Hyperthyroidism, or over-active thyroid, refers to conditions caused by excessive thyroid hormones Free T3 and Free T4. Hyperthyroidism is where your hormonal system is not functioning because too much of your metabolic hormone is being produced and released into your system.
This means the rate in which your burn fat and calories will be hugely accelerated, instigating rapid fat loss, excess sweating, heart palpitations, anxiety, nervousness and mood swings.
Initially this might sound like a fabulous way to lose weight fast, so you can throw out your diet pills and quick fat loss fads and drop pounds “naturally.” However, if left untreated, hyperthyroidism can cause serious and permanent health issues.
- – Palpitations, fast pulse and irregular heartbeat
- – Trembling and twitches
- – Heat intolerance
- – Hot flushes and increased sweating
- – Increased appetite (or loss of appetite)
- – Weight loss (especially if eating well)
- – Diarrhea
- – Anxiety, nervousness and/or panic attacks
- – Restlessness and insomnia
- – Irritability
- – Thin, moist skin
- – Thinning hair
- – Shortness of breath
- – Muscle weakness
- – Enlarged thyroid gland
- – Eye complaints (especially gritty or bulging eyes)
- – Fatigue, exhaustion and lack of energy
- – Infertility
- – Menstrual cycle disturbances (intermittent and light)
- – Depression and mood swings
1. Get an accurate clinical diagnosis (including Basal Body Temperature, and comprehensive blood testing). An ultrasound scan should be used as well to see if there are any nodules or inflammation present.
2. Check your iodine levels (Urinary Iodine Test). Iodine deficiency has been known to cause hyperthyroidism and is related to nodules on the thyroid. You must have this clinically assessed for safety as hyperthyroid states are very sensitive to treatments and great care must be taken by your practitioner.
3. Optimise your nutritional status with an individual diet plan that reflects what your system needs.
4. If the thyroid gland is not responding to treatment then surgical removal may be deemed necessary.
5. If you have a thyroidectomy (surgical removal of the thyroid) then you will need to balance the hypothyroid state that will be induced due to you not having a thyroid. This means clinical testing to correct your hormonal health and the creation of a specific dietary and nutritional plan.
Types of Hyperthyroidism
The most common cause of hyperthyroidism is autoimmune conditions. Autoimmunity is where the immune system mistakenly begins to perceive the thyroid as a foreign body and begins to attack it. Other common causes can be lumps on the thyroid (nodules) or if the thyroid is inflamed (thyroiditis).
Graves’ disease: This is where your thyroid gland is producing too much hormone. This can also lead to the development of a goitre, or enlarged thyroid gland. This condition affects more women than men at a ratio of 7:1. (Women: 100/100,000 compared to Men: 33/100,000). Graves peaks in the third to fourth decade of life and is rare before 10 years of age. Like other thyroid complaints and autoimmune conditions, Graves has a familial predisposition and can overlap with another autoimmune thyroid condition called Hashimoto’s disease.
Thyroiditis: This is a disease that can trigger thyroid hormone to be released from your stores when they aren’t required. This will cause hyperthyroidism temporarily, usually for a few weeks or months, and it can be associated with pain or be painless.
Nodules: If the nodules in your thyroid are overactive it can result in thyroid disease. When there are many lumps present it’s known as a toxic multi- nodular goitre.
Jan’s journey from a state of extreme upset and worry to a place of relief and restored health highlights the complexities and potential misdiagnoses that can occur in the field of medicine. Her initial distress was a result of her doctor’s warning that her thyroid might need to be surgically removed due to alarmingly low blood test results, which indicated hyperthyroidism. This condition, characterized by an overactive thyroid, can have serious health implications.
However, further investigation and testing unveiled a surprising twist in Jan’s medical story. Contrary to her initial diagnosis, she was found to have an under-active thyroid, also known as hypothyroidism. This condition manifests with a range of symptoms, including fatigue, weight gain, cold intolerance, and slow reflexes. It can significantly impact one’s quality of life and overall well-being.
The pivotal moment in Jan’s healing journey came when she received a more accurate diagnosis and appropriate treatment. Instead of resorting to surgery, she was offered a holistic approach to her condition. Jan’s treatment involved herbal supplements and specific nutrients, carefully administered at the correct dosages over a span of two months. This regimen was tailored to address her specific needs, effectively addressing the root cause of her hypothyroidism.
The outcome of Jan’s treatment is nothing short of remarkable. After the two-month period, she not only became symptom-free but also felt fantastic. Her experience serves as a testament to the efficacy of natural and holistic approaches to health, highlighting that surgery isn’t always the only solution to thyroid disorders. By embracing the right combination of herbal supplements and nutrients, Jan was able to restore her thyroid function, thereby regaining her overall health and vitality.
She also still has a fully functional and healthy thyroid as, with treatment, it did not require surgical removal.
The take-away? There are diagnosis and treatment options available, both medicinal and natural, to treat these conditions.
Herbal Treatment Options
While herbal treatments and nutrients can play a complementary role in managing hyperthyroidism, it’s important to note that these should be used after functional testing has taken place to make sure they’re correct for the individual set of signs & symptoms, in that particular individual.
Here are some herbs and nutrients to benefit in managing hyperthyroidism:
1. Bugleweed (Lycopus virginicus): Bugleweed is an herb known for its potential to reduce thyroid activity. It contains compounds that may help regulate an overactive thyroid gland.
2. Lemon Balm (Melissa officinalis): Lemon balm has calming properties and may help alleviate anxiety and nervousness associated with hyperthyroidism.
3. Motherwort (Leonurus cardiaca): Motherwort is another herb with calming effects, potentially aiding in the management of anxiety and palpitations associated with hyperthyroidism.
6. Selenium: Selenium is a trace element that may help regulate thyroid function. It can be obtained from dietary sources or supplements. However, excessive selenium intake can be harmful, so it’s important to consult with a healthcare professional.
7. L-Carnitine: Some studies suggest that L-carnitine supplementation may help alleviate symptoms of hyperthyroidism, particularly muscle weakness and fatigue.
8. Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera): Ashwagandha is an adaptogen herb that may help reduce stress and anxiety associated with hyperthyroidism.
9. Omega-3 Fatty Acids: Omega-3 fatty acids, found in fish oil and flaxseed, may help reduce inflammation and support overall thyroid health.
10. Vitamin D: Adequate vitamin D levels are important for overall health and may have a role in thyroid function. Maintaining sufficient vitamin D levels can be beneficial for individuals with hyperthyroidism.