Have you been looking for alternative treatments for thyroid disease? Over the course of my lifetime, I have had several medical problems tied to having chronic leukocytosis. In many cases, it was speculated by doctors that it was affecting other parts of my body. For example, I would have severe pain in my joints. My blood doctor, the hematologist, would also send me to the endocrinologist to make sure there were no problems in that department. However, when my thyroid function was lower than it should have been, my hematologist recommended that I avoid taking extra medications.
When you are dealing with a chronic medical condition, you may find yourself in a similar position. Doctors do not want to over-medicate you because these extra medications could cause the underlying problem to never get solved. Instead, I tried an alternative treatment for people with low thyroid function that I feel has improved my overall health.
Salt additives fixed a lot of historic thyroid disease
In the 1900’s, it was discovered that thyroid disease could be avoided by the general population by simply adding a chemical compound to salt called iodine. This prevented a condition called gout that was brought on by low thyroid function. Most people could avoid gout by having iodine added to table salt. On the other hand, some people are still susceptible to gout and are sensitive to a group of foods called goitrogens. From a scientific perspective, goitrogens are foods that will interfere with iodine uptake, and this suppresses the thyroid. When the thyroid is under-producing thyroid hormones, this is called hypothyroidism. In other words, if you want your thyroid to perform optimally, avoiding goitrogens could be a solution.
DIY diet changes for thyroid disease
The way to avoid goitrogens is to stop eating them. In some cases, this is a very expensive decision to make. For instance, soy, peanuts and cheap winter vegetables like cabbage are to be avoided. Regardless, within a few weeks of avoiding goitrogens, I could tell I had more pep in my step. While my thyroid function may not have been severely low in the first place, it was nice to get some relief without having to take yet another medication. One of the best changes was my ability to endure more long-distance walking without getting severe pain in my joints. The changes in my diet along with doing more walking has led to me losing almost 60 pounds during the past three years.
Important goitrogens I avoid include:
- almonds and peanuts
- sweet potatoes
- strawberries and peaches
- brassica vegetables such as broccoli, kale, spinach, and kohlrabi
Noticing a pattern in alternative thyroid treatments
When you are on a strict diet, you have to prepare all of your own food at first in order to make it work. As I was coming up with menu ideas, I started to notice that there was a trend. Particularly almost all of the foods I was supposed to avoid originally grew in northern climates. This meant that most of the food that I could eat was from places near the equator. Foods like avocados that increase thyroid function are also from the equator. In other words, I do miss a lot of my vegetarian soy foods and peanut butter, but I have plenty of healthy recipes for my thyroid from the Middle East, Mexico, and India. While there may be limited scientific research on avoiding goitrogens foods to increase thyroid function, it is a lifestyle choice I am happy to have chosen.