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“Natural Cures for Thyroid Disease” – What Works and What Hurts

What Works - (Selenium)

Selenium is a trace element found in nature and in small quantities in our diet.  It exerts a fine-tuned control on thyroid hormones, metabolism, and synthesis.  Research shows that selenium supplementation maximizes the antioxidant activity and reduces thyroid inflammation.  It has been studied in women who have antibodies against their thyroids and are pregnant.  There has been success noted in decreasing the antibody levels and thyroid inflammation post pregnancy; HOWEVER, routine recommendation for use of selenium in bigger populations of thyroid patients requires further study.

What Hurts - (Iodine)

Most people require 150 micrograms of iodine per day, an amount readily available in balanced diets in America.  Supplementation is recommended in pregnancy and during breast feeding.  Normal people can handle accidental iodine overdoses quite easily.  BUT, quite a few NON-QUALIFIED practitioners recommend high doses of iodine to patients who have an abnormal thyroid.  In patients with a goiter or a thyroid nodule, the effect of iodine administration is significant worsening of their hyperthyroidism.  In patients with chronic thyroiditis, it can lead to worsening of their hypothyroidism.

What Doesn't Work - (The Hypothyroid Diet?)

Different types of diets have been recommended by homeopathic physicians to reverse early hypothyroidism.  So far, there is no scientific evidence that any of them work.  Please save your money as most of these diet plans have to be bought from the homeopathic doctors along with supplements that usually contain—you guessed it IODINE—in doses that will ACCELERATE rather than REVERSE your thyroid disease.  Unfortunately for now, there is no hypothyroid diet.  At least not one that works.

Shahzad Ahmad M.D., F.A.C.E.
Clinical Endocrinologist
Thyroid Institute of Utah