Heal Your Thyroid Naturally with These 6 Easy Tips

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Can you really heal your thyroid naturally with proper diet, exercise and stress maintenance? The answer is yes! When individuals are told they have hypo- or hyperthyroidism, the “only option” available to them by their doctors is drugs – these drugs also come with nasty side effects like heart palpitations, nervousness, insomnia, tremors, frequent bowel movements, discomfort in warm weather, and osteoporosis (bone thinning as a result of taking high medication doses for long periods of time).

How does the thyroid work? The thyroid sits in the front of the neck and is responsible for secreting proper amounts of thyroid hormone. The thyroid is incredibly important because it effects every cell in the human body by helping to increase or decrease the metabolic activity of the cells.

There are a variety of causes as to why your thyroid might be malfunctioning. Below are some of these causes:

Nutrient Deficiencies:

Chromium, copper, iodine, iron, selenium, zinc, vitamin A, vitamin B2, vitamin B6, and vitamin B12

Medications:

Beta blockers, birth control pills, estrogen, iodinated contrast agents, lithium, phytoin, steroids, theophylline

Nutrition:

Too many cruciferous vegetables, soy

Other:

Aging, alcohol, lipoic acid, diabetes, fluoride, lead, mercury, obesity, pesticides, radiation, stress, surgery

How can you fix your thyroid naturally? 

Improving your overall health through eating properly and ruling out adrenal fatigue is the first step to helping your thyroid heal on its own, naturally. In addition, ensuring adequate sleep, recovery from any kind of exercise and proper stress reduction techniques are all critical in improving thyroid function.

Here are SIX STEPS to help your thyroid start functioning at it’s optimal best:
Foods You Should Be Consuming:

Seaweeds

Seaweed products like nori, kelp, dulse, wakame, etc. are very high in iodine which is what a lot of individuals with thyroid problems are lacking. Iodine is essential for proper thyroid functioning because it helps the thyroid gland produce the hormone thyroxin which regulates our metabolism.

Selenium-rich Foods

A major contributor to thyroid problems is a lack of selenium. This mineral keeps the various hormones produced by the thyroid gland in balance. Foods rich in selenium include garlic, kelp, onion, sunflower and sesame seeds as well as brazil nuts!

Essential Fatty Acids

To help out our metabolism, it is important to eat foods rich in Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids. This includes things such as leafy green vegetables, nuts (i.e., walnuts), pumpkin & sunflower seeds, hemp seeds, chia seeds and avocado. Don’t forget seeded fruits such as watermelon, berries, pomegranates, kiwi, etc. also contain these essential fatty acids within their seeds. Consuming watermelon seeds is harmless! They taste wonderful too! Finding seeded watermelons is pretty much near impossible unless you grow your own heritage watermelon or pick up non-hybrid watermelons from a local farmers market.

Copper & Iron-rich Foods

Copper and iron are also crucial to help the thyroid function properly. Foods rich in copper include things such as sunflower & hemp seeds, nuts (cashews, walnuts, hazelnuts, brazil nuts), shittake mushrooms, spirulina, and tomatoes. Copper is also found (in lesser amounts) in pears, persimmons, peaches, apricots, prunes, dates, grapes, avocado, and potatoes.

For an extensive list of iron-rich plant foods to consume, click HERE.

2. Foods You Should Eliminate:

Soy

Soy is in the category of foods known as “goitrogens” which promote the formation of a goiter (enlarged thyroid). Goitrogens also slow down thyroid functioning and can trigger thyroid disease. The isoflavones found in soy are inhibitors of thyroid peroxidase which is the main factor in creation of T3 and T4. Inhibition of thyroid peroxidase can lead to thyroid abnormalities.

Too many cruciferous vegetables

Cruciferous vegetables contain compounds called . This doesn’t mean to eliminate cruciferous vegetables – these guys are vitamin and mineral dense and have wonderful effects on the body. Simply limiting yourself to cruciferous vegetables 3-4 times per week, instead of 7 days a week is a good place to start! Cruciferous vegetables include things like carrots, beets, brussels sprouts, kale, cauliflower, cabbage, collard greens, bok choy, chinese cabbage, watercress, arugula, turnips and parsnips. 

Wheat Products (and other grains like rye, barley, millet & oats)

Foods that contain gluten (aka. wheat, rye, barley, millet, oats) contain gliadin (the protein portion of gluten), which closely resembles the molecular structure of the thyroid gland. When we consume gluten, this protein is targeted by the immune system for destruction – but, because the thyroid gland also closely resembles this protein, the immune system gets confused and also starts attacking the thyroid gland, mistaking it for the gliadin intruder.

If you must eat grains, consume pseudo-grains like rice, amaranth, buckwheat, quinoa, sorghum, teff or wild rice! There are plenty of options available, as you can see!

Coffee

Be wary of your coffee intake. Coffee raises cortisol levels, and cortisol slows down the production of thyroid hormone. In addition, if you are on thyroid medication, coffee consumed within 60 minutes of taking said hormone replacements reduces absorption even further. Our thyroid hormone consists of two main players: T4 and T3. T4 is needed to make T3, and T3 is the component that helps boost metabolism, keeps weight levels down, and puts you in a happy mood. High cortisol (triggered by coffee consumption, and other external stressors as mentioned below) blocks the production of T3, leading to slowed metabolism, weight gain and poor moods.

3. Stress Reduction:

Did you know that chronic stress can trigger a thyroid condition? If you suffer from any kind of thyroid condition, being able to manage your stress levels is essential! Especially if you wish to treat your thyroid naturally. When we are bombarded with stressful situations such as stressful jobs, relationships, financial issues, etc., our body goes into over-drive and our adrenal and thyroid glands become overwhelmed and stop functioning properly. As a protective mechanism, the body slows down thyroid hormone production to slow metabolism and slow down the catabolic process that normally occurs when the body is in a high state of stress.

Managing your stress by meditating and relaxing, getting out of toxic relationships with friends or lovers, opting for a job that will make you happy instead of stressed and learning how to properly manage your money are all ways to help de-stress and improve the functioning of the thyroid.

4. Exercise:

To improve thyroid function and to heal a poorly functioning thyroid you must exercise at least 3 days a week for 40 minutes! Whether that is walking, jogging, swimming, dancing, you name it! Exercise helps lower insulin levels (especially circuit training) which helps to boost thyroid function. Make sure you get adequate recovery time too! Without enough recovery time, your body will not have enough time to heal and this can lead to burnout.

5. Remove All Chemicals & Endocrine Disruptors:

This includes toxin-free living in your home and body. The endocrine system (also called “hormone system) is made up of glands throughout the body which secrete hormones to be released to other parts of the body (which respond to said hormones). The thyroid gland is apart of the endocrine system, and so it is important to avoid harsh chemicals, especially those classified as endocrine disruptors. Disruption of the endocrine system can occur via some chemicals which mimic a natural hormone and fool the body into over-responding to the stimulus or responding at times when not appropriate. Other endocrine disruptors block hormones from entering certain receptors, while others cause the overproduction or underproduction of hormones.

Many of your household chemical cleaners, hair-care products, skin-care products, air fresheners, perfumes, and the like, contain these chemicals. Going all-natural is the best way to avoid harsh chemicals. When it comes to eating food, switching to a high-organic, pesticide/herbicide/fungicide free diet is the best way to avoid any potential endocrine disruptors.

Here is a list of endocrine-disrupting chemicals which directly target the thyroid gland:

Persistent organohalogens (found in chemical cleaners, hair-care/skin-care products, etc.):

Benzenehexachloride (BHC)

Octachlorostyrene

PBBs

PCBs

PCB, hydroxylated

 

Pesticides (found in MANY foods, not labelled organic: boxed, bagged, canned, fruits, veg):

Acetochlor

Alachlor

Amitrol

Chlofentezine

Ethylene thiourea

Fenbuconazole

Fipronil

Heptachlor

Heptachlor-epoxide

Karate

Malathion

Mancozeb

Maneb

Methomyl

Mirex

Nitrofen

Pendimethalin

Pentachloronitrobenzene

Prodiamine

Pyrimethanil

Tarstar

Thiazopyr

Thiram

Toxaphene

Zineb

Ziram

 

Other compounds:

Perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS)

Resorcinol

 

Metals:

Mercury

 

Sources:

The Mismanaged Thyroid (Gland & Hormones)

http://www.webmd.com/a-to-z-guides/thyroid-hormone-medications-for-hypothyroidism

The Gluten-Thyroid Connection

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/sara-gottfried-md/thyroid-coffee_b_1585136.html

http://www.epa.gov/endo/pubs/edspoverview/whatare.htm

http://www.ourstolenfuture.org/basics/chemlist.htm

     
Carly Fraser has her BSc (Hons.) Degree in Neuroscience, and is the owner and founder at Live Love Fruit. She currently lives in Winnipeg, Manitoba, with a determined life mission to help inspire and motivate individuals to critically think about what they put in their bodies and to find balance through nutrition and lifestyle. She has helped hundreds of thousands of individuals to re-connect with their bodies and learn self-love through proper eating habits and natural living. She loves to do yoga, dance, and immerse herself in nature.

41 COMMENTS

  1. This information for the thyroid is exactly what I was looking since I was diagnosis in August. I had no idea how certain vegetables could be so bad for me. I love broccoli and brussel sprouts which I will now watch how much I eat of them. And coffee I usually have a cup of coffee within 10 minutes of taking my thyroid pill which I am stopping immediately. I will let you know how much it helps my health by following your information. My thyroidism is just barely there so I am looking forward to healing it and getting off the pills.

  2. I had my total thyroidectomy done…..5 years ago. I am taking(lifetime) thyroid hormone pill.
    Can you please give me some advice how to stay healthy even without my thyroid.

  3. I have been on thyroid meds for year and half. I also have hashmottios which works against what I am doing. Any suggestions

  4. Hi I have thypo thyroid only mild after cutting out foods that one should not have and add the ones I should has improved my results without meds but I am a bit confused as one site says have beets and carrots you say don’t I juice celery ,cucumber carrot and coconut water everyday and my results have just got better.

    • “Simply limiting yourself to cruciferous vegetables 3-4 times per week, instead of 7 days a week”

      This is what I said – don’t get rid of these vegetables completely as they contain beneficial nutrients. Just don’t eat them everyday.

  5. Hi my name is Kerry, I found myself nervous at times and easily get anxious. However it was very embrassing to me so I went to the doctor. He said I should do a blood test I did and the result came back that I'm hyperthyroidism.
    He put me on Apo-Propranolol and NeoMercazole and I'm not having the problems anymore but my concern is do I have to be on these medications forever?

    • No you don't need to be on the medication forever, but once you go off, your symptoms will re-appear. Drugs only cover up an issue that is more deeply rooted. So you are basically putting a temporary bandaid on your issue right now. Google "How to treat hyperthyroid naturally" and you will find many articles.

  6. Hello Mam, This is Kunal from India and i m 28, just before 22 days i came to know that i have hypothyroidism over 37. As Dr. suggested i dropped taking over protein, soy items and some vegetables since last 22 days. Taking Thyronorm 50 every morning in empty stomach. Now I am having issue with my breathing which i feel has got shorten and also i feel dizziness throughout the day. Became weak . I remain anxious also. I searched over google for some solution but get confused on various suggestions. Today i found you and your site and i would follow your advises. Also Mam can you suggest me what food or fruit will give me energy and heal the breathing problem which i can take regularly. Looking forward to hear from you. Thank you.

    • I would get off medication immediately, its only covering up an underlying problem. Hypothyroid, take a kelp supplement for iodine, get plenty of sun, take a probiotic every day, and stop stressing.

        • There are different ways of getting off medications – I would suggest seeing a naturopath and tell them you want to get off, and they will figure out a plan for you. Medications are just going to make the condition worse and not fix anything.

  7. hello mam i jst found ur article today ive been diagnosed of hyperthyroidism 4months ago.my chinese doctor gave me a 100% pure organic seaweeds and fish oil and he advise me not do exercise or extreneous activity now im gaining weight what should i do to prevent from obessity?im 28yrs old

  8. Hello my name is Chag – I have hypothyroidism for the past 5 years and have been on thyronorm ever since I was diagnosed. My weight was 95kgs 5 years ago. Now I am 77 kgs. The dosage I am taking keeps varying. initially I was on thyronorm 150mcg and then 125mcg then 100mcg and now am taking to 112.5mcg. Even after taking medication – I Still feel weak and drousy after lunch. Is there a way I can get off medication completely. I am 38 yrs.

    • I would stick to plant-based diet, follow these tips, and maybe consider eating some brazil nuts for selenium and check up on Medical Medium and what he has to say about hypothyroidism.

  9. Hi miss carly, i have hyperthyroidism recently detected, is there any particular food that i should avoid? Kindly give me your humble advice. I am a good eater of any food and i am always hungry, but i am only 45 kilos and i'm 46. Will often eating affects hyperthyroidism? Thank you in advance

  10. Hi,

    I have been battling with hyperthyroidism for a few years now but my doctor has never put me on medications because she says that my levels aren't low enough. But I battle with anxiety, nervousness, and even weight loss to name a few. I also was told that I have small nodules on my thyroid.
    Is there anything that you can suggest I try?

  11. hi ,i am borderline hyperthyroidism,i have read that taking flexseed is a no ,no. why?.can you take Shelled Hemp,to give my system a boost.Is it good to take coconut oil as a supplement Is it still ok to work out with weights etc.many thanks

  12. Hi Carly,
    I am a 53 y/o male and i have very large nodules on both sides of my thyroid.
    I have been researching whether or not there is a natural way to reduce the nodules before going to my last resort which is surgery.

  13. Hi Carly,
    My Dr. recently diagnosed me with 'borderline' hypothyroidism. I am a 44 year old male, and, in the past 6 months I have put on 30lbs, and always feel tired. As he says its 'borderline', I don't want to take the synthetic Levothydocine (sp?) rather I want to try naturally I don't know where to begin. Do you have any good resources for a diet plan, that I can institue immediately? I have, since diagnosis, removed all flurodie form my diet/water, plan on having my fillings removed due to them being the mercury kind, and will try to excercise, although I always feel tired afterwork. I am not sure if its the weight thats making me more tired or the thyroid weakness. ny advice would be greatly appreciated, thank you.

  14. Hi Carly,

    My daughter who is 6 years old has recently been diagnosed with hypothyroidism with TSH > 750. Can you please guide me what should be the best way to help her get rid of this problem so that she doesnt have to take the medicine life long?
    Thanks
    Sonia

  15. Hi Carly,
    I am 32 year old male and have Hypothyroid since past 2 years and taking 0.1 mg Synthroid supplement. I wanted to get rid of it but then always come to know that we have to take medication all the time.
    If I follow your tips mentioned in the article, do you think it will help me reduce the supplement and gradually stop taking it?
    Your advice will be really Appreciated

    • These tips will greatly improve the health of your thyroid, yes. I would suggest googling how other people went off their synthroid medication to make sure you go off of it in a safe manner (or ask your doctor).

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