Hyperthyroidism, or over activity of the thyroid gland, is well-treated using naturopathic medicine.
Hyperthyroidism is a condition in which your thyroid gland produces too much of the hormone thyroxine (T4). Excess thyroxine causes an increase in metabolism, and all the symptoms associated with increased metabolism.
Hypothyroidism can be caused by autoimmune disease (Grave’s disease, in which antibodies produced by the immune system stimulate thyroxine production), presence of thyroid adenoma (a benign, but overactive, tumour in the thyroid gland) and thyroiditis (unexplained thyroid gland inflammation).
Hyperthyroidism can lead to serious heart problems (e.g., heart failure), eye problems (with potential loss of vision) or osteoporosis.
Seek professional healthcare if you experience unexplained weight loss, rapid heartbeat, swelling at the base of the front of your neck or other symptoms that cause you to suspect you may have hyperthyroidism.
Seek emergency medical care if your hyperthyroid symptoms suddenly become very intense, leading to:
- Rapid heartbeat
Symptoms of Hyperthyroidism
Possible symptoms of hyperthyroidism include:
- Unexplained weight loss
- Rapid or irregular heartbeat
- Pounding in your chest (palpitation)
- Thyroid gland enlargement (goiter)
- Anxiety or nervousness
- Increased appetite
- Change in bowel habits, particularly diarrhea
- Change in menstrual pattern
- Increased sensitivity to heat
Treatment of Hyperthyroidism at Toronto Centre for Naturopathic Medicine
At Toronto Centre for Naturopathic Medicine, the goals of hyperthyroidism treatment are to correct thyroxine balance, thereby eliminating hyperthyroidism symptoms, and correct consequences of high thyroid activity (e.g., muscle wasting, osteoporosis).
Conventional treatment for hyperthyroidism may include surgery, and a variety of medications, including radioactive iodine, methimazole (Tapazole®) or beta blockers. These treatments may have short- or long-term side effects.
For this reason, you may choose to try natural treatment to possibly avoid use of conventional medications, or together with conventional medications in order to decrease dosages of conventional medications required to manage your hyperthyroidism symptoms.
Naturopathic treatment of any chronic health concern must be recognized as a process that involves:
- Identifying specific treatment goals
- Development by your naturopathic doctor, of a thorough understanding of all factors affecting your health, including physical, psychological, emotional and lifestyle factors
- Development of a comprehensive treatment plan
- Implementation and maintenance of that plan through periodic monitoring and adjustment
At Toronto Centre for Naturopathic Medicine, a typical approach to treating hyperthyroidism may be to:
- “Rebalance” thyroxine levels using botanical (herbal) medicines, nutritional supplements or homeopathic medicines
- Prevent complications associated with hyperthyroidism (e.g., osteoporosis) using nutritional supplements
Where appropriate, a number of therapeutic options are available, to be used alone, or more often in a complementary fashion, including:
- Nutritional counseling
- Nutritional supplements
- Metabolic detoxification protocols
- Botanical (herbal) medicines
- Bowen Therapy
- Exercise prescription
- Relaxation (meditation) training
- Lifestyle medicine and counseling
- Registered massage therapy
Treatments provided by naturopathic doctors and registered massage therapists are covered by most extended healthcare plans.
Hyperthyroidism [Internet]. Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research; [cited 2009 Feb 18]. Available from: http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/hyperthyroidism/DS00344.