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For removed thyroid glands due to goiter, what are the natural remedies to supplement thyroxine?

Updated on September 25, 2014
LoryRich profile image

What drive LoryRich's desire to share health-related hubs with the readers would be her own discoveries / learning with real health issues.

Thyroid hormone is for metabolism

My research revealed that the thyroid hormone is essential to proper development and differentiation of all cells of the human body. These hormones regulate protein, and carbohydrate metabolism affecting how human cells use energetic compounds. They also stimulate vitamin metabolism. Thyroid hormone leads to heat generation in humans. Thus, every cell in the body depends upon thyroid hormones for regulation of their metabolism.

Thyroid hormone is produced by a normal thyroid gland which is the biggest gland in the neck. The function of the thyroid gland is to take iodine, found in many foods, and convert it into thyroid hormones: thyroxine (T4) and triiodothyronine(T3). Thyroid cells are the only cells in the body which can absorb iodine.

The most common problems or diseases associated with the thyroid gland include:

  • · Goiter or a dramatic enlargement of the thyroid gland
  • · Hyperthyroidism or too much thyroid hormone
  • · Hypothyroidism or too little thyroid hormone
  • · Thyroiditis or an inflammation within the thyroid gland
  • · Thyroid nodules
  • · Thyroid cancer

Actual thyroid conditions

Of the six conditions mentioned above, I have actual and challenging experiences with two, i.e., goiter and thyroid cancer. My mother used to suffer from a normal goiter since her early 30’s and at the age of 40, a faith healer supposedly had successfully removed her goiter miraculously. Her goiter actually shrunk in size. But it reappeared when she was in her 50’s. And because she was afraid to undergo surgery, the growth was not removed at all. At age 74, she died of asphyxia due to dramatic enlargement of the thyroid gland. According to the endocrinologist, hers was a rare case of anaplastic thyroid cancer (very invasive type) growing within her goiter.

Such experience served as a resounding wakeup call, thus, one month later, in January 2005, I had my own enlarged thyroid surgically removed. Much earlier, my younger brother had also been afflicted by this condition. In 1981, he had a portion of his thyroid gland removed by surgery. Thirteen years later, the other half had to be operated on as well because of undue enlargement which was about to compress his lungs.

Hormone Replacement Therapy

Once the thyroid gland has been removed, thyroid hormone is no longer produced by the body, thus, one has to submit to a hormone replacement therapy. My brother and I are undergoing such hormone replacement up to now and for life. This is where pure and synthetic thyroxine plays an important role. Thyroxine is a synthetic version of T4 and is the most common pharmaceutical for the treatment of hypothyroidism worldwide. It is taken daily in the form of a tablet as prescribed by the doctor to replicate the normal thyroid functioning.

Thyroxine and natural supplements

Are there natural supplements for thyroxine? In general, it seems to me that natural supplementation usually works best as preventive method. However, because of the importance of thyroid hormones in regulating body metabolism, thyroidectomy cases seem to be better served by taking synthetic thyroxine for actual hormone replacement. Yet, it may still be worthwhile to take a look at the following bits and pieces of relevant information.

  • One natural way is to increase thyroxine absorption to boost its efficacy. High-fiber diets have been shown to decrease thyroxine absorption. It is very important to be aware that thyroxine absorption is increased when taken on an empty stomach. Thyroid hormones should be taken an hour before eating, at the same time very day.
  • If you are taking supplemental calcium, it should be taken at least four to twelve hours apart from the thyroid hormone to avoid problem.
  • It is also known that taking iron tablets, or vitamins with iron -- such as prenatal vitamins -- at the same time as your thyroid hormone can make the thyroid hormone less effective. Many doctors recommend at least two to four hours between taking iron and the thyroid hormone.
  • Some herbal supplements can have an impact on thyroid function. Herbs such as the ayurvedic herb "guggul," and supplements such as tyrosine, and products containing iodine such as vitamins, or kelp and bladderwrack supplements have the potential to either increase or decrease thyroid function.
  • Desiccated (dried and powdered) thyroid drugs, including Armour Thyroid, have been in use for more than 100 years, and remain popular with holistic, alternative and integrative physicians as a thyroid treatment and for thyroid hormone replacement in hypothyroid patients. Since these are obtained from pigs, it is said that these animal thyroid are not purified. The balance of T4 and T3 in the animals are not the same with that found in the human body. In this sense, one can say that they are not natural for humans. Also, there appears no evidence that will show for dessicated thyroid to have any advantage over synthetic ones. Thus, these drugs are controversial and the drugs regularly come under attack. Thus, it can be a challenge to find doctors who will prescribe them. Though they can be obtained when sold as supplements.


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    • LoryRich profile image

      Lory Rich 4 years ago from Philippines

      Gary, a doctor of natural medicine once told me that our liver produces hormones that could somehow replace the thyroid hormone. Thus, if her advice is correct and given a liver that is functioning well, then, you do not need to worry about thyroid hormone replacement even during uncertain times. Yet, it's better if you will avoid worry of any kind even now because anxiety produces toxins in the body that can weaken your immune system. So, please drop your concern. Your body will not fail you; it's your best friend. A happy and optimistic disposition will go a long way to keep you well and healthy. I wish you the best of health.

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      gary 4 years ago

      i have had my thyroid removed. If there was a a wolrd war 3? what could i take to replace my thyroid tablets. i take 150 micro grams. please reply, this is a big concern of mine. thankyou

    • LoryRich profile image

      Lory Rich 5 years ago from Philippines

      Tabassum, try to do some regular stretching exercises, yoga, outdoor sports like tennis; eat a well balanced diet especially calcium-rich food like milk daily and enjoy plenty of morning sunshine to strengthen your bones. Yet, it's still best to consult your doctor since he can evaluate your particular condition considering that growth problem is usually brought about by various factors like age, family growth pattern, other health conditions, etc.. Good luck!

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      tabassum 5 years ago

      i have thyroid..and i take eltroxin can i increase my height if i have thyroid??

    • profile image

      Dale 5 years ago

      My wifes thyroid was surgically removed.My concerns are, what if her synthetic meds now prescribed are not available for some catastrophic happening?

      Is there a natural supplement/s that could work and save her life?

      Dale Alumbaugh

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      melissawow 5 years ago

      Kelp and other sea vegetables also have high levels of iodine which I and many others consume often and with no ill side effects - I put it in everything - chili - spaghetti - Lasagna - Potato soup - KELP really has no flavor - I cut it into chive size pieces and when people are done eating my soups or other meals they are very surprised to find they just ate a sea vegetable --- iodine good for the thyroid and other cancer issues

    • LoryRich profile image

      Lory Rich 5 years ago from Philippines

      Hi Isabelle! I have no info yet about synthroid in particular, but, I am now slowly replacing my thyroxin with natural herbal supplements because of the negative effects of the medicines I was taking especially on my kidney. The supplements I take though are for the general elevation of my immune system and increase metabolism, not only for the thyroid condition, and are prescribed by a licensed naturopathic doctor whom I consulted about five months ago. She said that our liver produces similar hormones, thus, if my liver is functioning well I do not need to worry about thyroid hormone replacement by the usual medicines. So far, the result for me is very good, though, there were physical reactions and discomforts at the initial stages. It is best that you consult an alternative medical practitioner nearest your residence so that he or she can evaluate your overall health condition. I found out that natural means of healing is really the best to live a healthy and fuller life. However, be ready to be more of a vegetarian. Hope this helps.

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      Isabelle Dahlson 5 years ago

      My thyroid glands were surgically removed about 6 years, Ihave been taking synthroid since .I would like to replace it with something more natural,. Is there anything that can replace synthroid ????

    • apricotmousse profile image

      apricotmousse 8 years ago

      My thyroid glands were surgically removed 6 months ago and I was told by my doctor to take Synthroid for the rest of my life. It's a synthetic form of thyroid hormones, without it, I will feel weak according to my endocrinologist.

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      jjoyce 8 years ago

      Recently I am diagnosed with borderline low thyroid hormone level. Any suggestion about natural supplements, synthetic drugs, or foods that might help increase thyroid hormone level? Thanks

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      Thyroid Supplements 8 years ago

      Thank for the information of thyroxine and natural supplements. It is really very informative.

    • LoryRich profile image

      Lory Rich 8 years ago from Philippines

      I do hope your question had been somehow answered by the article. Have a wonderful and thyroid-healthy life!

    • eonsaway profile image

      eonsaway 8 years ago from New Mexico, USA

      Thanks for info. just asked a question on this topic. Photo, wow!

    • LoryRich profile image

      Lory Rich 8 years ago from Philippines

      Thanks Frogyfish for your comments and good luck!

    • frogyfish profile image

      frogyfish 8 years ago from Central United States of America

      This is excellent information to absorb. I have taken Armour thyroid for about ten years. Synthroid did not seem to do as well. I too have found that calcium and iron can be a problem taken with thyroid - I had not known this for some time. It seems that virgin coconut oil helps me transfer T4 into T3 better and I also occasionally paint a quarter sized spot of iodine on my abdomen as a supplement. I take a very low dose and do well on that.

      Thank you for sharing all this good information!