Thyroid Disease, A Naturopathic Answer

Thyroid disease, malfunctions of the thyroid gland, hyperthyroid (overactive) or hypothyroid (underactive) are showing signs in our population of becoming an epidemic says 'The Colorado Thyroid Disease Prevalence Study'.   This is a trend across the board in American health, where we are seeing many common diseases moving to an epidemic stage.   You name a disease and it is probably an epidemic or moving toward becoming an epidemic-like thyroid disease.

Why do we have this problem?  Well, as a naturopath I say look at the basics, we are violating just about every natural law in how we take care of ourselves and our environment.   But for you who have thyroid disease, solving your problem is the most important priority right now.   I will be frank with you; the drug industry does not have a realistic answer for thyroid support.   Drugs can be a way to stabilize your situation temporarily but to use those drugs does not address the root of the problem only the symptoms.   Through your thyroid disease, your body is saying something is wrong with the way you are living.   If you only address this disease signal your body is sending you with drugs, without addressing the real cause, it will breakout again as another disease and so on.

To get back to basics, take a look at an article I wrote titled 'You Are Sickand You Need Help Now' also read 'I am an omnivore, we are all omnivores'.   These articles will give you some real solid basic health suggestions and common sense knowledge that, when put into practice, begin to address those needs your body has.   When you give your body what it needs, the whole body begins to normalize and all your organs begin to run like they were designed to.   When they do that, even genetically weak organs begin to move toward normal function.  

I ask that you give these suggestions a fair shake of at least 3 months of diligent work.   Remember it took years of abuse to develop thyroid disease, it is not going to be solved with a few good meals, you have to work with this.   You will see changes just as I did.   Read my biography.  I had cancer, a genetic weakness, and many genetic problems all served up by an American life style.   I really thought I led a healthy life until I was taught better by my sicknesses.   If I had not changed my life, like I am asking you to do, I would be dead like my father and grandfather.   As I have repeated over and over to students, 'I have not drawn a sick breath since that time 18 years ago when I cured my cancer.' 

While you are establishing a healthy foundation for your body there are three herbal combinations listed below that can assist you with your thyroid support issues (personally I like the Vegetarian Thyro).   Also I would encourage you to take up a hatha yoga routine that includes the inverted postures (simple inverted, shoulder stand, and plow poses).   These powerful yoga postures are known to cleanse and stimulate the thyroid gland, to balance itself while encouraging a balancing of all hormones.

Thyroid Supplements

1 Metabolic Thyro  

Overactive (hyperthyroid), underactive (hypothyroid), and subclinically sluggish thyroid glands can cause a variety of health complaints: one medical text reports research which found the following associated symptoms (note that not all have all the symptoms) [1]:

Hypothyroid

 

 

 

Hyperthyroid

 

 

Dry coarse skin and hair

 

70-97%

 

Nervousness

 

99%

Fatigue, lethargy, mental or physical slowness

 

70-91%

 

Excessive sweating

 

89%

Edema, puffy hand, face, or eyes

 

67-95%

 

Hypersensitivity to heat

 

89%

Cold intolerance

 

58-95%

 

Palpitation

 

89%

Decreased sweating

 

68-89%

 

Fatigue

 

88%

Hoarseness

 

48-74%

 

Weight loss

 

85%

Constipation

 

36-61%

 

Tachycardia

 

82%

Weight gain

 

48-76%

 

Difficulty breathing

 

75%

Loss or thinning hair

 

32-57%

 

Weakness

 

70%

Menstrual disturbance

 

16-30%

 

Diarrhea

 

23%

Bradycardia

 

14%

 

Weight gain

 

2%

As the preceding lists show, some symptoms of hypothyroid and hyperthyroid overlap (and many people have a mixture of symptoms). Other studies have also implicated high cholesterol, depression, headaches, cardiovascular, and other problems with the thyroid [1-5]. Current and historical references suggest that substances contained within the ingredients in Metabolic Thyro can nutritionally help support the thyroid gland and promote better overall metabolism. Note: many believe glandulars provide nutritional support for the type of gland they are [6-13].

Metabolic Thyro contains the following thyroid support Foods:

Adrenal glandulars are a support Food which has been used for decades by nutrition-oriented doctors when adrenal concerns are suspected. The adrenal glands help the body deal with stress, but high stress weakens the adrenal glands [14]. Fatigue and metabolic problems are common symptoms of adrenal insufficiency [15]. It should be noted that it is well accepted that hypoadrenalism results in 'increasing the frequency of hypoglycemia' as well as 'hypothyroidism' [15]. Salt craving is a common symptom of hypoadrenalism [15]; it can also be involved in hypothyroidism [3]. The adrenal cortex produces the hormone cortisol which helps control organic metabolism and responses to stress [4].

Alfalfa is believed by some herbalists have a 'beneficial effect on the pituitary gland', 'helps in chemical imbalance', 'neutralizes uric acid for arthritis', and 'is useful as a Food to prevent cholesterol accumulation in the veins' [16]; this last point is supported by several animal studies [17].

Burdock is believed by some to be helpful in 'fortifying and supporting the immune system' [18]. It has several historical uses including helping with skin disorders 'particularly when they are caused by a system imbalance. It stimulates the digestive juices and bile secretion and therefore is useful in treating anorexia nervosa and digestion and appetite problems' [19]. Some believe, in addition to helping with digestive concerns, burdock 'aids the pituitary gland to help adjust hormone balance' [16]. Burdock has sometimes been recommended for thyroid health [16].   

Chromium GTF in Food is organically attached. Inorganic chromium 'is very difficult to absorb', but organically attached chromium 10-25 times 'more easily absorbed' [20,21]. 'Chromium is generally accepted as an essential nutrient that potentiates insulin action and thus influences and supports carbohydrate, lipid, and protein metabolism' [20].

Guar gum seed is a water soluble fiber (in the form of a galactomannan), extracted from locust beans, which appears to have some of the same support benefits as other dietary fiber [22-24]. 

Kelp is a Food high in minerals, especially iodine [25]. Kelp has long been used (since 3000 B.C.) to provide nutritional support for the thyroid gland [16,18,21]. Gary Null, Ph.D., has written, 'Kelp can rebalance thyroid metabolism, resulting in successful weight management and the reversal of many conditions which are caused by a thyroid imbalance, including stomach and respiratory disorders' [18]. The body's sole function of the mineral iodine is for the thyroid to make thyroid hormones (T1,T2,T3, & T4) [1,4,21].

L-tyrosine an amino acid required for the production of thyroid hormones, T1,T2,T3, and T4 [4]. 

Liver glandulars have sometimes been recommended by nutrition-oriented practitioners for some with metabolic concerns [5,11,20]. The liver is involved in blood sugar regulation, conversion of T4 to T3, and a variety of enzymes [4].  

Pituitary glandulars have long been used by doctors [11,26]. The pituitary produces the thyroid stimulating hormone which signals to the thyroid that it needs to work and make its own support hormones [4].  

Scullcap (also spelled 'skullcap') is a member of the mint family and is often used as a tonic for 'female weakness' [9,17,27].'These [support tonics] are plant remedies that either strengthen or enliven a specific organ or the whole body. They are truly Nature's gifts to a suffering humanity' [27]. Even the United States Pharmacopoeia has long recognized scullcap as a nervine and tonic [9]. It also is recommended by some herbalists for thyroid support concerns [16]. 

Thyroid glandulars have long been used by doctors as nutritional thyroid support [9,12]. The 1916 edition of the United States Pharmacopoeia states that the following concerning thyroid glandulars, 'exerting a strong influence on the nutritive and metabolic processes. Used in the treatment of myxdema, cretinism and obesity' [9]. Dr. Cass Ingram also prefers glandulars to synthetic thyroid support medications when low thyroid is suspected [3]. There are reports that many who do not test positive for clinical hyperthyroidism or hypothyroidism who take thyroid glandulars have sometimes reported improvement in many symptoms associated with hyperthyroid and hypothyroid [3,5,11,26].

Many people simply take Metabolic Thyro to feel better. 

2.  Vegetarian ThyroTM

The thyroid is responsible for hormones that affect mood, improve circulation, increase metabolism, retain calcium, affect cardiovascular health, improve tolerance to temperature fluctuations, minimize body fat, reduce the tendency for obesity, minimize menstrual disturbances, improve energy, reduce the dryness of skin and hair, and reduce premature hair loss [1-3].   Yet thyroid problems are very common [2].

Unfortunately, medical interventions are often incomplete as blood tests often do not recognize certain forms of hypothyroidism [2,3].   Furthermore, even when found medically, most medical interventions are limited to the prescribing of synthetic T4 (levothyroxine), which tends to shut the thyroid down [4], and thus possibly increasing the tendency for osteoporosis [3-5], as well as sometimes increasing mood problems and some other symptoms associated with low thyroid function.

Vegetarian Thyro is a 100% vegan Food supplement intended as nutritional thyroid support and for improving metabolism.   Vegetarian Thyro is basically Food intended for the thyroid gland.   If additional endocrine support is indicated, consider adding Vegetarian Adrenal or Bean Tyrosine.

Brown Kelp is a Food source of trace minerals, and an excellent source of iodine [6].   Kelp has long been used (since 3000 B.C.) to provide nutritional support for the thyroid gland [7-8]. Gary Null, Ph.D., has written, 'Kelp can rebalance thyroid metabolism, resulting in successful weight management and the reversal of many conditions which are caused by a thyroid imbalance, including stomach and respiratory disorders' [8].

Carrots contain a variety of carotenoids, which is a vitamin A precursor. Low levels of vitamin A are associated with increased risk of thyroid goiters and deficiencies affect thyroid metabolism [9].   '[A] decade-long Harvard study indicated that by getting 50 milligrams of carotenoids in every other day'significantly reduced the risk of cancer, cardiovascular disease, and cataracts' [7].

Copper is a mineral which, in proper dosages, is essential to the human body.   Vegetarian Thyro contains copper in a B-vitamin containing Food. Copper works with zinc in the body, and zinc without copper can lead to imbalances [10].   Food copper is not like non-food forms such as copper chloride [11].

Guar gum seed is a water soluble fiber (in the form of a galactomannan), extracted from locust beans.   It improves 'tolerance to glucose by decreasing absorption', which makes it of value for many [12].

Iodine can be properly called THE THYROID support mineral since the body's sole use of the mineral iodine is for the thyroid to make thyroid hormones (T1,T2,T3, & T4) [1,5,7].   The primary thyroid hormone (T1) is called monoiodotyrosine, which means it needs iodine and tyrosine [5].   It gets converted to T2 with the addition of more iodine, then to T3 with more iodine then to T4 with even more iodine.

Irish Moss Chondrus crispus contains humic and fulvic acids (FAs) which increase the solubility of toxic metals [13], thus it is sometimes used to detoxify.   Detoxification can be an issue with thyroid health as some believe that substances like chloride and fluoride can bind with the thyroid and interfere with iodine absorption.   'Irish moss and Kelp combination is used to balance hormonal indeficiency especially in the thyroid gland.   It increases the metabolic rate, thyroid activity, and the detoxifying function of the body.   The herbs {also} supply trace minerals'[and] is commonly used in conjunction with'the complex of B vitamins, vitamin A,'and zinc' [14] .

L-tyrosine an amino acid required for the production of thyroid hormones, T1,T2,T3, and T4 [5].   Tyrosine may reduce the net rate of protein breakdown in the body and appears to help with endurance [15].   Tyrosine has an effect nerve impulse transmission and may 'improve vigilance and lessen anxiety' [16].   Gary Null (Ph.D.) considers tyrosine to be a therapeutic amino acid for depression as well was an antiencephalopathic, antiparkinsonian, and an antidepressant [17].   Women on oral contraceptives have been found to have less plasma and brain levels of tyrosine which results in a reduction in catecholamines, which affect mood. [18].   Oral consumption of tyrosine has, in some case, been shown to completely alleviate depression while increasing plasma tyrosine levels [19,20].   It has also been shown to help when MAO inhibitors did not [20]. In rat models vitamin C has enhanced the ability of tyrosine to decrease blood pressure [7,21].   Interestingly, 'Tyrosine has been known to normalize blood pressure whether high or low.   Tyrosine is being tested by the Air Force to enhance performance under stress' [22].

The body naturally produces tyrosine by converting it from phenylalanine [7].   'Compared with tyrosine which has a de novo synthesis component limited by phenylalanine oxidation, most nonessential amino acids have a very large de novo synthesis components because of the metabolic pathways they are involved in' [7].   This might explain why taking separate tyrosine is more helpful for many than taking other separate amino acids classified as nonessential'they can be made with much easier (with less restriction) than tyrosine can (tyrosine requires liver hydroxylation).

Rice bran is a Food source of B vitamins [23], which are often used for stress and anxiety.

Selenium seems to support thyroid hormone production, function as part of many enzymes, have antioxidant effects, and supports cardiovascular health [24].   Food selenium is about twice as well retained than non-food selenium [25].

Watercress Nasturium officinalis is an evergreen that thrives in clear cold water.   It has been written that, 'Watercress is strongly alkaline due to its high potassium content'Watercress increases blood circulation and increases energy'. It increases physical endurance and stamina' [26].

Zinc deficiency in humans can cause thyroid problems, alopecia, impotence, skin problems, immune deficiencies, increased susceptibility to infection/sore throats, night blindness, impaired taste, delayed wound healing, impaired appetite, photophobia (hypersensitivity to light), difficulty in dark adaptation, growth retardation, male infertility (low sperm counts), liver enlargement, and spleen enlargement [7,27].

Many people simply take Vegetarian Thyro as a Food supplement to help them feel better.

3 Thyroid Formula

This nourishing formula provides the thyroid gland with herbs that are known to benefit the thyroid gland balancing both hypothyroid and hyperthyroid conditions.   Suggested Guidelines: Not intended for use with hyperthyroidism or for long term therapeutic use.   If thyroid conditions are a concern, consultation with a qualified healthcare professional is advised. Not intended for therapeutic use if pregnant.

Irish Moss, Black Cohosh root, Purple Dulse leaf, Bayberry bark, Fucus tip (Bladderwrack), Nettle leaf, Mullein leaf & flower.

The Colorado Thyroid Disease Prevalence Study,  Arch Intern Med. 2000;160:526-534
Gay J. Canaris, MD, MSPH; Neil R. Manowitz, PhD; Gilbert Mayor, MD; E. Chester Ridgway, MD

Back to Thyroid Support, Thyroid Supplements

Doctors' Research
100% Whole Food Supplements
Metabolic Thyro
90 Tablets $19.98
 

Vegetarian Thyro
60 Tablets $25.98

 

 

Important Note:
The information presented herein by The Natural Path Botanicals is intended for educational purposes only. These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA and are not intended to diagnose, cure, treat or prevent disease. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplements, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.

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