins and minerals they need. You might experience ashy skin or cracks at your fingertips and heels.
- Irregular periods: Your sex hormones are intricately connected with your thyroid. If you have hypothyroidism, you may experience longer and heavier periods than usual.
8 Natural Remedies for Hypothyroidism
If you suspect you have the condition, please see your doctor — they can detect it with a blood test. However, if you are one of the millions who lack health care coverage, the following natural remedies for hypothyroidism can help get you back up to speed.
Suppose you’re female and struggle with issues like polycystic ovarian syndrome, uterine fibroids or unusually heavy periods without a known cause. In that case, seed cycling might help balance your sex and thyroid hormones. It involves eating flax and pumpkin seeds for the first half of your menstrual cycle, then sunflower and seseme seeds for the latter portion.
Both sesame and flax seeds contain compounds that convert to phytoestrogens. These substances affect your balance of sex hormones, and your thyroid levels adjust accordingly.
If you suspect a sluggish thyroid in your weight gain, eat more sushi. Many varieties of seaweed frequently found in the dish contain high levels of iodine.
Your body needs iodine to make thyroid hormones — without it, you will suffer insufficient levels. In children, this lack can lead to intellectual disabilities. In adults, you might experience brain fog along with the unwanted pounds.
Like seaweed, fish provides a healthy dose of iodine. Additionally, it also contains omega-3s, which may play a role in balancing your hormones.
A study by the National Institutes of Health shows that upping your omega-3 intake while reducing carb content can balance sex hormones. Since these interplay with your thyroid secretions, balancing them could improve function in that organ as well. Prep a healthy salmon steak paired with a leafy green salad for dinner.
4. Brazil Nuts
Another National Institutes of Health study shows that low selenium levels decrease the synthesis of thyroid hormones, particularly those that convert them to usable forms. Your initial blood tests may indicate no problem, but you might nevertheless experience symptoms when you lack adequate amounts of this mineral.
A single Brazil nut contains your full day’s RDA of selenium, so add this tasty treat to your diet. Don’t go overboard, though — too much of this mineral can be harmful.
Your intestinal bacteria send messages up your vagus nerve to your brain, telling it what orders to give. These instructions include how much thyroid hormone to release.
If you want to send your brain the right message, nourish your intestinal flora. Do so by eating prebiotics — basically, dietary fiber — and probiotics. The latter include foods like yogurt and drinks like kefir.
Ashwagandha is an adaptogenic herb. That means this Asian plant helps you to mitigate the effect of stress from your environment.
You can add this herb to your tea — look for blends that include it. If your pot features an infuser, add a few dried leaves.
In addition to iodine, your thyroid needs L-tyrosine to make hormones. The combination of these two nutrients works the magic.
However, don’t take supplemental L-tyrosine unless your doctor recommends it. Too much can prove dangerous, particularly for those who have heart conditions.
8. Gotu Kola
The nutrient profile of this Asian herb can stimulate thyroid function, according to practitioners. It also boosts energy levels, making it an ideal addition to your morning tea or coffee.
As with any herb, experiment slowly. If you experience side effects such as a racing heart or nervousness, discontinue use. Any substance that acts as a stimulant can potentially rev you up faster than you want to go.
Take Care of Your Thyroid Health With These 8 Natural Remedies
When it comes to natural remedies for thyroid health, there’s no substitute for ongoing medical care. However, if you lack access to traditional treatment, the eight holistic therapies above can help.