Alternative Medicine for Hypothyroidism

Instructor: Artem Cheprasov
Constipation, fatigue, headaches, and hair loss are just some of the symptoms associated with an underactive thyroid. This lesson describes some of the alternative medicine that has been used to try to treat hypothyroidism.

Hypothyroidism

Feeling chilly? Do you have dry skin? Are you constantly getting sick? It may be wintertime or it may be an underactive thyroid or hypothyroidism. These are just some of the signs and symptoms of this condition. The typical treatment for this medical condition is synthetic thyroid hormone supplementation. But, there are some who believe alternative therapies may help. Most of these have little to no evidence of efficacy, so keep that in mind as we work our way through this lesson. The content herein is nothing more than information and you should always talk to your healthcare provider first!

Diet

Let's pretend you are on a cooking game show. This is a special game show as it tests your knowledge of food by how closely the food fits into a diet some people believe will help those with hypothyroidism. Here are some tips to help you win this game show.

For round one, you can beat the other contestants by serving a nice salad made of organic sea 'vegetables'. For instance, you can mix and match things like nori, kelp, and dulse. This can help provide a person with iodine, which the thyroid needs for full function.

The second round of these game shows is usually a bit tougher, so here's a tip. Cook up some fish, lightly salted with sea salt. This also contains iodine. Serve the fish with a side of beans topped off with almond and pumpkin seed flakes. The latter two have many minerals, like zinc, deficiencies of which might worsen hypothyroidism.

Ok, now to the last round. You can win this one by making a walnut and flaxseed-based bread. It's believed that the essential fatty acids found in these two could help improve thyroid function.

You actually end up winning this contest. Why? Not only did you make the right stuff, your competitors got it all wrong. Here is a sample of what they made:

  • Instead of a seaweed salad, they made one full of fresh broccoli, Brussels sprouts, and cauliflower. All of these are believed to suppress thyroid function.
  • Instead of fish, they made a bunch of stuff with tofu. Soy, which is used to make tofu, might also cause thyroid dysfunction.

Supplements & More

For winning the cooking show, you got a bunch of stuff! The first prize, for winning round one, is a bunch of supplements believed to improve thyroid function. These supplements include:

  • Selenium, a mineral
  • L-tyrosine, an amino acid
  • Guggul, a type of plant-based gum
  • Ashwagandha, an herb
  • Bladderwrack, a type of seaweed

Since you also won round two, you got another prize, a bunch of homeopathic remedies! Some of these are believed to help thyroid function or the signs and symptoms stemming from hypothyroidism.

  • Calcarea Carbonica, believed to help if someone is chilly as a result of the hypothyroidism
  • Lycopodium, if the thyroid is enlarged
  • Nux Vomica, if you are fatigued

Your prize for winning round three is a book on acupressure. The author has specifically highlighted the following points that may help with hypothyroidism:

  • Bladder 23 and 47 for fatigue
  • Triple Warmer 17, to help balance thyroid function
  • Lung 1, if you're depressed
  • Conception Vessel 6, if there's constipation

Finally, the grand prize for winning the entire episode is a bunch of essential oils used in aromatherapy techniques to try to help a person with hypothyroidism. These include:

  • Geranium, to help better regulate the thyroid
  • Chamomile, added to a lotion, to help with dry skin
  • Jasmine, to overcome fatigue

To unlock this lesson you must be a Study.com Member.
Create your account

Register to view this lesson

Are you a student or a teacher?

Unlock Your Education

See for yourself why 30 million people use Study.com

Become a Study.com member and start learning now.
Become a Member  Back
What teachers are saying about Study.com
Try it risk-free for 30 days

Earning College Credit

Did you know… We have over 200 college courses that prepare you to earn credit by exam that is accepted by over 1,500 colleges and universities. You can test out of the first two years of college and save thousands off your degree. Anyone can earn credit-by-exam regardless of age or education level.

To learn more, visit our Earning Credit Page

Transferring credit to the school of your choice

Not sure what college you want to attend yet? Study.com has thousands of articles about every imaginable degree, area of study and career path that can help you find the school that's right for you.

Create an account to start this course today
Try it risk-free for 30 days!
Create an account
Support