Published September 28, 2008
Q: I’ve had Hashimoto’s thyroiditis for six years, and I’ve not been able to get full control of it. My antibodies are still very high, and I’m always tired. I just don’t know what else to do, and I’ve seen a dozen doctors. Any fresh ideas? – M.C. Ocala
A: Hashimoto’s is an autoimmune disorder where your own body sees your thyroid gland as the enemy and launches an all-out attack. This creates inflammation and destruction of the thyroid gland. It causes an increase in “antithyroid peroxidase,” abbreviated as TPO. This should be measured by your doctor in routine lab tests. Some people have no symptoms while others suffer with disabling fatigue, depression, weight gain, dry skin and hair, muscle cramps, constipation and memory loss. Some people develop a goiter which looks like a hump just below your Adam’s apple.
Physicians prescribe thyroid medication in order to raise levels of thyroid hormone: Levoxyl, levothyroxine, Synthroid, Cytomel and Armour Thyroid. The medications don’t suppress the autoimmune attack in your body, but they do increase levels of thyroid hormone quickly. For now, here are a few natural options. I’ll put more choices in my newsletter.
Selenium: This mineral can lower those TPO antibodies I mentioned earlier. This is awesome because high TPO spells misery. Try “L-selenomethionine” 200 mcg every day (or 100 mcg twice daily) for 6 months.
Tyrosine: Your body uses tyrosine (and iodine) to make thyroid hormone. It’s a standard recipe. Take about 500mg one to four times daily. Careful: Excessive tyrosine can speed the heart.
Avena sativa: From the wild oat plant, an effective tonic for improving thyroid function as well as other health benefits.
Iodine: You can take iodine supplements such as Iodoral or you can use a seaweed that is rich in trace minerals, especially iodine. It’s called Bladderwrack, which is short for Fucus vesiculosus. Use short-term.
Ashwagandha: Also known as Indian ginseng, this herb stimulates thyroid activity; it’s sold widely at health food stores. Make sure your brand is “standardized.”
Gotu Kola (Centella asiatica): An Ayurvedic herb that is actually food for elephants. It goes by a few other names including Asiatic Pennywort and Luei Gong Gen. It contains chemicals which improve collagen formation in bones, cartilage and connective tissue. It also helps with circulation and the general health of blood vessels. Research suggests a beneficial effect for memory and concentration as well as healthy thyroid function.
MycoPhyto: This is a blend of mushrooms that calms your body down. It tells your immune system to “Stop! Get a hold of yourself!” I love medicinal mushrooms because they are smart, they know how to balance your immune system and calm the overactive cells that spark all the trouble. This product can be certain types of immune system disorders but not all. Ask your doctor. This brand is sold online at various Internet sources.
Coleus forskohlii: This is an herb from the mint family. Disregard the funny name, it’s powerful. It boosts energy, improves allergies, asthma and psoriasis, boosts thyroid levels and can help with glaucoma.
Avoid soy since it lowers thyroid hormone. So does eating a lot of broccoli, Brussels sprouts and other cruciferous vegetables. Stick to lower doses of I3C and DIM (supplements used in prostate and breast health).
Natural therapies to alleviate symptoms include:
If you are interested in my custom formula for thyroid support, Click Here to learn about ThyroScript 😊
Did you know?
Safety issues have now been raised about using Spiriva and Atroven, two inhalers used in asthmatics. If you have a heart condition, these drugs may possibly worsen your condition.
Suzy Cohen, has been a licensed pharmacist for over 30 years and believes the best approach to chronic illness is a combination of natural medicine and conventional. She founded her own dietary supplement company specializing in custom-formulas, some of which have patents. With a special focus on functional medicine, thyroid health and drug nutrient depletion, Suzy is the author of several related books including Thyroid Healthy, Drug Muggers, Diabetes Without Drugs, and a nationally syndicated column.