- 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.
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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.