Hyperthyroidism is the medical term used to refer to a condition where the thyroid gland is extremely active. This results in the production of excessive thyroid hormones with specific effects on the body.Some of the symptoms associated with an overactive thyroid gland include inexplicable weight loss (that is, weight loss that is not attributed to dieting, exercise, medication or any underlying condition), anxiety as well as nervousness. Perhaps the most obvious signs of hyperthyroidism are bulging eyes and goitre. The latter is a swelling of the thyroid gland around the throat region resulting in a lump.Most people who suffer from this common condition will also experience hyperactivity since the excessive thyroid hormones speed up the body’s metabolic processes so that such a person has excessive energy. It is important to understand that the severity of the symptoms vary from one individual to another.Hyperthyroidism is often attributed to an autoimmune disease known as Graves’ disease.
This disease targets the thyroid gland and causes it to produce excess amounts of the hormones. The causative disease is more common in women than in men. Anyone suffering from an overactive thyroid gland MUST get medical attention. The home remedies listed below must be used alongside medical treatment provided by your doctor. This is key because proper diagnosis and course of treatment help prevent complications.
1. Lemon Balm:
Time Required: 20 Min
What You Need: 1 Tablespoon of lemon balm, 1 cup of hot boiling water and a strainer.
Lemon balm is an effective home remedy used for the natural treatment of an overactive thyroid. The balm, whose scientific name is Melissa officinalis, contains flavonoids and phenolic compounds that aid in the regulation of thyroid activity. The active compounds present in the herb also help decrease the concentration of the thyroid hormone in the body, thus reducing the severity of the associated symptoms. Lemon balm has also been shown to prevent the binding of the antibodies to the thyroid gland, thus reducing the stimulation of the gland.
Tip: The herb does need some time for the body to get used to, so you could start with just 1 teaspoon and work your way upwards until you get to 2 tablespoons. This also helps you keep track of the progress made.
- Place 1 tablespoon of the lemon balm in a cup and pour in the boiling water.
- Let the tea steep for 5 minutes or so and then pass through a strainer.
- Drink this herbal tea thrice daily and track the progress made over the weeks.
2. Cruciferous Vegetables:
Time Required: Varies depending on the specific vegetable
What You Need: Cruciferous vegetables
Cruciferous vegetables are those that belong to the mustard family as they are grouped botanically. This family of vegetables is known to contain active ingredients known as goitrogens. These compounds work by lowering the activity of the thyroid gland, an ideal remedy in cases where the gland is too active.
The best way to benefit from cruciferous vegetables is to eat them raw. These vegetables include broccoli, cauliflower, mustard greens, radishes as well as brussel sprouts. If you suffer from an hyperthyroidism, make sure you add these cruciferous vegetables for their thyroid-suppressing effects.
NOTE: These vegetables are known to cause gas, so you can counter that by using raw ginger as a natural remedy.
- Clean your choice vegetables well before eating them raw.
3. Increase Your Dietary Intake of Omega-3 Fatty Acids:
Time Required: Depends on specific food
What You Need: Foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids.
A deficiency in the amount of omega-3 fatty acids causes a hormonal imbalance in the body, and this is bound to affect the activity of the thyroid gland. The reason for this is that the fatty acids are key precursors for the synthesis of hormones. In their absence, hormones do not function optimally, resulting in the poor functioning of the thyroid gland. In addition to this, low levels of the fatty acids stimulate the auto-immune response, which in turn causes the production of thyroid antibodies.
It is clear that a deficiency of omega-3 fatty acids has a profound effect on the thyroid gland. Make an effort to increase the amount of omega-3 fatty acids in your diet. Some of the options available include eating fish a lot more (preferably cold water fishes such as anchovies, mackerel and salmon), taking flaxseeds as well as eating walnuts regularly.
- Add the aforementioned food options to your daily diet and prepare accordingly.
Time Required: 20 Min
What You Need: 1 bugleweed teabag/ 6 drops of Bugleweed tincture, 1 cup of boiling water and 1 tablespoon of honey
Bugleweed is an effective remedy for the natural treatment of an overactive thyroid gland, particularly in cases where it is manifested by weight loss, anxiety and palpitations. One of the active ingredients present in the herb is lithospermic acid. This acid targets a specific thyroid hormone denoted T3, and reduces its production by the gland.
Additionally, this active ingredient also prevents antibodies (from the body’s immune system) from attaching to the cells of the overactive thyroid, thus preventing overstimulation. Studies show that Bugleweed also helps reduce the concentration of the other two thyroid hormones denoted TSH and T4. To get the most of this remedy, it is best to take in tea or tincture form as indicated below.
Preparing the Tincture
- Place some water in a shallow bowl and then add the drops of bugleweed tincture.
- Stir well to ensure proper mixing of the two.
- Put a few drops of this mixture under the tongue and let it stay there for a couple of minutes.
- Use this mixture daily to help alleviate the symptoms of an overactive thyroid.
Preparing the Bugleweed Tea
- Place the bugleweed teabag in a cup and pour over the boiling water.
- Cover the cup and let the teabag steep for 10 minutes.
- Pass the tea through a strainer and let it cool for a few minutes.
- Stir in the honey and drink this tea.
- Use this remedy once daily.
5. Valerian Root:
Time Required: 30 Min
What You Need: 1/2 Tablespoon valerian root, 1 cup of warm water and 1 tablespoon of honey (optional).
One of the symptoms of an overactive thyroid is insomnia. This means that for those with hyperthyroidism, it is hard to fall asleep, and even when they do, it is near-impossible to get deep sleep. Valerian root comes in handy for its natural sleep aiding properties.
The root has active ingredients that help raise the concentration of GABA, a chemical compound that communicates in the brain and makes it possible to fall asleep without difficulty. Use valerian root in tea form to help manage the condition as far as insomnia is concerned. Honey is added to this remedy as a natural sweetener.
- Place the root in a pot and proceed to add the hot water to it.
- Cover the pot and let the tea steep for 15 minutes.
- Pass the tea through a strainer and stir in the honey to mix evenly.
- Take this tea, preferably just before bedtime. This makes the remedy very effective and helps get rid of sleeplessness.
- Use this remedy daily.
Time Required: 20 Min
What You Need: 1 Cup rolled oats, 2 cups of water, 1/2 cup of milk and honey- both optional.
Oats are recommended for the treatment of hyperthyroidism because they counter the fatigue and bodily weakness that results from the excess production of thyroid hormones. Ideally, the hormones speed up the body’s metabolic processes so that while one has extreme nervous energy, they get fatigued quite easily and have high stress levels. Oats work excellently because they have mild stimulant properties that help manage these nervous energy. They are also digested slowly, thus providing relief from the symptoms of hyperthyroidism.
- Place the cold water in a pan and add the rolled oats.
- Turn the heat on and allow the mixture to boil, all the while making sure you stir to prevent clumping at the bottom of the pan.
- Add some milk and let the mixture heat for 5 minutes.
- Lower the heat and let the mixture simmer for another 5 minutes.
- Turn off the heat and let the oats cool.
- Add the honey and indulge in this healthy option.
- Make sure you have at least 2 servings daily to get relief from an overactive thyroid gland.
7. Passion Flower:
Time Required: 20 Min
What You Need: 1/2 Tablespoon of dried passionflower, 1/4 tablespoon of lemon balm, 1 cup of boiling water, tea infuser and additional cup.
Passionflower is an effective herbal remedy used to treat hyperthyroidism by getting rid of anxiety and insomnia. On absorption, the passionflower helps relax the muscle and aids the body’s tuning to sleep. Research also shows that the herb is a great reliever of the physical symptoms that accompany an overactive thyroid gland. These include hand tremors, palpitation and irritability. Take this herbal remedy in tea form to treat the condition.
NOTE: This remedy is not suitable for expectant women and lactating mothers. It is also important to let your doctor know if you are taking antidepressants to prevent potential drug-drug interactions.
- Place both herbs, that is the passionflower and lemon balm in the tea infuser. In the absence of this infuser, you can always use a muslin bag.
- Place the tea infuser in a cup and then pour over the hot boiling water.
- Let the mixture steep for 10 minutes before removing the tea infuser.
- Enjoy a cup of passionflower tea just before bedtime.
- Use this remedy daily to get relief from hyperthyroidism.
Time Required: 30 Min
What You Need: 1 Tablespoon of Motherwort, 1 cup of hot boiling water, strainer and a teapot.
Motherwort is a herb that belongs to the mint family, and which has been shown to be effective in the treatment of hyperthyroidism. While this herb does not have a direct effect on the production of the thyroid hormones, it does help provide relief from the accompanying symptoms of an overactive thyroid gland. Some of these symptoms include insomnia, poor appetite, anxiety as well as palpitations. The best way to get the benefits of this herb is to prepare Motherwort tea as indicated in the directions below.
- Place the herb in the teapot and proceed to pour in the hot boiling water.
- Cover the pot well and allow to steep for 20 minutes.
- Strain the tea in a separate cup and allow to cool for 5 minutes or so.
- Drink this tea twice daily until you start to notice an improvement.
9. Avoid Specific Foods
Time Required: Like any habit you need to unlearn, this takes time and varies from one person to another.
What You Need: A conscious effort to avoid the foods listed below
As mentioned above, some of the symptoms of an overactive thyroid include nervous energy owing to a high metabolic rate as well as fatigue. In light of this, there are foods that you must avoid at all costs as these tend to stimulate the thyroid, thus speeding up the metabolic process and resulting in more fatigue. Follow the directions below on the specific food groups that you must steer clear of.
- Avoid refined foods such as pasta, bread, cake and biscuits as these cause an imbalance in the metabolic reactions with adverse effects for those suffering from hyperthyroidism.
- Avoid carbonated drinks because they have etxremely high levels of sugar and phosphates. The sugars add to the excessive energy while the phosphates cause calcium deficiency resulting in joint pains and great fatigue.
- Avoid stimulants as they trigger the activity of the already-active thyroid gland.
- For a number of people, packaged and processed foods may cause a surge in the autoimmune reactions, and it is therefore advisable to avoid such.
In addition to the above remedies, make an effort to increase the amount of Calcium and Vitamin D in the diet. This is very important because hyperthyroidism is known to cause the bones to thin, predisposing individuals to osteoporosis. For this, talk to your doctor to get the ideal dietary limits for your intake. Remember to consult your doctor for a proper course of treatment as well as for the purposes of guiding your choice remedy to prevent adverse reactions.