Alternative Therapies for Thyroid Disease
An overactive (Hyperthyroidism) or underactive (Hypothyroidism) thyroid can result in increased allergies, skin problems, fatigue, nervousness, gastrointestinal problems, sleeping too much or too little, gaining or losing weight, swelling, and various types of pain.
Of these two, hypothyroidism is the most common. Doctors are aware of six basic symptoms of hypothyroidism; weight gain, dry skin and hair, hoarse voice, fatigue, cold intolerance and puffy facial feature, but these symptoms are minor compared to the effects thyroid deficiency can have on the body since every cell in the body needs thyroid hormone. You may experience any number of the "text book" symptoms, or none at all. Many people whose blood results are "normal" have debilitating symptoms of hypothyroidism and no hope of any help from the medical profession. Yet, if left untreated, you put yourself at risk for diabetes, high blood pressure, emphysema, arthritis, depression, migraine, and carpal tunnel syndrome.
There are various modalities of alternative therapies which have indeed proven to be successful for many - but not all - people.
As an example, according to what I've read, Robert D. Milne, M.D., of Las Vegas, uses electroacupuncture biofeedback devices (Energy Medicine) to screen all his patients, many of whom come to him suffering from chronic fatigue syndrome. Using this device, he finds that virtually all female patients have digestive or pelvic problems predating the CFS. Once he treats these problems with diet, food supplements, Chinese herbs, enzymes, and homeopathic remedies, the condition abates. Dr. Milne has also successfully treated one of his patients who had been medically diagnosed with intractable thyroiditis (Hashimoto's disease) using a combination of acupuncture, herbs, and homeopathic remedies.
The hormone thyroxine is produced by the thyroid gland, which controls a person's metabolic rate. An essential part of this hormone is the chemical iodine, and therefore an iodine-rich diet (containing seafood, shellfish, organic vegetables, and iodized salt) is a vital self-help measure for thyroid problems caused by iodine deficiency.
At times, those who are the hardest to treat with any other modality, including acupuncture, chiropractic, and conventional medicine, are the easiest to treat with neural therapy. Thyroid disease is one of many conditions which respond well to neural therapy, according to pain specialist Dietrich Klinghardt, M.D., Ph.D., of Santa Fe, New Mexico.
Your doctor should check your TSH level and the amount of thyroid hormone in your blood to find out whether or not you have a thyroid problem. There are two basic blood tests done, followed by more specialized testing should your doctor suspect a thyroid problem. However, most of the standard thyroid tests (for T3, T4, and TSH levels) often fail to pinpoint an underfunctioning thyroid, leading physicians to make erroneous diagnoses.
Nutrition for thyroid conditions:
Foods that depress thyroid activity are broccoli, cabbage, brussels sprouts, cauliflower, kale, spinach, turnips, soy, beans, and mustard greens.
These foods should be included in the diet for hyperthyroid conditions and avoided for hypothyroid conditions.
- Avoid refined foods, sugar, dairy products, wheat, caffeine, alcohol.
- Essential fatty acids are anti-inflammatory and necessary for hormone production. Take 1,000 to 1,500 mg flaxseed oil three times per day.
- Calcium and magnesium help many metabolic processes function correctly. Calcium and magnesium must be present together in sufficient quantities, or the body can't use either. The optimal ratio is 3 parts calcium to 1 part magnesium. Never supplement calcium without also supplementing magnesium, because if you do so, the body will actually use its stored Mg to try and process the supplemented Ca, the end result of which is that the body actually depletes its stored calcium reserves because the Mg holding it in place was taken away trying to process the supplemented Calcium. If you think about it, all the extra calcium added to foods and drinks these days only results in us having lower calcium levels overall - due to the Mg not being supplemented... not good, not good at all! So, if you supplement Ca, make sure to supplement 1/3 as much Mg at the same time. 1000 mg of Ca needs 334 mgs of Mg; 1500 mgs of Ca needs 500 mgs of Mg.
Regardless of which alternative treatment you decide to use, thyroid function needs to be carefully evaluated and is likely to need specialist medical advice. Some people have had great success using only alternative medicine, while others must utilize a combination of alternative and conventional medicine.
Protect Your Thyroid the Natural Way
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The American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists (AACE) recommends that every adult perform this simple "Neck Check" test once a month -- especially women, who are much more likely to develop thyroid problems. Like breast self-exams and regular Pap smears, this early-detection test can help save thousands of lives.
Treatment of Hypothyroidism
"Hypothyroidism, or an underactive thyroid system, is one of the most underdiagnosed and important conditions in the United States. It has been called the "unsuspected illness" and accounts for a great number of complaints in children, adolescents and adults.."
NOTE: This isn excellent article by Michael Schachter, M.D., P.C., and worth reading.
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