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Are Natural Hypothyroid Treatment Methods Safe?

Updated on August 5, 2011

Many people with hypothyroidism try to avoid taking synthetic or natural thyroid hormone, and are instead looking to follow a natural hypothyroid treatment protocol. The reason for this is because while taking thyroid hormone daily might help manage the symptoms, natural hypothyroid treatment methods can potentially restore their health back to normal, so they won't need to take thyroid hormone for the rest of their lives.

However, some people are hesitant to give natural hypothyroid treatment methods a try because they question both its safety and effectiveness. On the other hand, most people with hypothyroidism don't question the advice of their endocrinologist or medical doctor when they recommend that they take thyroid hormone for the rest of their life, even though this medication isn't doing anything for the actual cause of their condition. Many people mistakenly think that they have a permanent thyroid condition that can't be cured, when many times this isn't true.

Are There Risks With Natural Hypothyroid Treatment Methods?

The truth is that there are risks with any type of treatment, but under the guidance of a competent holistic doctor who specializes in endocrine disorders, natural hypothyroid treatment methods are for the most part safe. The dangers come when someone tries to self-treat their condition, which happens quite frequently. Many people think they can do some research on the internet and then simply take some nutritional supplements to restore their health back to normal.

Unfortunately it's not that easy to restore the function of your malfunctioning thyroid gland. But it's easy to be deceived when there is a lot of good marketing out there for “thyroid support formulas” and “thyroid boosters”. Simply visit Google or your favorite search engine and type in the words “thyroid booster” and you'll see plenty of different companies marketing these products as falsely being able to cure your condition, when in most cases they're a complete waste of money. In many cases these products are being sold by individuals with no healthcare background, and therefore no real knowledge of these products.

This isn't to suggest that all of these supplements are junk, as some of them might be able to help manage your symptoms. But for anyone who thinks that a single nutritional supplement or herbal remedy can restore their health back to normal, they will be greatly disappointed when purchasing such a supplement.

How To Make Sure You Have A Good Experience With Natural Hypothyroid Treatment Methods

In order to get the optimal benefits from a natural hypothyroid treatment protocol with minimal risk, it is best to consult with a natural endocrine doctor. While a general holistic practitioner might be able to help, you ideally want to deal with someone who focuses on thyroid conditions. This is especially true if you have an autoimmune thyroid condition such as Hashimoto's Thyroiditis, but is also recommended for any other hypothyroid disorder.

As for what you can expect when consulting with a natural endocrine doctor, they will of course do what any good doctor should do. So they will look at your case history, consider the symptoms you are experiencing, perform an exam, and recommend thyroid blood tests (which most people will have already had done by the time they see a natural endocrine doctor). However, a competent holistic doctor will take it a step further, as they will most likely recommend additional diagnostic tests to help determine the actual cause of the hypothyroid condition.

Of course some people already know what the cause of their condition is. For example, someone who had thyroid gland surgery or received radioactive iodine therapy will frequently become hypothyroid as a result of the procedure performed. In some cases these people will indeed need to be on thyroid hormone for the rest of their lives. On the other hand, unless if you have had your thyroid gland completely removed, restoring the function of your thyroid gland through natural hypothyroid treatment methods still might be a possibility.

The Risks Of NOT Using Natural Hypothyroid Treatment Methods

While the focus of this article is on the potential risks associated with natural hypothyroid treatment methods, one also needs to consider the risks of not getting to the cause of their disorder. Let's take a look at two examples of this:

Example #1: Let's first look at an example of someone who slowly began developing hypothyroid symptoms (fatigue, weight gain, decreased appetite, etc.), and visited their local endocrinologist or general medical practitioner. After taking their history, performing an exam, and taking one or more thyroid blood tests, this doctor diagnosed this person with hypothyroidism, and recommended that this person take synthetic thyroid hormone for the rest of their life.

While the thyroid hormone might do a good job of managing this person's symptoms (although this isn't always the case), why didn't this doctor try to find out what caused the hypothyroidism in the first place? The reason is obvious, as most medical doctors simply are not trained to look for the cause of most conditions, but instead are taught in medical school to use drugs and surgery to treat most conditions. While this isn't true for every condition, it is true for most thyroid disorders.

In any case, there is a risk of just managing this person's symptoms and not trying to cure the condition. For example, if this person's thyroid condition was caused by a compromised immune system, then this person might eventually go on to develop an autoimmune disorder, such as Hashimoto's Thyroiditis, lupus, or another disorder of the immune system. If the problem was caused by weak adrenal glands, then this person also might develop future conditions, such as diabetes. So once again, the thyroid hormone may or may not do a good job of managing the symptoms of this person, but either way, it will do absolutely nothing for the cause of their thyroid condition.

Example #2: This example involves someone who was hyperthyroid and received radioactive iodine therapy, and now they no longer have symptoms of hyperthyroidism, but as a result of the procedure they developed hypothyroidism. What you need to keep in mind is that RAI does not do anything for the cause of hyperthyroidism. All it does is damage or destroy the thyroid gland so it no longer produces an excess amount of thyroid hormone. But why don't doctors try to find out what actually was causing the thyroid gland to produce an excess amount of thyroid hormone, rather than try to destroy the thyroid gland?

This is why when I was diagnosed with Graves' Disease I never considered receiving radioactive iodine therapy, as not only did I not want to do any harm to my thyroid gland, but I also realized that RAI didn't do anything for the cause of this disorder. So not only would receiving this treatment most likely result in myself becoming hypothyroid, but it also wouldn't have done anything for the autoimmune response, which was causing the hyperthyroid condition in the first place.

In summary, anybody who questions the safety and effectiveness of natural hypothyroid treatment methods must also look at the risks involved with conventional medical treatment methods. As I mentioned earlier, there are risks with any type of treatment, but the odds of receiving safe and effective treatment when under the guidance of a competent natural endocrine doctor are very high. Most people who choose natural hypothyroid treatment methods are very happy with their decision, as usually their number one regret is that they didn't begin following such a protocol sooner.

For more information on how to treat hypothyroidism and Hashimoto's Thyroiditis through natural treatment methods, please visit my facebook fan page, Natural Solutions for Graves Disease and Hashimoto's Thyroiditis at www.facebook.com/NaturalThyroidTreatment

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