Thyroid Help

NotaFinger(z5IN)November 1, 2003

Hello all,

I was wondering if any one has had any luck with herbs for a low Thyroid?

Thanks Sandy

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meredith_e Z7b, Piedmont of NC, 1000' elevation

Cute name! I assume you are interested only because your doctor doesn't want to risk the side-effects of medication because of a borderline or "sub-clinical" condition. My sister was in that situation, and I felt that CLA looked intriguing. I researched it and found no ill effects for her, and it is being researched to help fight cancer. Maybe it's one you want to look up. The link I'm giving is not medical, but I'm not going to wade through my saved stuff right now :) HTH!

Here is a link that might be useful: Mentions underactive thyroid, too

    Bookmark   November 2, 2003 at 6:35AM
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MrsBartholomew(6a Canada)

Not exactly with herbs, but I did treat a sub-clinical low thyroid with diet changes and it was very successful. I had been eating a diet very high in cabbage, cauliflower, kale and broccoli, so I cut consumption of these down to no more than twice a week. At the same time I increased my intake of iodised salt considerably (my blood pressure is low enough to cause fainting spells so I don't have to worry about salt) and started eating shellfish once a week. I didn't see a naturopath, although I probably should have. All of these changes were recommended by an acquaintance of mine who is a professor of microbiology and studies the effects of various minerals - including iodine - on the body.

To counter the fatigue problems, I took vitamin B supplements, ate a portion of meat at least once every week, and took ginseng. After about a month my energy levels rose to a point where I was able to get more exercise, and this reversed the vicious circle quite a lot.

Good luck to you.

    Bookmark   November 3, 2003 at 3:56PM
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Thank's for the help I am trying the ideas and seem to feel better. I know it will take time to get back to normal.
Thank's again, Sandy

    Bookmark   November 5, 2003 at 2:23PM
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hemnancy(z8 PNW)

I take Iodine in a kelp base and that could help. Also, I read an article on the Internet stating that Chlorine can displace Iodine in the body, so if you are drinking chlorinated water, you might want to use a water filter or boil your drinking and cooking water to get rid of it.

Thyroid Restorers- Artichoke, Bladderwrack, Calamus, Flower pollen, Glasswort, Horseradish, Iceland moss, Irish moss, Kelp, Microalgae, Oats, *Parsley ess. oil, Sargassum, Saw palmetto, Sib ginseng, Watercress, White oak bark, Nettles, Chickweed.

    Bookmark   November 14, 2003 at 12:14PM
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bushpoet(z6 Bronx NY)

Hi NotaFinger, everyone gave marvelous suggestions & I hope you find a good protocol for yourself. Perhaps green tea would be helpful too - it's wonderfully anti-oxidant & anti-cancer & has been shown to raise metabolism.

Also, for what it's worth, you may want to avoid using those very popular antibacterial soaps/detergents that contain Triclosan as the active ingredient. Triclosan is a known endocrine disruptor & although it's present in very low amounts (usu. a fraction of a percent) in those formulas, it could have an impact.

There's been a suspicious rash of thyroid problems (nearly all requiring surgery) among my office mates & everyone's wondering why, so this subject's been on my mind.

Green blessings to you,

    Bookmark   November 14, 2003 at 1:21PM
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I've been in this situation: Doc doesn't want to treat thyroid disorder because it's borderline. It sucks! What I ended up doing out of desperation wasn't switch to herbs, but got my butt to a wholistic health clinic, took the blood tests I'd had run through my HMO there (and which the doctors insisted were "normal") and armed myself with research, research and more research and got the necessary medication almost no questions asked. I'd tried kelp suppliments but then learned that certain types of hypothyroidism aren't caused from lack of iodine, but an immune system rejection of of various thyroid hormones and I suspected that was what my problem was. Turned out I was right and the kelp suppliments might have been overstimmulating my thyroid to the point of doing more damage than good.

They do make a nutritional suppliment, the name escapes me at the moment, that is essentially the same thing as Armour thyroid (dessicated pig thyroid). If you are vegitarian/vegan, this may not be an option, obviously. If you're okay with injesting dessicated porcine thyroid, you may want to try it. I haven't taken it, but there are a few people who I met online who said it helped them when they were unable to get treatment for a borderline thyroid disorder.

Thyroid disorders are on the rise and it's possibly because HMO's have under-treated them for the last few decades and are only now realizing how common they are. The entire side of my mom's family are hypo, even the men. Getting sick and not being able to get help from my HMO was like being in a slow-motion train wreck.

I always advise anyone who is looking to get educated on thyroid disorders to start with the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists Website at and read through their press clippings on the revised TSH test standards that they issued last year. 90% of doctors out there do not pay attention to the fact that the AACE *lowered* the suggested lab ranges for thyroid disorders to anything between 0.3 - 3.0. The AACE now suggests that anyone with a TSH level of 2.0 should be suspect for hypothyroidism, and in Britian, 2.0 *is* the suggested cut off for hypo. That is significantly lower than the most common lab ranges of .5-5.5 or higher.

Oh, and if you can manage it, get an antibodies test... This is the reason why kelp may not be effective, as it was in my case.

Okay, I'll get off the soapbox... Untreated or undertreated thyroid disorders always get my feathers ruffled.

    Bookmark   November 16, 2003 at 7:52PM
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Here are the AACE recommendations for diagnosis and treatment of thyroid disorders.

The AACE website also has a new publication on supplements used in endocrine-related disorders. They do not recommend using any dessicated pig or bovine thyroid products due to the risk of under or over-treating hypothyroidism, or causing hyperthyroid problems (i.e. cardiac symptoms) in people who have normal thyroid function.

    Bookmark   November 16, 2003 at 10:28PM
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ever think you were estrogen-dominant? seems this has the same symptoms of hypothyroid because it interferes with the cells absorption of thyroid hormone.

    Bookmark   July 10, 2004 at 8:32PM
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hi everyone, it's great to check back in and see such a meaningful discussion on this subject. i learned the most on the subject from reading broda barnes's book Hypothyroidism the unsuspected illness. and by connecting to the broda barnes foundation.
one of the most important things i learned about thyroid is that the body converts the not so active t4 into the active hormone t3. at around 1940 the protocol was changed in the testing which results in many being dianosed hyperthyroid who actually are (at the cellular level) hypo. how this works is that most of the time only t4 and tsh are tested for when t3 is the "end product" if the person has a conversion problem (as my daughter had) the t4 can measure high. since i had already gotten my daughter a 24 hour urine test, i knew that her t3 was low. i got distracted when i went to my family doctor as he likes to talk to me because i tend to teach him about stuff that he doesn't hear about any where i spaced out and forgot to tell them to test for t3 also. when i protested the hyper diagnoses the t3 was run and found to be low. he agreed to try amour thyroid and it worked well.

    Bookmark   July 11, 2004 at 5:11PM
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tree_planter(z9 CA)

Hypothyroidism runs in my family. Several years my mom went in with a a bad case, which had been building for more than a decade before it was diagnosed, and was told basically that they would have to "destroy her thyroid to save it" (using radioactive treatment. She decided no way! Well then she started taking the amino acid Tyrosine (which is to the best of my knowledge a precursor to Thyroxine) and rubbing iodine wash on her neck twice a day (such as Betadine or similar brand). The goiter just went down and down and down, until now the doctor says she doesn't really have a hypothyroid problem. She still has to keep using the iodine wash regularly or it starts going back up again, but that is not too hard.

Here's a tip about iodine since so many Americans have thyroid problems and don't know it, and they are often caused by iodine deficiency (and/or helped by iodine):

Rub some iodine wash on your neck generously. If it completely disappears within 24 hours you are iodine deficient. The faster it disappers the more iodine deficient you are.

    Bookmark   July 11, 2004 at 10:48PM
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I do believe in herbs for some diseases, but using herbs for thyroid disease is quackery. Go to a good endocrinologist. There are many good generalists, but they can not know everything, & will oftentimes oversimplify thyroid conditions. Thyroid disease can be due to many factors & can be related to other serious endocrine conditions, as well as bone & heart problems. Furthermore, the endocrinologist can do more sensitive tests that can provide you with the documentation needed for HMO coverage.
When a referral is made to a specialist it takes out of the HMO fund. It saves the practitioner money. They have to cut corners somewhere to maintain their fund for coverage of their other patients. You may have to pay for your own specialist to get the documentation you need for coverage.
Be wary of iodine use  it is not an uncommon allergy & if you have a bad one you will need immediate medical treatment. I went into severe shock with iodine use once & I would never recommend it.
A couple of people made some good points  estrogen use can artificially elevate thyroid levels & supersensitive tests are needed. Just doing a T4 study is pretty meaningless also.
The one "natural" thing you can do is avoid foods that are goitrogens. Just look up goitrogens on the internet. Cabbage & rutabaga are examples.

    Bookmark   April 18, 2005 at 10:22AM
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To follow up concerning one of the previous posts:

Iodine deficiency is no longer responsible for most goiters in developed countries, due to widespread iodine supplementation (i.e. in table salt).

Radioactive iodine is used to treat some cases of hyperthyroidism (overproduction of thyroid hormone) and thyroid cancer, not hypothyroidism, which is underproduction of thyroid hormone.

Putting iodine on your skin if you have a thyroid problem is unlikely to do much more than give you purple skin (it isn't useful for self-diagnosing thyroid deficiency, and potentially could cause an allergic reaction as Baci noted). Taking a tyrosine supplement is not a good idea either. There are effective medications for thyroid deficiency or overactivity, and it isn't worth the risk to mess around with over-the-counter supplements if a thyroid problem exists.

    Bookmark   April 18, 2005 at 11:22AM
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katj75(z8 OR)

I have one thing to add about low thyroid hormones. I have been battleing Thyroid issues for years now, 10 years actually. I originally had an overactive or Hyper thyroid. I had to have the radioactive Iodine, as I had a severe case, and needed to have the thing shut off. But since then it has been an on going battle to get on the "right" does of Thyroid hormone.

Well in the last year an intresting problem occurred. For a couple years my levels were normal. Then all of a sudden at my last check up my levels were WAY underactive. About 8 months prior to this visit I had switched to soy milk because dairy was giving me issues. Well they have just published several articles about soy products stop or lessen the absorption of throid hormones. Soy blocks the hormones so you are not absorbing all that you should be. I stopped drinking soy milk and my levels have returned to normal.

So long story short if you hare having "borderline" thyroid problems, look and see if you are eating much soy. It is a sneaky item now, since it has been proven to be so healthy (which it is for most people) they are putting it in everything. I had to search high and low to find a multi-vitamin that did not have it listed in the ingredients. Also so many of the vegatrian "meat" substitutes are made with soy. Try eliminating soy and see if affects the small change you need.

    Bookmark   August 1, 2005 at 3:55PM
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I have a friend; she is 52 and has had a hysterectomy about 3 months ago. Thyroid problems run in her family, including her mother. Her hair is falling out and she wonÂt go to a doctor. Could this be a thyroid problem and would iodized salt help?

    Bookmark   August 3, 2005 at 4:30PM
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No, it's a direct result of the hysterectomy, which drops her estrogen and other 'female' hormones. Her MD will probably put her on some hormones to balance the loss, but she should let him know about her hair loss (and any other symptoms, such as vag. dryness, etc. she might now have).

    Bookmark   August 6, 2005 at 5:45AM
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katj75(z8 OR)

I disagree, hair loss can be a sysmptom of Thyroid disease. It is different for everybody. My mother and I both have had Graves Disease (hyperactive Thyroid) she suffered from the hair loss, but I didn't have that issue. I could be the post hysterectomy but it could also be a sign of a thyroid issue. Either way it should be checked out. Usually though other signs of Thryoid disease are more obvious then the hair loss unless the issue has been going on unchecked for an extended period of time.

    Bookmark   August 10, 2005 at 2:50PM
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kadasuki(z6 NW AR)

Research coconut oil use for metabolism and using iodized salt as in sea salt. Many thyroid problems can be traced to iodine deficiency.

    Bookmark   January 18, 2011 at 2:42PM
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