Updated: Oct 21, 2019
I’d like to start by saying that many people believe that conventional is the best way to go and that natural treatments don’t work.
On the other hand, there are many patients who want to go ALL OUT with only natural treatment, because it’s the more “natural” way of healing.
The problem is that Hyperthyroidism is a complex disease. Not only if affects thyroid itself but has also an effect on other organs in our body such as heart.
Complexity of this disease means that we have to work on many angles to tackle the problem. Usually the best strategy is to combine conventional with natural treatments.
We have to make sure that person is using anti inflammatory and individualised diet. Each treatment has its advantages and disadvantages, which we will shortly describe.
What are the options of the conventional treatments?
Radioactive thyroid ablation
Surgical removal of thyroid
What are the options of the natural treatments?
Naltrexone : “off label alternative therapy”
Let's start with main points of conventional treatments:
In this article we described all the conventional treatments in details: https://www.yourendocrinehealth.com/post/hyperthyroidism-what-choices-do-you-have
Here, We're going to summarise them:
We have 2 categories: first one blocks thyroid hormone production (acts on thyroid), second one blocks effect of thyroid hormone on the periphery (for example heart).
First category: PTU and Methimazole block thyroid hormone production
Second category: Beta blockers, block excessive thyroid effect on heart to avoid palpitations and increased heart rate.
It can be difficult to use these medications long term, because eventually they can produce hypothyroidism.
However, as 1st line therapy it is a good choice because we decrease symptoms such as palpitations, hand tremors and others.
What’s more, usually drugs are better option for a patient than thyroid removal surgery, as they produce less side effects.
2. Surgical removal of thyroid:
The goal of this therapy is to partially or totally remove the gland so thyroid will not produce its hormones and then manage the patient with synthetic or natural thyroid medications.
The problem with this strategy is that a lot of the patients (around 35%) suffer from side effects after the surgery. Not only they gain weight and eventually become obese but also may have symptoms associated to hypothyroidism.
3. Radioactive iodine therapy:
The goal is to destroy the thyroid tissue and further treat with thyroid medications . As you can imagine, it involves the same problem as 2. strategy.
Patient becomes dependent on thyroid medications (used after iodine therapy) probably for the rest of his life. That’s why if not needed, this strategy should be avoided as 1st line therapy.
What about the natural treatments?
1. Dietary intervention:
First, and probably the most important thing is dietary intervention.
A lot of people ask “What’s the best diet for Hyperthyroidism?”
Well, it depends. It depends because every person is different and diet as much as conventional therapy have to be personalised.
But what about the general overview?
Well, if we think about general strategy “one fits all”, that you can start even today, then you should definitely focus on anti-inflammatory and healing diet.
What does it mean?
It means that you should remove all inflammatory food that causes inflammation not only in the thyroid, but most importantly in your intestines.
Why is it important?
Well, Hyperthyroidism is usually caused by autoimmune disease (Grave’s disease), which means that your immune system is imbalanced.
There is a scientific evidence that if our gut does not work properly, we have condition called “leaky gut”, in which we react to food that we’re not suppose to be reacting.
We develop food intolerances or food sensitivities. This leads to autoimmune reaction, present in disease such as hypothyroidism, Hyperthyroidism, Bowel disorders, Celiac disease and many others.
So which pro- inflammatory food you should definitely avoid in Hyperthyroidism?
Refined carbohydrates like pasta, bread etc. Packaged food
Grains like buckwheat etc. (can be problematic, especially if someone has gut problems) Inflammatory fats and oils (like canola or palm oil)
Which food you should focus on eating?
Meat (preferably organic)
Fish (preferably organic)
Fruit and vegetables. If still You're having problems then also should be cyclically eliminated)
Low quantities of tubers (like sweet potatoes, tapioca etc.) If still You're having problems then also should be cyclically eliminated.
Remember that this is an overall strategy. However, diet should always be modified to the specific person.What’s more, we’ve made an article about full diet at Hyperthyroidism:
2. Iodine supplementation:
Wolff- Chaikoff is a mechanism of our body that stops production of thyroid hormones after high doses of iodine.High doses are usually around 12 mg per day. However, it should be tailored to the person.
Low doses of this drug can have anti inflammatory effect. Originally was used to treat alcohol dependence. However, lately there has been a lot of science proving that it can be used in Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, inflammatory bowel diseases and Graves’ disease.
Low doses of this “off label” treatment may help with Hyperthyroidism, insulin resistance and weight loss.
4. Dietary supplementation:
Things like Zinc, Selenium, vitamin D3, and many other can be helpful. Remember that supplements have to be based on specific protocol, so for example treating gut protocol (which should come before thyroid healing) will look differently than thyroid protocol.
In this way we make sure that You’re doing therapy step by step and not just randomly taking dietary supplements.