Healing my Thyroid: The Plan

Most medical sources tell me that I can’t “heal” my thyroid. I hope they’re wrong! Here’s how I’m going to try healing my thyroid naturally.

healing my thyroid

Blame it on fluoride, the typical American diet, or the increased use of hormones in commercial meats – whatever the cause, a large percentage of Americans are suffering from thyroid issues.

I was fortunate enough, when my thyroid suddenly went from slightly under-active to basically dead, to have a good naturopath to talk to. Not everyone is so fortunate, and some people find themselves on a rollercoaster of trying to figure out the correct dosage of synthetic hormones for *years.* Moreover, since synthetic hormones don’t encourage the thyroid to heal – or even to keep doing anything, since the thalamic region realizes there are enough hormones in the body, so the thyroid doesn’t need to make any more – pretty much everyone who starts on synthetic thyroid hormones is told they’ll need to continue taking them for the rest of their lives.

I dodged the synthetic hormone bullet (read about my experience and emergency treatment here), but while my naturopath was confident that I’d eventually only need a teensy little bit of thyroid supplementation, she still expected that I’d always need something – some kind of treatment – for the rest of my life.

The very idea bugs me. I hate thinking I *have* to be “sick” forever. If my thyroid used to work, but stopped because it got sick, there *has* to be a way to heal it so that it can function again – right?

Well, maybe.

I scoured the interwebs looking for hope, and came up with a lot of conflicting information – one website said don’t eat kale or broccoli and avoid anything with iodine, another said eat as much kale and broccoli as you can and take an iodine supplement. It very quickly became apparent that there are two very different schools of thought on this – but, generally, the consensus from both sides was that when your thyroid stops working, it never really starts again.

I chose not to accept this, and kept looking.

I finally came upon a few websites (pretty far down the Google search list, too) that said it was possible. Even a quick perusal showed most of these websites to be the brainchilds (brainchildren?) of a collection of pretty extreme foodies – the kind of all-organic, non-GMO, Monsanto-is-the-devil, never-trust-the-USDA, the-medical-establishment-is-purposefully-keeping-you-sick, vaccines-are-trying-to-sterilize-you people that I sympathize with (and even agree with on many things), but don’t usually associate myself with. I don’t generally find the angry, ranting-type pages to be very good PR for a real food diet, if you know what I mean. The aggression can be more alienating than evangelistic.

Amidst the somewhat off-putting jargon, I found some nuggets of sound logic and reasoning. I was able to form a plan from their ideas – one I *hope* will get me healthier!

For one year, I’m going to try a fairly strict lifestyle. Honestly, because I’ve already been heading towards a “real food” lifestyle, I don’t have as many changes to make as some people will – but some of my biggest vices have to go bye-bye (for now, anyway).

Here’s my plan so far:

1. Only Organic Meats. In women, thyroid problems have been linked to the artificial growth hormones being used in commercial meats; so it’s organic meat, or no meat, from now on (not a problem – I feel better eating a wild deer I know lived a free life before a quick, humane death than I felt eating those poor, tortured creatures anyway).

2. Drastically reduce, or eliminate, my dairy intake. I was on this road already, thanks to Baby A’s colic.

3. Increase my Fiber Intake. No problem. There’s a ton of fiber in my deep-dish cookie pie; I can just omit the chocolate chips and add in chopped dates instead!

4. Eliminate soy.  Again, no problem. I’d pretty much been doing that anyway. I just have to be *extra* vigilant now in my label-reading!

5. Regular Exercise. Exercise naturally helps regulate hormones. It’s good for everyone – but if you’ve got thyroid issues, it’s especially good for you! Again, this was on my things-I’d-been-meaning-to-do-anyway list.

6. Eliminate Sources of Fluoride. This one was interesting. I didn’t think I *had* any sources of fluoride in my diet, for one thing – but guess who still uses a non-stick skillet? Guilty! Apparently, every time you use a non-stick skillet, you’re getting a little fluoride leaching into your food. I didn’t know there was any issue with fluoride (I remember being made to swish it on my teeth in elementary school – they’d give us all these bubblegum-flavored packs of a pink liquid and tell us to “swich, but not swallow.” I swallowed a little. Evidently, fluoride might be the reason I have this problem to begin with. Oops!). Other sources of fluoride can be toothpastes; but I make my own homemade whitening toothpaste. The worst, though, is…soda. Oh, diet soda. I love it, but it does NOT love me back!

7. Eat an “Alkaline” Diet. I’d heard before about “alkaline and acidic foods,” and “balancing my internal pH” and all that before, but here’s a confession: I never knew what it meant. I had to look up a huge list of alkaline and acid foods (it’s a surprising list. And disappointing in a lot of ways), and write down what I can and cannot eat now. Sodas and artificial sweeteners, coffee and chocolate were all high-acid foods which I need to avoid now. All things I love, all things I knew probably weren’t helping me get better…but peanuts were a shock. And lemons and limes? Those are “very alkaline.” Shocker!

8. Source Some Substitutes. This is related to the alkaline thing, but it’s also something I’ve been meaning to do (seeing a trend? Maybe if I’d just *done* these things, I wouldn’t be in this mess!). Raw honey is more alkaline than processed honey; goat’s milk and cheese is alkaline, while cow products are acid. Organic chicken is alkaline (and free range chickens are higher in all kinds of nutrients). I really need to either suck it up and source this stuff – or go even further into my future plans, and buy the sources – an actual nanny goat, a beehive, and some chickens! The hubby tells me he could make me a nice, safe chicken tractor (they’d still be free range – it would just keep them from running onto the highway by our house, or being eaten by possums) in a day – we’ll see!

9. Do the Iodine Test. I’d never heard of this before – the “Iodine test” means rubbing a silver-dollar sized dot of iodine onto your stomach. If it’s absorbed into your skin after 12 hours, you were low on iodine. Apparently, iodine is a really common deficiency, and can be related to thyroid problems! (You’re supposed to repeat the test until the spot doesn’t absorb – apparently, iodine is one of the few things your body will stop absorbing once it has enough! Weird!)

10. Thyroid-supporting Supplements. This might seem ironic, since my goal is to *stop* taking stuff eventually, but my goal is to *heal.* I don’t mind taking a bunch of stuff now if it means I get to live a normal life later (instead of feeling like death if I forget a dose, like I do now). So, to support the ol’ thyroid as it heals, I’ll be taking chlorophyll, zinc, magnesium, selenium, red marine algae, L-Arginine, and L-Tyrosine. (I need to hunt these things down – I don’t have them yet). When possible, I want to “take” my supplements in a whole-food way. Did you know eating two brazil nuts is the equivalent of taking one selenium supplement? I’m going to get me some brazil nuts! And for the magnesium, I’ll be making this great recipe for magnesium lotion!

Some things will probably re-enter my life after the year is up. For example, coffee and chocolate. I’m not going to live without them forever. Seriously. I have no intention of even trying. But sodas? Artificial sweeteners? Teflon pans? I’ve been meaning to kick those bad habits to the curb anyway.

I have no guarantee that this will work at all – but I’m hopeful! I’ll be posting updates whenever I have any changes to report. Here’s hoping for a life-changing year!

Jaime W. (456 Posts)

Jaime is a Christian, a wife, a mom, a writer, an illustrator, and an aspiring homesteader. She loves trying to find new ways to save money and resources--but also save her time, so she can spend as much as possible with her family! !


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Comments

  1. Hannah L says:

    Good luck!! I have been working on healing my body since I had severe symptoms of hypothyroidism a few years ago. It’s been good to find other people that are going through the same thing. I’d never even heard of it before I got sick. My symptoms started to get really bad after I just finished breastfeeding my first child and I had two miscarriages in a matter of a few months. When I realized there was actually something wrong with me and it wasn’t just me being lazy or eating too much ( i had gained over 20 lbs in a matter of a few weeks) my sister gave me a book called Fertility, Cycles and Nutrition. I read it all and realized that I had all the symptoms of hypothyroidism, cold hands and feed, depression, bloating…I was pretty miserable! I made and appointment with a DR. and when I told him what I thought was wrong, he told me it was just a time in my life when it’s easy to be overweight from having kids (I was 22!). He also told me the reason I had a giant swollen gland in my groin was because I must have cut myself shaving!!! He ran tests though and I was only borderline hypothyroid based on the blood work. He wanted to administer a radio-active iodine test and and when I did my own research and called to ask if it was even necessary, he never called me back! Providential, I think! After that I was scared to visit another doctor, never mind that I now had several high dr. bills for absolutely nothing. So I did more research. Since then I have been taking either Iodoral or Lugols 50mg a day, a non prescription desiccated thyroid and adrenal supplements along with selenium and magnesium. Since then I had had another healthy baby and I even lost weight while pregnant with her and dropped another 20 lbs after she was born. As soon as I stopped breastfeeding her I gain back the 20 lbs and now I am struggling to lose that again…..it’s winning! Also, having really messed up cycles. Just recently I starting taking Maca powder that I read about on Cheeseslave. I don’t really notive a difference, but I know I need to balance my hormones. I feel like my metabolism is in starvation mode! I have been slowly trying to switch us to a “real food” diet. I didn’t think we ate that bad before, but the more I’m reading the more I realize how bad we were eating. I also think flouride has had a huge part to play, it kills me that I have to spend a fortune to take it out of our drinking water! Anyways, good luck to you! I’ll be following! Also, getting some Brazil nuts:) anything to cut down on the pills!

  2. First of all, I wish you all the best during this process! This info is FANTASTIC! Thank you for pulling this together in one comprehensive post. And I had no idea about the fluoride in non-stick skillets either. That is nuts!

  3. Thank you so much for sharing this great and helpful information. Wishing you much success.

  4. Hubby struggles with thyroid issues and all great advice. Many, like you we already do but others we need to get better about!

  5. Thank you for sharing this post on our Wellness Wednesday link-up and I hope you are able to heal your thyroid with your protocol. Even if you don’t completely heal it, you will most certainly be more healthy with the things you are doing!

  6. Wonderful post! It’s nice to know I am in good company. Though I was on thyroid medication for many years, a new ND did a test for Hashimoto’s and I was positive. So I found out I have an autoimmune disease that changed things a little and made me really look to dietary changes (anti-inflammatory) for healing. I read a few books that helped give me a plan and the supplements I needed, but if I don’t work with my ND in getting blood work done and things just so so, according to the book, it may not work. So, I’m doing what I can myself based on the info I’ve found (like you). The great thing is that when you do make healthy changes to attain healing, the whole body benefits!

  7. I hope you see some results from your plan! I think it’s wise to try the least invasive/drug involved method for things like thyroid first. Hopefully, your body will heal and come back to a healthy balance. If the thyroid is still a problem you will still gain by being healthier overall at the end of your trial period!

  8. I am almost done with my first Whole30 and it has done wonders for my body & it’s ailements!

  9. I really enjoyed reading this post as I too have thyroid issues and am currently taking the very *crappy* synthroid , I am going to look into a lot that you have mentioned here. Thank you for opening my eyes to some more alternatives !! – PS kicking soda comes so much easier after week 2. The only problem I have is when we make pizza ugh I want my dr pepper !! lol

  10. Treajetta Galler says:

    You should read the book called the plan by lyn-genet some if your basic info is the same but its really helpful.She has recipes and stories from people its already worked for. And a twenty day menu to help you weed out foods that are supposedly healthy but make you gain weight.

  11. You can get liquid iodine drops(I add to my morning cup of tea) and bulk L-tyrosine from amazon. No fillers, I put it in a smoothie or I just drink it in a drink. Both have helped my thyroid tremendously. I’ve been on a similar journey for a while. I refuse to ever take Synthroid again. In addition to the supplements you mentioned , you may want to look into taking dedicated thyroid. It is available over the counter. It’s a slow process healing but worth it, good luck!

  12. Stephanie says:

    Since you are trying to go a natural route to heal your thyroid problem have you considered acupuncture? It actually works I was having really bad thyroid problems because I have hyperthyroidism and before long I was taking so much medication, until one day I decided to stop and I went to to Changs acupuncture, and I felt so much better. A year later when I went back to my doctor, they asked if I was still taking all my medication when I replied no, they seemed a bit shocked and took my blood to make sure my thyroid was not going all crazy when they got my results back everything came back normal. (:
    Now I strongly believe acupuncture really does work wonders!

  13. Good luck! Please keep us posted on your progress. I’m hoping to do the same.

  14. Paula@oslo.online.mo says:

    Intresting! How are you doing? And your blood samples?

  15. I too have hypothyroidism due to Hashimoto’s and am tryin like crazy to heal it naturally. I’ve had 2 miscarriages and am finding so much info on how having an under active thyroid could be the cause. Since my thyroid is accompanied by an auto immune disease I’ve cut out gluten, soy, corn and anything else that could be genetically modified. I also get acupuncture every other week. Have you ever considered easing up on the grains and eating more veggies for fiber?

  16. Hi hun, I found you on pinterest. If you like check out my website. I healed my thyroid of both severe hypothyroidsim and Hashimoto’s thyroiditis after pregnancy. You are not alone. Perhaps some of the material I have posted could be of help to you. I have 50 minute interview I just posted as well talking how to the transform your thyroid. Love to stay connected!! Yours truly, Sara

  17. Look into maca root! It’s not meant to support overactive thyroid, but underactive thyroid YES! It’s usually taken in the U.S. as a whole food powder/flour (try to find the organic, gently cooked variety that can be easily added to smoothies… otherwise you should get creative in ways to cook it before taking it) and capsule forms (gelatinized versions are easier to digest and gentler on the GI tract, as they have been cooked to release the starchiness). It’s done wonders for my female concerns, balancing my hormones naturally by nourishing my pituitary gland with all sorts of good stuff (iodine and magnesium, among way too many other beneficial nutrients to recount). It’s cruciferous, too, so it helps with iron stores! All the best!

  18. Howdy! Someone in my Myspace group shared
    this site with us so I came to look it over. I’m definitely enjoying the information.
    I’m book-marking and will be tweeting this to my followers!

    Wonderful blog and outstanding design.

  19. How are you going with this? I”ll check for more post but am considering on doing something similar so was very excited to read this. I hope it’s working for you :) Looking forward to finding out more.

  20. According to the World Health Organization’s Department of Nutrition for Health and Development, iodine deficiency is a public health problem in 54 countries. The CDC states that iodine deficiency is one of the four major deficiency diseases in the world and the easiest to correct.
    http://www.globalhealingcenter.com/?a_aid=528d5efe5749d

  21. Grеat article.

  22. If you wish for to improve your knowledge simply keep visiting this website and be updated with the most up-to-date information posted here.

  23. Hi,

    I haven’t seen any updates recently on how your “healing your thyroid” has been going. Just wondering how this has turned out since it’s been a year at this point since you started.

Trackbacks

  1. [...] If you’ve been following the blog for very long, you know I’m currently engaged in an epic struggle to regain my health after pregnancy-triggered hypothyroidism. It’s something I’m taking very seriously – to the point that I’ve made a lot of thyroid-friendly changes. [...]

  2. [...] you read my post last month about my hopes to heal my thyroid naturally, you know that I don’t want to be on thyroid supplements my entire life. I’ve made some [...]

  3. [...] and gravy, cinnamon rolls, lasagna – all kinds of foods that do *not* fit in with my plan to heal my thyroid. But, it’s family vacation – I can’t exactly bring along an entirely separate [...]

  4. [...] in a Soda Stream giveaway, when I’ve had to scale back my own soda consumption to heal my thyroid. It’s not hypocritical, though! All things in moderation, and my hubby is a soda drinker with [...]

  5. […] wrote months ago about what I was learning in my quest to heal my thyroid – namely, that nonstick cookware is linked to the epidemic of people suffering from thyroid […]

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