The thyroid is a butterfly shaped gland that sits in the front of the neck. It is responsible for energy, metabolism, hormone regulation, weight loss and blood calcium levels. When your thyroid is not functioning properly, your body can experience various symptoms such as lethargy, weight gain, constipation, loss in appetite, low body temperature and sensitivity to the cold.
Iodine is necessary for the proper functioning of the thyroid. If your iodine level is low, then a goiter can develop. This is a condition where the thyroid swells up making breathing and swallowing difficult. Sea vegetables and seafood high in iodine can help treat this. Specific examples of sea vegetables include dulse, kelp, arame, kombu, nori, wakame, hijike spirulina. Kelp seaweed also is available in supplement form.
Amino acids are the building blocks of protein, but they are also important for other bodily functions. An amino acid particularly beneficial to the thyroid is L-tyrosine. This amino acid is a building block of thyroid hormone, it aids in weight loss and increases the levels of plasma in the body. This can be found in supplement form and also in foods like chicken, beef, fish and edamame.
Estrogen is a female dominant hormone that can have an effect on thyroid function. If levels of estrogen are elevated, then thyroid function can go down. Black cohosh and agnus cactus are two supplements that can balance out estrogen levels. As an added benefit, agnus cactus also supports the function of the pituitary gland.
There are various regular minerals and trace minerals that can be used as natural remedies for thyroid problems. They aid in the metabolic functions for which the thyroid is responsible. These minerals include manganese, copper, iron, zinc, calcium, thullium and terbium.
There are some foods that depress the thyroid's function. If your problem is an underactive thyroid, or hypothyroid, then certain foods should be avoided, including brussels sprouts, cabbage, broccoli, turnips, spinach, mustard greens and cauliflower.
Acupuncture is a type of Chinese medicine in which small needles are inserted into the skin at various meridian points. The idea is that there is a natural energy flow called "Qi" in the body. When this flow is disrupted by a blocked meridian, then illnesses and diseases occur, such as thyroid problems. According to the World Health Organization, thyroid problems are on the top 40 list of conditions that can effectively be treated with acupuncture.