Home Remedies For Hypothyroidism: Prevention And Diet

Reviewed by Dr. Bhakti Kapse, General Physician
by Shaheen Naser

Hypothyroidism is a condition in which the body is unable to produce enough thyroid hormones. The thyroid hormones are released from the thyroid gland that is located in the front of the neck. People with hypothyroidism may feel tired, constipated, and confused and may gain weight. The standard model of treatment for hypothyroidism is thyroid hormone replacement medication. However, there are various home remedies that may help bring the thyroid hormones to normal levels. Scroll down to know more.

Home Remedies For Hypothyroidism

1. Essential Oils

a. Rosemary Oil

Rosemary oil exhibits strong anti-inflammatory properties (1). Hence, massaging it on the thyroid pressure points may help regulate the secretion of thyroid hormones.

You Will Need
  • 3-4 drops of rosemary oil
  • 1 tablespoon of coconut oil
What You Have To Do
  1. Mix three to four drops of rosemary oil with a tablespoon of coconut oil.
  2. Apply this mixture to the thyroid acupressure points ( the base of the throat, the medial aspect of the lower leg, and below the feet).
  3. Massage gently for a couple of minutes and allow the oil to be absorbed by the skin.
  4. Alternatively, you can also add a few drops of rosemary oil to your bath and soak in it for 15 to 20 minutes.
  5. You can also apply rosemary oil to your scalp if your hair is thinning as a result of hypothyroidism.
How Often You Should Do This

Do this once a day.

b. Frankincense Oil

Frankincense oil exhibits anti-inflammatory properties. It also stimulates digestive and brain functions (2). Thus, frankincense oil may help treat symptoms of hypothyroidism like inflammation and stomach problems.

You Will Need
  • 3-4 drops of frankincense oil
  • 1 tablespoon of coconut oil
What You Have To Do
  1. Mix a few drops of frankincense oil with coconut oil.
  2. Apply the blend to the base of the throat, below the feet, and other acupressure points for thyroid.
  3. Apply this mixture to any topical inflammation as well.
  4. You can also consume a drop or two of food-grade frankincense oil.
How Often You Should Do This

Do this once a day.

Note: If one essential oil does not work within 3-4 weeks, discontinue it and try another oil. However, do not use too many at once or use them indefinitely.

2. Ashwagandha

Ashwagandha possesses anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and antibacterial properties (3). Ashwagandha is also known to increase thyroid levels (4). Hence, it may help in balancing the thyroid hormones.

You Will Need

500 mg ashwagandha capsules

What You Have To Do

Consume 500 mg of ashwagandha capsules daily after consulting your doctor.

How Often You Should Do This

Consume this supplement 1-2 times a day or as directed by your doctor.

3. Minerals

Hypothyroidism is caused due to the deficiency of iodine and a few other significant minerals (5). Taking supplements may restore the mineral levels in your body.

You Will Need

A well-absorbed, low potency liquid mineral supplement containing the 9 minerals (iodine, selenium, zinc, molybdenum, boron, copper, chromium, manganese, and magnesium) that are necessary for producing thyroid hormones.

What You Have To Do

Consume the liquid mineral supplement daily after consulting your doctor.

How Often You Should Do This

Consume this supplement daily. This is a long-term therapy to keep the thyroid healthy.

4. Flaxseeds

Flaxseeds are a rich source of omega-3 fatty acid called alpha-linolenic acid (6). Anecdotal evidence suggests that omega-3s may induce the production of thyroid hormones.

You Will Need
  • 1 tablespoon of powdered flaxseeds
  • 1 glass of milk or fruit juice
What You Have To Do
  1. Add a tablespoon of powdered flaxseed to a glass of milk or fruit juice. It is best to grind frozen flaxseeds immediately before using them.
  2. Mix well and consume it.
How Often You Should Do This

Consume this solution 1-2 times a day.

Note: Do not consume more than two tablespoons of flaxseeds daily, as consuming more flax seeds may have reverse effects. Store the seeds in a cool place as they turn rancid quickly.

5. Coconut Oil

Coconut oil contains medium-chain fatty acids (7). These may help in speeding up sluggish metabolism caused by hypothyroidism.

You Will Need

1-2 tablespoons of 100% virgin coconut oil

What You Have To Do
  1. Consume coconut oil daily, either directly or by adding it to your foods.
  2. You can also substitute your cooking oil with coconut oil. However, non-heated coconut oil is more beneficial.
How Often You Should Do This

Consume this 2-3 times a day.

6. Ginger

Ginger exhibits powerful anti-inflammatory properties (8). These properties may help relieve hypothyroidism and its symptoms.

You Will Need
  • An inch of ginger (finely chopped)
  • 1 cup of water
  • Honey
What You Have To Do
  1. Add an inch of ginger to a cup of hot water and let it steep for 5 to 10 minutes.
  2. Allow it to cool down.
  3. Add a little honey to it and drink it immediately.
  4. Alternately, you can add minced ginger to the foods or simply chew on small bits of ginger.
How Often You Should Do This

Do this 3 times a day.

7. Kelp

Kelp is a kind of seaweed that is rich in iodine (9). Supplementing with kelp may help in inducing the production of thyroid hormones (10).

You Will Need

Kelp Supplement with 150-175 micrograms of iodine

What You Have To Do

Consume this kelp supplement after consulting your doctor.

How Often You Should Do This

Consume this once a day for a few weeks or months.

8. Guggul

Guggul is a resin produced from the guggul plant. The guggulsterone in guggul may help fight hypothyroidism by regulating the thyroid function and treating the symptoms (11), (12).

You Will Need

25 mg of guggul supplementation

What You Have To Do

Consume guggul supplements daily after consulting a naturopathic doctor.

How Often You Should Do This

Consume this 3 times a day.

9. Bladderwrack

Bladderwrack is a type of seaweed that is rich in iodine (13). Thus, it may help in treating hypothyroidism.

You Will Need
  • 2 teaspoons of bladderwrack herb
  • 1 cup of hot water
  • Honey
What You Have To Do
  1. Add two teaspoons of bladderwrack herb to a cup of hot water.
  2. Allow it to steep for 5 to 10 minutes.
  3. Strain and allow the tea to cool a bit.
  4. Add a little honey and consume it immediately.
How Often You Should Do This

Do this 2 times a day.

10. Vitamins

Vitamin B12 stimulates the function of the thyroid gland (14). Vitamin C helps fight oxidative stress (that can worsen hypothyroidism) with its antioxidant properties (15). Thus, vitamin B12 and vitamin C may help in treating hypothyroidism.

You Will Need

Vitamin B12 and Vitamin C-rich foods (leafy vegetables, fish, meat, eggs, and dairy products).

What You Have To Do

Consume these vitamin-rich foods.

How Often You Should Do This

Do this regularly.

11. Black Walnut Hull

Black walnut hulls contain vitamins and minerals like iodine, zinc, magnesium, B-vitamins, and vitamin C (16). This may help in treating hypothyroidism and its symptoms caused due to iodine deficiency.

You Will Need

  • 2-3 drops of black walnut hull extract
  • 1 glass of water

What You Have To Do

  1. Add two to three drops of black walnut hull extract to a glass of water and mix well.
  2. Consume this solution.

How Often You Should Do This

Do this 2-3 times a day.

12. Nettle

Nettle is a rich source of nutrients like vitamin A, vitamin B6, calcium, iron, magnesium, and iodine (17). Hence, it may help in treating hypothyroidism.

You Will Need
  • 2 teaspoons of stinging nettle tea
  • 1 cup of hot water
  • Honey
What You Have To Do
  1. Add two teaspoons of nettle tea to a cup of hot water.
  2. Steep for 5 to 10 minutes.
  3. Strain and allow it to cool a bit before adding honey.
  4. Consume the tea while it is still warm.
How Often You Should Do This

Do this 2-3 times a day.

In addition to the natural remedies, you should also follow the diet guide mentioned below for faster recovery.

Diet Guide

Foods To Consume

  • Eggs
  • Meat
  • Fish
  • Vegetables (cruciferous vegetable can be consumed but in small amounts)
  • Fruits, like bananas, oranges, tomatoes, and berries
  • Gluten-free grains and seeds, like rice, quinoa, chia seeds, and flax seeds
  • Dairy products, like milk, cheese, and yogurt
  • Water and non-caffeinated drinks
  • Brazil nuts are good sources of selenium and iron, which help to maintain good thyroid function.
  • Home-made yogurt is a good source of probiotics that help in maintaining good gut ecology.
  • Eating garlic can also help to get rid of various yeast thriving in the intestine.

Foods To Avoid

  • Foods that contain gluten like bread, pasta, cereals, and beer.
  • Soy foods like tofu, soy milk, and soybeans.
  • Cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, spinach, and cabbage, which contain goitrogens with thyroid blocking properties.
  • Some fruits like peach, pears, and strawberries also have goitrogens.
  • Caffeine and alcohol.

If you are at risk of developing hypothyroidism or have it already, follow the prevention tips listed below to avoid the recurrence of the condition.

Prevention Tips

  • Get yourself screened for hypothyroidism every 5 years, typically beginning when you cross 35 years.
  • Get screened during and after pregnancy
  • Quit smoking.
  • Avoid consuming alcohol and caffeine.
  • Keep yourself stress-free.
  • Drink filtered water.
  • Avoid consuming deep-fried foods.
  • Consume iodine-rich foods.
  • Keep your weight under control.
  • Do aerobic exercises, strength training, and yoga. Exercises can help by boosting your mood, relieving fatigue and stress, aiding weight loss, and increasing your energy levels.
  • Good sleep is very important in optimizing thyroid function as it regulates the stress hormone cortisol. Sound sleep ensures hormonal balance, repairs and relaxes tissues, and promotes body healing.

There are various causes that may lead to a drop in the secretion of thyroid hormones. Listed below are some of the major causes of hypothyroidism.

What Causes Hypothyroidism?

  • Yeast overgrowth – A condition of excess yeast produced in the intestines after taking antibiotics. Yeast toxins are known to block the thyroid.
  • Chlorine in drinking water may block the thyroid.
  • Fluoride in toothpaste and fluoridated water may block the thyroid.
  • Autoimmune disorders like Hashimoto’s thyroiditis that attacks the thyroid gland.
  • Other autoimmune disorders like type 1 diabetes, multiple sclerosis, celiac disease, vitiligo, etc.
  • Undergoing radioactive iodine treatment or radiation therapy for the neck.
  • Certain medications like amiodarone, lithium, interferon alpha, and interleukin 2.
  • Mineral deficiency: Iodine, selenium, zinc, molybdenum, boron, copper, chromium, manganese, and magnesium.
  • Pregnancy
  • Defect in the thyroid gland
  • Damaged or dysfunctional pituitary gland
  • Disorder of the hypothalamus
  • Age (older individuals are at higher risk)

The common signs and symptoms of hypothyroidism are listed below.

Symptoms Of Hypothyroidism

  • Constipation
  • Fatigue
  • Depression
  • Dry skin
  • Weight gain
  • A decrease in sweating
  • Slowed heart rate
  • High blood pressure
  • Stiffness and pain in the joints
  • Thinning and dry hair
  • Impaired memory
  • Menstrual changes or fertility issues
  • Muscles aches and tenderness
  • Sensitive and puffy face
  • Prematurely graying hair

Thyroid Level Chart

The two major thyroid hormones secreted by the thyroid glands are called T3 (triiodothyronine) and T4 (thyroxine). These hormones regulate the human body’s metabolism, temperature, and also the heart rate.

Another hormone called thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) is released by the pituitary gland in the brain, and this hormone is responsible for controlling the secretion of thyroid hormones.

A blood test that measures the TSH levels is used to determine the status of the thyroid hormones. A high TSH level indicates a deficiency of thyroid hormones, so the thyroid must be stimulated to produce more. Normal TSH shows that the body’s thyroid hormones are in the right range. Low TSH levels show that the body is producing thyroid hormones in excess.

  • Normal TSH level ranges from 4 – 4.0 mIU/L (milli-international units per liter)
  • TSH levels of 2.5 or less are considered ideal, while 5 – 4.0 mIU/L is considered “at risk.”
  • TSH High levels above 4 mIU/L are considered high, and below 0.4 mIU/L are considered low.

When hypothyroidism remains undetected and thus untreated for a long time, it may result in the following complications.

What Happens When Hypothyroidism Is Left Untreated?

  • Goiter – enlargement of the thyroid gland
  • Heart problems
  • Mental health problems
  • Peripheral neuropathy, which may result in damaged peripheral nerves
  • Infertility
  • Myxedema (Coma) – in rare cases

Leaving hypothyroidism untreated for too long may lead to life-altering complications. Thus, one should closely monitor their thyroids levels, especially once they cross 35 years of age. If you notice your thyroid levels have dipped, take the necessary action, and follow the required remedies to bring your thyroid levels back to the normal range. Make sure you consult a doctor to understand which of these remedies may work for you.

Expert’s Answers For Readers’ Questions

How to treat hypothyroidism during pregnancy?

A TSH during pregnancy higher than 4 should be treated. The standard medical treatment is with synthetic thyroid hormones. Using minerals and one or more of the above home remedies may prevent your thyroid from becoming overworked during pregnancy so that your TSH remains normal throughout.

Which is the test used to diagnose thyroid levels?

The Thyroid Stimulating Hormone (TSH) blood test is used to determine the thyroid levels and diagnose hypothyroidism.

17sources

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Shaheen Naser

Shaheen holds a postgraduate degree in Human Genetics and Molecular Biology. She is a Geneticist with proficiency in Biotechnology, Immunology, Medical Genetics, Biochemistry, Microbiology, and Genetic Counseling. Her passion for writing and her educational background have assisted her substantially in writing quality content on topics related to health and wellness. In her free time, Shaheen loves to explore the world and the different flavors/cuisines it has to offer. Photography is another hobby she has developed of late.
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