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3 Ways People With Thyroid And Autoimmune Thyroid Conditions Can Detoxify Their Body

We live in a toxic world, and unfortunately it’s only getting worse. Thousands of new chemicals have been manufactured over the last decade, and thousands of more will be produced during the next decade. As a result, the air we breathe has toxins, the food we eat has toxins, the water supply has toxins, the furniture we buy is toxic. And as I’ve discussed in other articles and posts, there is evidence that certain toxins can cause the development of a thyroid or autoimmune thyroid condition. There is nothing we can do to completely avoid these toxins, but there are a couple of things we CAN do.

First of all, you can do what is necessary to minimize your exposure to toxins. You can do this by eating organic food, drinking purified water, using an air purification system, etc. You can also use natural household products and cosmetics, try not to use pesticides and herbicides, don’t jog or ride your bike where there is heavy traffic due to exposure to the fumes. I realize that many people reading this information have already made some of these changes, and that’s fantastic.

You can also do things to help eliminate toxins from your body. In this post I’m going to discuss three specific things people with thyroid and autoimmune thyroid conditions can do help eliminate toxins from their body:

1. Detoxify Your Liver. The liver is one of the most important organs of the body, and it plays a huge role in detoxification. It is also the most overworked organ in the body due to all of the different toxins we’re exposed to on a daily basis. As a result, I’ve been recommending methods of detoxifying the liver to my patients for many years. And I personally go through a liver detox program at least twice per year. There are numerous programs out there, but the one I recommend is 21 days in length. Such a program basically consists of eating well, and taking some supplements to help with the detoxification process.

There are also specific foods and herbs which can help detoxify the liver:

Cruciferous Vegetables. Yes, I know they’re goitrogenic, but they are very healthy foods, and they help to support healthy liver function and phase 2 detoxification (1) (2). And as I’ve mentioned in other more recent articles and posts, as long as someone is iodine sufficient, then eating normal amounts of the cruciferous vegetables (i.e. one or two servings per day) shouldn’t inhibit thyroid function.

Garlic. Garlic consists of a compound called allicin, which helps to detoxify the liver. Besides helping with detoxification of the liver, garlic is hepatoprotective (3), and there is some evidence that it can be used as a chemoprotective agent for the prevention of liver cancer (4). Recently a patient of mine emailed me some information on how garlic might also be effective in removing lead from the body (5). Try to have a clove of fresh garlic each day, or consider taking a garlic supplement.

Green Tea. Green tea has catechins, which can help to improve liver function. There is evidence that green tea can prevent early alcohol-induced liver injury (6), and might be hepatoprotective against conditions such as nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (7).

Cilantro: Cilantro can potentially help to remove heavy metals, and thus is commonly included in certain detoxification products. If you’re like me and have a daily smoothie you can also add some cilantro to it. I must admit that I don’t like the taste of cilantro, and so I don’t include it in my smoothies, but I do frequently include broccoli and kale.

Chlorella. Chlorella has numerous benefits, as it can potentially help with heavy metals, such as cadmium (8) and mercury (9). Chlorella might also be useful in preventing the accumulation of dioxins within the body (10), and might even provide a benefit to liver cancer patients (11).

Milk Thistle. This is one of the most well known herbs to help to protect and improve the health of the liver. It can help with liver damage, hepatitis, exposure to chemical toxins, and can possibly prevent the formation of gallstones. Silymarin is the active component of milk thistle that protects the liver and kidney cells from the toxic effects of drugs, including chemotherapy (12). Although milk thistle alone doesn’t seem to help much with chronic liver disease, it has reduced liver enzyme levels and demonstrated anti-inflammatory and T cell-modulating effects (12). Silymarin acts as an antioxidant by reducing free radical production and lipid peroxidation, and may act as a toxin blockade agent by inhibiting binding of toxins to the hepatocyte cell membrane receptors (13).

Globe Artichoke. This herb is also useful for liver toxicity or damage, and can also help to improve bile production.

Dandelion. This is yet another herb which can help to improve the function of the liver, and can also help with gallstones.

Schisandra. This is a great herb, as it can help to improve the detoxifying capacity of the liver, and also help with acute and chronic liver diseases.

Fringe Tree. This herb can help to improve bile production by the liver, and can also help with gallstones.

Greater Celandine. Helps to clear toxins from the liver and bowel. Can also help with bile production and with gallstones.

2. Clean Your Colon. There are numerous ways to clean the colon. If you walk into your local health food store, or perform a search online, there will be no shortage of kits to clean your colon, although I’d be cautious about purchasing such products and doing this on your own. Some natural healthcare professionals recommend coffee enemas. I honestly don’t have much experience with coffee enemas, but they can clean the colon, help with liver detoxification by increasing glutathione production, might help to eliminate parasites, and there are other potential benefits. I’ve had a few patients use coffee enemas prior to consulting with me, and most have reported positive results. If anyone else reading this has received positive benefits from coffee enemas then please feel free to share your experience by posting a comment.

There is evidence that coffee enemas can lead to proctocolitis, which is inflammation of the colon and rectum (14). So coffee enemas might not be completely risk free, although to be fair this showed that only three people experienced this side effect. The truth is that just about every treatment procedure has the potential to cause side effects, and for the most part it seems that coffee enemas are safe, and perhaps it’s something I’ll eventually incorporate into my practice.

Colon hydrotherapy and colonic irrigation are also methods to clean out the colon. When receiving colon hydrotherapy/colonic irrigation it is best to see a certified colon hydrotherapist. The advantage that coffee enemas have is that you can do this from the convenience of your home, and of course it costs less than seeing a colon hydrotherapist. The advantage of colon hydrotherapy is that they do a better job of cleansing when compared to coffee enemas. However, for some people, colon hydrotherapy can be too aggressive. For example, if someone has an increase in intestinal permeability (a leaky gut), then it’s probably best to refrain from receiving colon hydrotherapy until the gut is healed.

Some question the effectiveness of colon hydrotherapy, stating that there is no physiological basis for it, and that it might cause the dissemination and absorption of toxins and bacteria into the body (15). However, numerous healthcare professionals have had a lot of success using colon hydrotherapy in the practice. This includes Dr. Walter Crinnion, who is a naturopathic doctor with 30 years of experience, and he focuses on biotransformation and detoxification. While going through my masters in nutrition degree I took a 10-week biotransformation and detoxification course through Dr. Crinnion, and he said that if he could only choose one method of detoxification it would be colon hydrotherapy.

3. Sauna Therapy. Infrared sauna therapy can also help with the removal of toxins, as well as improve circulation and reduce blood pressure. Numerous healthcare experts recommend using sauna therapy, including Dr. Mark Hyman (16), Dr. Walter Crinnion (17), and Dr. Joseph Mercola (18). Heck, even Dr. Oz understands the benefits of infrared sauna (19). I’m also an advocate of sauna therapy.

I mentioned how Dr. Walter Crinnion is an advocate of colon hydrotherapy, and here is what he has to say about sauna therapy (20):

“Saunas can be used very effectively for certain cardiovascular problems and as a means to enhance the mobilization of fat-soluble xenobiotics. When saunas are used to reduce blood pressure and enhance blood flow and cardiac functioning, only short sauna sessions (15 minutes) are necessary. When one wants to enhance the mobilization of heavy metals and chemical xenobiotics, longer sessions are needed and those should be medically monitored. But, for either use, saunas are safe and effective and should be used more frequently to benefit the health of our patients and ourselves.”

Although many different healthcare professionals realize the benefits of infrared sauna therapy, there is a difference in opinion when it comes to near vs. far sauna therapy. Some healthcare professionals are proponents of near infrared sauna therapy, others seem to favor far infrared sauna therapy. I think both near and infrared sauna therapy can be beneficial, although most of the units being sold are far infrared saunas.

So hopefully you have a better understanding of what you can do to detoxify your body. In my opinion, everyone should be doing things to help detoxify their liver and increase glutathione levels, including eating some of the foods I listed, perhaps taking some of the herbs, and it’s also wise to consider following a liver detoxification program once or twice per year. Infrared sauna therapy and colon cleansing should also be considered by those who are overloaded with toxins, but can also be used as a preventative measure, and to help minimize the negative impact that toxins can have on one’s health.


 

23 Comments

  1. Erica says:

    I did a lot of research on Dandelion and I opted for the purchase of Dandelion Root for promoting healthy liver function. I purchased Traditional Medicinals Organic Roasted Dandelion Root. It took me a while to get used to the flavor but I added a drop of Agave Nectar to sweeten it a little, and now I just drink a cup 3 to five times a week.

    One thing I want to mention on colon cleanses – I used to drink teas or do the kits and my Gastro MD told me that he could tell from performing my colononscopies he saw darkening in the lining of my intestines from all the detoxes I that I did over the years and he says they are very harmful. I’m just throwing this info out there if you want to do more research on the most natural and safe detoxes available.

    • Dr. Eric says:

      Erica, thanks for sharing your experience about dandelion, and for letting us know what your gastroenterologist told you about the colon cleanses. I do agree that you need to be careful, as there are many products which are assumed to be safe, but might not be.

  2. Jason says:

    What about Selenium? Is it not important for liver?

    Do you recommend the product by standard process called Livco?

    Is there any side effect of using a product like these, like fatigue (while the liver is detoxing?)

    Thanks!
    Jason

    • Dr. Eric says:

      Jason, selenium is very important when it comes to glutathione production. And so thank you for bringing this up. I am very familiar with LivCo, and I have recommended this product to my patients, and have taken it myself in the past. Anytime you go through a detoxification program, or even take supplements which help with detoxification, it is possible that you can experience symptoms such as fatigue, headaches, etc. Of course some people react worse than others, as I usually don’t experience a worsening of symptoms when going through a detoxification program. On the other hand, when my wife goes through a detox she experiences fatigue and horrible headaches.

  3. Charlene says:

    I use Mag07 by Aerobic Life for gut cleansing. I think it’s superior to enemas and hydrotherapy because it cleanses your entire system, not just your colon. It’s ozonated magnesium in capsules that release reactive oxygen throughout your system as it’s digested. This rids your entire system of debris by turning everything into a liquid or a gas so it can exit your body. Sounds odd but it’s not as bad as it sounds. It’s safe, gentle, and helped me train my bowels to move every time I sit on the toilet which can only be a good thing. Also the oxygen it releases kills bad bacteria and feeds the good bacteria in your gut thereby helping them to flourish.

    • Dr. Eric says:

      Charlene, I’m not familiar with Mag07, but I’ll definitely check it out. Thank you for sharing this with everyone.

  4. Suzanne says:

    Rebounding can also be another good and inexpensive way detoxify the lymph system…

    Rebounding on a mini trampoline is perhaps the most efficient and forceful means of flushing the lymph while stimulating the immune system and defending against cancer and other ailments. During rebound exercise the forces of the upward and downward bounces – acceleration and deceleration – are vertically aligned on the same plane with gravity. It was proven by Albert Einstein in 1911 that the aligned forces of acceleration, deceleration and gravity result in an increased gravitational load (1). What this means for the body is that during rebound exercise cells adjust to the increased load by becoming stronger. Rebounding strengthens virtually every cell of the body at the same time and is equivalent to resistance training for the cells.

    Learn more: http://www.naturalnews.com/022716_lymph_body_exercise.html#ixzz2alYG2Ghw

  5. caren says:

    Just wanna say..i have hashimoto’s and I did a coffee enema yesterday.. I felt amazing after..just make sure you use an appropriate amount or it could stimulate adrenals too much.. that happened to me the next day but is used more.

  6. Linda dc says:

    Personally I feel detoxing is un-neccessary if you live,eat and breathe a healthy life. Humans are the only species that eat processed foods and cooked foods and we have all the diseases,and now pets are getting the same. Exercise,fresh air in nature,and lots of raw organic food will prevent the need to detox.We also need to slow down our pace of living which causes undue stress on our bodies and mind. If you do need a detox there is nothing like fresh organic juices and smoothies for a few days without other foods or substances. Personally I do feel it is un-natural to do enemas etc.

  7. Honora Renwick says:

    Regarding the taste of cilantro, apparently this is due to a genetic basis. A company that supplies genetic information at individuals requests recently came up with these results when they looked at the genetic difference between those who perceive cilantro as tasting like soap versus those who don’t: https://www.23andme.com/about/factoid/cilantro/

    Weirdly, I used to hate cilantro. If it was in a meal, I had to pick it out but now I enjoy it, especially with Thai meals and eat it everyday for its detoxifying properties. Have I managed to switch a gene off?

  8. Mary says:

    I currently have a severe hyperthyroid condition and have had swollen ankles, feet, etc. almost continuously since Jan. 2013. I was recently diagnosed with a weak or clogged gallbladder and a daily coffee enema was suggested. I did it 4 days in a row. The second day, I noticed my feet and ankles were normal. This has continued now for a week. I am so encouraged. Also, a few months ago, I saw a dr. and he noted that my liver was very large and low. I had never been looked at for that before so I don’t know if it is a normal for me or something new. However, I also have seen my liver is changing with the coffee enemas. It was previously 1 1/2 inches below my navel and now is about half that. Just to be fair, I am also taking some (new to me) herbs and essential oils for the thyroid for about 2 weeks. They also may be playing a part… the swollen ankles is definitely a hyperthyroid problem, however, no other symptoms have abated. i.e. rapid heart rate, shaking muscles, weakness, high metabolism. Also, have protruding eyes, but don’t have the graves markers in the blood test.?? Anyway, I am crediting my lack of swelling with the coffee enema.

  9. Murphy says:

    I am hypothyroid and I take thyroid medicine for it (nature-throid currently, formerly Armour). Any time I try to do a liver cleanse, my hypo symptoms return (hair loss, weight gain, foggy brain, low energy) because it pulls the medicine out of my liver too. The medicine needs to “build up” in your liver for 6 weeks to normalize you. So, I rarely do a liver cleanse, because I don’t want to feel and look bad for 6-8 weeks. Because you have to wait 6 weeks after you stop the cleanse to feel and look normal again. Of course, the hair loss takes a year to grow back completely (I have shoulder length hair). So I don’t even put lemon in my water, because that also helps pull toxins from your liver! =) I guess I rather feel good and look good and live with my toxins! I do try to avoid them, but I don’t try to “remove” them anymore. Too stressful/annoying and depressing side effects.

    • Dr. Eric says:

      Hi Murphy,

      While doing a liver detoxification can without question increase the clearance of medication, you can usually minimize this effect by not taking any liver detoxification supplements at the same time as taking the thyroid medication. This usually is easy to do with thyroid hormone, since most people take synthetic and natural thyroid hormone first thing in the morning. In most cases waiting 45 to 60 minutes until after taking the medication will be fine, although some people will need to wait longer than this.

    • Olissima says:

      Hi Murphy,
      I have hypothyroidism and I am taking Armour.
      I read that you are taking nature thyroid – can u share some info about it pls.
      Thanks!

  10. Mickalola says:

    I had thyroid cancer and my entire thyroid was removed. Is it ok for me to do a liver cleanse. I am taking a few different meds & vitamins/supplements. I am also hypocalcemic so I take A LOT of calcium supplements.

    • Dr. Eric says:

      Hi Mickalola,

      I’ve had other patients who received a complete thyroidectomy and followed a liver detoxification, and so in most cases it should be fine to do a liver detox. However, since you’re also taking numerous medications and supplements I would recommend working with a natural healthcare professional, such as a local chiropractor or naturopath.

  11. Natalie says:

    I have been doing coffee enemas for about a year now and have spent hours surfing the net for dangers of using them. Sadly, most negative comment and reports come from the medical field. As a child, I remember my Mom giving me enemas when I was sick. My personal experience has been a feeling of happiness, calm, and just overall better!!! They are exhilarating! Remember that most doctors have no training in nutrition and Only give prescription meds. I am not stating that they can be used by everyone, but they have made a difference in how I personally feel. Do your research! You know your body better than anyone. Dr. Larry Wilson and The Gerson Institute are two wonderful resources who have a wealth of information on coffee enemas. Or just google he benefits of coffee enemas.

    • Dr. Eric says:

      Hi Natalie,

      Thank you for sharing your experience with us. Although I don’t use coffee enemas in my practice, I’m familiar with both Dr. Wilson and the Gerson therapy, and they obviously wouldn’t continue to recommend coffee enemas to their patients if they didn’t feel they were beneficial. Plus, I have had a few patients who did coffee enemas before consulting with me and who told me that they also noticed positive benefits. As you said, they might not be for everyone, but it might be something to consider for some people.

    • Jenny says:

      I have been doing coffee enemas for a year now after being a chronically constipated, Hashimoto’s survivor with one less ovary in my body who ran out of reasonable remedies from my well-intentioned but baffled allopathic practitioners.

      I find that coffee enemas are **immediately** pain relieving, no matter what the pain — helps to eliminates period pain, pelvic pain, osteopathic pain, fibromyalgia pain, every kind of pain. It has been the only sure fire pain reliever I’ve ever tried, and I’ve tried them all.

      As for the constipation, my gut, after a year, has finally started to actually eliminate on a regular basis and often right before the enema. A total surprise, actually. “Everybody” told me that I could overdo and somehow ruin my colon and make it forget peristalsis altogether and it most certainly has *not* done this. In truth, my colon had already just about stopped moving entirely for *years* before this, so I was totally willing to take this “risk” at the time. I am so glad I did! This remedy has been incredibly helpful to me.

      The one thing I added was *salt* to my coffee solution. That made the experience even more exhilarating and wonderful than it was before! I started it because I suspected I was getting dehydrated.

  12. Barbara says:

    COLON CLEANSE: There is No Better Quicker more effective way of cleansing your body of all toxins than having a colonic hydro colon cleanse period! Eastern cultures are well aware of this, Western medicine is Reactive….not Proactive. Your colon is responsible for the absorption or Lack of absorption of all your vitamins & minerals. A well recommended hydro therapist will do a great job educating you as to why you are sick and why your colon walls are compacted with YEARS of solid compacted material stopping your body from receiving the goodness from your food. This process has absolutely been studied showing success in removing people from medicines associated with their adverse mental conditions and inability to pass a BM for days plus helped many more health related problems. After 6 back to back treatments every other day I now have a regular system where before I could not even go once every 2 days at best. This has made me loose weight, stored up in the colon walls, boosted my energy level and helped my digestion. Americans, Get over your fear about Colon Cleansing. You Life will improve dramatically- Like mine.

  13. Ann says:

    Can you recommend a good, reasonably priced infrared sauna for home use? I have a goiter and notice that I feel less “pressure” after engaging in labor outside that causes me to sweat a lot. Also, could you please recommend a pure brand of chlorella? Thanks for all you share. I have been so blessed by you! Your advice is very sound!

    • Dr. Eric says:

      I’ll include the website which has information on the far infrared sauna I have. It’s called the Relax FIR Portable Sauna, and it’s not as nice looking as a wooden sauna, but it’s a lot less expensive, and seems to be very effective. For more information on the you can visit http://www.momentum98.com, and if you decide to purchase one of the Relax FIR Portable Saunas you can enter my last name (OSANSKY) on the right side of the page where it asks for the discount code (after you click the “Buy Now” button), and you’ll get an additional $100 off, which will bring the total to $995, plus $25 S/H.

  14. Debra says:

    Coffee enema’s. I have been doing them for almost 2 years now. I do between 6 or 8 per week. I just love them. When I first started, I noticed things floating around in the toilet. I believe most were parasites. I did notice some white sting things ( yeast). I cook my grounds per instructions with cor-vital ( amazon). I feel great after doing them…. I also have started doing colonic’s. I am now on my 38th colonic, and things are looking up. Its a slow process, but it does work. I prefer the laying down table colonic ( libbe)that you lay on your back and do not need any assistance, instead of the laying on side with someone holding the speculum in your butt.

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Natural Treatment Methods:
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Hypothyroidism Treatment
Hyperthyroidism Treatment
Natural Thyroid treatment


Conventional Treatment
Methods:
Radioactive Iodine
Thyroid Hormone