7 Supplements and Herbs For Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis and Hypothyroidism
Many people with Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis and other types of hypothyroidism look to take nutritional supplements and herbs to help manage their symptoms naturally. Taking the right supplements and herbs can really do wonders with someone who has a hypothyroid condition. In fact, when incorporating other lifestyle factors as well, many people with Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis and other types of hypothyroidism can completely restore their health. So it’s important to understand that while nutritional supplements and herbs can do wonders for one’s health, taking them alone won’t restore your health back to normal, and they might not even do a good job of managing one’s symptoms.
As result, before you decide to take any of the following supplements or herbs, it’s a good idea to speak with a holistic doctor who focuses on endocrine disorders. They will evaluate your condition to determine which of the following supplements and/or herbs you might need, what dosage is appropriate to take, etc. Plus, a good holistic doctor won’t only try to manage your symptoms naturally, but if at all possible will try to cure your condition. While conventional endocrinologists and medical doctors simply tell their patients to take synthetic or natural thyroid hormone for the rest of their life, a good natural endocrine doctor will try to find the underlying cause of the condition.
After all, most thyroid conditions don’t simply develop “out of the blue”. In other words, there usually is an underlying cause which in turn causes problems with the thyroid gland. So while taking synthetic or natural thyroid hormone may do a good job of managing the symptoms (although not always), it will do absolutely nothing for the actual cause of the hypothyroid condition. On the other hand, following a natural thyroid treatment protocol can help to correct the underlying cause. And the following seven supplements/herbs can play a big role in the recovery process:
1. Eleuthero. Most people with hypothyroidism, including those with Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis, have adrenal problems. Eleuthero, also known as Siberian Ginseng, is an excellent herb that can help people do a better job of adapting to stressful situations. For people who have weakened adrenal glands, this herb will help them to recover and become strong again. This herb also helps with the immune system, which of course will benefit those people with Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis. When I was diagnosed with an autoimmune thyroid condition I took Eleuthero, as I had abnormally low cortisol levels and this herb, along with other factors, helped to restore my adrenal health back to normal.
2. Echinacea. Many people are familiar with this herb, which has a primary focus of improving immunity. This once again will be helpful for someone who has Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis, as well as with other autoimmune conditions. It is important to understand that the quality of this herb is important. While this is true with any other herb or nutritional supplements you take, the reason I bring this up with Echinacea is because this is a very popular herb that is sold in most nutrition stores, health food stores, pharmacies, and many other places. So it’s important to take a high quality supplement in order to receive optimal results.
3. Iodine. Most people with Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis and other hypothyroid conditions are deficient in iodine. However, while people with primary hypothyroidism can take iodine without a problem, those people with Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis can’t take iodine until the autoimmune response has been addressed. If they do take iodine, there is a good chance their symptoms will become worse. So if you have Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis, you need to first see a natural endocrine doctor who will address the immune system component. Once this is under control then the iodine deficiency can be addressed.
But how can someone tell if they have an iodine deficiency? The best method is through an iodine loading test, which is a urine test that involves taking a 50mg tablet of iodine, and then seeing how much iodine you excrete over a 24 hour period. Once it has been determined that you have an iodine deficiency, you will want to take a high quality iodine supplement, and gradually increase the dosage to address this deficiency. I’ve written separate articles on iodine deficiency, and in addition to reading these, there’s an excellent book entitled “Iodine, Why You Need It, Why You Can’t Live Without It.” I highly recommend anyone with a thyroid condition to read this book.
4. Bladderwrack. This is yet another great herb for people with hypothyroidism, including Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis. Bladderwrack is a multipurpose herb, which means that it has many different benefits. This actually describes most herbs, as most of them do more than one thing. In any case, this herb directly impacts the thyroid gland, and also helps to increase the metabolic rate.
5. Ashwagandha. This is another wonderful herb for hypothyroidism and Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis. Some of its functions include helping the body better cope with stress, as well as help with immunity. It also helps with the conversion of T4 to T3. There are numerous other benefits of this herb as well.
6. Selenium. Selenium is an extremely important mineral, as it is involved in the production of thyroid hormone. It is involved in the enzymatic reaction which converts T4 to T3, and so a deficiency in selenium may lead to the development of a hypothyroid condition. Many people have a selenium deficiency, but this can easily be addressed through supplementation, or by simply eating a handful of raw Brazil nuts each day.
7. Magnesium. Many people are also deficient in magnesium, which also is important in people with hypothyroidism, including Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis. It is especially important for the proper utilization of iodine. So anyone who is iodine deficient should definitely make sure they aren’t also magnesium deficient. There are numerous foods one can eat to address such a deficiency, such as green leafy vegetables, nuts, and unrefined grains. Or you can choose to take magnesium supplements instead.
So these are some of the nutritional supplements and herbs that people with hypothyroidism and Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis should consider taking. This of course isn’t to suggest that everyone with these conditions needs to take all of these supplements and herbs, as this is why it is advised to consult with a competent holistic doctor. This way they could determine which nutritional deficiencies you have, see what herbs you can benefit from taking, and come up with a natural treatment plan to help restore your health back to normal.