When someone is experiencing hypothyroidism the thyroid gland is impaired, producing too little thyroid hormone. Hypothyroidism is due primarily to a dysfunction of the thyroid gland itself. If the thyroid gland is removed, obviously, the body is unable to produce any thyroid hormone. If the thyroid is partially removed, it may be able to produce enough hormones for a while, but over time it can become overworked and burn out. But the thyroid can also become impaired for many other reasons.

The thyroid consists of 2 lobes connected together in front of the neck just below the voice box. The hormones produced by the thyroid gland control the body’s metabolic rate and a dysfunction to this gland can affect every organ in the body. When the thyroid is under active it creates a general depression of many of the cellular systems and oxidative processes in the body that are needed for energy production. This can cause the metabolic activities in the cells to decrease. Metabolic wastes can then filtrate into the organs, causing them to become sluggish.

Deficiencies of thyroxin (the hormone produced by the thyroid) leave the body feeling tired and run down. As the metabolism slows down, weight gain and constipation are often experienced. Other symptoms of hypothyroidism include fatigue, lack of energy, intolerance to cold temperatures, menstrual irregularities, depression, sluggish reflexes, hair loss, dry, coarse skin, brittle nails and puffiness around the eyes. Typically symptoms present themselves slowly and often evade detection.

The most common cause of hypothyroidism is inflammation that damages the thyroid tissue. This damage causes the body’s immune cells, which normally fight infection, to attack the thyroid and leave them incapable of producing enough hormones.

Hypothyroidism is often seen in post-partum women and is often mistaken for post-partum depression. Medications, such as Lithium also cause thyroid dysfunction. While rare, disorders to the pituitary or hypothalamus glands in the brain can also lead to this and other hormonal imbalances.

Recommendations For Wellness

Reduce soy consumption. Soy can depress thyroid function and has been shown to cause goiters (an enlargement of the thyroid gland) in healthy individuals.

Alkalinize the body! This may help to prevent thyroid dysfunction in the first place.

Get rid of the saturated fats from your diet. Saturated fats have been found to inhibit thyroid function.

Work to balance your estrogen levels. Estrogen slows down the thyroid gland.

Eat organically raised meats to avoid meats that are loaded with added hormones that have been introduced to increase the weight of livestock prior to sale.

Begin a hormonal balancing program using progesterone cream to help bring your body back into balance.

Vitamin B3, (niacin), which is often taken to reduce cholesterol levels, has been shown to also lower thyroid hormone levels.

Gentian is known to normalize the function of the thyroid gland.

Incorporate kelp and other sea vegetables that are high in iodine. Iodine is needed by the body to produce thyroid hormone.

Radishes have historically been used to treat thyroid problems and have been known to keep the levels of thyroid hormones balanced.

If depression due to hypothyroidism is a problem, try taking St. John’s Wort to help elevate your mood.

Chronic constipation can be addressed by adding additional dietary fiber such as psyllium to your diet. Herbal laxatives, such as cascara sagrada or Nature’s Sunshine’s LBS II can also be used as required.

Try supplementing with zinc and selenium. Studies indicate that severe zinc or selenium deficiencies can cause decreased thyroid hormone levels.

Coconut oil stimulates the thyroid gland and is a good choice for those suffering from an under active thyroid.

One of the most effective supplements for hypothyroidism is desiccated thyroid gland that comes from pigs. It was used long before synthetic forms of thyroid medications became available and is processed by the body more naturally.

Author's Bio: 

© Copyright Body, Mind & SoulHealer 2005. All rights reserved.
Naturopathic Physician, Dr. Rita Louise, Ph.D. is the author of the books "Avoiding the Cosmic 2x4" and "The Power Within". It is her unique gift as a medical intuitive and clairvoyant that illuminates and enlivens her work. Let Dr. Louise help you bring health, healing and wholeness back into your life. Medical Intuition & Energy Medicine Certification training classes are now forming. Visit http://www.soulhealer.com or call (972) 475-3393 for more information.