Hypothyroidism 101: How to Boost an Underactive Thyroid Naturally

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Natural Ways to Boost Thyroid Function with diet and supplements
Wellness Mama » Blog » Health » Hypothyroidism 101: How to Boost an Underactive Thyroid Naturally

Thyroid problems seem to be everywhere these days! Women especially are more prone to them. Hypothyroidism can happen for many different reasons, but our current modern, chaotic lifestyle can contribute to it.

I’ve struggled with thyroid problems for more than a decade now. While I also have Hashimoto’s, an autoimmune thyroid condition, part of that means dealing with hypothyroidism.

I know from personal experience how miserable it is to have a thyroid that’s not doing its job right. Now I want to pass my experience on to you as you try to understand yours.

What Is An Underactive Thyroid?

Having an underactive thyroid is called hypothyroidism. This happens when your thyroid is not producing enough hormones to energize your body. Understanding what can lead to a low-functioning thyroid is a critical part of getting answers.

I was diagnosed through a series of blood tests and a thyroid ultrasound. I found out that I have several nodules on my thyroid which will be monitored to make sure they don’t get any bigger.

Common Signs & Symptoms of Hypothyroidism

I had thyroid problems long before I knew what was going on. It’s easy to miss the common symptoms of hypothyroidism among other normal aspects of life. For me, I was having babies, not sleeping much because of that, and struggling to lose weight because I thought that was normal for being postpartum.

But in reality, my symptoms were way more extreme than they should have been. The thyroid can produce so many different symptoms when it’s not behaving right. Some people will have a lot of them, others may only have one or two noticeable signs. This is where proper testing makes all the difference in getting answers.

What are the symptoms of hypothyroidism to look out for?

  • Weight gain, especially when it’s not related to lifestyle or diet changes. You just gain weight for seemingly no reason and then can’t lose it.
  • Feeling cold all the time. This can happen even when it’s hot outside or no one else is cold.
  • Being more tired than usual, whether you get enough sleep or not.
  • Experiencing hair loss that goes on and on. Hair can also be thin or brittle and just generally unhealthy.
  • Having fingernails that break easily or skin that is dry and rough.
  • Feeling depressed or having a low mood.
  • Being constipated or dealing with hemorrhoids.
  • Having a frequent sore throat or hoarse voice.
  • Feeling weak in the muscles or getting tired easily after exertion.
  • Having high blood cholesterol levels, especially LDL.
  • Dealing with heavy periods or menstrual cycles that aren’t quite regular.
  • Having a low pulse or a low basal body temperature.
  • Feeling fullness in the neck, or having an enlarged thyroid (called a ‘goiter’).

What Does the Thyroid Do?

As you can see, symptoms of hypothyroidism are extensive! They seem to affect every area of life, from energy levels to weight to digestion to hair, skin, and beyond.

How can the thyroid have this much power? A small gland that sits at the base of your neck, the thyroid is shaped like a butterfly. It’s an endocrine gland, meaning that it produces hormones.

The thyroid makes two hormones: T4 and T3. The first, T4, is the inactive form that gets converted into active form as needed. T3 is the active form of the hormone that is produced in smaller amounts. You need both to have a well-functioning thyroid gland. TSH, short for thyroid-stimulating hormone, is produced by the pituitary gland and is in charge of telling the thyroid when to make more T3 and T4.

Low thyroid hormones can be caused in a few ways. Sometimes the pituitary gland doesn’t make enough TSH, and the thyroid doesn’t get the memo to make more. Other times, TSH levels are very high, and the thyroid is making T4, but your body isn’t able to convert it into T3. Finally, there’s another thyroid hormone known as Reverse T3, and in situations of stress, the body takes your T4 and dumps it into Reverse T3, resulting in plenty of thyroid hormone in the body that it just can’t access for energy.

The thyroid hormones make sure your cells have the energy to do their jobs. It also runs your metabolism which is why weight gain happens so quickly when the thyroid slows down. Thyroid hormones are also necessary for fertility, pregnancy, adrenal hormones, and a healthy, balanced mood.

Causes of Hypothyroidism

The thyroid is sensitive. Like most hormone-producing glands, it responds to the overall environment of the body. If you’re constantly stressed, this can lead to thyroid problems. But other factors can affect it, too.

Leaky Gut

Leaky gut, or intestinal permeability occurs when the body is unable to process food and nutrients the right way. In essence, the gut becomes leaky, and food and other bacteria slip through the cracks triggering digestion and absorption issues. This is also one of the ways that autoimmune disease, like Hashimoto’s, could be triggered.

Nutrient Deficiencies

Your thyroid needs nutrients both to make hormones and convert them to the right form. Depending on diet, it is easy to be really low in some essential thyroid nutrients like iron, magnesium, selenium, and vitamin D.

Gut problems can also decrease the body’s ability to process these nutrients effectively. If there’s a problem in the gut, then no matter how much we consume of these supplements or eat nutrient-rich foods, the body won’t be able to snag all the goodness from them. This is especially important to address during pregnancy since there is an increased nutrient demand and after pregnancy, since we lose nutrient stores and it takes time to build them back up.

Food Sensitivities

Ever feel swollen or bloated after eating? Or get an upset stomach or experience a breakout? All of these symptoms can indicate that your body is sensitive to whatever you just ate.

Food sensitivities like gluten, dairy, and soy are quite common and they also happen to negatively impact how your thyroid works. Gluten can even cause a leaky gut!

Blood Sugar Imbalance

For hormones in the body to be balanced, everything else needs to be stable. This is referred to as homeostasis. When your blood sugar is imbalanced or your insulin levels are consistently too high, either from stress or diabetes, the thyroid might have trouble making enough hormones.

The double whammy of low thyroid hormone and high glucose can lead to even more weight gain. Worse, having hypothyroidism can also increase the risk of developing type 2 diabetes.


A toxic buildup is also common in people struggling with thyroid problems. There are some things, like the air that we breathe, that we can’t control. However, we can take some great strides to detoxify our homes.

Your thyroid responds to every part of the environment that you live in. Using products filled with artificial and synthetic ingredients can make your body more toxic. This can handcuff your thyroid gland when trying to do its job.

(If you don’t know where to start ditching toxic personal care ingredients, start here.)


You may be predisposed to thyroid problems based on your genetics, although this is more common with the autoimmune version of thyroid issues. Still, if you have a mom, sister, or other close family members with thyroid problems, it might mean you’re more likely to have them, too.

This is the genetic test I used, and the results guided many of my next steps in personalizing my approach. You can also listen to my podcast on the topic here.


Women are more likely to develop thyroid problems after giving birth, even if they don’t have a family history or previous problems. There are many theories as to why, but major hormone fluctuations and nutrient deficiencies, along with the telltale lack of sleep that happens in those first weeks and months, are likely culprits.


If your body is dealing with chronic or recent infections, your thyroid might take the hit. Underlying infections, like the Epstein Barr virus which causes mono or bacterial overgrowth like Candida can negatively affect your thyroid.

What to Do First for Your Low Thyroid

If you suspect that you are hypothyroid, the first thing that you need is lab work. There’s no real way to assess what’s going on with your thyroid without testing the actual hormones.

Some doctors will only run TSH or total T3 to check on your thyroid. This is problematic because it only gives a partial snapshot of what’s happening. If you want the full picture and some real answers, you need to get these labs done:

  1. Thyroid Stimulating Hormone (TSH)— This is the pituitary hormone that measures the level of thyroid hormone in the blood. A higher level would show that your body is having to work harder (shout louder) to get your thyroid to do its job.
  2. Free T3/Free T4— These are the available levels of thyroid hormones in your blood. Total T3 will tell you how much is in your body, but it’s no good to you unless you can use it. Free T3 shows how much hormone you have available to actually use.
  3. Reverse T3— This will help determine whether you have hyperthyroidism or hypothyroidism. It tends to be low in hypothyroid cases and high in hyperthyroid cases, but sometimes it can be high in hypothyroidism if your body is having problems with conversion.
  4. Thyroid Peroxidase Antibodies/Thyroglobulin Antibodies (TPO/TG Antibodies)— These are the thyroid antibodies and will help to rule out whether your hypothyroidism is driven by an immune system problem. If you have thyroid antibodies and you’re hypothyroid, it means you have Hashimoto’s disease.
  5. Thyroid Ultrasound— Not everyone needs this, but it is especially recommended if your doctor suspects abnormal growth or if you have a known thyroid condition.

After you get lab work done, the next thing to do is to meet with a healthcare provider to discuss your results and set a plan. If you’re confirmed to have low thyroid or hypothyroidism, then here’s what you can do.

Lifestyle Changes for Hypothyroidism

I’ve made some diet and lifestyle changes since finding out about my thyroid problems. While I am also taking thyroid hormone replacement, these were really helpful even before I started the medication and I wanted to share them with you.

Diet for Underactive Thyroid

I was already eating a healthy diet before finding out about my thyroid problems, so diet was not the entire problem for me. However here are some additional dietary changes that can help support thyroid health:

  • Avoid inflammatory foods. This can include sweeteners, processed foods, grains, soy, and dairy, but it can also include anything you’re sensitive to.
  • Focus on eating quality meats and fish. Grass-fed and wild-caught meats and seafood have better nutrient profiles and don’t contain possible inflammatory problems like antibiotics or mycotoxins.
  • Eat lots of green leafy vegetables cooked in coconut oil. Vegetables are rich in thyroid-friendly nutrients and fiber, which can help with constipation caused by hypothyroidism.
  • Eat fruits too, but focus on lower-glycemic ones (mostly berries). This is especially important if you have high glucose or insulin.
  • Drink bone broth a few times a day. It is rich in gut-healing nutrients, including collagen and gelatin.
  • Don’t go low-carb to try to force weight loss. While you want to avoid high-starch carbs or those that are sugary, your thyroid needs the right kind of carbohydrates to make hormones.

Exercise for Boosting Thyroid Function

When you’re dealing with low thyroid and are already tired, exercise might sound like the last thing you want to think about. But you need to be able to move your body to promote health.

Still, endless cardio is probably going to hurt more than it will help. Exercise does cause a certain amount of stress in the body—but after that, it leads to a reduction in stress. This isn’t the case when you’re overtaxing your body with exercise.

Some of the best ways that you can support your body with exercise when your thyroid is low are:

  • Yoga: Research finds that it helps reduce hypothyroid symptoms and lowers stress.
  • Rebounding: I spend a few minutes a day jumping on a mini-trampoline to get my blood flowing and increase lymph drainage.
  • Walking: You don’t have to power walk to get benefit from a morning stroll or a family walk after dinner.
  • Strength training: Weight-bearing exercises are good for bone density (which can sometimes be associated problems for people with thyroid issues) but they’re also known for being great for those who have thyroid problems.

Lifestyle for Hypothyroidism

It sounds easier said than done to say “reduce stress,” but managing stress is actually important when it comes to fixing hypothyroidism.

It’s not as simple as wishing stress away, of course, but after diet and exercise, there are some other proven ways to lower your stress levels.

Having a healthy sleep routine is at the top of the list. Your body heals when you sleep. It produces hormones, repairs cells, and gives your gut a break, all while you’re asleep. If you perpetually run short on sleep, your stress hormones will be out of whack, which will affect your thyroid, and so on.

I make it a priority to be sleeping by 10 PM every night. This doesn’t always happen between the kids and other things, but I am definitely trying to make that my norm.

I also practice active relaxation and make it a point to do things that are relaxing and stress-reducing to me. What works for me might not work for you, so it’s important to identify the things that feel life-giving and energizing. They should feel like “get to’s” and not another thing on your to-do list.

Diaphragmatic breathing, or belly breathing as it’s sometimes called, is another great way to promote stress relief. Even if you’re not a pro at meditation, learning to breathe like this can pull you into being more mindful of what’s going on in your body.

Finally, cortisol, which is the stress hormone, can affect how your thyroid works. One of the things I’ve done over time is to sit in the sun in the mornings with my family. This is absolutely free and helps to promote balanced cortisol levels. It’s also great for stress relief! I noticed measurable changes in my hormone levels, just from sitting in the sun consistently in the mornings.

Supplements for Hypothyroidism

I believe it is best to get nutrients from food whenever possible. In this case, my nutrient depletion required specific supplements to improve my levels. Diet changes and adding these supplements made a tremendous difference in reducing my symptoms (skin issues, fatigue, etc) and I notice when I don’t take them.

These are supplements that can support healthy thyroid function:

  • Glutathione: A strong antioxidant that helps balance hormones and boosts the immune system. I definitely notice a difference when I don’t take it. I take one each morning under my tongue.
  • Vitamin D: A vitamin that has hormone properties and is important for thyroid, immunity, and mood. It helps transport thyroid hormones into your cells where it can be used. Even though I spend a lot of time in the sun during the summer and take vitamin D during the winter, I was deficient. This is relatively common with thyroid problems and I’m using a vitamin D supplement to help bring my levels up.
  • Vitamin C: An antioxidant, vitamin C helps support healthy adrenal and thyroid function. My cortisol was high at night, indicating adrenal stress, so I added a quality Vitamin C with each meal.
  • Probiotics: Beneficial bacteria that support gut health, probiotics help with inflammation and other factors relating to hypothyroidism (like constipation and leaky gut). I was already eating probiotic-rich foods, but supplementing can promote healthy gut levels faster. I take these now daily.
  • Magnesium: A mineral that is associated with healthy muscles, mood, and sleep, low levels are also tied to hypothyroidism. I use transdermal magnesium oil and also take magnesium supplements. MagSRT is the supplement I take and I use magnesium oil.
  • Selenium: An antioxidant that is required for the production of thyroid hormones, selenium levels are often low in hypothyroid patients.

What Not to Do for Hypothyroidism

It’s important to understand that hypothyroidism is its own disorder, but that you can have other thyroid problems, too. Hashimoto’s thyroiditis is an autoimmune disease that results in immune-driven damage to the thyroid gland. If you have this, just trying to address hypothyroidism won’t fix it.

Getting the right diagnosis about what’s going on with your thyroid is essential to find relief. Avoiding things that can worsen your hypothyroidism is also important. These are things you should not do if you know or suspect that your thyroid is low-functioning.

Nothing replaces personalized medical advice either, so be sure you’re working with a healthcare provider who really understands thyroid function.

Do Not Take Iodine Supplements

One change I made immediately once I found out about my thyroid problems was to stop taking iodine. In some cases, iodine can help people with hypothyroidism, but for the most part, people in the U.S. have sufficient levels of iodine to prevent thyroid disorders.

Taking iodine when you are hypothyroid can cause problems because getting more than you need is not better, and if your hypothyroidism is caused by Hashimoto’s, then you’re pouring fuel on the fire of your autoimmune attack. In fact, a 2012 review found that restricting iodine could, in some cases, reverse hypothyroid symptoms.

Do Not Self-Medicate With Natural Remedies

I’m a big believer in natural remedies, but thyroid problems require the expertise of a medical professional. Don’t just take supplements and hope for the best.

There are a lot of thyroid supplements on the market that may or may not help—and could make things worse. Always follow the medical advice from your healthcare provider (I share my doctor’s info below), since they are looking at all the factors affecting your health.

Keep Track of What’s Working

One of the biggest ways that I’ve found what works for me is paying attention to what I’m doing and how it impacts my health. I use a range of apps and my Oura ring to keep notes on what’s happening with my health, exercise changes, what I’m eating, and so on.

You don’t need to obsess over health to keep track of it. The best way to see what helps, what doesn’t, and even what might be hurting, is to have it written out in front of you.

Bottom Line: Take Care of Your Thyroid!

All of these changes together made a big difference for me even before I started taking thyroid medication. A reminder, though: I’m not a doctor and I don’t play one on the internet. I am sharing my personal experience for information purposes only. This post should not be taken as medical advice.

It was such a long road to get a diagnosis and I saw several doctors before finally getting answers. I know it can be difficult to find a local thyroid expert. This is one of the many reasons why I’ve partnered with this service that matches you with an online primary care doctor based on your medical needs and lifestyle. I’ve been a patient for over a year now and it has been extremely helpful in managing my thyroid condition.

Wherever you are in the process, know that you are not alone and there are some cost-effective and simple changes you can make that will help!

Have you tried any of these things to help boost thyroid functioning? What other changes have you made that have helped? Share below!

Katie Wells Avatar

About Katie Wells

Katie Wells, CTNC, MCHC, Founder of Wellness Mama and Co-founder of Wellnesse, has a background in research, journalism, and nutrition. As a mom of six, she turned to research and took health into her own hands to find answers to her health problems. WellnessMama.com is the culmination of her thousands of hours of research and all posts are medically reviewed and verified by the Wellness Mama research team. Katie is also the author of the bestselling books The Wellness Mama Cookbook and The Wellness Mama 5-Step Lifestyle Detox.


252 responses to “Hypothyroidism 101: How to Boost an Underactive Thyroid Naturally”

  1. Pattie Avatar

    Hi Katie,
    I was diagnosed with hashimoto’s back in 2009 and went ‘all out’ to figure out why I got it and
    what to do! Of course had leaky gut as well and was allergic to basically everything except ‘plants and animals’. I was first put on synthroid which was terrible (I gained 15 pounds) I found
    an integrated practitioner and was put on armor thyroid (desiccated pig thyroid) Three years ago, I realized I was gluten intolerant as well (since hypothyroidism and gluten intolerance pretty much go hand in hand) and have been truly gluten free (I don’t eat anything that even mimics gluten – no gluten free bread, etc) This whole time I was also drinking bone broth every morning, taking coconut oil in my coffee, adaptocrin for my adrenals, digestive enzymes, probiotics plus kefir and homemade sauerkraut. Miraculously at the same time I went gluten free, the ‘hashimoto’s part of my hypothyroidism didn’t present (the high antibody number) and I have just regular hypothyroidism. I truly believe that if I hadn’t taken even the armor, I could have healed my thyroid with diet alone (it just takes a while). Now after about 6 years of taking armor I think my thyroid may be ‘dead and gone’. There is always hope and as I continue with a ‘traditional food’ approach I still anticipate my doctor telling me he is going to reduce the amount of armor I need bc it is indeed healing!

    1. Angela Avatar

      I so agree with you! I believe I should have tried a better diet, and other approaches instead of meds first. My practitioner actually waited several months… then gave me a small dose … .25 of the generic. I was fine for the first six months until I became pregnant, then all my nightmares started. I’m not referring to my child of course ;)… Then when I was switched a year or so after tthe pregnancy to Synthroid, (as I was having palpitations and my TSH went up to 6 or so)… then its been awful since. Weight gain with the synthroid… hair loss.. major… palpitations, anxiety, tremoring… I could not raise it like they wanted. I was forced to raise it during my pregnancy and in the hospital ER 6 times getting my heart checked… Finally, I could not take the anxiety and chest pains any more… I went to find a doctor that would prescribe Armour… but I guess the T3 did not agree with me because I ended up walking out of work and going straight to the doctors and was given a Zanax!

      I stopped all meds because my new doctor said go back on the Synthroid… and I couldn’t… I felt AWESOME! Until I fell 10 feet! Brain injury.. .and I don’t know now what was from the brain injury, and what was from stopping my meds!!! But since then its been hell trying to get a med I can tolerate, and raise it. I alternate during the week between .25 and .37… cutting pills…

      But honestly… I don’t think I needed them in the first place… There were so many things I could have done!! But I didn’t know better. I listened to my doctor. Now… I need the meds I guess? Your thyroid gets sluggish from the meds taking over I guess.

      1. Pattie Avatar

        Wow, sorry about the brain injury, make the thyroid issues seem minor!

        Yes, I think your body says…”We don’t need to make thyroid anymore, she keeps giving it to us everyday!” and then it basically puts its feet up and kick’s back thinking it’s job is over. I would love to hear if anyone had success in weaning off after 5-6 years without falling on their face mentally or physically! 😀

  2. Sabrina Avatar

    Katie I am a Thyroid patient too (had cancer, so I no longer have a thyroid). Anyhow, I would love to know what dr you see. I have yet to find one I like or feel isn’t pushing synthyroid and TSH levels only at me!! And I have been to some here and some in Nashville. Can you email me that if it’s too personal to list? Thanks!

    1. sally Avatar

      It is important to educate yourself about TSh and thyroid issues so you can argue with good information to support you.

      TSH as we all know isn’t a thyroid hormone it is a pituitary gland hormone. The pituitary attracts and converts T4 in a way that no other cells, tissue or organ in the body does. This unique tissue in the pituitary ensures that it will have a plentiful supply of thyroid hormone and is the last organ in the body to suffer from low thyroid hormone levels.

      What does that mean for us? It means that the TSH levels will not change despite the rest of the cells, tissues and organs around the body being thyroid hormone deficient….So you need to know this and know it well. Educate yourself about how the pituitary gland gets thyroid hormone and how the rest of the body does too…..then you can present your Dr with evidence.

      The TSH blood test is no good at diagnosing or treating hypothyroidism and should be outlawed. You can test thyroid hormones by collecting 24hours of urine. The lab will then measure the metabolites of thyroid hormone; the waste products of thyroid hormone used by the body. This test gives a much more accurate picture of how your body is using thyroid hormone. If your body isn’t using thyroid hormone for whatever reason you will be hypothyroid and the TSH may not show this.

      Do the urine test (Dr Broda Barnes first used this), and get as much information about it so you can show your Dr that too!

      Best of luck.

      1. Sara Avatar

        Hi Sally,
        You seem to know a lot about these topics! My blood results showed a slightly elevated TSH (4.69 on the most recent one), but all other numbers come back in the ‘normal’ ranges, including a check for auto-immune, etc. This was a few years ago. I have a very organic and vegetarian lifestyle/diet and have been eating an excellent pro-biotic superfood and other raw/fermented living food supplements. I’ve added liquid vegan D when not getting sunshine, whole foods organic C formula, occasionally adding in herbal formulas for adrenal support, etc. My main symptoms just in the past few years seem to sometimes be better but I feel I am missing something and looking for a way to naturally lower the TSH, which I think will help with my few symptoms (hair loss and fatigue). Much appreciated!

  3. Sonia Avatar

    Hi Katie, I enjoy your blogs so much. You have a lot of interesting info to share. Do you know what i can do to help my Hyperthyroidism naturally? I was diagnosed with Graves Disease in January. I had been feeling horrible for years. I am not happy I have this but so happy I finally know what is wrong. I started to eat better and am now exercising. I also take vitamin D because i was so deficient.. Hoping you have some more good tips to help me.

  4. Ann Avatar

    From reading these comments, it seems that I have a problem. I was diagnosed with hypothyroidism (finally) last year, and have been on Levothyroxine since, the dosage adjusted twice. Additionally, for Palmer Plantar Pustular Psoriasis, I drink liquid iodine in my morning coffee along with a zinc capsule, which prevents psoriasis breakouts – but now I wonder what the iodine could be doing to my thyroid. What could be the alternative to the iodine therapy? It took me 2 years to discover a combination that works better than anything dermatologists have prescribed.

    1. sally Avatar

      If something works for you then believe in yourself. Were you diagnosed hypothyroid after taking iodine for a while? It may be that you can take the Iodine but in lower dose? Find what works for you.

  5. Christy Avatar

    Hi Katie! Glad to hear your doing better. So proud of you and anyone who takes the steps to get their health back naturally. You mentioned rebounding. I’m very interested in rebounding but have been overwhelmed with picking a good one. Some say cheap is fine, it isn’t rocket science. Others say yu can do more damage with cheap ones than good. What’s your opinion? I truly value it! Thanks!

  6. Theresa Bergen Avatar
    Theresa Bergen

    I have had Hashimoto’s for years and I have been reading an awesome book on it by Isabella Wentz called The Root Cause. I highly recommend it!!! I work for a hormone testing lab so I am able to monitor my T3 and T4 and all the other lovely hormones and my boss highly raves about Wentz. Good luck in your journey to optimal health. I love your blog tremendously!

    1. Angela Avatar

      I’ve read all the books out there… and her book by far is the best one yet! And she is a pharmacist. Her books is like all the books wrapped in one 😉 It is easy to understand and thorough… I wish I read this book First!!

  7. Marina Avatar

    I have hashimoto’s thyroid too. I found out when I was 10, I think (I’m 21 now) and have been on medication for hyperthyroidism ever since. Never heard of treating my disease without the hormones, and too bad I’ve read about it only now that I’m about to go live outside of my country for a year. But I don’t think it is that easy to get a less invasive treatment like yours here in Brazil :/

  8. Alexandra Avatar

    just to make sure – you take both the thyroid medication and natural thyroid?

    Thank you.

  9. Alexandra Avatar

    Hi Katie–

    Thanks for sharing your experiences.

    I’ve had hypothyroid for almost 4 years and am levothyroxine (synthetic T4) for it. I find that T4 alone does not address all of my symptoms. My mood is usually pretty low and my skin is dry, nails are brittle, etc.

    I have tried adding liothyroxine (T3) to my regimen but for some reason it caused some serious digestive problems (constipation) even though it improved my mood.

    What are in your opinion good alternatives to T3? I’ve heard natural T3 is good.

    Thank you!

    1. sally Avatar

      Support your adrenal glands, and consider ding a gastric cleanse; plenty of information out there. Also check the likelihood of having a yeast infection as this will always cause problems with your digestion and your thyroid and to be honest pretty much everything else in the long term.

      You may need to use additional digestive supplements such as HCL (with Betaine), and pancreatic supplements including bile salts. It may be that your Liver and gallbladder are congested too. You should look into a Liver cleanse and Colonic irrigation too.

      If you feel well on T4 only then don’t use additional T3 or maybe use Natural Desiccated Thyroid hormone instead or even T3 alone. Sometimes when symptoms persist it can be due to low adrenal output too so supporting the adrenal glands is important.

      Constipation is more harmful than we think, in that old waste products can be reabsorbed into the blood stream. further, if you eat sugars you will be forming alcohol in your gut and that too is absorbed into the blood stream. If you eat meat you will have putrid rotting meat in your gut giving off toxins and absorbed into the blood stream. If you eat meat you will be coating your gut with fat, this stops the villi in the gut working properly and prevents good absorption of nutrients.

      Further, it is likely too that yeast will flourish. In the right environment yeast is harmless and simply lives in harmony with us in our gut. In the wrong environment and when good bacteria in our gut are in low numbers; after antibiotics; the yeast actually changes form to become invasive. It grows roots which burrow through the gut wall and then become systemic around the rest of the body where they should not be. Some Drs strongly believe yeast is responsible for some cancers and commonly yeast overgrowth is found in those with cancer.

      Hippocrates said that all disease originates from the gut – well not in those exact words!! Tehe…..but indeed if your gut isn’t functioning well then over time the body becomes diseased. The gut needs and converts around 20% of thyroid gland output of T4 to T3 to enable its good function.

  10. Caroline Avatar

    Thanks for the great information! Learning lots from your site and experience. Wondering how much of the Probiotic you take, it looks like it comes in a packet. 15 to a box, is that right? Thanks for any input!!

  11. stacy Avatar

    Hi Katie! Thanks so much for sharing all of this additional information on Hashimoto’s! I have it as well and have been seeking a more natural approach to balancing it. I had always been told to add iodine as well, but now reading on your site as well as many other places it seems like it is not the thing for autoimmune thyroid – I know this many be a silly question, but what about iodized salt? I don’t use a lot of salt…just a little when cooking certain things, but had always used an iodized version to help my body get enough for my thyroid. Also, have you had any experience with trouble re-balancing your thyroid after child birth? Since giving birth 20 months ago, my T4 runs high with medication, but my TSH also is a little too high and when they add more medication it pushes my T4 too high and I feel “hyper.” I’m having a very difficult time finding information on this situation. Thanks so much!!

    1. Kaydee Avatar

      Stacy, many people have trouble converting from storage hormone T4 into active hormone T3. You may be encountering this. Or, you could be converting T4 into the inactive Reverse T3, the mirror image of T3. Reverse T3 blocks your cell’s thyroid receptors, causing T3 to pool in the blood, but not able to have much effect. It is your body’s way of putting on the brakes when you have inflammation, allergies, anemia, illness, adrenal fatigue, etc. You can read more about this on stopthethyroidmadness.com. There you will find an online tool to calculate your Free T3 to Reverse T3 ratio. You must test FT3 and RT3 in early a.m., w/o taking any thyroid meds prior. There is a Yahoo group dedicated to Reverse T3 issues, but you must have labs showing you have the problem to join that group.

      Could you be anemic? An iron panel (Ferritin, serum iron, TIBC and Saturation) would help you determine this (see above web site for interpretation advice). I once read that iron is important in 90+ thyroid processes/chemical reactions (Durant-Peatfield I think). Adrenal fatigue can also cause RT3 problems, so you may wish to check into that. It seems chronic in our fast-paced, toxin-laced society today.

      I wish you the best.

    2. sally Avatar

      Salt is a natural product, however, industrialisation bought about the potential for producing a cheap product such as Sodium Chloride – known as table salt. With the help of marketing this became popular and over took the use of natural salt, though it has NO nutrients in it. Further sodium Chloride alone is not good for the human body as it causes disruption to the fluid balance and electrolytes.

      In some areas there was a rise in the number of goitres observed in the population and a decision was made to add Iodine to both salt and white bread. In time white bread Iodine has been changed to the cheaper Bromine. The Iodine in salt is not an iodine that our body can easily use but a cheaper industrial version.

      Salt MUST be natural and un processed – rock salt or sea salt with nothing added or taken away, will provide you with minerals too and is a healthy food product to use; it doesn’t cause the problems with fluid and electrolyte imbalance and indeed adds to the pantry of minerals our body needs.

      Avoid unnatural Iodinated and Brominated products as well as fluoride products (filter your water and avoid fluoridated toothpaste, etc.,) as they are goitrogenic and block the thyroid receptors on our cells, so prevent the cells taking up thyroid hormone.

      All life on earth originated from the sea, some then developed an ability to breath oxygen and became land animals and some then developed into human beings, birds, mammals, insects and others remained in the sea, some can survive in both the sea and the land.

      The interesting things is that even the most primitive form of life all those thousands of years ago had thyroid cells; they didn’t have pituitary or hypothalamus cells. The thyroid is the most ancient of the endocrine glands and this demonstrates how important it is to life…. we all know it is very important as we struggle with low thyroid hormone. As a result of our heritage we have blood which is similar in make up to sea water….sea salt a product of sea water is an excellent source of food for all humans and should not be avoided.

      Those with illness when told to avoid salt the reference is to the bland and dangerous so called table salt or industrialized Sodium chloride that has been successfully marketed over the years and is the only salt known to some people; it is the one to avoid.

      As Kaydee says you need T3 rather than T4. T4 is the only hormone which can be converted to rT3 and rT3 is a neutral hormone, that is the body cannot use it. The body can use T4 but it is a very weak hormone and needs mostly to be converted to T3. Reverse T3 or rT3, is seen to be raised in bears during hibernation; like bears in primitive life our human ancestors were low in food during winter months and their rT3 raised during winter month, to enable them to get through those months. Some humans today still suffer markedly from the body going to hibernation, it is referred to as SAD syndrome; this is the thyroid hormone T4 reverting to rT3 in preparation of long nights, no sunlight, starvation and hibernation throughout the winter.

      If you take T3 only treatment for your thyroid dysfunction you will be able to remove the rT3 from your body and will start to feel more normal again. And always support your adrenal glands – and check your iron panel; too high or too low iron is problematic for the thyroid hormone getting into the body’s cells. It is a heavy metal after all.

      Best of luck.

  12. Lisa Avatar

    Thank you for your blog! It has been very helpful to me, and I love it! I also have thyroid problems, so this post was great for me. I will pray for healing of your thyroid.

  13. Christie Avatar

    Thanks for this! Does this also apply for Graves’ disease? I’ve been dealing with that and they last said my labs were normal but I’ve still been having heart symptoms… SVT’s and PVC so they have me on a beta blocker…but I just am not sure of that for a long term solution… Have you heard of good results for this naturally? My docs are really against herbs and want to send me to electrophysiology … Not so excited about that. Will definitely follow your progress with this! Would love any feedback!

    1. sally Avatar

      Grave’s often turns into Hashimotos as the thyroid output starts to fail in time; both disorders are pretty horrid of course. Years ago Grave’s was treated with large amounts of Iodine and for the same reason Hashimoto sufferers don’t tolerate Iodine well, since it causes low thyroid output. You could try larger doses of suitable Iodine. Dr Brownstein has a good book on the subject.

  14. Sara Avatar

    Wow, Already limited diet (WAPF/ paleo, some rice on occasion) tried to take out all grains, eggs, minimal fruit for a couple weeks and it seemed to stress my adrenals. What are we (peops with thyroid issues) going to eat? Be looking forward to some of your inventive recipes. Know of any good resources? I knew deep down that eggs are probably my down fall. How to make coconut flour goods without them?

  15. Susan Avatar

    I find this post very interesting as I have been suspecting thyroid issues in myself for quite some time. But all my tests have shown that the thyroid isn’t a problem and when I asked my doctor about testing for thyroid antibodies I was told that they wouldn’t do it unless my thyroid tests were abnormal. I have widely fluctuating energy levels, from very low to really high, I have times when my throat feels “full” and it’s harder to swallow, then it’s back to normal. This past week and a half I have been very itchy with no rash. These are just a few symptoms that are bothering me. I’ve given up on standard doctors and am visiting a naturopath soon. Am I going crazy or do these symptoms sound similar to what you’ve been going through? I’d love to know.

    1. Kim Avatar

      Your not crazy. I’ve been dealing with thyroid- perimenapause symptoms for a while but the odd feeling in my throat that comes and goes really scared me. My triggers are lack of sleep, gluten, dairy, sugar and soy. I’m on a mission to figure this out and reclaim my life. Good luck.

  16. Alison Avatar

    Hello! It was encouraging to read this post! I was diagnosed with Hashimoto’s two years ago and was then put on iodine,dessicated thyroid and a plethera of supplements.. what was a mild case turned into a full blown nightmirror as the iodine pushed my Hashi numbers through the roof! I have ntt been tested lately but feel like it is in remission. I no longer take anything, just try to stick to an autoimmune diet and excercise with some of the supplements you said you also take. I was wondering, in my research I found the cruciferous veggies ( kale, broccoli ,spinach , cabbage..ect) also strawberries, inhibit thyroid function.. Have you felt a difference when you consume these foods? I go back and forth because they are all great for our bodies, but don’t want to do further damage and kick the Hashimotos back up again.

      1. Michelle Avatar

        Per a seminar I attended by Chris Kresser, cruciferous vegetables are goitrogens and do affect Hashimotos. He said to avoid eating them raw. Steaming helps, but boiling is actually the best way to eat them.

        1. Katie - Wellness Mama Avatar

          I’ve heard his stance on that. He is correct with regular hypothyroid but hashimotos is another animal that isn’t affected in the same way. My doc (Alan Christianson) is considered one of the world’s leading experts on Hashimotos…

  17. mari joe Avatar
    mari joe

    Hi Katie,
    I have a question, I started taking Cod liver oil, and mine has 2000 Vitamin D already. Do you think that would be enough, or is it more advisable to take also the Vit D serum? Also, about the rebounder, it has a warning label saying the material can emit things that can be hazardous to reproductive health? I think it should be placed outside the house so it wont emit those toxins in the air…Also what’s the difference between cod liver oil and fermented cod liver oil?
    Thanks a lot for being an inspiration! I always find time to read your articles and I am happy with the changes I am observing in my health.

  18. Jill Avatar

    Hi Katie,

    I just love all that you do. Thank you for sharing and your time you invest.

    I also am a member of the Hashi world and am looking for the right doc to go to. We just found out Sat. morning, my son, (9 yrs old) also has a thyroid disorder (high TSH). We are going for more blood work today (only the T4 though ) His un-natural doc would not do any more tests. UGH~ I was wondering if you would recommend your doc (we are in Ohio)? Maybe we could do a long distance protocol?? I just don’t want him to be on meds for the rest of his life. We are also getting my daughter’s blood tests today too since it’s looking like it could run in families, (she’s 7). I was wondering what tests or things should actually be done. Any suggestions?

    Thanks for any light you can shine/shed!
    Blessings to you 🙂

      1. iris Avatar

        I to have a thyroid problem. I have read something about if you ever had a head injury you could be pron to having a thyroid problem. This is all new to me. I lost wight with mine and hair lost. Still trying to find the right doctor in Phoenix As. Hi Kate I live in Arizona please give me the name of your doctor I am trying to find one who takes my insurance.

      2. Molly Avatar

        Can you please state who your thyroid doc is? I, too, and trying to find a good one in Phoenix who takes insurance. Thank you!

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