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Why Use Natural Remedies?
Natural remedies for thyroid problems are an option for those seeking treatments with minimal to no side effects. If you have a more severe thyroid problem, you may need prescription medication to control your symptoms. For example, Tapazole (methimazole) is commonly used to treat an overactive thyroid (hyperthyroidism). Synthroid (levothyroxine) and desiccated thyroid are often prescribed to treat symptoms of an underactive thyroid (hypothyroidism).
But while these drugs are effective in treating the symptoms of thyroid conditions, natural remedies may offer a way to address the cause. Natural remedies aim to improve thyroid health by improving overall health, making them a helpful choice for those with mild thyroid issues. 
Natural Remedies for Hyperthyroidism
Hyperthyroidism occurs when too much thyroid hormone is produced and secreted into the bloodstream. This can cause the metabolism and heart rate to speed up, leading to diarrhea, fatigue, high blood pressure, and sleep problems.
Hyperthyroidism is commonly caused by Graves’ disease, throat cancer, or too much iodine. Modifying your diet by reducing iodine intake can help. Foods that are low in iodine include:
- Egg whites
- Fresh fruit and unsalted nuts
- Homemade bread without salt, eggs, or dairy
- Maple syrup and honey
- Oats and potatoes
Studies have shown that cruciferous vegetables have properties that can prevent the thyroid from using iodine. Cruciferous vegetables are leafy greens that belong to the cabbage family. These greens may be beneficial:
- Broccoli and bamboo shoots
- Brussels sprouts and bok choy
- Cauliflower and kale
- Collard greens, cassava, mustard, and rutabaga
Low iron levels can compromise thyroid health. Other beneficial vitamins and minerals may include calcium, vitamin D, selenium, and zinc. Hyperthyroidism can reduce bone mass, but calcium and vitamin D can help to restore it. Selenium may help to deter cell damage. Finally, zinc is essential for converting food into energy. To get thyroid-friendly nutrients, supplement your diet with:
- Green leafy vegetables
- Nuts, lentils, and dried beans
- Red meat and poultry
- Whole grains and seeds 
There are many factors that can cause an underactive thyroid. Digestive system inflammation, elevated estrogen levels, nutritional deficiencies, and prolonged stress may all contribute to the development of hypothyroidism. Autoimmune disorders like Hashimoto’s disease can cause antibodies in the body to mistakenly attack the thyroid. If this occurs, the body may not absorb synthetic thyroid hormones effectively, and natural treatments may be required. 
Studies have shown that many autoimmune disorders, including Hashimoto’s disease, are caused by microbiome imbalance. Essentially, the body’s microbiome consists of trillions of bacteria, fungi, viruses, and parasites that co-exist in harmony. Nutritional deficiencies are the most common cause of microbiome imbalance, but a diet low in sugar and carbohydrates can re-balance the system. Inflammation in the microbiome can be effectively alleviated with probiotics and cultured foods. Those with celiac disease may also need to abstain from gluten to improve their microbiome balance. 
Many botanical herbs are non-toxic and have healing properties that may improve thyroid health. One herb that can be especially beneficial for hypothyroidism is the Ashwagandha root extract. This herb can help the body regulate metabolism more efficiently, leading to improvements in mild cases of hypothyroidism.  Some other herbs that may improve hypothyroidism include:
- Commiphoral mukul (gum guggul)
- Fucus vesiculosus (blue flag root)
- Iris versicolor (bladderwrack)
- Seaweed 
Are Natural Treatments Effective?
Natural remedies can be effective for improving overall health and for treating subclinical thyroid problems. For people with mild thyroid conditions, going natural may have an advantage over prescription medication in that natural treatments typically have fewer side effects. For people taking thyroid medication, herbal treatments and dietary changes should be approved by a doctor because combining different forms of treatments can create unwanted side effects.
Generally, a healthier diet can lead to better health and make treatment with Tapazole (methimazole), desiccated thyroid, or Synthroid (levothyroxine) more effective. If you are interested in using natural treatments for your thyroid problem, talk to your doctor for ways of incorporating natural remedies into your treatment plan.
The content in this article is intended for informational purposes only. This website does not provide medical advice. In all circumstances, you should always seek the advice of your physician and/or other qualified health professionals(s) for drug, medical condition, or treatment advice. The content provided on this website is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.