Natural Remedies for Your Thyroid

Our thyroid plays a very important role in our body’s overall health – it is a butterfly shape gland that regulates various functions in our bodies from our metabolism to our muscle control. In today’s society, we are being bombarded by various environmental toxins, as well as, toxins in many of the foods we eat. So here are some natural remedies for your thyroid.

 

So, What Causes Thyroid Problems Anyways?

Various factors can come into play when it comes to your thyroid. What you put in your body is one of those factors. Your environment and the toxins you may be exposed to is another factor. Other issues include, but are not limited to iodine deficiency, taking in too much iodine via food or supplementation, and autoimmune conditions such as Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis (a condition in which the body attacks the thyroid causing damage).

Eating foods cooked on non-stick surfaces made of Polytetrafluoroetheylene (PTFE) and other Fluropolymers has been known to cause various health problems such as thyroid disease, so instead of using a product containing such chemicals, use healthier alternatives like stoneware or cast iron to cook your food.


Who is at Risk for Thyroid Issues?

So, you may be wondering, just who is at risk for thyroid issues? Those who avoid eating meat, fish, and salt (by choice or medical need, i.e high blood pressure patients), may at some point in time find themselves to be iodine deficient.

Yes, unfortunately, this includes vegans and vegetarians. The reason being, the depletion of iodine in much of the soil used for farming, therefore, the plants eaten may not provide sufficient iodine. One way to avoid this problem is to grow a lot of the vegetables you eat if you are a vegan or vegetarian or purchase from a trusted source or local farm that use sustainable farming techniques.

Symptoms of a Thyroid Problem

  • Fatigue
  • Iodine deficiency
  • Hair loss
  • Weight gain
  • Difficulty loosing weight
  • Sensitivity to cold
  • Swollen neck
  • Goiter

For those suffering from thyroid issues, and particularly, hypothyroidism it is best to see if your physician will be willing to approach this issue in a more natural way, as some thyroid medications may end up doing more harm than good in the long run.

When it comes to supplementation, keep in mind that natural is always best. If you are supplementing using a synthetic iodine you may find that it is less beneficial as your body may not respond well to synthetic iodine. And it will eventually be flushed out of your system with little to no benefits.

So, if you are suffering from thyroid issues and low iodine is to blame, then this problem can be corrected and you should notice a boost in energy levels once your levels of iodine are normal.

Once iodine deficiency is corrected there is usually no need for daily supplementation, instead every 10 to 14 days will be more than enough. This can help your level of iodine stay within the normal range and help your body get rid of toxins that may be present.

What is Iodine & Why is it so Important?

According to WHO, otherwise known as, the World Health Organization, about 40% of the world’s population is at risk for iodine deficiency.

For those who are interested in the chemistry of it all, iodine is an element found in The Periodic Table. Iodine much like Fluorine, Bromine, and Chlorine, is a halogen (“halogen” means salt-former). So when your iodine levels are too low, the iodine receptors in most of your cells will readily accept molecules of chlorine, bromine, and or fluorine in its place (if present in your body) due to their similar structure.

So at this point you may wonder why is iodine so crucial for your body…why is it so important? Well, iodine is a precursor (i.e a must-have) for thyroid hormones in particular T4 and T3. The thyroid uses iodine in order to convert T4 hormones into T3 hormones. Iodine helps our bodies function properly, especially when it comes to the thyroid gland – Iodine is incredible when it comes to regulating the thyroid. It has been shown to reduce the formation of a goiter which is a medical condition that arises when there is a lack of iodine in one’s diet.

Iodine also helps the body when it comes to making use of antioxidants, therefore, it is highly beneficial that you have adequate levels of iodine in your body when using antioxidants to help maintain your body in good health.

Iodine is also great when it comes to helping detoxify the body. Other added benefits of iodine include regulating mood, memory, energy, and even weight.

Iodine has a vast array of functions in our body; one of which is to help flush out metal and toxic ions (such as the aforementioned) that have bonded to cell receptors in the body and may be causing negative effects like hormonal imbalances. Iodine is so important to the body and its everyday functions, it also helps with the functions of other hormones made in the body.

Iodine has also been shown to help fight of various cancers, so it is very important to make sure you are getting adequate levels of iodine to help your body function properly and to help ward off any preventable conditions or immune related diseases.

What are symptoms of iodine deficiency?

There are many symptoms of iodine deficiency, and most of them are similar to that of thyroid issues. An enlarged thyroid gland is one of those symptoms since the thyroid tries to compensate for low levels of iodine and grows larger in order to be able to grab more iodine. This in turn, creates a goiter (a swelling of the thyroid gland, creating a bulge in the area where the thyroid is located). This can also prevent itself as swelling of the entire front of the neck.

The following are additional symptoms of Iodine deficiency.

  • Brain fog
  • Fatigue
  • Constant need for sleep
  • Thinning hair
  • Cold intolerance
  • Cold hands and feet

If you find yourself highly fatigued and you have tried to detox or cleanse your system with very little change in your energy levels, then you may want to get an iodine test done by your physician. Now, not a lot of hospitals may have this test available, but through research you should be able to locate a hospital within your vicinity that performs such a test.

The iodine test can be administered in several ways – via iodine patch, which involves…you guessed it, a skin patch and it is used to measure how fast your skin absorbs iodine. Or it can be done through a 24-hour urine collection test which tests for the amount of iodine present in your urine after taking a large dose of iodine and based on the amount of iodine that is present in your urine, your physician will be able to determine whether you are iodine deficient or not. If you have low levels of iodine, then you will have a lower amount of iodine present in your urine – your body would have used what it needed in order to make up for the deficiency.

Could your weight gain be caused by Your thyroid?

If you have changed your diet and incorporated exercise into your regimen, but are still struggling to shed some of those unwanted pounds, then your thyroid may be to blame. So, consider making an appointment with your doctor to get your thyroid checked out, even if no other symptoms of thyroid issues present themselves.

Once treatment starts, you should see more results when it comes to weight loss.

 

Healing Your Thyroid Naturally and Eating Iodine Rich Foods for Thyroid Health

There are various foods that you can eat to help keep your thyroid in check.

  • Seaweed, about 1 g – Kombu Seaweed has the highest iodine content, followed by Wakame and Nori
  • Cod, around 3 oz will provide an adequate amount of iodine
  • Yogurt, plain, 1 cup, no sugar added and no extra ingredients
  • Salt (iodized), about 1.5g – not exposed to air for more than 4 weeks, so use within 4 weeks for maximum benefit
  • Shrimp, 3 oz
  • Tuna (canned in oil is best) – drained, 3 oz
  • 2 large boiled eggs, boiled

The Best Iodine Supplement to Take

When it comes to iodine supplementation, caution is needed – be sure to consult with your doctor to make sure you are using the proper dosage and a good quality product. Also, before considering supplementation, be sure to try to get it through your foods. Foods such as eggs and seaweed contain a significant amount of iodine and can prove to be helpful in keeping your iodine levels at their optimum.

When it comes to iodine supplementation, Nascent Iodine is best. It is an atomic form of iodine that is readily available for use by cells as it is easily absorbed and used by the body.

When using iodine supplementation, it is best to couple it with vitamin D as they work hand-in-hand in helping your cell make use of the iodine. Other supplements that help iodine do its job are selenium, and zinc.

Side Effects of Iodine Supplementation

Now there are varying results with iodine supplementation, some have reported negative side effects that in some cases resulted in a trip to the emergency room, so I highly suggest that you consult with your personal physician to determine whether you are indeed lacking when it comes to your levels of iodine and if so, the proper dosage you should take.

If you are not iodine deficient, then taking iodine as a supplement could throw your thyroid out of whack and even create a world of problems you would not otherwise want.




 

Conclusion

Your thyroid helps maintain your body in good health so take good care of it by making sure it has what it needs to function properly. If you are suffering from thyroid issues make sure you are getting the proper amount of iodine by getting with your physician to have the appropriate tests done and to verify whether it could be an issue easily fixed through diet (whether it be from iodized salt or from food sources like seaweed or kelp). And make sure you are on the right plan or treatment, especially if thyroid symptoms persist.

As the old adage goes “If it ain’t broke don’t fix it” – before going on any supplementation regimen it is best to consult with your doctor and take the appropriate steps that are needed in order to supplement efficiently and in a proper and safe manner.

4 comments

  1. Wow I found this to be very interesting. I am having thinning of my hair! I just thought it was because I hit the big 3-0 this year, but I also have noticed a change in my cold intolerance. Do you know if insurance companies cover this type of test? For someone who does not have insurance do you know how much the test usually costs?

    1. Hello there Stevi,  

      To the best of my knowledge they do cover this type of test. I’ve had this done a couple of times under two different insurance companies, so I know for sure that some of them do cover this test, plus I think it falls under “General Wellness” so you should be okay with getting coverage. 

      I’m not sure what the cost will be because every doctor or provider is different and charge differently. Also, your out-of-pocket cost will depend on your insurance and what type of coverage you have, so your best bet is to speak with your insurance company to see what they cover and what you will be responsible for out-of-pocket. 

      Congrats on turning the big 3-0. I’m getting close to the big 4-0…time flies. 🙂

      Thanks for reading my article.

      Best Regards.

  2. Hello,

    I know you are in the process of building your website, and it looks really good, with good quality info. The only thing I see, is, you might think about aligning your images either right or left on your posts so the text will wrap around nicely around the images…..just a thought.

    Are you familiar with Maca? Maca naturally contains Iodine and has been used to treat Iodine deficiencies. But, the opposite is also true, if the person has an overactive thyroid, before taking Maca, you should talk to your Doctor. Good work…………..

    Thanks,

    Terry

    1. Thanks for the suggestion. 

      …I have heard of Maca root, but haven’t really looked into it… didn’t know it was used to treat iodine deficiencies. Thanks for the info. 

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