Hyperthyroidism is a serious medical condition where the thyroid gland becomes overactive. The symptoms of hyperthyroidism are classically the opposite to those of hypothyroidism. Our metabolism speeds up and we can suffer with symptoms such as restlessness, excess energy, anxiety, heart palpitations, diarrhoea and/or weight loss despite excess eating.
If hyperthyroidism becomes well-established before a diagnosis is made, exopthalmos (bulging eyes) can also develop.
How serious is it?
Although there are several herbs that are proposed to reduce the overactivity of the thyroid gland, Hyperthroidism is a severe disorder that requires the use of pharmaceutical medications and/or surgery in the vast majority of cases. Advice from an endocrinologist (hormone specialist) is definitely recommended here.
What is the role of Integrative Medicine?
The role of Integrative Medicine is in supporting the critical interventions provided by the Endocrinologist, who is the key to managing this condition.
What Healthy Eating Plan should I follow?
The Low Stimulant Healthy Eating Plan is recommended to reduce any additional stimulation to your thyroid (e.g. caffeine)
Are there foods that may be of benefit?
The goitrogen and thiocyanate foods may slow thyroid function including cabbage, brussel sprouts, cauliflower, turnips, spinach, radish, horse radish, broccoli beans, peanuts; apples, pears, walnuts and almonds.
Iodine rich foods such as seaweeds and fortified salts should not be over consumed.
Do any Herbs/Nutrients help treat Hyperthyroidism?
At present, Nutrients/Herbs only have a supportive role in reducing the effects of Hyperthyroidism.
A traditional herbal tonic for Hyperthyroidism is Rehmannia, although no clinical evidence is available to support or refute its use.
Are there any Nutrients/Herbs that you should avoid?
Any of the nutrients that drive the thyroid should not be over consumed such as iodine, selenium, zinc, Vitamin A and E and the amino acid, tyrosine. However a balanced dietary intake of these nutrients remains necessary to maintain normal function in the face of a ‘burning’ metabolism.