Hypothyroid Treatment
How the Thyroid Works
What Is Hypothyroidism
Risk Factors for Underactive Thyroid
The Facts
The Symptoms
Natural Thyroid Treatment

More than 20 million Americans suffer from some form of thyroid disease. Hypothyroidism, a highly common thyroid condition, affects more than 12 percent of the U.S. population. Hypothyroidism, or underactive thyroid disease, occurs when the thyroid gland does not produce enough thyroid hormone to support normal function in the body, as there is not enough thyroid in the blood. There are a number of risk factors, signs, and symptoms associated with hypothyroidism, but there are also many effective and efficient natural thyroid treatments to help patients manage their condition.

As Long Island’s Top Rated Local® wellness institute, our team at the Pollack Wellness Institute is here to help patients who suffer from hypothyroidism proactively to improve their overall health and wellness with a number of natural modern and ancient treatments. Please click on the links to learn a little more about us, to meet our doctors, and to read testimonials from many of our amazing patients. If you or someone you know suffers from underactive thyroid disease, or any other thyroid conditions, please contact us today to schedule an appointment at our Commack location or at our Plainview location.

How the Thyroid Works:

The thyroid gland is a small gland that is shaped like a butterfly and located in the lower front section of the neck below the larynx or “Adam’s apple.” The thyroid is made up of two lobes that are joined together by a small band of tissue called the isthmus, and the entire gland is situated along the windpipe. This gland makes thyroid hormones that are distributed to every tissue in the body by way of the blood stream. Thyroid hormone is essential for helping the body use energy efficiency while also helping the body stay warm. As it does this, thyroid hormone keeps the brain, heart, nerves, muscles, and other main organs functioning properly.

What Is Hypothyroidism?

We mentioned briefly what hypothyroidism is, but let us delve in a little deeper. Underactive thyroid disease is a very common chronic condition in which the thyroid gland does not produce enough hormones. When your thyroid gland does not produce enough hormones, it causes a chemical imbalance in the body that affects proper bodily function, which may disrupt body temperature, heart rate, and metabolism. Hypothyroidism may be caused by a number factors, including autoimmune disease, thyroid surgery, radiation therapy, certain medicines that prevent normal function of the thyroid gland, and some treatments for hyperthyroidism (when the thyroid produces too much thyroid hormone). Once you have hypothyroidism, you will most likely have it for life. While this condition is more common among women, men may also get this disease.

Risk Factors for Underactive Thyroid

You may be at risk for hypothyroid if:

  • You are a woman, especially women over the age of 50.
  • You have developed an inflammatory autoimmune disorder known as Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, which is a common cause of hypothyroidism.
  • You have a family history of thyroid conditions and/or autoimmune diseases.
  • You have an autoimmune disorder such as type 1 diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, or other autoimmune diseases.
  • You have had thyroid surgery where all or a significant portion of your thyroid gland was removed.
  • You have had radiation treatment for cancers of the head or neck that may have affected normal function of the thyroid gland.
  • You have taken medications which contain lithium, amiodarone, interferon alpha, or iodine thyroid treatments.
  • Rare disorders that may affect normal function of the thyroid which can lead to underactive thyroid.

If you are at risk for underactive thyroid or know someone who is, contact Pollack Wellness Institute to schedule a consultation and to begin hypothyroid treatment in Long Island.

Facts About Underactive Thyroid

For those who suffer from hypothyroidism or are at risk for the disease, here some facts to help you better understand this condition:

  • With more than 20 million Americans who suffer from hypothyroidism, underactive thyroid disease is one of the most common health conditions.
  • More than 60 percent of those who have the disease may not even know it.
  • Women are more than five times more likely than men to experience thyroid issues.
  • Most thyroid diseases like hypothyroidism are chronic, meaning they are lifelong conditions that may not go away, yet can be medically treated and managed.
  • When hypothyroidism or any other thyroid disorders go undiagnosed, a patient becomes more at risk for other serious health conditions like osteoporosis, infertility, and several cardiovascular diseases.
  • While men are not as likely to get hypothyroidism, they may still get the disease and other thyroid conditions.
  • Women who are pregnant or become pregnant who have hypothyroidism or who have not been properly diagnosed may experience complications with their pregnancy.
  • There are treatments for hypothyroidism that can effectively treat and manage the associated symptoms.

Signs and Symptoms of Hypothyroidism

There are many signs and symptoms of underactive thyroid disease, yet it is a serious health condition that requires a proper diagnosis by a doctor. When you come in for a consultation before beginning hypothyroid treatment with us, Dr. Pollack will discuss with your your health problems, concerns, your health history, symptoms, upon which he will determine potential hypothyroid treatment options. Most importantly, a simple blood test for Thyroid-Stimulating Hormone (TSH) is the proven way to know whether or not you have hypothyroidism.

Keep in mind that as thyroid levels are depleted and reach lower than average levels, the body’s cells are unable to get enough thyroid hormone to warm and energize the body, which causes the body and body function to slow down. Here are the most common symptoms and signs associated with hypothyroidism:

  • Feeling cold, trouble keeping warm, and heightened sensitivity to cold temperatures.
  • Excessive fatigue and lethargy.
  • Sudden and unexplained weight gain.
  • Unexplained mood swings and/or changes in regular behavior.
  • Forgetfulness and depression.
  • Dry skin as a result of cooler body temperatures.
  • Constipation.

Natural Hypothyroid Treatment in Long Island

Hypothyroidism can’t be cured, but there are many hypothyroid treatments available that help patients manage the disease. There are treatments such as Thyroxine (T4) Replacement which is a synthetic thyroid hormone treatment that is meant to replicate as closely as possible a proper functioning thyroid gland. There are risks, however, when patients take thyroid hormone, as too much or too little can cause health complications. If a patient takes too little thyroid hormone, there is usually no change in hypothyroidism; if a patient takes too much, they risk developing an overactive thyroid gland or hyperthyroidism. When someone gets too much thyroid hormone, the symptoms of hyperthyroid may manifest and include:

  • Onset of fatigue but with the inability to rest or sleep.
  • Nervousness, jitters, and shakiness.
  • Heightened appetite.
  • Feeling hot, trouble cooling off, and heightened sensitivity to heat.
  • Muscle weakness and shortness of breath.
  • Accelerated and/or sensation of an irregular heart rate.

While Thyroxine (T4) Replacement may be the right treatment for some, there are several natural alternative therapies to manage and control a patient’s hypothyroidism safely and efficiently. We have listed these natural hypothyroid treatments below:

Acupuncture Treatments

Acupuncture is an effective natural treatment which helps correct imbalances in the body through the placement and insertion of fine needles into specific points located throughout the body. It is a component of Chinese medicine that addresses and treats most medical illnesses and hormone imbalances. Acupuncture may reduce symptoms associated with hypothyroidism and may also support and improve normal thyroid function. For those seeking alternative hypothyroid treatments in Long Island, acupuncture may be the right treatment option, especially for patients who do not wish to go the with synthetic treatments.

Massage Therapy

Massage therapy is an essential aspect of the healing process which may improve your physical, mental, and spiritual health. Massage therapy is an effective, non-invasive treatment that involves applying controlled pressure and soothing hand, finger, and elbow techniques to areas of the body to provide short-term pain relief and to improve function. Some of the greatest benefits of massage therapy is that it reduces stress, relieves anxiety, and encourages relaxation. A soothing massage with gentle, gliding strokes encourages calmness of mind and stillness of body, which can improve mood and manage depression associated with hypothyroidism. Additionally, massage reduces cortisol and other stress hormones to help manage a healthy weight. Massage treatments also help patients achieve:

  • Reduced pain and discomfort
  • Decreased muscle and joint tension and stiffness
  • Improved circulation
  • Increased flexibility and range of motion
  • Improved mobility and function
  • Strengthened muscles and joints to combat weakness and fatigue

Yoga

Yoga has many valuable characteristics for maintaining and improving overall health. Yoga is  a practice which involves stretching and strengthening using fluid movements while applying breathing techniques and improving balance. While you will want to consult with your doctor first, there are several yoga poses that may help relieve many issues associated with the thyroid. Here are some yoga poses to consider:

  • Fish Pose (Matsyasana): This gentle pose stretches the neck which stimulates the thyroid gland. It is perfect for thyroid patients because it relieves muscle and joint stiffness and tension in the neck, shoulders, and chest which helps reduce stress. This can help balance a patient’s mood and manage depression associated with hypothyroidism.
  • Bridge Pose (Setubandhasana): Like the fish pose, the bridge pose also stretches the neck when performed correctly and successfully. As this pose stretches your neck muscles, it will also activate your thyroid gland, relax your muscles and joints, calm anxiety, and reduce stress. This is also a wonderful stretch to improve your digestive system.
  • Cobra Pose (Bhujangasana): This pose involves stretching and compression which can regulate the thyroid glands. As the chest expands, the muscles open up allowing you to stretch the muscles in the front of the neck. This pose improves circulation, encourages flexibility in the entire back, and strengthens the neck and shoulder muscles. All of these benefits contribute to reducing stress and anxiety, relieving muscle tension, and calming the mind.

There are many yoga poses that may relieve symptoms related to underactive thyroid disease, so discuss the options with your doctor before trying these.

Nutritional Counseling

Getting a grasp on your diet can improve your overall health, which may also help you manage your underactive thyroid disease. Working with our nutrition team can provide hypothyroid patients with lifestyle advice, teach them corrective exercises, and offer methods for improving immune function, reducing digestive stress, and maintaining a healthy weight.

Food Tips for Managing Hypothyroidism

  • Eat lots of fresh vegetables and fresh fruits, but try to avoid broccoli, cauliflower, and cabbage.
  • Eat healthy fats found in olive oil, avocados, nuts, fish, and flax seeds.
  • Be sure to include high-fiber foods in your diet.
  • Up your protein game.
  • Reduce and even eliminate added sugar, caffeine, and refined carbohydrates.
  • Try switching to a gluten-free diet.

Self-Healing

Along with yoga, there are other ways you can manage your hypothyroidism.

  • Meditation: Holistic healing is one way to address issues related to underactive thyroid and meditation is one way to achieve wellness. Meditation is a self-empowering healing method which may improve the mental and spiritual issues caused by hypothyroidism such as unexplained mood swings, depression, forgetfulness, and increased stress. Meditating allows a patient to experience calm and stillness in the comfort of their own home, which can improve relaxation, reduce stress, stimulate clarity and focus.
  • Practice Relaxation: Relaxation means different things to different people. For some, going for a walk, taking a drive, or surrounding themselves with nature encourage calmness. For others, reading a book, watching a movie, gardening, or spending time with a pet is the best way to relax. Once you find what relaxes you, implement it into your daily routine to help reduce stress and alleviate mental, emotional, and physical drain.
  • Journaling: Many find journaling to be a soothing method of healing because it allows them to express their thoughts in writing without feeling any judgement. Writing down your thoughts also offers a chance for self-reflection which contributes to self-growth.

Please feel free to contact the Pollack Wellness Institute to meet with our team and learn more about how to manage your hypothyroidism in our office and at home. Your health and wellness are our priority, so call us today and let us help you heal.