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Overactive Thyroid
(Hyperthyroidism)

If not diagnosed or left untreated the presence of a condition of hyperthyroidism in a person through an overactive thyroid gland can turn serious and cause severe complications or problems in the long term. The symptoms and signs of an overactive thyroid gland are thankfully very easily to identify and manifest themselves quite clearly. The physical and metabolic resources of the body undergo an overexertion and can become completely depleted as a lot of thyroid hormones in the blood will make the body work at a faster metabolic rate, this is because of the fact that these thyroid hormones control and regulate the important metabolic processes of the body, and these hormones produced in the thyroid gland in addition also regulate levels of important minerals like iodine, the overactive thyroid thus can wreak havoc on the metabolism of the body. Some symptoms that are physically manifested during hyperthyroidism are heart palpitations, profuse perspiration or excessive sweating, anxiety and nervousness and muscular tremors.

One of the first physical symptoms is that the core body temperature increases greatly due to increasing metabolic activity due to the release of thyroid hormones. Weight loss usually follows even when the person eats a lot to compensate, and the appetite is greatly affected and reduced. The condition of hyperthyroidism is also often manifested physically in the presence of brittle fingernails. Other usual symptoms include the occurrence of diarrhea as a result of metabolic problems. The body is pushed beyond its limits and further symptoms such as sleeplessness can occur, total and complete physical exhaustion is very common due to increased activity and weakness usually follows this loss of energy due to physical exertion. Although not observed in all the patients suffering from hyperthyroidism, the incidences of goiter is not rare and can affect some people. Other physical symptoms may include the presence of weakness and muscle pain, along with the appearance of rashes on the skin of the patient.

The most commonly occurring form of hyperthyroidism is known as Grave's disease. The typical symptoms of this condition, which can become very apparent over time, are the gradual development of bulging eyes with a wide-open stare in the patient. Constant vigilance is required as lethal or life-threatening proportions can develop because of the effects of an overactive thyroid gland in an individual. The end result can be coma or comatose like state in the person when the physical symptoms include the progression from gradual high fever to the occurrence of nervous tensions and anxiety, these developments can lead to the total physical and mental collapse of the patient.

An autoimmune disorder is believed to bring about overactive thyroid function in an individual even though as a disorder the absolute underlying reason for hyperthyroidism remains a mystery. Antibodies from the immune system attack the thyroid gland unexpectedly and inexplicably during the course of the disorder. Another possible reason for the onset of hyperthyroidism is the occurrence of food allergies in a person that may be delayed in expressing their effects in the body. These include allergic reactions to allergens present in dairy products including milk food allergies are to milk, to gluten or other substances in wheat and other cereals, allergic responses can also be triggered in the body by edible condiments like chocolate and beverages that stimulate like tea and coffee, caffeinated drinks and colas, and the smoke from cigarettes and the nicotine in nicotine gums or patches can all also bring on allergic reactions. The amalgam used in the dental filings in the teeth contains mercury, which can bring out hypersensitive reactions in an individual and these can probably be the reason for the allergic reactions as well. Psychological factors may be involved and the presence of high levels of stress and tension can lead to problems, other causes can include infections to the bowels and other problems of the digestive system, the leaky gut syndrome in particular. Hormonal imbalances in the body can also bring out hyperthyroidism as a symptom of metabolic distress.

Thyroid disorder on the whole tend to afflict women more than they do men, one reason for this could be that many women experience extreme shifts in the levels of hormones and over activity in the thyroid occurs during such times as well as at times when stress is present in the person. The hormonal burst in early womanhood and during adolescence, and in the periods during and after pregnancy and the hormonal cascades during menopause may all make women more susceptible to this disorder. The presence of stress and anxiety and other physical signs such as weight loss and physical fatigue in old people caused by hyperthyroidism is often mistaken for symptoms of depression or cancer.

Supplements and herbs

Expensive drugs and surgery is rendered unnecessary through planned and careful regular supplementation using many of the natural treatments and substances given here. The suppression of an overactive thyroid for example is much more efficiently carried out through the exposure of the patient to high doses of lithium, instead of resorting to expensive drugs and medications that rely on chemical effects to induce normality in the thyroid gland. Many other types of autoimmune diseases including hyperthyroidism are reduced and eliminated through the use of substances like PABA (para-aminobenzoic acid), which is included as one of the B-complex vitamins, this substance brings about a weakening of the disorder and alleviates its symptoms in the individual.

A deficiency in the enzymes secreted by the pancreas is a common condition in people with autoimmune disorders along with other reductions in the acid levels in the stomach. The need to supplement with enzymes like betaine and pepsin, and amino acid like glutamine or pancreatin can be verified by a Comprehensive Digestive and Stool Analysis (CDSA) this special lab test will enable your doctor or your naturopath to diagnose and suggest relevant treatment regimens. Some other supplements that may be helpful in controlling and combating the disease include other plant-based digestive enzymes in the diet.

The depletion of nutrients is extremely fast as the metabolic rate zooms up during the condition, it is very important in the light of this factor that the nutrient substances in the body be replaced by supplementation. The utilization of multivitamins as supplements is encouraged and suggested as they include most of the nutrients required in large amounts by the body. Psychological states in the affected person are raised and stress is always present during the worst manifestations of the disorder, the tension and stress raised by these overactive glands must be reduced and supplements of vitamins C combined with the B complex group can provide this essential function. Autoimmune disorders in the body are often reduced and alleviated by essential fatty acids, the oil of the evening primrose is rich in these essential fatty acids and can help immensely as a supplement; the fatty acids are the building blocks for prostaglandin's which are natural substance in the body that fight against inflammations. Supplements of the vitamin C, minerals like zinc, copper and selenium, including the element essential for thyroid function iodine along with the amino acid tyrosine can be used to promote the healthy functioning of the thyroid gland.

To properly regulate the metabolic activity of the body, dietary herbal supplements can be used in treatment.

Hyperthyroidism can be caused by an over abundance of the mineral iodine and this can be reduced significantly by the use of the gypsywort herb. A tincture of the herb can be used as a supplement, mix water with 5 drops of the tincture and drink three times everyday as a herbal treatment and preventative measure. Use wine vinegar to decoct equal portions of the bark of the oak and the root of the male fern the resulting liquid can be strained and used as topical rub on the throat two times everyday as an external treatment. Most autoimmune disorders cause a lot of inflammation to occur in the body, an extract of turmeric called curcumin is a very effective anti-inflammatory and can deal with all disorders or inflammations brought on by such conditions.

Additional things you may do

It is important to maintain proper exercise regimens and to rest adequately as the proper functioning of the thyroid glands is dependant to a large extent on a healthy body. Thyroid gland function is also regulated and can be controlled by activities and alternate treatments like water stepping. Spend a minute a day and leave time for walking barefoot on wet grass and practice water stepping daily after a regular physical exercise routine. Saunas and steam baths and heavy exertion during exercise can all be used to bring out sweat, perspiration is important. Clay wraps can be used as wraps around the neck and the thyroid to reduce nerve conditions like shaky or trembling hands, an increase in the heartbeat rate and or the presence of general psychological unrest. Use cabbage poultices and clay compresses onto the affected area for five minutes at the start, as the treatment progresses increase this application time.

Usual dosage

  • Oil of evening primrose, 2x500 mg tablets thrice a day
  • Vitamin B complex, 50 mg two times a day
  • Vitamin C, with bioflavonoids, 1,000 mg
  • Minerals with multivitamin (as recommended on the label)
  • PABA, 3,000mg - 5,000 mg

Other beneficial herbs

Comments

From Christina (Australia) - May-04-2012
I've been borderline hyperthyroid for several years but it's gotten worse as I hit 40. My mother had her thyroid removed for this reason, so there's a genetic connection. Even when my bloods are 'normal' I've had extreme symptoms - sweating, racing heart, hunger, jitters, racing mind, you know. I found that many herbs and supplements exacerbate the condition. Particularly, when I was put onto withania by a naturopath everything got worse within a few weeks and it took me 3 months to get it back down to just management level. Of course something like ginseng or astragalus or in fact most of the adaptogens just kill me, figuratively speaking, but withania is supposed to be relaxing - however some studies show it elevates thyroid. Dandelion and silica and taurine rich foods also adversely affect my thyroid condition, but nothing as bad as withania. I have found a discovery though that others may want to try: the tissue salt calc. fluor. calms the thyroid. Fluorine opposes iodine and possibly this is why. On some of those terrible insomniac nights I would take a few pills of calc. fluor. and an hour later I was calmed and sleepy. Nothing else would cross the line. Amazing.
Now, I am more conscious of what I eat too, e.g. coconut milk is a no no as it stimulates the thyroid , and that means no body lotions made with it either. Fortunately, I can still eat fish at lunch time without the insomnia being a problem (yum) but need to avoid seaweed all together. I hope my calc. fluor. discovery helps someone.
From Tracy - 2010
I have found relief with safe and advanced holistic therapies that are now available to treat thyroid disorders (Hyperthyroidism, Hypothyroidism, Goiter). They are a combination of Resonance Homeopathic, Ayurvedic and modern Biotechnology products. These therapies (Biogetica) help to correct functional and structural thyroid derangements. Ingredients of these kits not only restore hormonal balance but also improve the quality of life by relieving the various symptoms of thyroid disorders that can affect daily life. Natural therapies work wonderfully as supportive therapy in conjugation with conventional thyroid treatments.
From Rose - 2010
Betaine hydrochloride (with pepsin) has been helpful for me as well as plant enzymes. Digestion is the first place to start!
From I. Scott - 2010
It is interesting to read about the connection between digestion/the gut and the thyroid. It all make perfect sense. Yet I don't think that NHS doctor's understand this fact. I had all the symptoms of an overactive thyroid, and yet my TSH levels increased in value.I have read of others who have all the symptoms of hyperthyroidism, yet their thyroids were under active.
I would also like to mention through bitter experience, that herbs like lemon balm, have to be used with care. Also taking vitamins, especially a B complex supplement.
Taking something as seemingly simple as a bitter herb like dandelion or yarrow to aid digestion, can adversely affect the thyroid. Which all returns to digestion etc.
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