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Home > Research Department  > Health Concerns Articles > Hyperthyroid / Over Active Thyroid
    Health Concerns Articles  
OVERACTIVE THYROID
Articles by a Naturopathic Doctor ( N.D.)
Last Updated: July 21st, 2015

TOO MUCH OF A GOOD THING

Relaxing is key to dealing with hyper-thyroid. When your body produces too much thyroid hormone, you can feel nervous, jittery & lose too much weight.
Aggravated by stress, an overactive thyroid is sometimes difficult to treat, but by controlling the level of stress through proper diet, exercise, lifestyle changes and the right supplements you can make a difference...

The thyroid gland is located in the front of the neck. It is responsible for setting the metabolic rate for the body. An overactive thyroid causes the body to work too quickly resulting in nervousness, tremors, sleeplessness, palpitations, sweating, fever, diarrhea and increased appetite with paradoxical weight loss.  This over excitability can eventually lead to death from exhaustion of the body.

A dangerous increase in blood pressure may also result.  A hyperthyroid period often precedes hypothyroidism as the gland makes one last attempt to maintain functioning before shutting down.

The thyroid gland is responsible for producing the hormones thyroxine (T4) and triiodothyronine (T3). These hormones are important when it comes to the way your body functions. If your thyroid gland makes too much T4 and T3, this is defined as hyperthyroidism.

Grave’s disease is an autoimmune condition that commonly causes hyperthyroidism. Other suspected causes of hyperthyroidism are food sensitivities, large iodine intake, mercury poisoning, extreme stress, hormonal imbalances, bowel infections and leaky gut syndrome. 

Hyperthyroidism is generally diagnosed based on symptoms and blood tests. Blood tests can measure the levels of thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) and is the most common way to confirm the diagnosis of hyperthyroidism.  However, if the blood tests come back inconclusive your health care provider may also request to have a thyroid ultrasound, a thyroid scan, or a radioactive iodine uptake test.

Conventional treatment of hyperthyroidism involves thyroid-blocking medications.  In some cases surgery or gland irradiation is performed.  This then leaves the individual in a hypothyroid state.  They must replace the thyroid hormone with synthetic thyroid.  This is better for the body than remaining in a hyperthyroid state.

Hyperthyroidism can become serious if ignored, though once detected most people respond well to the treatment. 
When hyperthyroidism goes untreated you risk developing heart problems such as rapid heart rate, atrial fibrillation, and heart failure. Your body will also have trouble replacing calcium and other essential mineral in your bones which may lead to developing osteoporosis.   

Natural treatment of hyperthyroidism involves identifying food allergens, assessing for metal toxicity, using natural thyroid suppressors and supporting the body with vitamins and minerals.  Eat lots of whole and fresh foods to replace the nutrients lost to excessive metabolism.  They also provide enzymes to help food digestion.  Use green vegetables, whole grains and nutritional yeast for B vitamins. 

What you can do if you have hyperthyroidism:

- SUPPORT YOUR BODY WITH THE NUTRIENTS AN OVERACTIVE THYROID DEPLETES (SEE BELOW)
- EAT PLENTY OF BROCCOLI AND SOYA PRODUCTS;  THEY HELP TO SUPPRESS THYROID FUNCTION
- MAINTAIN A REGULAR SLEEP CYCLE
- CONTROL STRESS WITH MODERATE EXERCISE
- DO NOT DRINK COFFEE, COLA, OR BLACK TEA;  THE CAFFEINE IN THEM INCREASE THE METABOLIC RATE.

DID YOU KNOW?
(HYPERTHYROID  FACTS)

- HYPERTHYROIDISM IS MORE DIFFICULT TO TREAT THAN LOW THYROID
- IT CAN LEAD TO NUTRIENT DEFICIENCIES IN THE LONG TERM

Eat broccoli, brussel sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, kale, peaches, pears, rutabagas, soybeans, onions, spinach and turnips because they suppress thyroid hormone function.  Avoid iodized salt, coffee, black tea, chocolate and colas, which speed up metabolism.  Avoid the most common food allergens for hyperthyroid patients, which are dairy products, wheat, caffeine and nicotine products.

Nutritional support for hyperthyroidism consists of providing the body with optimum doses of nutrients that it needs to cope with stress and providing nutrients that this disorder depletes.  Of these, the B complex vitamins are very important, as both your brain and your stress glands need them to function properly.   

People with an overactive thyroid can often be deficient in these nutrients.  You might also consider herbs that help you to relax naturally without side effects.

Proper sleep and moderate exercise help regulate thyroid functioning.  So does controlling the stress you experience in your life.  If you have an overactive thyroid and your stress level is very high, you need to make some lifestyle changes or learn to adapt to the stress more effectively.

The following list of supplements can be for hyperthyroidism support.  (CLICK SUPPLEMENT NAME FOR PRODUCTS).

SUPPLEMENT DOSAGE THERAPEUTIC EFFECT
soy extract or soy protein As directed on label Help to suppress thyroid function.
broccoli extract As directed on label Helps to suppress thyroid function
Calcium - Magnesium 500-1000mg cal with 250-500mg mag Helps to calm and reduce stress. Use citrate or chelate forms.
Valerian As directed on label Reduces stress and relaxes.
Whey protein 1-2 scoops twice daily Provides important amino acids and protein that hyperthyroidism depletes.  Helps to maintain weight.
Multivitamin and multi mineral complex One table per day or as directed on label Replaces nutrients.
Vitamin B complex plus PABA 50-100mg twice daily plus PABA 3000-5000mg daily B vitamins are essential for digestive and nervous system functioning.  PABA is used for hyperthyroidism and other autoimmune conditions.
Evening Primrose oil or 3-6-9 oil combination 1000mg three times daily Builds anti-inflammatory prostaglandins.  Helpful for autoimmune conditions.
Plant digestive enzymes As directed on label Increases the amount of enzymes so that fast transit time does not compromise nutrient absorption.
Greens supplement As directed on label Provide important nutrient support
Also beneficial for HYPERTHYROID SUPPORT: Multivitamins, vitamin C, vitamin E, lecithin, lithium, curcumin, male fern and oak bark.
For informational purposes only.  Please consult your health care practitioner before taking natural health care products. Click here for full disclaimer.


All articles copyright National Nutrition 2001 - 2015.  For educational purposes only.  Please note that while National Nutrition supports your right to use natural health care products for any therapeutic purpose that you see fit, that the information on this website should not be considered as a claim or as a substitute for medical advice.

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