Hypothyroidism is a potentially serious medical condition in which the thyroid produces thyroid hormone in insufficient quantities. This can be caused by a number of factors, including iodine deficiency, thyroid tumors, or underactive pituitary glands. Some of the symptoms include weight gain, fatigue, dry hair, low blood pressure, and a feeling of cold in the extremities. This disorder is frequently treated with pharmaceutical drugs and natural thyroid hormone replacement therapy. There are also herbal remedies that hypothyroidism patients may want to avail themselves of. However, there are also some herbs that these patients should not take. To protect the health of hypothyroidism patients, it is important to distinguish between the two.
Herbs to Take
Black cohosh is touted in herbal remedy circles as a treatment for various menstrual difficulties. It is beneficial for hypothyroidism because it is a powerful hormone balancer.
Kelp is an herb that contains large amounts of iodine. Iodine is vital to the production of the thyroid hormone. Some people may find that the cause of their hypothyroidism is insufficient iodine; therefore, supplementing with herbs rich in this mineral may eventually cure their condition.
Cayenne can help stimulate the circulatory system by getting the heart to pump blood faster. This can help lessen the cold feelings that hypothyroidism patients often experience.
Maca is a beneficial herb for hypothyroidism because of the way it affects the pituitary gland, which regulates hormonal activity in the body, and the hypothalamus, a gland that helps regulate body temperature. Maca can stimulate hypothalamic activity, which can lead to lessened sensitivity to cold, and can help address pituitary gland issues, which can help to get hormonal levels back to normal.
Herbs to Avoid
Echinacea is an herb that is well-known as an immune stimulant. It is often sold as a medicinal tea to prevent colds and influenza and can be very effective for avoiding viral and bacterial infections. However, since the thyroid has a role in the immune system, if this system is stimulated when the thyroid is less than fully functional, the thyroid may respond to this excess stimulation by slowing down even further.
Astragalus is similar to echinacea in that it is a powerful immune booster and is often taken to prevent infections. It works on the immune system by activating the body’s white blood cells. However, because of these immune-boosting properties, it should be avoided by patients with hypothyroidism.
Lemon balm is another herb that hypothyroidism patients should stay away from. In general, this herb has a sedative quality and can lower blood pressure. Because of these properties, it is best used to treat overactive thyroid.
Treating hypothyroidism is a balancing act. Since the thyroid is involved directly or indirectly in a great number of bodily functions, it is important to choose the right treatments to avoid doing even more damage to the gland or to any other areas of the body. It is important to discuss any herbal remedies you are considering with your doctor, since these herbs could interact with thyroid medication you may be taking.