Integrative Treatment of Hypothyroidism: Overview for Clinicians

Hypothyroidism 2018-10-04T10:01:00+00:00
  • Worldwide, iodine deficiency remains the most common cause of hypothyroidism, whereas in industrially developed parts of the world autoimmune hypothyroidism (Hashimoto’s disease) is the most common thyroid disease.
  • There is considerable controversy over diagnosing hypothyroidism. The goals of treatment should involve both objective measures (e.g.,TSH) and symptoms.
  • Correcting deficiencies of iodine, selenium, Vitamin A, iron, and zinc can improve or resolve concurrent hypothyroidism and enhance conversion of T4 to T3.
  • Excessive intake of iodine can also cause hypothyroidism.
  • Reduction of excessive dietary goitrogens such as brassica vegetables, soy, cassava and millet should be considered for hypothyroid patients. Cooking may minimize the goitrogenic effects of brassica and soy.
  • Combined T4 and T3 (such as porcine thyroid or co-administered liothyronine plus levothyroxine in a 1:4 ratio) may have benefit over synthetic T4 alone in select patients, but widespread use is unlikely to provide additional benefit.
  • Ground porcine thyroid is a safe alternative for patients wanting a more “natural” treatment. 1 grain (60 mg) of Armour Thyroid is equivalent to 100 mcg of levothyroxine, and TSH may be used as usual to monitor therapy.
  • In the hands of competent practitioners, yoga and hydrotherapy are two relatively safe but speculative ways of improving hypothyroidism.

Please see the downloads section for more detailed clinician and patient information.

Disclaimer: This information is for general education. Please work with your health care practitioner to use it in the best way possible to promote your health.

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