This week upon stopping in for some groceries at a local market I heard the young cashier speaking to her co-worker about her thyroid problem, which was a case of hypothyroidism that she was told by doctors makes her more at risk for thyroid cancer, something which is in her family's history. The physician had put her on Synthroid, the synthetic thyroid hormone medication. She was completely unaware that there are nutritional and herbal remedies that can help improve thyroid functioning and that factors other than genetics contribute to the condition. Unfortunately, this is the usual way many physicians trained in modern pharmaceutical-dominated medicine respond to hypothyroidism.
In contrast, many patients and open-minded physicians are turning to alternative approaches and actually healing thyroid disturbances by addressing the underlying causes. Thyroid functioning is greatly affected by minerals such as selenium and iodine (and fluoride, bromine, and chlorine as well as compounds that occur in some foods can foster hypothyroid conditions by interfering with iodine absorption). Amino acids such as tyrosine and tryptophan also can affect thyroid hormone metabolism. Herbs like ashwagandha and seaweeds have often been used to help restore healthy thyroid functioning. Other factors to consider include sensitivities to wheat gluten, autoimmune issues triggered by toxins and microbes, and psychological and emotional factors that affect the subtle energy center in the throat area (throat chakra). Energy healing with methods like acupuncture, massage, and reiki can help the thyroid, as can mind body therapies such as meditation, breathwork, chanting, yoga, hypnotherapy, and energy psychology.
The thyroid is sensitive to radiation, so limiting exposure to radiation from medical tests and using nutrients and herbs that protect against ionizing radiation can help protect the thyroid. In areas around Fukushima in Japan and Chernobyl in the former Soviet Union, some of the most common problems caused by radiation exposure have been thyroid cancers and other thyroid illnesses.
For anyone seeking to learn more about alternative approaches to thyroid health concerns there is a free online seminar going on through May 17th, 2014 that anyone can sign up for. To register, visit www.thethyroidsessions.com. There are also a variety of books and websites which offer empowering information and resources to help you on your path of healing.
Stop the Thyroid Madness: A Patient Revolution Against Decades of Inferior Treatment by Janie A. Bowthorpe, M. Ed.
Overcoming Thyroid Disorders, Third Edition by David Brownstein, M.D.
Why Do I Still Have Thyroid Symptoms When My Lab Tests Are Normal? by Datis Kharrazian, DC