Confronting Thyroid Problems: Perspectives on Conventional Treatments and Natural Remedies
Taking a practical coarse of action, when it comes to contemplating a resolution to degenerative health issues, can be very complex due to factors such as genetics, diet, environment and lifestyle, just to name a few. When afflicted with a Thyroid Gland that is swollen or inflamed and or the health and natural function of that gland is compromised in some way, you may be faced with such a decision.
In this report we will be exploring thyroid functions, symptoms, causes and medical treatment options as well as natural remedies for thyroid problems in order to present a frame of reference on how to approach this health condition. As always, the aim is to be able to pinpoint the specifics so as to help in deciding what measures you should take for you’re individual situation.
First, some statistics:
According to the American Thyroid Association, 12% of the U.S. population will develop some type of thyroid condition in their lifetime. 20 million will have some type of thyroid disease. Estimates state that, up to 60% of those with thyroid disease, are not aware that they have this condition. Women are 8 times as likely as men to have or develop this problem. 1 in 8 women will develop a thyroid disorder in their lifetime.
There are other estimates stating that up to 30 million Americans have thyroid disease and that the disease is more common than diabetes or heart disease. Another source suggests that, women over 35 have a more than a 30% chance of developing a thyroid disorder.
The most recent statistics from the CDC:
So, What is the Thyroid Gland?
The thyroid gland is a gland that is located in front of the Trachea just above the Adams Apple at the base of the neck. It resembles a butterfly and is binded around the bottom of the throat. It is part of the endocrine system and is one of the larger endocrine glands – glands that secrete hormones or other products directly into the blood.
The Thyroid Gland produces 2 very important hormones:
Thyroxine (T4) and Triiodothyronine (T3) are vital hormones produced by the thyroid gland, and are responsible for regulating metabolism, heart rate and developmental growth in children. They are also iodine containing hormones and play a crucial roll in the function of several of the body’s organs.
Thyroxine (T4) performs as a catalyst in the body and is influential to a great variety of effects including the metabolism of carbohydrates, proteins and fats.. It is deiodinated within the peripheral tissues to form triiodothyronine.
Triiodothyronine (T3) is the more active of the 2 thyroid hormones and has an effect on all processes of the the body including the expression of genes.
Symptoms and Causes of Thyroid Disorder:
There are a number of symptoms that can can be traced to a Thyroid that is not operating in proper balance with optimum wellness. Lets examine some of the conditions, symptoms and their causes.
Goiter(or Goitre)– An enlarged thyroid.
- Appearance of swelling in the neck
- Thyroid is producing to much or not enough hormone
NOTE: It is common in those who are Euthyroid(which means the thyroid is producing normal hormone levels) to develop a Goiter.
- If you have trouble breathing, this could be due to the goiter pressing on the windpipe(trachea) or gullet(oesophagus).
- Multinodular Goiters
- Nodules – lumps within the thyroid gland. A singular nodule will likely cause no noticeable symptoms lest it is a multinodular goiter which causes the entire gland to swell. source 1 source 2
Hypothyroidism denotes an underactive thyroid that is not producing enough hormone to keep the body in proper balance.
Symptoms that occur early on as the condition sets in:
- Low energy/fatigue
- Low appetite
Symptoms that occur when the condition is in the later stages:
- Dry skin
- Hair loss
- Loss of cognitive skills
- Weight gain: this is due to the body not being able to process available energy resources and thus, those resources are stored in the fat tissues.
- Tissue damage
- Physical injury to the throat
- Radiation treatments
- Autoimmunity(damage from the immune system attacking otherwise healthy tissue) see: Hashimoto’s disease below
- Iodine deficiency
- Medicines: such as, amiodarone(read more here), lithium, interferon alpha, and interleukin-2
- Damage to the Pituitary gland (a gland that tells the thyroid how much hormone to make)
Hyperthyroidism denotes An overactive thyroid that produces excessive hormone in the thyroid which leads to a condition referred to as “thyrotoxicosis“, which leads to high hormone levels in the bloodstream.
- increased perspiration
- Rapid heart rate
- Hand tremors
- Thinning of the skin
- Weakness in the muscles of the arms and thighs
- Amiodarone (mentioned above)
- Graves disease (which is an autoimmune disorder where the immune system attacks the thyroid gland causing it to produce excessive T4 and T3) is the most common form of hyperthyroidism. The eyes can look enlarged because the upper eye lids are elevated. source
- Excessive consumption of iodine
- Hereditary factors(family genetics)
- Thyroiditis – inflammation of the thyroid gland.
- Pain to the neck, jaw or ears
- Firm and enlarged thyroid gland
- Cool, dry skin
- Slow pulse rate (under 60 beats per minute)
- Swelling around the eyes
- Hoarse voice
- Weight loss of 5 to 10 pounds
- Slow reflex
- Intolerance to heat, increased sweating
Hashimoto’s disease – an autoimmune disease that leads to the eventual destruction of the thyroid gland.
Symptoms to look for:
- Pale complexion
- Puffy face
- Weight gain
- Pain in the joints and muscles
- Heavy menstruation
- Irregularity in periods
- Trouble with pregnancy
- Slow heart rate
- Hereditary factors
- Gender(women are 10 to 15 times as likely to develop the disease)
- Over consumption of iodine
- Radiation exposure
Thyroid Cancer – Disease in which malignant cancerous cells develop within the tissues of the thyroid gland
Symptoms to look for:
- Neck lump that feels firm, is not easily movable under the skin and gets larger over time
Note: One distinguishable sign one may watch for is a painless lump on one side of the neck source
- sore throat that does not subside
- difficulty in swallowing
- difficulty in breathing
- Gender(more common in women)
- Radiation exposure
- Low iodine diet
- Hereditary factors
Dermatological Diagnosis for tracing Thyroid Disorders:
Dermatologists are well aware that skin disorders can often be traced to internal organs, which makes them uniquely qualified to trace a link from cutaneous(skin related) symptoms to thyroid disease. One expert claims, that it is not only the task of a dermatologist to diagnose and treat the cutaneous properties that link to Thyroid Disease but, keep an open minded awareness to the systemic implications that it may have.
Warren R. Heymann, M.D., professor of medicine and pediatrics and head of the division of dermatology at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, Camden, N.J. says “I believe that dermatologists need to be cognizant of the many ways that the thyroid gland is associated with dermatologic disorders. It is of paramount importance that they are aware of the different thyroid diseases in order to better treat and manage their patients.” read more here
Conventional treatments for Thyroid Disorders:
Propylthiouracil (PROP) – a thyrostatic drug that inhibits the synthesis of T4 and in addition, prevents the conversion of T4 to T3. The FDA has recently required that a “black box” warning be applied to the drug’s label in regards to reports of severe liver injury and acute liver failure. This drug is initially prescribed as a treatment for Hyperthyroidism.
Methimazole (Tapazole) – medication used to treat overactive thyroid. Read reviews here
Levothyroxine – A synthetic thyroid hormone replacement medication used primarily to treat Hypothyroidism. Read reviews here
Video: Testimony from a former Levothyroxine user
Radioiodine Therapy – This is done by swallowing a small dose of radioactive iodine to be absorbed into the bloodstream to be concentrated by the thyroid gland. It then begins to destroy the glands cells. The cell destruction can result in Hypothyroidism although, hypothyroidism is considered easier to treat through conventional methods. This is prescribed for severe cases of Hyperthyroidism.
In cases of Hypothyroidism, a common treatment is performed by the replacement of thyroid hormones typically derived from pigs by synthetic or natural means. This therapy may be administered in tablets that are taken daily.
Thyroid Cancer Treatments: If one is confronted with less invasive form of cancer, such as papillary and follicular cancer, all or part of the thyroid may be removed. Medullary thyroid cancer patients may be eligible for surgery if the cancer is caught early enough. Because this form of cancer spreads more rapidly, reoccurring odds are high. Radioiodine therapy is not an option as the the affected cells do not take up iodine. Radiation therapy however, offers a more successful recovery rate.
Because of the extremely aggressive nature of anaplastic thyroid cancer, radiation and chemotherapy are the only options to destroy the rapidly growing cancer cells. New drugs have been developed to prolong survival but is still commonly considered to be terminal.
Thyroid removal(full or partial) – In cases where you have Hyperthyroidism and have an allergic reaction to iodine, portions or all of the thyroid may be surgically removed. In cases of Hypothyroidism, if an advanced goiter does not respond to hormone therapy, partial or total removal of the thyroid may be recommended.
Note: In modern/allopthic medicine, it is a common practice for doctors to test for TSH levels. TSH(Thyroid Stimulating Hormone) is a hormone produced by the brain’s Pituitary gland and controls thyroid function. In this test, the T3 and T4 levels are left unaccounted for. So, the standard TSH test will not tell you what your T3 and T4(thyroid hormone) levels are. When having this test done, it would be advisable to ask your doctor to test for T3 and T4 as well. source
Natural Remedies for Thyroid Disorders:
Now, lets look at some natural remedies that include, natural therapies and dietary regimens in order to zero in on a remedial solution that may best benefit your specific thyroid condition.
The first thing to be aware of in the case that you know you are hyperthyroid, is then of course, by the definition of that condition, that you are overproducing too much T3 and T4. So, how do you mitigate that overproduction?
Here are a some foods that may be good options to graft into your daily diet if you are Hyperthyroid and or have Graves disease:
Note: These are referred to as Cruciferous Vegetables
- Mustard green
Foods you may want to avoid:
- Iodized salt
- Red meat
- Processed foods
- Fried foods
The Mayo Clinic suggests that it is important to get enough Calcium and vitamin C as well.
Other dietary foods to consider:
- Juiced greens(kale, spinach and spirulina)
- Whole foods(fresh fruits, vegetables, and lean proteins)
- Anti-inflammatory herbs(basil, rosemary, and oregano)
- Ginger for immune function
- Bone Broth for detoxifying effect healing leaky gut
Avoid foods with:
- Conventional Dairy
- Artificial flavorings and dyes
- Packaged foods(especially GMOs as they have been linked to autoimmune disorders)
Natural Hyperthyroid treatments:
Note: If you would like to see testimonials from Amazon click on one of the items listed below and read reviews.
- L-Carnitine (1000 mg 2 to 4x daily)
- Lemon Balm (2 ml 3x daily) Inhibits antibodies from binding to the thyroid gland
- B-Complex (50mg 2x daily)
- Plant sterols for immune system balance
Video – 27 Hyperthyroid home remedies:
Note: It is always a wise choice to:
1. Consult with your physician or practitioner if you plan on getting on a dietary or treatment regimen as mentioned above.
2. Take into account whether or not these dietary/treatment regimens are prudent if you are on a thyroid hormone inhibiting medication like Propylthiouracil or Tapazole.
One could say that this is an almost 360 degree approach in many ways, to how you would confront Hyperthyroidism. This is simply because, with Hypothyroidism, you are deficient in the two hormones T3 and T4.
- Iodized Salt
read more here about the benefits of iodine and deficiency
- Seaweeds and Seafoods
- Nori Rolls
- Celtic Sea Salt
Foods rich in Selenium:
Note: There have been many researched studies showing that selenium has been effective in reversing autoimmune thyroid disorders like “hashimoto’s disease.” Additionally, selenium is beneficial for the conversion of T4 to T3. read more here
- Whole Unrefined Grains
- Brazil Nuts
- Dairy Products
- Bell peppers
- green beans
- celery and
Foods to avoid:
Note: The foods listed below are referred to as goitrogenic foods. Which is to say, they are rich in goitrogen and disrupt the production of thyroid hormones inhibiting the uptake of Iodine in the thyroid which eventually leads to goiter.
- Mustard Greens
Natural Hypothyroid treatments:
Note: If you would like to see testimonials from Amazon you can click on one of the items listed below and read reviews.
- Ashwagandha (500 milligrams daily)
- Supplementary Iodine (250 micrograms)
- Selenium (200 micrograms daily)
- L-Tyrosine (500 milligrams twice daily)
- Fish Oil (1,000 milligrams daily)
- Vitamin B Complex (one B-complex capsule daily)
- Essential Oils (read more on how to use these oils by going to the source link below)
Note: If you would like to look more into a personalized diet for improving and fortifying thyroid health click the banner below for more information….
Thyroid Cancer Remedies:
The good news about being afflicted with Thyroid Cancer is that the vast majority of people survive. In fact, Mike Adams “The Health Ranger” reports that new studies by Dartmouth Medical School have found that many of these survivors receive no treatment at all. So, what are the best options to(as they say) “nip it in the bud” and get on with your life?
Omega 3 fatty acid rich foods:
- Flax Seeds
Foods, Beverages and additives to avoid:
- Foods rich in Iodine
- Artificial Sweeteners, such as Splenda, NutraSweet or Aspartame
- High fructose corn syrup or Mono-Sodium Glutamate(MSG)
- Carbonated Beverages
- Fast Food
- Canned Food
- Conventional/Pasteurized Dairy Products
- Conventional Beef(stick to organic grass fed beef as well as organic poultry, veal and lamb)
Also, it would be a prudent choice to avoid processed foods and drinking from BPA plastic containers.
Thyroid Cancer Treatments/Supplementation:
- Selenium – You can obtain all the senenium you need by consuming one ounce of raw Brazil Nuts every day.
Note: Be careful with the over consumption of Brazil nuts as they can put you at risk for selenium poisoning. Read my testimony here
Garlic is also a good source of selenium.
- B-Vitamins – (specifically B2 and B3)
- Vitamin D3 50,000-100,000 International Units a day for periods of 4 weeks at a time.
- Krill Oil
- Fish oil
- Cod Liver Oil
Also, there is homeopathic medicine referred to as Hansi. This could provide a viable answer to putting a cancerous condition into remission, as the premise is for it to work in harmony with the bodies natural functions. In addition, This remedy can work in combination with conventional medicine. read more here
There are other homeopathic remedies, herbs and aroma therapies that can be beneficial as well. read more here
Testimony: Woman heals herself from Thyroid Cancer with raw foods.
In taking into consideration all the insights and options above regarding finding a feasible protocol that may offer a solution to your thyroid cancer situation, I’ll mention once more, consult with your doctor and or practitioner if you are pondering one or more of these remedies as a resolution.
Note: Again, it is always a good idea to discuss these options with your doctor, especially if you are on one or more thyroid hormone medications.
Going back to what I prefaced in the first paragraph of this report, you can see that pursuing an answer in resolving a degenerative plight like a thyroid disorder, can be very complicated. I truly believe that if your going to find the right solutions for your individual condition, it will require some effort in applying your own due diligence along the way.
As per example, If your practitioner recommends radioactive iodine treatment for thyroid cancer or any other type of thyroid disorder, it would be wise to be informed on the pros and cons of such a procedure to make a sound judgement.
Case in point: Massachusetts Senator Ed Markey put together a congressional report on the potential dangers of patients who have been released from the hospital after being treated with radioactive materials for cancers and other diseases. Here is an excerpt from a 2010 press release: “The subcommittee’s investigation, which drew from a survey of more than 1,000 thyroid cancer survivors’ experiences, indicates that there is a strong likelihood that members of the public have been unwittingly exposed to radiation from patients who are discharged after being treated with radioisotopes.” read more here
In Senator Markey’s report it mentions, an incident where a radioactive patient had boarded a bus in New York and set off metal detectors in the Lincoln Tunnel. It’s also worth mentioning that in public places where there is a high level of security (like government buildings and airports), there are many reports of radioactive patients setting off security alarms. see below
Hot patients setting off radiation alarms | Reuters
BBC NEWS | Health | Therapy ‘sets off airport alarms’
I would suggest that there are a few scenarios (such as being diagnosed with rapidly metastasizing type of thyroid cancer like (anaplastic thyroid cancer) where the only applicable solution is to turn to conventional methods to save your life. Which in that case ,would be chemotherapy and radiation and then pray you can bring it into remission to the extent that at some point you can rebuild your immune system and all the other bodily damage sustained from that procedure.
On that note, this report would not be complete if i did not I did not bring up what I believe is the most powerful remedy for healing any ailment and that is prayer. I’ve seen individuals including close family members get through life threatening health afflictions by what I can only describe as blessings from a higher intervention. Even if you are not religious or spiritual, I’ll guarantee there will be no side effects in imploring of that higher power for healing (AKA God/Source). Further more, there is even more power in intercessory prayer. So, if there is someone you know and care about who is going through something, don’t hesitate pray for them.
In closing, I’ll explain what prompted my interest in writing on the topic of Thyroid Disorder: I was informed that a close family member was recently diagnosed with a thyroid problem. A biopsy was taken and since then, in the midst of writing this report, I was informed that the diagnosis is cancer. Though, It’s not a life threatening variant of cancer, the recommendation is to have a partial removal or a full thyroidectomy (total removal of the thyroid). At any rate, I will be sending this report to her and other family members as soon as it is posted.
I hope the information in this report will be able to substantiate a sound remedy for your particular thyroid condition. Also, I can’t reiterate this enough, cross reference the data and perspectives therein, with other sources and of course, with your doctor or practitioner. Read more on that recommendation here. Also, as I mentioned in my last post, it doesn’t hurt to get a second opinion as well.
Best of health to you
Featured image attribute: By Petros Perros – PLoS Medicine: Perros P (2005) Thyrotoxicosis and Pregnancy. PLoS Med 2(12): e370 doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.0020370 published under Creative Commons (CC-by), CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=4311343
12 Replies to “Confronting Thyroid Problems: Perspectives on Conventional Treatments and Natural Remedies”
Wow that is the most thorough review of thyroid issues I have read. Great work! Well researched.
I am a big fan of Don Tolman and he highly recommends eating a cup of mushrooms a day to help your thyroid.
I totally agree in eating basically a plant based diet and steering clear of processed fatty foods, sugar, soft drinks etc. You can heal most diseases through a plant based diet, meditation, fresh air and exercise.
Great post thank you,
Thanks Kevin, I’m going to check out your site as well.Turmeric has some wonderfully beneficial properties.
Wow, you have done your homework, and this post is sooo informative and packed with a wealth of information. For someone who deals with this, this was great information to find for sure! I do believe the power of prayer is huge! We can rely on all the medicine we want, but it all comes down to lending ourselves to prayer and the power it has.
Thank you so much and bless your heart for your comment. I’m very grateful you found value in the information
Well done Brad. I printed this out for Dad to read and he was grateful for the information you provided on how to treat conditions of the thyroid. Our family member hopefully will find this article helpful in determining treatment options. We both understand a lot more about the thyroid thanks to you. And thank you for taking the time to do the research required to write this great article. God Bless you richly and abundantly in your endeavors on this website.
To be honest, I am not familiar with internal organs and glands. I have heard a lot about the thyroid. And read about thyroid cancer. I have always wondered what it was all about.
Now, thanks to your article, you have helped me learn and understand more about the thyroid, and complications that can arise. Even better, I learn how to remedy the problems. Thank you.
Wow, this is the most comprehensive and detailed information about thyroid problems and its treatment. You must’ve done a lot of research to write this article, I really appreciate your effort and time spent writing this wonderful article. I am sure many people will benefit from your article. I am sharing your article. Keep up with good work.
Yes Hong, it took a lot of intensive study to complete this report. Bless your heart for for your comment and posting to your facebook ?
Such a splendid work out there! You provide such informative information about thyroid problem. You done a great job of doing all the research about Thyroid and I would recommend some friend of mine to read your site because they been suffering about thyroid problem. Once again, such a good work you had and I would like to read more regarding about your sites.
Thank you and bless you Jaden.
My sister has/had what turns out to be an aggressive form of thyroid cancer she’s going through right now. That’s what prompted me to write this article. Waiting to see if it has spread elsewhere as She just had a total thyroidectomy the other day so, I’m writing a follow up piece offering perspective on how to cope with life w/o a thyroid.
wow tons of great info thank you
its astonishing to know how many people are having thyroid problems
YW Shirley. My sister is/was one of them. She had her thyroid removed last fall. She was the one who inspired me to write on the topic. I’ve been getting her our Basic nutrients and Super EPA via Dr. Alan’s recommendation. She says it has really helped her get through the recovery. I just don’t trust the synthetic hormone regulating drug Levothyroxine the doctor has prescribed her. A lot of side effects with that. I asked Dr. Alan if it would be good idea to look into Natural Desiccated Thyroid(NDT) products as an option and he thought so. I mentioned it to her once but i’ll drop another bug in her ear next time i see her.