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What Are the Different Types of Alternative Thyroid Medicine?

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  • Written By: Lumara Lee
  • Edited By: Daniel Lindley
  • Last Modified Date: 23 November 2016
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Alternative thyroid medicine treatments are available for hypothyroidism, or an underactive thyroid, and the less-commmon hyperthyroidism, or an overactive thyroid. Thyroid disorders are often treated with vitamin and nutritional therapy combined with a change in diet. Chiropractic, acupuncture, and herbalism are some other types of alternative thyroid medicine. Traditional Chinese medicine is another approach that has been effective for some who suffer from thyroid problems.

When the nerves responsible for the generation of the thyroid hormones thyroxine and triiodothyronine aren’t functioning properly, it's possible for a thyroid disorder to occur. These hormones control the metabolic rate. Chiropractic adjustments can take the pressure off the pinched nerves that may be causing an inactive thyroid. Relieving the pressure on these nerves may improve their ability to transmit electrical signals, and increased nerve function may encourage the thyroid to produce healthy levels of thyroid hormone.

Studies have shown that acupuncture can reduce the symptoms of hypothyroidism. Inserting needles into acupuncture points on the body is believed to increase the production of thyroid hormones. Even if hormone production doesn’t increase, acupuncture is one method of alternative thyroid medicine that can reduce the symptoms of hypothyroidism. These symptoms include drowsiness, depression, and constipation.

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Sometimes adding or eliminating certain foods can decrease the symptoms of a thyroid problem. Adding foods rich in protein, magnesium, and calcium to the diet can promote healthy thyroid function. Kelp, a type of seaweed known for it high iodine content, is an excellent dietary supplement for people suffering from hypothyroidism. Coconut oil has also been known to improve thyroid function.

Iodine is vital to a healthy thyroid because iodine is necessary for the production of hormones. Eliminating foods that block the absorption of iodine is an approach that may improve thyroid function. Some of these foods are soybeans, peanuts, and cruciferous vegetables, such as Brussels sprouts, cabbage, and cauliflower. These foods don’t need to be completely eliminated from the diet, however. Cooking for at least seven minutes is enough to render the iodine-blocking constituents in these foods inactive.

Various herbs have a history of helping with thyroid problems. Herbalists who follow the Western herbal tradition often recommend ginger, saw palmetto, and licorice. Practitioners of traditional Chinese medicine, on the other hand, are more likely to prescribe astragalus, cinnamon, and ginseng. Thyroid dysfunction can be extremely serious, so a person who suspects a thyroid problem should always consult a physician before attempting alternative thyroid medicine.

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