Hypothyroidism can cause fatigue, weight gain, headaches, anemia, acne, eczema, chronic infection, psoriasis, menstrual disorders (including pain during menstruation), depression, poor circulation, and sensitivity to cold.
Hyperthyroidism (also known as Grave’s disease) causes insomnia, weakness, sweating, hyperactivity, weight loss, sensitivity to heat, tremor, bulging of the eyes, and frozen expression. The thyroid gland, found at the base of the neck, in front, often becomes enlarged, as well. High blood pressure (especially systolic) and heart failure can occur.
In extreme cases, mental disorders can suddenly flare (such reactions are referred to as thyroid storms). These flare-ups can be brought on by stress, extreme emotions, infections, or surgery.
What are Hypothyroidism and Hyperthyroidism?
From Modern Western Medicine
Hypothyroidism occurs when the thyroid fails to produce adequate thyroid hormones. The underproduction of hormones is sometimes due to inadequate dietary iodine or when the thyroid is deformed or missing at birth.
Hashimoto’s disease, an autoimmune disorder that destroys the thyroid gland, can give rise to hypothyroidism. The thyroid may also not produce adequate thyroid hormone if the pituitary fails to produce sufficient thyroid-stimulating hormone
The overproduction of thyroid hormones causes the gland to become overactive. The increase in thyroid is often caused when the pituitary gland processes excess thyroid-stimulating hormone, or when a cyst or nodule exists within the thyroid gland.
Common drugs for hypothyroidism are the synthetic hormones, levothyroxine and liothyronine, which can also reduce the size of the thyroid. Blood tests can help physicians determine how much thyroid hormone is needed.
As for hyperthyroidism, physicians may recommend the removal of the thyroid gland or the use of radioactive iodine therapy, which can stop the gland from function. In such cases, doctors then prescribe thyroid hormone.
From Traditional Medicine
For many with thyroid disorders, there are no adequate substitutes for taking synthetic thyroid hormones, which are generally safe and very effective. However, the person should take extremely good care of his or her health in addition by following a healthy diet and getting adequate exercise. The foods, herbs, and homeopathic remedies listed below can help thyroid function.
Food to Eat
- Raw foods
- Unrefined, whole foods
- Whole grains
- Sprouted seeds and beans
- Egg yolks
- Wheat germ
Foods to Avoid
- Refined grains
- Processed foods
The following foods contain goitrogens, which may inhibit iodine utilization, a common cause of hypothyroidism. Since these are very nutritious, be cautious in experimenting with their elimination:
- Brussels sprouts
Herbs to Treat Thyroid
- Irish moss: infusions, steep 5 – 15 minutes, take 2 oz., two or three times daily, up to 2 cups per day
- Kelp (rich in iodine): fluid extract, 10 drops, one to two times daily; powder, 3 – 5 #0 capsules (10 – 30 grains), one to two times daily
For hyperthyroidism, take every hour for up to 10 doses:
- Iodum 30C: for someone who is obsessive, feels very hot, can’t stop hurrying, especially if they are dark-haired and dark-eyed
- Natrum mur 30C: for those with constipation, palpitations, and an earthy complexion
- Belladonna 30C: for flushed face and staring eyes
- Lycopus 30C: for pounding and racing heart and exothalmos (bulging eyes)
For hypothyroidism, take arsenicum 30C every 12 hours for up to five days while seeking out a constitutional treatment with a licensed homeopathist.
These yoga exercises are specific to thyroid disorders: shoulder stand and plough.
- Beta-carotene: 15 mg daily
- Vitamin B1 (thiamine): 1.5 mg per day
- Vitamin B2 (riboflavin): 1.8 mg per day
- Niacin: 10 mg per day
- Vitamin B6: 2 – 10 mg per day
- Vitamin C: 100 – 500 mg per day
- Vitamin E: 100 – 400 mg per day
- Zinc: 15 mg three times per day