There are many different treatments for both hypo- and hyperthyroidism, among them strict diet and exercise, prescription medication, and frequent, expensive trips to the doctor’s office. One should always consult a doctor to select a regimen that is beneficial to your case in particular, but I’ve found some excellent alternatives that cut my visits to the clinic in half, keep my doctor and my bank account happy, and have helped along a significant improvement to my health without dosing my body with harsh chemicals or undergoing any type of surgery.
I suffer from hypothyroidism, also known as Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis, which causes the immune system to attack thyroid tissue and render the gland unable to produce enough of the thyroid hormone to maintain a healthy level. This can be caused by a number or different things, such as a deficiency of iodine, surgery or medication, thyroid gland inflammation, and dysfunction of the pituitary gland (www.WebMD.com). This disease’s opposite, hyperthyroidism, or Grave’s disease, is also caused by the immune system attacking the thyroid gland, but in this case, the thyroid tries to overcompensate for the disturbance and produces far too much of the thyroid hormone. This is caused by a swollen thyroid or growths in the gland called thyroid nodules (www.ezinearticles.com). It is difficult to pinpoint the exact culprits responsible for the different ailments, but the main concern is to treat symptoms and try to restore our thyroid glands to normal working order, regardless of the cause.
Most doctors will recommend exorbitant diet and exercise, of course, but we must first know which types of generally “healthy” foods as well as exercise can help or hinder our efforts. (Please do keep in mind that these for hypothyroidism are what have helped myself particularly or others that I have found through research, should not be portrayed as a general rule-of-thumb, and, as I said before, always consult a doctor for your individual case before beginning a dietary strategy. For hyperthyroidism, I have done extensive research and the same applies that one should always consult his/her doctor.) Harmless foods for those with hypothyroidism can be detrimental to the health of those with hyperthyroidism, and vice versa. Vegetables such as cabbage, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, broccoli, kale, mustard greens, turnips, spinach, and radishes are favored for those with hyperthyroidism, but should be avoided by those with hypothyroidism (www.rightdiagnosis.com). The same goes for soybeans, peanuts, millet, and pine nuts. Foods that are high in fiber, low-fat, high calorie, and high in calcium, magnesium, and vitamin D are advantageous for hyperthyroidism. Those people should avoid seafood, artificial sweeteners, coffee, and carbonated drinks such as cola. Recommended for hypothyroidism are fish, dairy, (although, stay away from yogurt; it is fermented with bacteria and is not very profitable. I suggest organic or almond milk.) oats, sesame seeds, bananas, avocados, almonds, shellfish and other seafood, eggs, and vegetables rich in beta-carotene, like winter squash (www.motherearthliving.com). If you must eat those goitrogenic foods like cabbage or broccoli, be sure that they are well cooked; it would not do well to eat them raw.
A lot of people have come to believe that sea salt or kosher salt is better for you than regular table salt, but this is not true for those of us with hypothyroidism. Most generally, this disease is caused or accompanied by an iodine deficiency, so it is most advised to use iodized salt to season your meals. Nuts, whole grains, and whole wheat bread are bountiful in B vitamins and zinc, cold-pressed olive oil (available at most grocery stores) and some nuts are high in vitamin E, and one should consider garnishing cooked foods with raw herbs such as parsley for vitamin C. Finally, those with hypothyroidism should avoid both black and green teas; they are harmful, and also, switch to purified water if you have not already to reduce fluoride consumption, as it is also very detrimental to us.
For those ailed by hyperthyroidism, strenuous activities would not be advised, for instance, cardio workouts such as running and swimming. These only help to increase the productivity of the thyroid gland, and would therefore have adverse effects if you are trying to slow it down. Approved methods of exercise would be calming activities, like yoga, tai-chi, and aerobics. Another excellent exercise is called Qi gong: unlike yoga, which focuses on stretching movements and postures, Qi gong centers around learning to feel and move energy within the body. One can still maintain a muscular body without arduous gym sessions. It is also advised to try meditation; one must calm themselves for maximum results. This helps to reduce stress and negativity from one’s life, and helps to achieve inner quiet and focused concentration. The added calm will also aid with symptoms such as anxiety, insomnia, and high blood pressure.
The opposite is, of course, true for those of us with hypothyroidism. Strenuous workouts are highly advised, so as to boost our thyroid hormone production to promote healthy weight loss and good circulation, as well as treat other symptoms such as chronic fatigue and weakness. Since beginning my diet and exercise program, I have seen a remarkable increase in my amount of energy and have been quite successful in my weight loss goals.
Again, this is just knowledge that I have come to learn by my own findings as well as extensive research, and one should always consult a doctor before making any life-altering changes. I do hope that this information will be helpful to all in their endeavors to achieve maximum health and relief from those bothersome symptoms of both hypo- and hyperthyroidism, and that these alternatives for treatment prove to be successful and beneficial to all that utilize them.