Every week I get numerous emails from people with both hypothyroid and hyperthyroid conditions who want to know what diet they should follow, and which supplements they should take for their condition. With regards to diet, while I do recommend for those with thyroid and autoimmune thyroid conditions to eat whole foods, minimize their consumption of refined foods and sugars, and to consider going on a gluten free trial, there may be variations in one’s diet. As for nutritional supplements, although there are general supplements and herbs which can help people with hypothyroidism and Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis, as well as those people who have hyperthyroidism and Graves’ Disease, the truth is that different people will require different supplements.
With that being said, I realize that there are some natural healthcare professionals who will recommend the same exact diet, along with the same supplements and herbs for specific conditions. For example, if someone has fibromyalgia, then some doctors will put every single person on their “fibromyalgia protocol”. Similarly, if someone has migraines, then this person will receive their “migraine protocol”. And of course if someone has Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis then they will be put on the “Hashimoto’s protocol”.
When you think about it, in a way this is similar to the approach of a medical doctor. If someone has high cholesterol, then they typically will be given a statin. If they have high blood pressure then they will be given a beta blocker. If they have a hypothyroid condition they will be given synthetic thyroid hormone. Obviously the two situations are somewhat different, as a natural healthcare professional will attempt to address the actual cause of the condition, which usually isn’t the case with most medical doctors. And of course there is a big difference between nutritional supplements, herbs, and prescription drugs.
Why Bother Doing A Case History?
Most healthcare professionals will have their patients complete a thorough case history, and this includes myself. But if you plan on putting every person on the same protocol then why bother to have the patient do this? In fact, why have a consultation if you’re going to recommend the same protocol for each condition?
Different People Have Different Triggers
Two people can have the same condition, and even have the same genetic predisposition, yet may require substantially different protocols. And one reason for this is because there are different triggers. For example, for some people with autoimmune thyroid conditions, gluten can be the main trigger. On the other hand, mineral deficiencies and heavy metal toxicities can also act as triggers. A leaky gut is a common trigger. Stress can also be a trigger, as can an infection. There can be numerous factors which can trigger an autoimmune response, and so just putting someone on the same diet and giving everyone the same supplements won’t work for everyone.
For example, if a certain healthcare practitioner puts every single patient with an autoimmune thyroid condition on a gluten-free diet, and has everyone follow a leaky gut protocol, then this no doubt will benefit many people. However, this might not be the optimal protocol for someone who isn’t sensitive to gluten and/or doesn’t have intestinal permeability problems. This doesn’t mean that such a person can’t still benefit from following this protocol, but their specific condition might require a different diet, along with different supplements and herbs.
Plus, even if you find out what the trigger is and remove it, remember that one still needs to correct the compromised areas of the body. And this will vary too, as one might have gut problems, while someone else might have adrenal weakness, while another person might have a hormone imbalance. Many people have more than one problem, and sometimes it can get very complex.
In summary, although following a natural treatment protocol involves eating well, taking certain supplements and/or herbs, and addressing other lifestyle factors, one needs to keep in mind that different people will require different protocols. Another thing to keep in mind is that when it comes to taking supplements and herbs, different people will also require different dosages. And so it really is important to evaluate everyone on an individual basis, and to then make specific recommendations based on the findings.
Hi Dr. Eric,
I developed postpartum hyperthyroidism with my first child. The conventional drugs didn’t work for me and my TSH kept dropping until it reached 0.012. I talked to a naturpathic doctor and started taking Bugleweeed, Lemon Balm and Motherwort tincture. Within a month and a half my TSH was back to 3.02. And I’ve been able to maintain in the normal ranges even now trough the second pregnancy. My biggest concern though is breastfeeding and if I’ll be able to breastfeed successfully with my condition.
Dr. Eric says
I’m glad the herbs worked so quickly, and that these levels have remained normal throughout your second pregnancy. I think you should be fine breastfeeding…especially if the thyroid hormone levels remain within normal limits.
I am wondering what the supplements and herbs are for low Thyroid, I donated a kidney thirteen years ago and have sever nerve entrapment and suffer from low Thyroid. My hormones are also out of whack,
Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
Dr. Eric says
Bladderwrack and Ashwaganda in some cases can help to stimulate the thyroid gland to secrete thyroid hormone, although many people with Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis are concerned about taking Bladderwrack since it has iodine. Speaking of iodine, sometimes a deficiency in this mineral can cause a hypothyroid condition. Of course the goal is to look at other areas of the body to see if they are causing or contributing to the hypothyroid condition, and then address this. For example, if you have weak adrenals then this needs to be addressed. You said your hormones are out of balance, and this might be due to estrogen dominance, problems with the HP-Axis, or perhaps a combination of both problems. Some of the basic supplements include a whole food vitamin C complex, B complex vitamin, omega 3 fatty acid, a whole food multi-vitamin, etc. But I would recommend working with a natural healthcare professional so they can further evaluate your condition and come up with a more specific treatment plan for you to follow.
I have Hashimoto’s thyroiditis and initially I was having hyperthyroidism in my teens and later it was turned to autoimmune Hypothyroidism. Now Iam 39 years old. Iam gluten,eggs,dairy,legumes and lentils free and Iam consuming very less grains. Iam facing a big problem that Iam not able to sleep even one hour for few months(4mnths) and I will be sleeping suddenly for 6 hours few months and again I can’t sleep for another few months and its going on for the past 8yrs and I use to take sleeping pills(2 times a week) but I will not use it frequently as I don’t want to get addicted. My sleep is fluctuating like I cant find any permanent remedy and I can assure you that Iam not that stressed person or depressed as my family life is going very smoothly. I myself feel something wrong in my body and no doctors to advise me accordingly. I just want to know whether it is thyroid related or immune system related(intolerance) which I go confusion and I don’t know what to do as iam left isolated. kindly advise
Dr. Eric says
Even though you handle stress well, you still might have a problem with the adrenals. And so this is probably where I would start, as it sounds like you’re doing a great job with the diet, but I would obtain a saliva panel to evaluate the adrenal glands. Chances are you’ll need to consult with a chiropractor or naturopath, as most medical doctors won’t recommend such testing. There also is a chance this can be due to an imbalance between estrogen and progesterone, and even though you’re eating well it can also be related to the gut. But once again, I would first recommend to get the adrenals checked out with the problems you’re having with sleep.
Hi, doc. I’m having trouble regulating my dose of Eco Thyroid. I had good thyroid panel results for 2 years on 2 caps of 125 mg each. Now it’s way (0.006) too much. I’m taking a strong licorice prep in the a.m. and Seriphos at night, as well as 3 homeopathic UDNA drops to regulate adrenals and balance hormones. I’m going nuts – like I was 10 years ago when I was very hypothyroid (11.2). All symptoms – no sleep, dizzy, no concentration, muscle weakness, and others – have returned. Any suggestions?
Dr. Eric says
I assume you had an adrenal panel which determined you had depressed cortisol levels in the morning and high cortisol levels in the evening? If so, when did you get this panel?
Please help! when i was 15 they found out i had a overactive thyroid Graves and at 16 had radioactive treatment and since than been taking levothyroxine now im 33 and had my first baby and develloped bad roseace skin today someone mentioned it would help to switch to eco thyro or armour but armour is no option as im a observing jew… what would u reccoment?
thank you so much for your reply i appreciate it lots.
Dr. Eric says
I can understand you not being able to take a natural form of thyroid hormone, and for the same reason you wouldn’t be able to take a thyroid glandular. I’m not sure what brand of levothyroxine you were taking, but if it was something such as Synthroid then there is a good chance you were reacting to one of the fillers or artificial ingredients in the medication, and possibly even gluten. I would either switch to a hypoallergenic brand such as Tirosint, or you might need to go to a compound pharmacy and have them formulate a synthetic brand which is hypoallergenic.
I have taken 2x Ecothyroid 125 for a couple of years, recently I began to take nascent iodine, I have more energy sleep much deeper and today I felt
Somewhat overwhelmed so I’m wondering if I need to cutback on my ecothyroid 123?
Dr. Eric says
I can’t tell you to cut back on your medication, but even though you feel much better taking the nascent iodine, it would be wise to get an updated thyroid panel to see what the numbers look like.