If you have an underactive thyroid gland, you probably won't be able to cure the condition with natural remedies. However, lifestyle changes and other treatments might ease symptoms of hypothyroidism. Symptoms include fatigue, weight gain and brittle nails and hair. Read on to learn about natural remedies.
Take Care with Supplements
If you're taking hormone replacement pills, be careful what you eat within a few hours of taking your pill. Dietary supplements containing large amounts of calcium or iron can interfere with absorption of the hormone. Your doctor might advise you to take your thyroid pill alone on an empty stomach and not take any other supplements until three to four hours later. On the flip side, making sure you are getting enough B vitamins might help improve your energy levels as well as treat the common hypothyroid symptoms of brittle nails and hair.
Watch Your Diet
Watching your diet also is important when treating an underactive thyroid gland. Watching what you eat can help reduce fatigue and weight gain and help your hormone replacement pills work at an optimum level. Dietary recommendations include avoiding eating large amounts of soy, which can interfere with absorption of your hormone replacement pill. Eating large amounts of dairy within a few hours of taking your pill might also interfere with absorption. Additionally, you might have better control of your hypothyroid symptoms if you limit foods called goitrogens in your diet. These foods are believed to interfere with thyroid function and include cruciferous vegetables like cabbage and broccoli. Eating them cooked rather than raw can lessen the goitrogenic effect. Switching out processed foods for more natural high-fibre foods often relieves symptoms as well.
Get Regular Exercise
Getting regular gentle-to-moderate exercise can help relieve symptoms of fatigue and constipation. Exercise also helps rev your metabolism and helps combat weight gain. Regular exercise might also help fight the low moods and depression that are sometimes symptoms of an underactive thyroid gland.
Use Herbal Remedies with Care
There is some evidence that herbal supplements such as bladder wrack (Fucus vesiculosus) may relieve hypothyroid symptoms or even support thyroid function. However, other natural remedies commonly recommended by alternative practitioners, such as coconut oil, have not proven successful in scientific studies. According to the Mayo Clinic, there's some evidence that coconut oil might actually interfere with thyroid function. If you do take herbs or use other natural remedies, be sure to mention them to your doctor so that he or she can determine whether they might interfere with your medication.