by Stephen Smith
Copyright (c) 2009
There are many alternative thyroid treatments that can help to increase thyroid function naturally rather than simply using thyroid hormones as a long-term solution.
The first place people should look to as an alternative thyroid treatment is in their nutritional habits. Nutritional habits can play a crucial role in ensuring the body is able to produce optimum levels of thyroid hormones.
If someone has a diet where they regularly consume nutrient-sparse foods ('junk' foods) or they have an excessive alcohol intake, then the body is likely to become depleted of the various nutrients it needs in order to manufacture the thyroid hormones effectively.
Improving a person's diet (if it is poor) can have immediate effects on thyroid production and is therefore a very effective alternative thyroid treatment.
High stress levels induce cortisol production from the adrenal glands. High cortisol levels impair the conversion of T4 into active T3, which therefore means more reverse T3 gets produced.
Accordingly, stress management techniques like, meditation, yoga and psychological counselling, either in a group format or individually can be beneficial.
There are various changes people can make to their current lifestyle in order to treat their thyroid problems. They should ensure they get adequate amounts of sleep and allocate more time to relaxation and enjoyable activities.
Many of these strategies can help to lower stress (cortisol) levels in the body.
As mentioned, high cortisol levels inhibit the conversion of T4 into T3 (the active form of T3). If high levels of cortisol persist long term, a state of 'adrenal fatigue' may result, which means the production of cortisol drops substantially.
A low cortisol level is also a problem for thyroid function because it reduces the number of T3 receptors on cell membranes as well as the transport of T3 within the cell.
Therefore, in order to optimise thyroid function it is essential that the level of cortisol is kept within a safe range.
If heavy metals have been detected in the person's body through a hair mineral analysis, then chelation therapy may be necessary.
This involves the use of medication and supplements to help extract the heavy metals from the body tissues and then excrete them from the body.
In order for the thyroid gland to function at optimum levels it requires a range of nutrients. Often these nutrients aren't supplied in the diet and therefore must be obtained through supplementation. This is another alternative thyroid treatment.
Supplements are required for T4 production as well as conversion of T4 into T3.
The nutrients that are required include: iodine, selenium, tyrosine, zinc, vitamin C, vitamin E and various B vitamins. Antioxidants can also be beneficial in reducing free radical production, which may impair thyroid production.
Pharmaceutical medication is the standard approach many medical practitioners recommend. The problem is that using this approach long term, results in the body decreasing the natural production of thyroid hormones.
However, there is a way to use thyroid medication as an alternative thyroid treatment.
It works like this: if someone has hypothyroidism resulting from high levels of rT3, providing them with T3 medication will help to balance the T3/rT3 ratio. It will also reduce the production of T4 by the thyroid gland.
The reduced production of T4 means the conversion into T3 and rT3 will also be reduced. Eventually, whatever rT3 is left in the body will be eliminated.
The lower rT3 levels will no longer inhibit the conversion of T4 into T3.
Overall, thyroid hormone levels can then return to normal and T3 medication can cease.
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