Hypothyroidism – Diet and Medical Plants that Help

Hypothyroidism – Diet and Medical Plants that Help

Nearly everyone of us knows someone who is suffering from a thyroid disease, women are above-average more likely to be affected than men. Hypothyroidism develops when the thyroid produces less thyroid hormones needed for metabolism, energy and other functions in the body. This can have a significant impact on your health and well-being. Sometimes this condition remains undiscovered or is confused with other diseases because the symptoms are likely to be linked to other medical issues. A very common cause of hypothyroidism is the Hashimoto disease, an autoimmune disorder in which the immune system attacks the thyroid. Once discovered, symptoms of hypothyroidism, can be eased with the right foods and herbs. Which symptoms could you show when suffering from a hypothyroidism?

Possible symptoms of hypothyroidism could be

  • Fatigue and tiredness
  • Constipation or low bowel movement
  • Weight gain without eating more
  • Irregular periods
  • Low libido
  • Fertility issues
  • Swollen eyelids
  • Hair loss
  • Brittle hair and nails
  • Dry, itchy skin
  • Water retention

Chinese medicine and naturopathy offer effective solutions. All the listed symptoms are possible with hypothyroidism and according to Chinese medicine, belong to a kidney yang and spleen yang deficiency with the exception of hair loss which shows a blood/yin deficiency.

A kidney and spleen yang deficiency means not enough fire – warmth – in the body. An easy and very efficient way to build up more warmth in the body is to eat more cooked meals. It takes time, but after applying these nutritional tips for several months you should feel warmer, have a better digestion, more energy and less water retention.

The best foods for easing symptoms of hypothyroidism

  • Legumes (if you can digest it well): black and green beans, adzuki beans, lentils;
  • Seaweeds: kelp, nori, kombu and wakame;
  • Grains: wild rice, brown rice, oats, spelt;
  • Fruits: dates, cherries, coconut, figs, mulberry, rasberry, blueberry;
  • Meat: non-hormonally treated meats esp. animal kidneys, bone broth;
  • Shellfish and fish: oysters, clams, lobster, crayfish, calamari, salmon;
  • Nuts and seeds: walnuts, black sesame seeds, chestnuts;
  • Vegetables: parsnip, carrot, beetroot, corn, leek, chives, scallions, cabbage, winter squash, pumpkin, shitake, mushrooms;
  • Herbs and spices: parsley, anise, ginger, cinnamon, cloves, fennel, basil, rosemary, dill, caraway, cumin;
  • Others: yams, ginger root, turmeric, wheat germ, wheatgrass, coconut oil, sprouted seeds;

Millet is often advised not to eat as it contains contain goitrogens which could interfere with the functioning of the thyroid gland. Many people suffering from hypothyroidism find relief in their symptoms when eating a gluten free diet.

Implementing the right diet will help you feel better and prevent symptoms getting worse. Herbal plants can support the process and are an efficient aid in your healing journey.

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The most powerful herbs for treating hypothyroidism

  • Echinacea – Improves the immune system function.
  • Ashwagandha – Helps to balance hormones, to boost endurance and to respond better to stress. It is said to help combat inflammation and to improve your immunity.
  • LicoriceMay help to lower levels of cortisol and to increase energy.
  • Motherwort – Can help to reduce heart palpitations, hot flashes, anxiety and hypersensitivity of the skin.

Besides eating the right foods and taking powerful herbs for the thyroid, the cooking method and some general lifestyle adaptions can be made for improving your condition.

General advices for hypothyroidism:

  • Eat a cooked breakfast like a porridge.
  • Eat a cooked lunch and if possible dinner as well.
  • Stews, soups and dishes from the baking oven should be eaten often.
  • Reduce cold drinks, sugar and cow milk products.
  • Don´t consume ice-cold drinks and ice-cream.
  • Reduce raw foods esp. tomatoes, avocados, cucumbers, watermelon and tropical fruits as they produce a lot of cold.
  • Don’t drink juice fruits.
  • Reduce coffee and alcohol.
  • Do without convenience foods.
  • Take warm baths and make sure your feet are always warm.
  • Exercise moderately.
  • Check your iodine levels regularly.
  • Verify that your body has enough zinc, selenium, vitamin B12, vitamin A and iron.

If you take levothyroxine medication, make sure to leave 4-6 hours between the intake and vitamin products that contain ferrous sulphate (iron) and calcium carbonate. The reason for that is it may interfere with the absorption of the medication. The same applies for consuming espresso, high fibre foods and soy products.

Healing exclusively with nutrition and herbs is not possible when suffering from a severe under function of the thyroid. They will however, help lower the intake of your medications or to support other natural medicine therapies. With the right foods and herbs you can stimulate the self-healing powers and assist your body. You can achieve better results by getting in contact with a health consultant who helps you decide which foods and herbs are the best for your individual case.

Also read this highly relevant article that talks about the numerous benefits of turmeric and how it can support a healthy thyroid gland. Read here.

How would it feel to free yourself from your symptoms?  Ready to change and invest time and energy to get to the root of your problem? Then book your session now. I am looking forward to meeting you.

How to Improve your Fertility Naturally

How to Improve your Fertility Naturally

Many couples having fertility issues or trouble sustaining a pregnancy, decide to receive help from hormonal treatments in reproductive health care. Some also turn to holistic medicines known as alternative, natural, integrative and complementary medicines. Natural therapies have been used for centuries all over the world to improve fertility and they are gaining more and more attention today. The aim of natural therapies is to stimulate the healing power of the body and treat the underlying cause of disease to restore health.

How can natural medicines support the fertility process?

It is important to understand that conceiving is not only a physical process but implies a huge mind-body connection. Besides the absence or unbalance of spermatozoids or ovules, the most common reasons for infertility are related to stress, sleep deprivation, weight issues and cycle confusion, to name a few. Conception is a hugely complex hormonal process (and still to be fully understood) and therefore some imbalances in your body will have an important impact on the success rate.

Natural medicines help restore balance, to create a healthy properly functioning body. This in turn makes conceiving possible, leads you through a good pregnancy, and above all aids in the development of a healthy baby.

In the conception phase, the therapy would typically include advice on changes in lifestyle and diet, use of vitamins and minerals, acupuncture and if necessary herbal medicines and Bach flower essences. It is a gentle approach, non-invasive, and has no side adverse effects. It can be done solely or in addition to a hormonal therapy.

How can Traditional Chinese Medicine help with conceiving?

Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) sees a person as an energy system in which body and mind are unified, each influencing and balancing the other. Diagnosis and treatment in TCM are based on studying the purpose, flow, and impact of energy in the body. It includes acupuncture, Chinese herbs, moxibustion and cupping, to name a few. The basic foundation for it is that Qi, or life energy, flows through the body. This energy flows in channels also known as meridians that connect all of our organs. According to Chinese medicine theory, illnesses and imbalances arise when the flow of Qi in the meridians becomes unbalanced or is blocked.

In the treatment of fertility issues, acupuncture is said to

  • regulate the female cycle which is a precondition for conceiving.
  • balance hormones, so that ovulation happens or is increased.
  • improve the quality of sperm cells (quantity, motility, morphology) and ovules.
  • support the blood supply to the uterus.
  • increase the thickness of the endometrium.
  • lower stress and anxiety.
  • help with sleeping disorders and weight problems.
  • reduce the side effects of hormonal therapy.
  • improves the chances of successful implantation on the day of embryo transfer.
  • overcome sexual difficulties e.g. impotence, pain during intercourse, etc.

Why is optimising the nutrition important to boost the chances?

Dietary considerations based on Chinese medicine for men and women can significantly increase the chances for a pregnancy. A healthy digestive system allows nutrients to be absorbed and used well. Optimal nutrition provides a high quality of sperm and an optimal ovarian environment for the eggs during the maturation process. It also contributes to an ideal condition in the uterus for implantation of the embryo and development of the baby. Other factors that will be addressed include: being overweight or underweight, digestive issues such as reflux, bloating, bowel disorders, chronic constipations, cravings or low and high appetite. Chinese medicine offers dietary advice with regard to your individual constitution and situation. Sometimes vitamin and mineral supplements will be added.

How can Bach flower essences support the process?

Often while trying to conceive a myriad of emotions are experienced: depression, anxiety, worry, sadness, resentment, jealousy and fear. Dr Bach, a physician and homeopath, discovered and developed a system of 38 flower essences in which each flower relates to a particular characteristic or emotional state. You will receive a unique blend of a combination of flower essences that will address your personality, your emotional needs and goals.

Why do meditation and yoga increase your chances to conceive?

Meditation is the process of quieting the mind through different methods e.g. single-pointed concentration and breath techniques. Scientific studies proved that regular meditation lessens stress, worries, anxiety and supports balanced hormone levels in men and women. Through regular yoga practice cortisol levels will  decrease and consequently the monthly level of luteinizing hormones will increase, leading to healthy ovulation.

Yoga postures are selected based upon your personal condition, and can aid e.g. to balance hormone levels, to improve the blood circulation of the uterus and to support the healing of digestion and sleeping disorders. These postures are a great way to prepare your body for pregnancy as well as lead you through pregnancy in optimal shape. Practicing yoga can also reduce or avoid e.g. miscarriages, the retention of water, tensions and pain syndromes.

What can you expect from a first consultation?

During your first appointment we look at your personal situation, medical history and lifestyle habits. Then follows a treatment and a final discussion about how to proceed and whether herbs and advice on nutrition and lifestyle are necessary.

Also have a look at my other articles about hormones and fertility

Podcast: Chinese Medicine for a Healthy Menstrual Cycle & Fertility

Podcast: An Ayurvedic and Yogic Approach to a Healthy Menstrual Cycle

What are low AMH levels or Anti-Mullerian hormone and how does it affect fertility?

Chinese medicine: How the kidneys influence your fertility

Female Sexuality & Chinese Medicine: Solving Sexual Problems Naturally

Coffee – Is it Good or Bad for your Health?

Ready to change and invest time and energy to get to the root of your problem? Then book your session now. I am looking forward to meeting you.

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