Thyroid disease, malfunctions of the thyroid gland, hyperthyroid (overactive) or hypothyroid (underactive) are showing signs in our population of becoming an epidemic says a “The Colorado Thyroid Disease Prevalence Study.” This is a trend across the board in American health, where we are seeing many common diseases moving to an epidemic stage. You name a disease and it is probably an epidemic or moving toward becoming an epidemic like thyroid disease.
Why do we have this problem? Well, as a naturopath I say look at the basics, we are violating just about every natural law in how we take care of ourselves and our environment. But for you who have thyroid disease, solving your problem is the most important priority right now. I will be frank with you; the drug industry does not have a realistic answer to your problem. Drugs can be a way to stabilize your situation temporarily but to use those drugs does not address the root of the problem only the symptoms. Through your thyroid disease, your body is saying something is wrong with the way you are living. If you only address this disease signal your body is sending you with drugs, without addressing the real cause, it will breakout again as another disease and so on.
To get back to basics, take a look at an article I wrote titled “You Are Sick and You Need Help Now,” also read “I am an omnivore, we are all omnivores.” These articles will give you some real solid basic health suggestions and common sense knowledge that, when put into practice, begin to address those needs your body has. When you give your body what it needs, the whole body begins to normalize and all your organs begin to run like they were designed to. When they do that, even genetically weak organs begin to move toward normal function. I ask that you give these suggestions a fair shake of at least 3 months of diligent work. Remember it took years of abuse to develop thyroid disease, it is not going to be solved with a few good meals, you have to work with this. You will see changes just as I did. Read my biography. I had cancer, a genetic weakness, and many genetic problems all served up by an American life style. I really thought I led a healthy life until I was taught better by my sicknesses. If I had not changed my life, like I am asking you to do, I would be dead like my father and grandfather. As I have repeated over and over to students, “I have not drawn a sick breath since that time 18 years ago when I cured my cancer.”
While you are establishing a healthy foundation for your body there are herbs, vitamins and minerals listed below that can assist you with your thyroid issues. Also I would encourage you to take up a hatha yoga routine that includes the inverted postures (simple inverted, shoulder stand, and plow poses). These powerful yoga postures are known to cleanse and stimulate the thyroid gland to balance itself while encourage a balancing of all hormones.
The kind of Ingredients you should seek for thyroid disease.
Below are listed some of many foods that can assist the body when it is suffering from this disease. Some of these foods have a reputation for their thyroid remedial power. Why is it important that the ingredients in the herbal formulas you take be from food? Why couldn’t they be from chemicals? Scientists would like to think that we can treat our bodies with chemicals, that chemical medicines will cure us. But that has never happened and it never will; that is why there are always dangerous side effects. This is just plain common sense; our bodies do not recognize chemicals because they are not from nature. Below are simple natural food complexes which have been shown to be better for our internal human environment. Our forefather’s and mother’s have been using some of these same ingredients for thousands of years with no ill effects.
Why so many different ingredients? This is also just plain common sense as are all nature healing remedies and philosophies. Every single ingredient we are suggesting will all encourage a positive result in your body. But our bodies are uniquely individual and what will encourage dramatic healing results for you might not be as beneficial for someone else with thyroid disease. So we suggest many herbal foods combined together to create a healing synergy that will fit with each unique individual. Again this is common sense when you are given the simple answer.
Chemicals can react against each other causing side effects while foods tend to work together; we all know that.
Food Nutrients for the Thyroid
Listed below is information on different food complexes that assist the thyroid to regain balance and function. This information was compiled by Doctor Robert Thiel, N.H.D. who also holds a Ph.D. in nutrition science; he heads the research group at Doctors’ Research. Adrenal glandulars are a Food which has been used for decades by nutrition-oriented doctors when adrenal concerns are suspected. The adrenal glands help the body deal with stress, but high stress weakens the adrenal glands. Fatigue and metabolic problems are common symptoms of adrenal insufficiency. It should be noted that it is well accepted that hypoadrenalism results in increasing the frequency of hypoglycemia as well as hypothyroidism. Salt craving is a common symptom of hypoadrenalism; it can also be involved in hypothyroidism. The adrenal cortex produces the hormone cortisol which helps control organic metabolism and responses to stress.
Alfalfa is believed by some herbalists have a beneficial effect on the pituitary gland and helps in chemical imbalance, neutralizes uric acid for arthritis, and is useful as a Food to prevent cholesterol accumulation in the veins; this last point is supported by several animal studies.
Brown Kelp is a Food source of trace minerals, and an excellent source of iodine. Kelp has long been used (since 3000 B.C.) to provide nutritional support for the thyroid gland. Gary Null, Ph.D., has written, “Kelp can rebalance thyroid metabolism, resulting in successful weight management and the reversal of many conditions which are caused by a thyroid imbalance, including stomach and respiratory disorders.”
Burdock is believed by some to be helpful in fortifying the immune system. It has several historical uses including helping with skin disorders; particularly when they are caused by a system imbalance. It stimulates the digestive juices and bile secretion and therefore is useful in treating anorexia nervosa and digestion and appetite problems. Some believe, in addition to helping with digestive concerns, burdock aids the pituitary gland to help adjust hormone balance. Burdock has sometimes been recommended for thyroid health.
Carrots contain a variety of carotenoids, which is a vitamin A precursor. Low levels of vitamin A are associated with increased risk of thyroid goiters and deficiencies affect thyroid metabolism. A decade-long Harvard study indicated that by getting 50 milligrams of carotenoids in every other day significantly reduced the risk of cancer, cardiovascular disease, and cataracts.
Copper is a mineral which, in proper dosages, is essential to the human body.
Irish Moss Chondrus crispus contains humic and fulvic acids (FAs) which increase the solubility of toxic metals, thus it is sometimes used to detoxify. Detoxification can be an issue with thyroid health as some believe that substances like chloride and fluoride can bind with the thyroid and interfere with iodine absorption.
Rice bran is a Food source of B vitamins, which are often used for stress and anxiety.
Scullcap (also spelled “skullcap”) is a member of the mint family and is often used as a tonic for female weakness.
Selenium seems to support thyroid hormone production, function as part of many enzymes, have antioxidant effects, and supports cardiovascular health. Food selenium is about twice as well retained than non-food selenium.
For additional information and full article, visit the Author’s Website.
NOTE: This article was contributed by Paul Blake, and condensed down from its original length.