Natural treatment options for hypothyroidism


Natural treatment options for hypothyroidism can help control symptoms, but they cannot replace the treatment prescribed by your healthcare provider and should be managed by a healthcare professional.

Talk to your doctor before considering stopping your prescription medications, taking herbs or supplements, or combining them with your medications.

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What is hypothyroidism?

Hypothyroidism , or underactive thyroid, occurs when the thyroid gland does not produce enough thyroid hormones.

Some people are born with this condition called congenital hypothyroidism . This condition can often go unnoticed early on, but it can lead to:

  • Weight gain
  • Sterility
  • Joint pain
  • Heart disease

According to the American Thyroid Association (ATA), about 2% of Americans have hypothyroidism and another 10% have mild hypothyroidism. According to the ATA, half of people with hypothyroidism are unaware of it.

The symptoms of hypothyroidism are varied and often do not depend on how low hormone production is. As the condition progresses or worsens, new symptoms may appear or become more noticeable.

Fatigue and weight gain are the first two signs that people often notice.

Natural healing goals

Natural treatments cannot cure hypothyroidism; instead they point to:

  • Control inflammation and autoimmune triggers associated with autoimmune diseases
  • Increased hormone production
  • Symptom management

Natural treatment options

Natural treatments address lifestyle and environmental factors that can affect thyroid hormone production and symptoms. These treatments should be as individual as your type of hypothyroidism and its symptoms.

Natural cure warning

Be aware that natural therapies, such as supplements and herbal treatments, can carry risks, and it is very important to speak with your healthcare provider before beginning.


Symptoms of hypothyroidism, such as fatigue, weight gain, and bloating, can be relieved with a balanced, nutritious diet that maintains a healthy weight.

Weight gain cannot be avoided even with hypothyroid medications, but a calorie-balanced diet can help. A trained dietitian can help you make a healthy eating plan.

Also, some foods contain a component called goitrogens which, when consumed in large amounts, can affect thyroid health. Goitrogens can inhibit the incorporation of iodine into the thyroid hormones thyroxine (T4) and triiodothyronine (T3). This usually only occurs in people with iodine deficiency, which is rare in the United States.

These foods include, but are not limited to:

  • Broccoli
  • Cauliflower
  • Cabbage
  • Cabbage
  • Soy products


Several supplements support common deficiencies in people with hypothyroidism. The need for them depends on your level of vitamins and minerals. Some potentially beneficial supplements include:

  • Vitamin B-12: Autoimmune thyroid disease is associated with autoimmune disorders, pernicious anemia, and atrophic gastritis, which can cause vitamin B-12 malabsorption. Lack of B-12 can lead to symptoms such as fatigue.
  • Zinc – Some research suggests that zinc supplements can affect thyroid function. More research is required.
  • Selenium – When combined with zinc, selenium can have some effect on thyroid function. Selenium promotes the conversion of T4 to active T3.
  • Iodine : Thyroid hormones require iodine to be produced, but it must be obtained through diet or supplementation. Most Americans get enough iodine from their diet, including iodized salt.

Avoid draining the thyroid gland from a pig or cow. Dried animal thyroid glands are sold as supplements, but they can be dangerous because they underly or excessively affect your condition and make you prone to bovine spongiform encephalopathy (mad cow disease or mad cow disease ).

Iodine poisoning

Although iodine poisoning is rare, excessive iodine intake can be just as problematic as insufficient iodine intake.

Plant medicine

Herbs cannot cure thyroid deficiency and some can be harmful, so always check with your doctor before taking them.

Some herbal supplements work with hormones in your body to support thyroid function, but whether and how they work depends on your unique thyroid condition.

One such herb that can help is ashwagandha, a belladonna plant that is commonly used in Ayurvedic practice. It has been shown in several small human studies to reduce abnormal thyroid hormone levels in subclinical hypothyroidism when taken at 600 mg daily.

Ashwagandha Warning

It is vital to know that ashwagandha can cause thyrotoxicosis, a serious form of hyperthyroidism.

Essential oils

Essential oils have been studied for use in people with hypothyroidism.

Fatigue is a common symptom of thyroid hormone deficiency, and essential oils used in aromatherapy have been found to reduce feelings of fatigue.

Aside from their use in aromatherapy, essential oils do not have enough medical research to support their effectiveness in treating hypothyroidism. However, peppermint and peppermint oils can help with symptoms :

  • Joint pain
  • Nausea
  • Indigestion


Not much research has been done on the use of acupuncture for hypothyroidism.

A 2018 review of an ongoing study showed some promise for the use of acupuncture to increase thyroid hormone levels in people with hypothyroidism. Additional benefits include :

  • Decreased sensitivity to pain and stress.
  • Calm effect
  • Greater muscle stiffness and joint stability.
  • Increased circulation
  • Reduce inflammation

Before treatment, be sure to tell your acupuncturist that you have a thyroid disorder. Also, inform your doctor about your acupuncture treatment.

Meditation and yoga

Some experts suggest that certain yoga poses increase blood flow to the thyroid gland, such as shoulder positions and inverted poses, in which the feet are raised above the heart. Yoga is also believed to reduce stress, which can make hypothyroid symptoms worse.

Also, guided meditation can be beneficial to the thyroid gland as a stress reliever .

Combined treatment approach

If you are considering taking any natural treatments, be it herbs, dietary supplements, essential oil, or acupuncture, it is important to speak with your doctor, who can help you weigh the possible risks and benefits for your particular case.

Often times, safe and gentle options, such as yoga and vitamin or mineral supplements, are helpful when combined with the usual medications and treatments prescribed by your healthcare provider.

As a general rule of thumb, follow a healthy eating plan with:

  • Lots of fruits and vegetables.
  • Lean protein
  • Complex carbohydrates

Get enough sleep and exercise.

Naturopathic Healthcare Providers

If your healthcare professional is unfamiliar with the supplements or herbal medicines that interest you, you may want to consult a naturopathic healthcare professional. Just make sure your thyroid doctor is aware of these treatments.

Get the word of drug information

While natural therapies cannot replace traditional medications or therapies, some options can improve thyroid function or reduce the symptoms of your condition.

Be sure to speak with your healthcare provider about any natural remedies that interest you before beginning. If you seek help from a naturopathic physician or other comprehensive healthcare provider, keep your primary healthcare provider informed of what you are discussing.

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