An underactive thyroid gland is the term used to describe a condition where the thyroid gland does not produce an adequate amount of the thyroid hormone. This condition is also known as hypothyroidism, and is a very common disorder.The thyroid gland is found in the front of the neck in the lower region. This gland is responsible for the production of the thyroid hormone. Once released by the gland, the hormone is transported by blood, and has an effect on many organs across the body.
The most important function of this hormone is its ability to affect metabolic processes in the body. This is key because one’s state of metabolism has a ripple effect on the heart rate, how much energy the body expends as well as one’s body temperature.In cases where the thyroid hormone is insufficient, the body’s metabolic processes slow down significantly. This means that one has less energy and tends to feel slow and sluggish. Other symptoms of hypothyroidism include inexplicable fatigue, dry skin, a scratchy voice as well as sudden weight gain. Some affected persons will also suffer from depression as a result.
Since there is no known preventive measure, it is important to ensure that you get a proper diagnostic test – the thyroid function test. Additionally, you MUST follow your doctor’s prescription for your treatment plan. Home remedies suggested below are only to be used as a supplement and never as the main course of treatment.
1. Apple Cider Vinegar:
Time Required: 10 Min
What You Need: 4 Teaspoons of organic Apple Cider Vinegar, 1 glass of warm water and 2 teaspoons of organic honey.
Apple cider vinegar is a great remedy for the management of an underactive thyroid. This is because it is able to get rid of toxins in the body as well as aid with the regulation of hormone production by the thyroid gland. Apple cider vinegar also has an effect on the body’s metabolic processes, helping reduce the symptoms associated with an underactive thyroid.
Depending on how often you use this remedy, it may also be able to help with weight loss. Always look out for organic Apple Cider Vinegar when shopping for this remedy; this is because it has less additives and is therefore less strenuous on the body.
- Place the Apple cider vinegar in the glass of warm water.
- Pour in the honey and stir to mix well.
- Drink this solution thrice everyday until you start to feel better.
2. Coconut Oil:
Time Required: 10 Min
What You Need: Extra virgin coconut oil (edible).
Coconut oil is a handy remedy in the management of an underactive thyroid. This is attributed to the presence of medium-chain fatty acids that have been shown to improve the functioning of the thyroid gland. The oil’s active ingredients are also known to improve the metabolic process as well as increase the body’s energy levels. By reducing fatigue and increasing the body’s temperature, the oil is able to help those struggling with an underactive thyroid gland.
- When using coconut oil for the adjunct treatment of coconut oil, it is always important to choose edible extra virgin coconut oil.
- Simply add 4 teaspoons of the oil to your breakfast daily.
- You may also add it to your smoothies for best results.
3. Vitamin D Supplements:
Time Required: 20 Min
What You Need: Vitamin D supplements and a glass of warm water. You also need to spend time in the outdoors.
One of the challenges of an underactive thyroid gland is a low concentration of Vitamin D. In fact, this deficiency has been linked to a number of autoimmune diseases, including Hashimoto’s thyroditis. This is one of the causes of an underactive thyroid.
To counter this deficiency, it then becomes important to increase the amount of Vitamin D that the body gets. One of the simplest ways to do this is to take Vitamin D supplements. The other is to get it naturally from the sun. Below are easy steps on how you can go about these two options simultaneously.
- Wake up early and make it a habit to expose yourself to the sun’s first rays for about 20 minutes daily. A bonus remedy would be to take up gentle exercises during this period. Not only does the exercising allow you to feel refreshed, it is also known to stimulate the activity of the thyroid gland.
- Secondly, take Vitamin D supplements as indicated on the prescription. Make sure you let your doctor know that you are taking supplements to prevent drug-drug interactions.
4. Sea Vegetables and/or Marine Phytoplankton:
Time Required: Depends on the choice food and recipe.
What You Need: Marine phytoplankton and a host of sea vegetables.
Marine phytoplankton has been shown to be very beneficial for the treatment of an underactive thyroid. The reason for this is that it is packed with nutrients that help regulate the metabolic rate in the body, effectively managing the effects of an underactive thyroid gland.
Additionally, you may also use sea vegetables. These include, but are not limited to sea weeds, nori, arame and wakame among others. These vegetables are rich in iodine, one of the prerequisite ingredients for the proper functioning of the thyroid gland. The sea vegetables are also excellent antioxidants that aid the body’s metabolic function.
- Prepare the sea vegetables, marine phytoplankton or sea weed using your choice recipe. Make this a regular part of your dietary intake.
5. Fish Oil:
Time Required: 10 Min
What You Need: Fish oil capsules (supplements).
Fish oils are great at improving the function of the thyroid gland, which is why they are recommended for the treatment of an underactive thyroid gland. The oils have a high concentration of omega 3 fatty acids. When taken up by the body, the fatty acids help boost the body’s immune response.
This comes in handy because there are a number of autoimmune disorders that affect the thyroid gland, causing it to function poorly.
NOTE: Let your doctor know before you start using the fish supplements as they have the capacity to cause drug-drug interactions. this is especially very important if you are taking blood thinning medication.
- Follow the prescribed dosage for the fish oil supplements. Generally however, the daily dosage given is 3 grams.
6. Increase the Amount of Vitamin B in your Diet:
Time Required: Varies depending on the specific food.
What You Need: Foods rich in Vitamin B
For anyone suffering from an underactive thyroid gland, one of the best ways to reduce the intensity of its effects in addition to medical treatment is to increase dietary Vitamin B intake. Vitamin B is available in different forms, all denoted by a number as follows: B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, B7, B9 and B12. These range of vitamins is essential to the proper functioning of the thyroid gland. Simply add foods that are rich in vitamin B and eat on a regular basis to help improve the condition. This also helps prevent Vitamin B deficiency.
- Choose foods that are rich in Vitamin B and settle for a healthy recipe for healthier benefits.
- Some of these foods include fortified cereals, fresh veggies and whole grains.
7. Increase the Amount of Glutathione:
Time Required: Depends on the choice food.
What You Need: Foods help the body produce glutathione.
Glutathione is a potent antioxidant that has excellent immune-boosting properties. So powerful is this compound that it is one of the key recommendations for the natural treatment of Hashimoto’s thyroditis. Glutathione present in the body helps regulate the immune response as well as well as preserve the integrity of the thyroid tissue.
The most important thing when using this solution is to understand that there are very few food sources that contain glutathione. There are, however, foods that stimulate the production of glutathione for its great benefits. Some of these foods include spinach, raw eggs, broccoli, peaches and avocado among others.
- Prepare any of the aformentioned foods and/or fruits using your preferred recipe and replenish your body’s glutathione levels.
8. Increase the Amount of Dietary Iodine Intake:
Time Required: Varies depending on choice food.
What You Need: Organic sources of iodine.
Iodine plays a fundamental role in ensuring the proper functioning of the thyroid gland. In an underactive thyroid, it becomes important to increase the amount of iodine in the body, and what better way to do this than to take organic foods rich in iodine?
NOTE that while table salt is rich in iodine, it may not be proper to increase the amount of salt you take as this could result in complications of kidney function.
- Some of the foods and fruits that are rich in iodine, and which you can take daily include oats, whole rice, garlic, asparagus and strawberries.
9. Black Walnuts:
Time Required: 20 Min
What You Need: A handful of black walnuts daily.
Black walnuts are an excellent source of two key minerals: manganese and iodine. Both minerals play an integral role in improving the function of the thyroid gland while ensuring it works optimally. Regular intake of black walnuts also helps maintain the integrity of the thyroid gland.
- Simply take a handful of the black walnuts daily.
Other simple remedies that you can add to your medical treatment include staying fit as this stimulates the thyroid’s activity, avoiding stressful events as well as eating healthy. Stress tends to compound the symptoms of an underactive thyroid while junk processed foods place a burden on the body’s metabolic systems.
It also helps to practice relaxation as one of the simple ways to prevent stress triggers. Go easy on the gluten as it has been seen to complicate the effects of an underactive thyroid gland. Laslty, remember that these remedies must only be used as an adjunct treatment, and with your doctor’s advice.