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Thread: Hyperthyroidism (Over active thyroid)

  1. #1
    Vegtastic EpicLibrarian's Avatar
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    Default Hyperthyroidism (Over active thyroid)

    Hello! I saw that there were some posts on underactive thyroid (hypothyroidism), but I was recently diagnosed with the opposite: hyperthyroidism. The first thing the doctor suggested was either radiation or surgery to "kill" my thyroid, but I was hoping for a more natural solution (or at least to try something else first, since the condition is not life threatening at present because I am only borderline). I have cut most salt out of my diet because this illness is often caused by oversaturation of iodine in the system (that is a theory anyway--countries that use iodized salt tend to have much higher rates of hyperthyroidism). I have become vegan since the diagnosis, and am supposed to have another thyroid test in June. I have read articles about how hyperthyroidism cannot be altered by diet, but to me it is worth a try, and those articles are all written by doctors like my own, who are eager to jump in and offer tons of medicines and surgeries before thinking of a natural solution.

    My mother in law recently saw on Dr. Oz about how cruciferous veggies like kale, broccoli, and cauliflower inhibit thyroid function, so I think I will start making sure to include those at least once or twice a day.

    Does anyone else know of any natural supplement or any other foods that may help suppress thyroid function?

    Thanks!
    See, in all our searching, the only thing we've found that makes the emptiness bearable is each other.

  2. #2

    Default Re: Hyperthyroidism (Over active thyroid)

    I'm one that has hypothyroidism but on occasion I become overmedicated due to thyroid function improvement for whatever reason (since being vegan I have needed less thyroid hormone I kid you not) and become hyperthyroid due to too much med. It's a horrible feeling, as bad as being hypo. I get achy and extremely anxious and sweaty. The weird thing is when I am hypo (TSH +10) I tend to lose weight and get diarrhea instead of the other way around and gain weight and bloat up when my TSH is too low (< .3). I think it might be the meds for me instead of the actual thyroid problem that makes me that way. I have been treated for hypothyroidism for 23 years.

    At any rate, I googled "diet for overactive thyroid" and came up with a few interesting websites. These might be helpful to you (just ignore the suggestions to eat shrimp and other animal products and stick with the many more suggestions for eating various naturally vegan foods ). You may have found these already but just in case:

    http://www.fredacare.com/thyroido.htm

    http://www.nativeremedies.com/ailmen...html#question6

    I know that I also struggle with surgical menopause due to an unnecessary hysterectomy and loss of both ovaries in 2005 and I have to take hormone replacement to function and because I now have osteoporosis (diagnosed with this long before becoming vegan and consuming dairy did nothing to help). It took years to find a way to balance my thyroid hormones with my hrt as hrt inhibits thyroid med action and vice versa. I have also played around with natural progesterone (makes me deathly ill) and compounded testosterone (gives me more energy and feeling of well being but builds up fast and then I get irritable so I only take a very tiny amount on occasion). I know that hormonal imbalance of estrogen can play a role in thyroid issues but it usually causes hypothyroidism. The endocrine system is so very complex. Until I lost my ovaries I didnt realize just how complex. I am very much against surgery to remove anything that isnt cancerous now, and especially against hysterectomy as it is way overdone. If you can hang onto your thyroid gland please do! Having radiation on it or having it removed/destroyed will definitely put you in a hypothyroid state and you will have to take meds for life. Docs make it sound so easy but those meds cause long term effects...osteoporosis being one. And I have gotten batches that were bad and my only success with maintaining normal thyroid levels is 1. healthy diet (also eating enough; I went through a long period of self starvation with anorexia nervosa after my traumatic hysterectomy and this drove my TSH way up and caused worse hypothyroidism) 2. other hormonal balance 3. keep getting the same brand of thyroid med once you find something that works (NOT generic) because there are differences in generic and among brands and it too can through your levels off. As I said having to take meds is not a picnic. I have not had success curing my thyroid and ditching the meds but if someone ever comes up with a proven way to do this I am on it! My thyroid meds and hrt are all I take for meds and I HATE relying on them but I am very ill without. If you can fix this by diet and supplements I would try that first! Find an alternative doctor to help that won't push drugs/surgery. Good luck and I hope this helps!

    ps. make sure you get enough calcium in your diet too as hyperthyroidism can have a profound effect on the bones (as can being overmedicated with thyroid meds).

  3. #3

    Default Re: Hyperthyroidism (Over active thyroid)

    One more thing I forgot. Vigorous exercise that gets your heart rate up for a sustained period is also VERY helpful for regulating the thyroid. I just feel better when I exercise and it has done wonders for my body. I was once misdiagnosed with fibromyalgia after my hysterectomy and going through surgical menopause. It was a period of hell. I was introduced to the fitness center (attached to the medical complex where I work) through a pain program due to the "fibromyalgia" and started working out daily in 2007 (I still do) and the aches and pains went away. Exercise has helped regulate all of my hormones to an extent. As long as I dont overdo it which I did for a while when going through anorexia. I keep it to an hour a day (unless I go for a hike or long canoe camping trip or mountain biking) and take a day off per week, sometimes two if studying. I do not have the wild fluctuations I had before as long as I am taking care of myself in all the other ways too (good diet, sleep, stress reduction etc.).

  4. #4
    Vegtastic EpicLibrarian's Avatar
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    Default Re: Hyperthyroidism (Over active thyroid)

    Thank you so much for all the good information Robin! I will definitely take your advice. My exercise routine has been suffering greatly for a long time because of graduate school. I have been wanting to get a kayak for the weekends, so I might just have to move that goal up on my wish list! I also have a gym membership, but have found it difficult to go after work because of studying. But I will be out of graduate school in July, so I am hoping to be extra active.

    I feel much better since going vegan, so I am hoping that diet will play a role. And I am definitely wanting multiple opinions because killing the thyroid seems like such an extreme solution. There is one alternative health place in my town, so if my thyroid is still running high in June when I am retested, I will go there to see if there is another option.

    I also have PCOS, and so am dealing with that hormone issue. Before I stopped eating meat and dairy, my moods would go up and down so much, and most of the time I would just feel exhausted, and by 2 in the afternoon, I could barely function. I feel like the vegan diet has really helped me a lot in this respect, and that exhaustion is gone, although I am still moody now and then. Like you, I being vegan!

    Thank you so much for all of your great advice, and I will be looking back over this often as I work to alter my lifestyle to a more thyroid-healthy state!
    See, in all our searching, the only thing we've found that makes the emptiness bearable is each other.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Hyperthyroidism (Over active thyroid)

    There seems to be a connection with female hormone type disorders/diseases and thyroid disease. My hysterectomy was for endometroisis. Both PCOS and endometriosis seem to go hand in hand with thyroid problems. Interesting.

    I hear you with the exercise. I get up at 4:30am and hit the gym at 6am or else ride my bike to work or work out in my home gym early in the morning, then go to work, then study the rest of the day (while fitting in preparing meals in between). If I had kids I would throw up my hands lol. I am not a morning person but this is the only way I can get in my exercise with work and school. Some days I think I must be crazy with my school load and I am tempted to use exercise time to catch up on studies but most of the time I still exercise because I love to move (I am also guilty of studying WHILE exercising but havent mastered this with biking or jogging lol). I am a dancer, studied with Columbus City ballet and was a dance major at Ohio State University years ago. I quit dancing in 1993 and shortly after the health problems began with endometriosis. Getting back in touch with my love of movement has helped me a lot in rediscovering myself and regaining the confidence and identity I lost when I was stripped of my natural hormones and my reproductive parts. I think exercise comes easier for me. I know other people that struggle with it. But any little bit you can get in will help, even a few days a week. My Mom, who has a PhD and worked/went to school while raising us kids, did not get much exercise at all. She eats vegan now and is healthier but fought obesity for years and due to lack of exercise she has all kinds of back problems and joint problems. I nag at her too to exercise more now that she's slowed down. I am by no means an athlete, I just think the benefits of exercise can not be ignored. But I do understand sometimes it's hard to fit in when other priorities seem overwhelming.
    I wish you the best in getting your thyroid under control. I'd be interested to hear in a few months if there is an improvement since you went vegan. Keep me posted!

  6. #6
    Consistency's Avatar
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    Default Re: Hyperthyroidism (Over active thyroid)

    What are your Vitamin D levels?

    Vitamin D regulates the thyroid and is very anti-inflammatory.

    Vitamin D and Hyperthyroid

    Vegan Vitamin D3 - Vitashine: http://www.vitashine-d3.com/ - These cost less.

    USA Vegan Vitamin D3: http://www.ghthealth.com/vitamind3.aspx

    I've been taking a pill a day of the 5000iu Vitashine. Its a remarkable difference; I've noticed that my hands and feet aren't cold anymore, this is a classic symptom of needing Vitamin D. Also no side effects; not like all the other Vitamin D supplements I've tried.

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    Vegtastic EpicLibrarian's Avatar
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    Default Re: Hyperthyroidism (Over active thyroid)

    Thanks Consistency! I try to spend a little time in the sunshine each day and eat D fortified foods, but I will take a supplement and see if it helps as well.
    See, in all our searching, the only thing we've found that makes the emptiness bearable is each other.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Hyperthyroidism (Over active thyroid)

    I just got my thyroid tests back, and I am completely normal! No surgery or radiation for me. Yay for veganism!
    See, in all our searching, the only thing we've found that makes the emptiness bearable is each other.

  9. #9

    Default Re: Hyperthyroidism (Over active thyroid)

    Epic that is great news! I am really happy for you. What a relief huh?

  10. #10
    Aurore's Avatar
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    Default Re: Hyperthyroidism (Over active thyroid)

    Wonderful news ! Just be careful with vitamin D, check it to make sure you don't have too much. I've been on treatment this past year for lack of vitamin D, and it's very important to take your supplement away from a meal (10 am), with magnesium to avoid nausea. It's more efficient that way.

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