Symptoms of thyroid dysfunction can be significant and while there are medical options to help manage them, many in the health community recommend natural ways to balance the thyroid. The thyroid produces two powerful hormones, T3 (triiodothyronine) and T4 (thyroxine) which affect metabolism, temperature regulation, cardiac health, and the functioning of vital organs. Thyroid disease affects an estimated 20 million people in the United States and there are two main types. Hypothyroidism occurs when the thyroid does not produce enough hormones, and hyperthyroidism, which occurs when the thyroid overproduces hormones. Each condition produces different symptoms, from fatigue and weight gain to anxiety and weight loss.
The alternatives to Thyroid hormones are –
Prior to the availability of the pure levothyroxine, desiccated animal thyroid extract was the only treatment for hypothyroidism. Today, some individuals prefer dessicated thyroid extract as a more “natural” thyroid hormone. In addition, some patients who continue to have symptoms of hypothyroidism when taking levothyroxine report improvement in these symptoms when switched to desiccated thyroid extract.
Iodine is an element that is needed for the production of thyroid hormone. The body does not make iodine, so it is an essential part of your diet. Iodine is found in various foods. If you do not have enough iodine in your body, you cannot make enough thyroid hormone. Thus, iodine deficiency can lead to enlargement of the thyroid. The availability of iodine in foods differs in various regions of the world. Individuals in the United States can maintain adequate iodine in their diet by using iodized table salt (unless they have to restrict the amount of salt in their diet), by eating foods high in iodine, particularly dairy products, seafood, meat, some breads, and eggs, and by taking a multivitamin containing iodine.
If your level of selenium is low, your thyroid will have do its best to work harder to make it’s hormones, and your body will also have a more difficult job changing those hormones into a form your cells can use. This happens because selenium is a chief component of the molecules which are necessary for your body to be able to create and use thyroid hormones, called seleno-proteins. The top food sources include Brazil nuts, oysters, tuna, whole wheat bread, seeds, pork, and beef, also onions, garlic, vegetables in the broccoli family such as kale (which should always be cooked or steamed), cabbage and cauliflower. Other protein sources include eggs, turkey, chicken, lamb and many kinds of seafood.
Niacin, also called vitamin B-3, niacin is a vitamin often found as part of supplements or in combination with other vitamins as part of a daily multi-vitamin. It can also be found in many different types of foods, including eggs, milk, yeast and fish. Supplemental niacin is often taken for vitamin B-3 deficiencies as well as for the management of high cholesterol because it helps to control triglyceride levels. People who take niacin often take doses of between 1,200 to 1,500 mg per day, but doses up to 3,000 mg per day may be necessary to help control cholesterol levels.