A high TSH (thyroid-stimulating hormone) number indicates hypothyroidism, a condition where the body does not produce enough thyroid hormone. It causes a number of symptoms like fatigue, brittle hair and skin, weight gain and a number of other symptoms. Medication is needed to treat this condition. Certain natural therapies and self-care measures can complement medications and support their TSH-lowering effects.
Take thyroid hormone medications as directed. These medications are the only way to replace the inadequate amounts of thyroid hormone in the body. Taking too much or too little can produce a number of side effects. Even if you start to feel better, stick with suggested dosages.
Ensure proper absorption of your medication. Certain things can interfere like eating lots of soy or high-fiber foods, iron supplements, the medication Questran, aluminum hydroxide (common ingredient in antacids) and calcium supplements. Talk to your doctor if any of these things apply to you. He can advise if you need to stop taking any of these things or if you just need to monitor intake.
Talk to your doctor about natural hormone extracts made from pigs if you would rather avoid synthetic medication. Most doctors will suggest the synthetic form of thyroid hormone, but depending on your circumstances this might be an appropriate option. A prescription is required for these as well. This treatment is not the same thing as the glandular extracts available in health stores. These supplements are not appropriate for your condition.
Do not drink or smoke. Avoid or minimize caffeine consumption
Stay away from foods that can negatively impact thyroid function in people with thyroid problems. They include broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, kale, spinach, turnips, peanuts, linseed, pine nuts, millet, cassava and mustard greens.
Consider supplementing with natural substances that promote thyroid health. The University of Maryland Medical Center suggests the following supplements. Do not use them without talking to your doctor first. L-tyrosine (500 mg three times a day) is good for general thyroid health. Coleus (100 mg three times a day) and guggul (500 mg three times a day) support low-thyroid function.
Try acupuncture. It might help correct hormonal imbalances, including thyroid problems.