What is Hypothyroidism?
Hypothyroidism, also known as underactive thyroid, is a condition in which the thyroid gland does not produce enough thyroid hormones. Thyroid hormones are essential for many bodily functions, including metabolism, growth and development, and mood.
Causes of Hypothyroidism
The most common cause of hypothyroidism is Hashimoto's thyroiditis, an autoimmune disorder that attacks the thyroid gland. Other causes of hypothyroidism include:
Treatment for hyperthyroidism (overactive thyroid)
Surgery to remove the thyroid gland
Radiation therapy to the neck or chest
Congenital hypothyroidism (hypothyroidism present from birth)
Symptoms of Hypothyroidism
Symptoms of hypothyroidism can vary from person to person and can be mild or severe. Some common symptoms include:
Sensitivity to cold
Dry skin and hair
Heavy menstrual periods
Treatment for Hypothyroidism
The most common treatment for hypothyroidism is synthetic thyroid hormone replacement medication. This medication is taken orally once daily and helps to restore thyroid hormone levels to normal.
Other treatments for hypothyroidism may include:
Dietary changes, such as eating a healthy diet and avoiding processed foods and sugary drinks
Weight loss (if overweight or obese)
Treatment of any underlying medical conditions
How to Improve Hypothyroidism
In addition to taking thyroid hormone replacement medication, there are a number of things you can do to improve your hypothyroidism and manage your symptoms:
Eat a healthy diet: Eating a balanced diet that is rich in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains can help to improve your overall health and well-being. It is also important to avoid processed foods, sugary drinks, and excessive caffeine, as these can worsen hypothyroidism symptoms.
Get regular exercise: Exercise is important for everyone, but it can be especially beneficial for people with hypothyroidism. Exercise can help to improve your energy levels, mood, and sleep quality.
Maintain a healthy weight: If you are overweight or obese, losing weight can help to improve your hypothyroidism symptoms. Even a small amount of weight loss can make a big difference.
Get enough sleep: Most adults need 7-8 hours of sleep per night. Getting enough sleep can help to improve your mood, energy levels, and cognitive function.
Manage stress: Stress can worsen hypothyroidism symptoms. Finding healthy ways to manage stress, such as exercise, yoga, or meditation, can be helpful.
Naturopathic Treatments for Hypothyroidism
Naturopathic medicine is a holistic approach to healthcare that focuses on using natural therapies to prevent and treat disease. Naturopathic doctors may use a variety of therapies to treat hypothyroidism, including:
Diet and lifestyle counseling