From causing weight gain to depression and fatigue, an underactive thyroid gland can take a toll on your overall health.
And an astonishing estimated 27 million Americans suffer from hypothyroidism – almost half of whom don’t even realize they have a problem (1).
It’s not surprising that this is one of the most frequent health problems encountered by people who are really struggling to lose weight.
You can start eating less and exercising more, but the number on the scale just won’t budge if your thyroid isn’t working the way it’s supposed to.
Before I get into some of the best underactive thyroid natural remedies, let’s rewind a bit and look at exactly why your thyroid is so important when it comes to your health.
Thyroid Gland 101
The thyroid is a butterfly-shaped gland found in the middle of your neck. It produces thyroid hormone, which plays a huge role in many bodily functions, including controlling body temperature, regulating heart rate, and maintaining metabolism.
Any changes in the way your thyroid works can lead to fluctuations in hormone production, which makes it hard for the thyroid to work the way it’s supposed to. An underactive thyroid causes a condition called “hypothyroidism” while an overactive thyroid leads to “hyperthyroidism.”
There are lots of different factors that can cause hypothyroidism. Autoimmune disease, certain medications, and even nutrient deficiencies can be to blame (2).
Worst of all, the long list of symptoms caused by an underactive thyroid can be devastating. Fatigue, dry skin, thinning hair, sensitivity to cold, constipation, weight gain, muscle weakness, and joint pain are just a few of the things that result from hypothyroidism.
But the good news is there are plenty of ways to naturally treat hypothyroidism and stop symptoms once and for all.
I’ve written some tips before on natural thyroid treatments, but here I’ve compiled for you my top five ways to combat an underactive thyroid. Check it out below.
The Best Natural Remedies For Hypothyroid Disorder
1. Take a probiotic
Believe it or not, the health of your thyroid gland could actually start right in your digestive tract. In fact, good gut health is also the secret to a strong immune system.
Studies have found that supplementing with probiotics can prevent immune-mediated diseases by stimulating and strengthening the immune system (3).
That’s why it makes perfect sense that promoting your immune health can improve hypothyroidism, especially when caused by inflammation and autoimmune disease.
Fermented foods like sauerkraut or dairy-free yogurts with added probiotics are great ways to enhance your gut health. Or, try adding a probiotic supplement into your daily routine to see the thyroid-boosting benefits for yourself.
Most of us deal with our fair share of stress on a daily basis, but did you know that it could be contributing to your thyroid problems?
When we get stressed out, our stress hormones – like cortisol – can shoot up. When cortisol is elevated, it can cause another hormone known as thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) to increase too.
High levels of TSH coupled with reduced thyroid hormone levels can signify hypothyroidism (3).
It’s easier said than done, I know, but reducing stress might be just the answer you’re looking for in how to restore your thyroid function.
Try meditation or yoga, get regular physical activity, and incorporate your own favorite stress-busting strategies into your day to de-stress and de-compress.
3. Go gluten-free
One of the best things you can do for your thyroid gland? Eliminate gluten from your diet.
The problem is that the proteins in gluten have a very similar protein structure to that of thyroid tissue. When you eat lots of gluten from refined carbs, cereals, and pastas, it can set off an immune response and basically cause your own immune system to target and attack your thyroid gland.
To keep your thyroid in tiptop shape, I recommend cutting out bread, pasta, and cereal from your diet and selecting gluten-free options instead. Grains like quinoa and millet are gluten-free and can help ease the transition into a thyroid-friendly diet.
4. Get in enough nutrients
When’s the last time you thought about micronutrients like selenium or iodine? If you’re like most people, paying attention to the minute details of your diet right down to the very microgram probably falls pretty low on the list of priorities.
It can be important when it comes to hypothyroidism, however, because some of the symptoms of hypothyroidism are actually made worse with certain nutrient deficiencies.
The two big ones are iodine and selenium, both of which are required by the thyroid gland to produce enough of the hormones needed by our body.
Iodine is found in seaweed, eggs, potatoes, cranberries, and navy beans while selenium is plentiful in fish, chicken, turkey, beef, and Brazil nuts.
Make sure you’re including enough of these foods in your diet or consider adding in a nutrient-rich smoothie (like this thyroid home remedy tonic), to meet your daily needs and keep your thyroid healthy.
5. Ditch the dairy
For most people, dairy is pretty hard to digest already. But when you have an autoimmune disease like hypothyroidism, it can cause spell even more trouble for your gastrointestinal tract.
Much like gluten, loading up on the dairy products can set off an immune response, diminishing thyroid function, and intensifying the negative symptoms that come with hypothyroidism.
Switching to dairy-free alternatives like almond milk can do wonders when it comes to your immune system and overall thyroid function.
Top-Notch Thyroid Health
Trust me, I know just how scary a diagnosis of hypothyroidism can be, let alone having to suffer the consequences of its many side effects. Luckily, there are plenty of natural remedies for hypothyroidism that can make it much more manageable.
If you’ve been feeling sluggish and tired, plus having difficulty losing weight no matter what you try, now is the time to restore your thyroid function and get back on track to having a healthy thyroid function.