Can You Increase Thyroid Hormone Naturally?

woman massaging thyroid area of neck

The thyroid gland regulates metabolism, energy levels, and overall hormonal balance. Many individuals seek natural ways to support and boost thyroid function, especially if they experience symptoms of hypothyroidism or other thyroid-related issues. Here, we explore various natural approaches to enhance thyroid health, including diet, lifestyle changes, and other remedies.

How Can I Increase Thyroid Hormone Naturally?

Boosting thyroid function naturally involves a combination of dietary choices, lifestyle modifications, and supplementation. Here are some strategies:

Dietary Choices

  • Iodine: Iodine deficiency is uncommon in the US, but not unheard of. Worldwide, it is the most common cause of hypothyroidism. Foods like iodized salt, seaweed, fish, dairy, and eggs contain iodine, which is essential in producing thyroid hormones.
  • Selenium: Foods such as Brazil nuts, sunflower seeds, fish, and eggs help convert T4 and T3, the thyroid hormones circulating in your blood.
  • Zinc: Zinc is involved in the synthesis of TSH, which stimulates the production of free T3 and T4. Foods such as shellfish, legumes, nuts, and seeds contain zinc and help thyroid hormone production and metabolism.
  • Iron: Iron is a component of the enzyme that helps convert inactive thyroxine (T4) into active T3 hormone. Iron deficiency can slow or impede this process.  Incorporating iron-rich foods, such as red meat, spinach, lentils, and beans can help ensure you are getting enough of this important mineral.
  • Omega-3 Fatty Acids: The Omega-3 fatty acids found in fish oil support thyroid production in the liver. These healthy fats can also be found in flaxseeds and walnuts and exert other health benefits, such as reducing blood pressure and inflammation. 

Lifestyle Changes

  • Stress Management: Chronic stress can impair thyroid function. Yoga, meditation, and deep-breathing exercises can help manage stress levels. 
  • Regular Exercise: Enhances metabolism and supports overall hormonal balance. Aim for a mix of cardio and strength training exercises.
  • Adequate Sleep: Poor sleep can disrupt hormonal balance, including thyroid hormones. Aim for 7-9 hours of quality sleep per night.

Supplementation

  • Multivitamins: Ensure you get all necessary vitamins and minerals, especially iodine, selenium, zinc, and iron.
  • Probiotics: A healthy gut microbiome is essential for overall health. Intestinal flora affect how well your body can absorb minerals and nutrients necessary for proper thyroid function. 

Is There a Natural Thyroid Hormone Replacement?

Desiccated thyroid is a natural alternative to synthetic thyroid hormone replacements, such as levothyroxine. Many providers, especially functional medicine clinics, prefer this as a means of addressing symptoms related to thyroid imbalance. 

Unlike levothyroxine, which boosts only T4, desiccated thyroid contains both T4 and T3 hormones. T3 is just as important in treating thyroid issues as replacing T4. Desiccated thyroid may be used on its own or in conjunction with traditional hypothyroid medications. 

Desiccated thyroid is derived from the dried and powdered thyroid gland of an animal, usually a pig, and has not undergone any chemical processing other than a binder. Originally, levothyroxine was also sourced from a pig. Today, however, it is produced via chemical synthesis from an amino acid, such as tyrosine. 

Studies have shown that many patients feel better and have fewer side effects taking desiccated thyroid hormone as compared to synthetic. This was especially true of patients who had persistent symptoms, such as weight gain and hair loss, even when on levothyroxine.   

Can the Thyroid Ever Improve on Its Own?

In some cases, thyroid functions can improve naturally, especially if the underlying cause is addressed. For instance, if iodine deficiency is corrected or chronic stress and inflammation are managed, the thyroid may start functioning better. However, this isn’t always the case; some individuals may require ongoing medical treatment. Hashimoto’s disease, for example, is an auto-immune disorder that will not get better on its own and typically requires life-long management. 

“Normal” Blood Test, but Still Have Symptoms of Thyroid Disorder?

It’s not uncommon for individuals to have “normal” thyroid blood tests yet still experience symptoms of thyroid disorder. Many doctors primarily test thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) and sometimes free T4. However, a comprehensive thyroid evaluation should include additional markers like Free T3, Reverse T3, thyroid antibodies (TPO and TgAb), and sometimes vitamin D and iron levels.

Thyroid Disorder Testing Omaha

For those in Omaha seeking thorough thyroid testing and personalized care, Balanced Body Health & Wellness offers comprehensive thyroid evaluations. Our goal is to fully understand and address thyroid health by testing a wide range of markers, ensuring no aspect is overlooked. We combine this testing with approachable lifestyle, diet, and exercise modifications to achieve optimal success. Go online today to schedule your free 15-minute discovery call. 

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John@digitalbyserenity.com