Treating Hyperthyroidism

treating-hyperthyroidism

Are you exhausted? Do you find yourself getting nervous and irritable for no reason? Have you suddenly lost weight despite an increase in appetite?

Did you know that women are eight times more likely than men to develop hyperthyroidism?

Your thyroid gland produces two key hormones T3 and T4, which regulate cell and tissue metabolism throughout your body. Patients with hyperthyroidism, produce too much thyroid hormone, which throws all of your body’s functions out of whack. This imbalance can cause the signs and symptoms of hyperthyroidism, including:

  • anxiety
  • irritability
  • thinning hair or skin
  • muscle weakness
  • sweating without reason
  • racing heart
  • tremours
  • loose bowels
  • ravenous hunger
  • weightloss

If you have one or more of these symptoms, talk with a doctor experienced in treating thyroid health. Usually, once you’ve been diagnosed, you’ll respond well to treatment. Never ignore symptoms of hyperthyroidism, it can be serious or even fatal if left untreated.

Natural Treatment

You can prevent and manage the symptoms of hyperthyroidism by supporting your thyroid with a healthful lifestyle. Eat fresh whole foods and good fats throughout the day. Vegetables such as broccoli, dark leafy greens and dark colored berries, omega-3 oils from fish, walnuts, olive oil, and flaxseed can help keep inflammation under control. Get plenty of protein and eat regular meals.

Herbal therapy can also help balance your thyroid, ask your natural health care provider or Chinese medicine doctor about these herbs:

  • Lycopus virginicus
  • Rosemaric acid
  • Lithospermic acid
  • Rauwolfia
  • Reserpine
  • Yohimbine

Bugleweed and lemon balm work great topically over your thyroid gland. Teas made from motherwort contain compounds that can help regulate your thyroid hormones. Try mixing the powder of indian gooseberry with honey to make a thick paste to eat before breakfast.

Radioactive Iodine

Radioactive iodine has been used to treat hyperthyroid problems for more than 60 years. It’s taken by mouth, and most of it is absorbed by your thyroid gland.  Because your thyroid gland attracts iodine, the radioactivity in it destroys many of the cells of your thyroid. If all goes well, your hyperthyroid symptoms subside in one to three months. However, it can destroy too much of your thyroid gland and you can develop the symptoms of hypothyroidism, such as:

  • Weight gain
  • Lethargy
  • Poor memory
  • Constipation
  • Cold body temperature
  • Low blood pressure

Radioactive iodine treatment is considered safe by conventional medicine, but it is not without its problems. The iodine can be absorbed by other glands in your body such as your ovaries, adrenal glands or even your breast tissue.  Fortunately, your thyroid gland has first dibs on the iodine that comes into your body, however, any other tissue that absorbs radioactive iodine can also be destroyed.

For those with autoimmune Grave’s disease, radioactive iodine treatment can trigger ophthalmopathy, an eye disorder that is characteristic of this disease. In addition, destroying your thyroid gland will not address the underlying cause of your autoimmune thyroid disease. Luckily there are natural treatment methods that can help correct your immune system imbalance.

It’s important to note that pregnant women or women who are trying to conceive should not take radioactive iodine. After treatment with radioactive iodine, wait at least a year before trying to get pregnant.

Anti-thyroid medication

There are prescription drugs that can reduce the production of thyroid hormones, these include: Methimazole (Tapazole) and
Propylthiouracil (PTU). Anti-thyroid drugs have been used since the late 1940s. These medications inhibit the formation of T3 and T4 (your main thyroid hormones) by blocking the interaction between iodine, peroxidase and thyroglobulin.  They also interfere with the conversion of T4 to T3.

Once you start the medication, symptoms can improve in as little as 1 – 3 months, and most patients continue for at least a year. Some people report a permanent improvement, but others relapse. Unfortunately, anti-thyroid drugs can cause serious liver damage, bone loss and allergic reactions.

Surgery

Removal of your thyroid gland is effective for stubborn hyperthyroid cases and for malignant tumors of the thyroid gland. After surgery, you will require lifelong treatment with thyroid hormone replacement. Risks include damage to your vocal cords and to your parathyroid glands (the glands that control your body’s calcium levels).

There are several options for the treatment of hyperthyroidism. Depending on your particular case, one option may be better than another. Find a doctor experienced in treating hyperthyroidism so you can discus your options and the risks involved.

Dr. Jeda Boughton is a doctor of Chinese medicine in Vancouver BC, Canada, and the founder of the Natural Thyroid Health Program. She teaches women who suffer from thyroid disorders how to heal naturally through alternative medicine.

Jeda Boughton – who has written posts on Hypothyroid Treatment Vancouver BC – Natural Thyroid Treatment Doctor.