Do you have an under-active thyroid? Such conditions including, hyperthyroid (over-active) and hypothyroid (under-active) affect about 12% of the US population. It’s important to know the symptoms, causes, and herbs for hypothyroidism to get the best results. There are lots of prescription drugs on the market to treat under-active thyroids. They can certainly be effective, but the strong chemicals mean you’ll likely have to deal with strong chemicals, which can cause unwanted side-effects. The good news is natural treatments like herbs can help to prevent such side-effects. It’s still possible to experience mild side-effects, although it’s much less common when treating hypothyroidism with natural remedies.
Various natural treatments are claimed to treat under-active thyroids effectively. Some like ginseng is well-known while others like Oregon grape are less so. Regardless of how famous a particular home remedy is it’s critical to know the different options available and the results of various studies about their effectiveness. This can help to determine whether or not you should consider using it or not. One X-factor to consider is that fewer studies have been done on natural treatments versus prescription meds. So it’s important to know the facts so you can choose wisely when picking natural medicine.
What Exactly Is Hypothyroidism?
Many people have heard of “hyperthyroidism,” which is an over-active thyroid. However, there’s also something called hypothyroidism, which is an under-active thyroid. In other words, the gland doesn’t make enough of certain hormones.
During the first stages, a person might with hypothyroidism not experience any symptoms. However, if the condition isn’t treated it can cause various health issues over time. They include joint pain, obesity, and heart disease. So it’s important to deal with it effectively.
If you want to get tested for this condition you cause a thyroid function test. This can help to determine if your thyroid isn’t functioning properly. The good news is treatment is usually basic, safe, and effective. It’s just a matter of your doctor finding the best treatment and dosage.
There are various signs/symptoms you might experience if you have this condition. This is based on how serious hormone deficiency is. In most cases, the symptoms develop gradually over years instead of suddenly.
Some of the first signs include weight gain and fatigue. Many people think these symptoms are a sign of normal aging but they might be related to an under-active thyroid. There are other symptoms you might experience including:
- Weak muscles
- Weight gain
- Hoarse voice
- Soft face
- Memory problems
- Thinning hair
- Enlarged thyroid
- Joint pain
- Slow heart rate
- Dry skin
- Muscle aches
- Cold sensitivity
- High cholesterol
These can be signs of different conditions so it’s important to get it checked out to find out whether or not you have a thyroid condition or another health condition. Over time you might also experience other signs/symptoms of hypothyroidism.
There are several causes of an under-active thyroid. They include immune system disease, radiation therapy, thyroid treatments, prescription meds, and thyroid surgery. If you’ve experienced these substances/treatments then there’s a great chance you have an under-active thyroid.
Top Herbs for Hypothyroidism
1. Water hyssop
This is also known by other names like Bacopa Monnieri. It’s used in Traditional Indian Medicine (TIM) as a tonic for treating issues/conditions like anxiety, memory, and seizures. This is also a popular aquarium plant added to fish tanks.
The herb can also help hypothyroidism patients who experience “brain fog.” It might also help with stress, anxiety, and memory issues.
Here’s another herb that might help to treat an underactive thyroid. It’s high in iodine, which is a key nutrient for thyroid glands. Other good sources include seafood, veggies (grown in high-iodine soil), yogurt, and iodized salt. Meanwhile, low iodine levels can lead to hypothyroidism and other conditions.
Seaweed is high in minerals like iodine. Some good options include kelp and others. Some studies show it might help to reduce thyroid swelling.
3. Asian Ginseng
Ginseng has been around for 4000+ years and is a key ingredient in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). It can be tough to grow but is worth the effort since it might help treat a wide range of conditions.
Ginseng is believed to boost energy, extend life, regular hormones, and fight stress. It might also help to boost thyroid chemicals.
4. Gotu Kola
This herb is known for providing long-life and is popular in traditional Chinese and Indian medicine. It’s believed it might provide benefits like thyroid health, and benefit skin, liver, kidney, and brain. There are some studies this herb might benefit the thyroid gland.
Fun Fact: Ashwagandha is from an ancient language and means “horse smell” due to the strong aroma. It’s used to treat many physical/mental health conditions including arthritis, anxiety, and ADHD. One of the main claims is that the plant can help to reduce pain/swelling and function as anti-aging medicine. Some studies show it also might be effective for treating hypothyroidism.
Top Foods to Boost Thyroid Function
In general, you should go with fatty fish since they’re high in omega-3 fatty acids. You can also get a good amount of selenium. Both of these nutrients can help to reduce inflammation. There are various options including:
- Sea Bass
These are some of the best options for both omega-3 fatty acids and selenium.
Remember the “fresh is best” rule applies. You get a good amount of iodine and selenium. If you want the most health benefits then go with whole eggs. That’s because most of the egg’s nutrients are found in the yolk.
There are different options but some of the best options are Brazil, hazelnuts, and Macadamia. Fun Fact: Macadamia nuts are the world’s most expensive tree nut due to the processing that’s done. These options might also help to boost thyroid health. This is due to the selenium content. This can help to maintain a healthy thyroid.
There are other options like milk and ice cream that are good options for iodine. This is an important nutrient for the thyroid gland. It can help to prevent goiters, which are enlarged thyroids. If you’re a fan of ice cream then go with frozen yogurt. This can provide a nutritious and delicious way to boost thyroid healthy.
Make sure to go with roasted seaweed since its high-nutrient. This food is high in nutrients including iodine in particular, which is important for thyroid function. There are different menu options including salads and sushi.
A lack of iodine can cause various thyroid-related issues. So it’s best to consume more seafood to get benefits like herbs for hypothyroidism.