Alternative treatment for hypothyroidism
by Marcelle Pick, OB/GYN NP
Types of hypothyroidism, or low thyroid, treatment can vary depending on a woman’s
health issues. We know that certain alternative treatments work well in women when
the approach involves nutrition along with the mind and body. With hypothyroidism,
we have seen recovery of low thyroid function when alternate options were used.
Alternative practitioners try to resolve the underlying causes of poor health rather
than simply treat the symptoms. In our experience, alternative hypothyroidism treatment
can often reverse suboptimal thyroid function well before a woman develops permanent
thyroid disease. Success in this approach largely depends on how early we intervene
and on the extent to which autoimmune antibodies are present.
Poor nutrition is probably the origin of many thyroid problems (including low thyroid),
and rich nutrition is vital to reversing them, or at least to prevent further decline.
Healthy thyroid function depends on a range of nutrients, especially selenium, folic
acid, and iodine. Since most people cannot optimize levels of these nutrients through
diet alone, a medical–grade supplement (such as our Essential Nutrients) is
vital. Of course, supplements should be used to complement, not substitute for,
a balanced diet.
Stress in all its forms is another key culprit of thyroid dysfunction. Most of us
experience a high degree of the most damaging kind — unremitting stress. It
is essential for hypothyroid treatment to identify the stressors you face and learn
techniques and activities that can help you reduce your stress.
We often see hypothyroid symptoms totally reversed when a woman commits to an alternative
hypothyroidism treatment program that supports balance through nutrition and daily
self-care, including but not limited to the following guidelines:
- Consume foods naturally high in B vitamins, such as whole grains,
nuts, and seeds, and iodine (fish, seaweed, vegetables and root vegetables).
- Exercise daily, at least 30–60 minutes per day, 4–5
times a week.
- Practice deep breathing and other techniques that
trigger the “relaxation response,” such as meditation and guided visualization.
- Get adequate sun exposure if you live in a northern clime (15–20
minutes twice a day of unprotected sun in early morning and late afternoon between
April and October) to maintain vitamin D levels, which support healthy immune function
and calcium metabolism. Discuss supplementation during the winter months with your
- Zero in on unresolved emotional issues as a source
of stress. In naturopathic medicine, the thyroid reflects a woman’s voice
in her life. Many women have experienced a “trapped voice,” and by the
time perimenopause arrives the accumulated effect gives rise to symptoms, including
poor thyroid function. Over and over we have seen that when women make progress
in using their voices, their thyroid symptoms subside.
- Consider other alternative techniques that have
been useful in correcting an underactive or low thyroid, such as acupuncture and
Traditional Chinese Medicine, naturopathic medicine, homeopathic medicine, biofeedback,
In our experience a multi-tiered hypothyroid treatment approach that deals directly
with the nutritional, stress-related and emotional factors of hypothyroidism —
in combination with alternative therapies — often restores a woman’s
thyroid function completely.
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Last Modified Date: 05/27/2011
Principal Author: Marcelle Pick, OB/GYN NP