Our mission is to provide the highest quality treatments, products and testing to promote

                   optimal health, beauty and longevity in a non-pharmaceutical environment
              Researched by The  Anti-Aging Clinic   "Aging Younger ģ"            


Natural Health





BACK to frequently asked                Hyperthyroidism and Hypothyroidism


The most common cause of an overactive thyroid is Graves Disease. Graves Disease is an auto-immune illness in which the immune system begins to attack parts of ones own body - in this case the thyroid gland.

Other causes of Hyperthyroidism include nodules on the thyroid gland, inflammation of the thyroid (thyroiditis) and over-treatment of hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid).

Hyperthyroidism may be treated with anti-thyroid drugs like methimazole and propylthiouracil (PTU) - which block the thyroid from producing thyroid hormone.

Although these drugs may quickly bring the thyroid into balance, they can have side effects such as itching, rash, fever, liver inflammation or a deficiency of white blood cells. Often the hyperthyroidism comes back after these drugs are discontinued.

For this reason, orthodox medicine often recommends that the thyroid be permanently put out of action by means of radioactive iodine treatment or surgical removal of all or part of the thyroid. While this can permanently solve the problem of hyperthyroidism, oftentimes the symptoms that accompany hypothyroidism still persist even after the treatment.

People who have had their thyroid gland removed or inactivated by radioactive iodine treatment usually have to take medication for hypothyroidism for the rest of their lives. Other medication, for example beta-blockers, may be prescribed to control some of the symptoms of hyperthyroidism.

If left untreated, hyperthyroidism can be a significant threat to health and may cause serious complications.

Mild hyperthyroidism often responds well to complimentary medicine and a holistic approach (including diet) and may help to calm down the thyroid and remove the need for radioactive iodine treatment or surgery. This should be discussed with your doctor, homeopath or naturopath before home treatment of overactive thyroid is begun.

1. Ice packs on the throat can help to reduce inflammation.

2. Certain foods can help to depress the thyroid. These include cruciferous vegetables (cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, brussels sprouts, spinach).

3. Stay away from refined foods, shellfish, wheat, diary products, caffeine and alcohol.

4. Avoid food and supplements containing iodine.

Bugleweed, helps to normalize the overactive thyroid. Lythospermic and other organic acids found in Bugleweed help to decrease the levels of certain hormones in the body - including TSH (thyroid stimulating hormone produced by the pituitary gland) and T4 (produced by the thyroid). It can also inhibit the binding of antibodies to the thyroid gland, helping to relieve the symptoms of Grave's Disease.

Lemon balm, is well-known for its soothing and calming properties and is widely prescribed by herbalists for the relief of anxiety and insomnia. Some studies have also suggested that Melissa also helps to soothe the overactive thyroid gland, particularly in the case of Grave's Disease. This herb may help to block the attachment of antibodies to the thyroid cells, as well as preventing TSH from stimulating the overactive thyroid.

Motherwort has traditionally been used to soothe heart palpitations as well as menstrual irregularity and anxiety, making it an excellent addition to this remedy.


Hypothyroidism, or underactive thyroid, develops when the thyroid gland fails to produce or secrete as much thyroxine (T4) as the body needs. Because T4 regulates such essential functions as heart rate, digestion, physical growth, and mental development, an insufficient supply of this hormone can slow life-sustaining processes, damage organs and tissues in every part of the body, and lead to life-threatening complications.


Hypothyroidism is one of the most common chronic diseases in the United States. Symptoms may not appear until years after the thyroid has stopped functioning and they are often mistaken for signs of other illnesses, menopause, or aging. Although this condition is believed to affect as many as 11 million adults and children, as many as two of every three people with hypothyroidism may not know they have the disease.

Nicknamed "Gland Central" because it influences almost every organ, tissue, and cell in the body, the thyroid is shaped like a butterfly and located just below the Adam's apple. The thyroid stores iodine the body gets from food and uses this mineral to create T4. Low T 4 levels can alter weight, appetite, sleep patterns, body temperature, sex drive, and a variety of other physical, mental, and emotional characteristics.

There are three types of hypothyroidism. The most common is primary hypothyroidism, in which the thyroid doesn't produce an adequate amount of T4. Secondary hypothyroidism develops when the pituitary gland does not release enough of the thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) that prompts the thyroid to manufacture T4. Tertiary hypothyroidism results from a malfunction of the hypothalamus, the part of the brain that controls the endocrine system. Drug-induced hypothyroidism, an adverse reaction to medication, occurs in two of every 10,000 people, but rarely causes severe hypothyroidism.

Hypothyroidism is at least twice as common in women as it is in men. Although hypothyroidism is most common in women who are middle-aged or older, the disease can occur at any age. Newborn infants are tested for congenital thyroid deficiency (cretinism) using a test that measures the levels of thyroxine in the infant's blood. Treatment within the first few months of life can prevent mental retardation and physical abnormalities. Older children who develop hypothyroidism suddenly stop growing.

Factors that increase a person's risk of developing hypothyroidism include age, weight, and medical history. Women are more likely to develop the disease after age 50; men, after age 60. Obesity also increases risk. A family history of thyroid problems or a personal history of high cholesterol levels or such autoimmune diseases as lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, or diabetes can make an individual more susceptible to hypothyroidism.

Causes and symptoms

Hypothyroidism is most often the result of Hashimoto's disease, also known as chronic thyroiditis (inflammation of the thyroid gland). In this disease, the immune system fails to recognize that the thyroid gland is part of the body's own tissue and attacks it as if it were a foreign body. The attack by the immune system impairs thyroid function and sometimes destroys the gland. Other causes of hypothyroidism include:


Radiation. Radioactive iodine used to treat hyperthyroidism (overactive thyroid) or radiation treatments for head or neck cancers can destroy the thyroid gland.


Surgery. Removal of the thyroid gland because of cancer or other thyroid disorders can result in hypothyroidism.


Viruses and bacteria. Infections that depress thyroid hormone production usually cause permanent hypothyroidism.


Medication. Nitroprusside, lithium, or iodides can induce hypothyroidism. Because patients who use these medications are closely monitored by their doctors, this side effect is very rare.


Pituitary gland malfunction. This is a rare condition in which the pituitary gland fails to produce enough TSH to activate the thyroid's production of T4.


Congenital defect. One of every 4,000 babies is born without a properly functioning thyroid gland.


Diet. Because the thyroid makes T4 from iodine drawn from food, an iodine-deficient diet can cause hypothyroidism. Adding iodine to table salt and other common foods has eliminated iodine deficiency in the United States. Certain foods (cabbage, rutabagas, peanuts, peaches, soybeans, spinach) can interfere with thyroid hormone production.


Environmental contaminants. Certain man-made chemicals-such as PCBs-found in the local environment at high levels may also cause hypothyroidism.

Hypothyroidism is sometimes referred to as a "silent" disease because early symptoms may be so mild that no one realizes anything is wrong. Untreated symptoms become more noticeable and severe, and can lead to confusion and mental disorders, breathing difficulties, heart problems, fluctuations in body temperature, and death.

Someone who has hypothyroidism will probably have more than one of the following symptoms:




decreased heart rate


progressive hearing loss


weight gain


problems with memory and concentration




goiter (enlarged thyroid gland)


muscle pain or weakness


loss of interest in sex


numb, tingling hands


dry skin


swollen eyelids


dryness, loss, or premature graying of hair


extreme sensitivity to cold




irregular menstrual periods


hoarse voice

Hypothyroidism usually develops gradually. When the disease results from surgery or other treatment for hyperthyroidism, symptoms may appear suddenly and include severe muscle cramps in the arms, legs, neck, shoulders, and back.

It's important to see a doctor if any of these symptoms appear unexpectedly. People whose hypothyroidism remains undiagnosed and untreated may eventually develop myxedema. Symptoms of this rare but potentially deadly complication include enlarged tongue, swollen facial features, hoarseness, and physical and mental sluggishness.

Myxedema coma can cause unresponsiveness; irregular, shallow breathing; and a drop in blood pressure and body temperature. The onset of this medical emergency can be sudden in people who are elderly or have been ill, injured, or exposed to very cold temperatures; who have recently had surgery; or who use sedatives or anti-depressants. Without immediate medical attention, myxedema coma can be fatal.




Diagnosis of hypothyroidism is based on the patient's observations, medical history, physical examination, and thyroid function tests. Doctors who specialize in treating thyroid disorders (endocrinologists) are most apt to recognize subtle symptoms and physical indications of hypothyroidism. A blood test known as a thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) assay, thyroid nuclear medicine scan, and thyroid ultrasound are used to confirm the diagnosis. A woman being tested for hypothyroidism should let her doctor know if she is pregnant or breastfeeding and all patients should be sure their doctors are aware of any recent procedures involving radioactive materials or contrast media.


The TSH assay is extremely accurate, but some doctors doubt the test's ability to detect mild hypothyroidism. They advise patients to monitor their basal (resting) body temperature for below-normal readings that could indicate the presence of hypothyroidism.




Natural or synthetic thyroid hormones are used to restore normal (euthyroid) thyroid hormone levels. Synthetic hormones are more effective than natural substances, but it may take several months to determine the correct dosage. Patients start to feel better within 48 hours, but symptoms will return if they stop taking the medication.


Most doctors prescribe levothyroxine sodium tablets, and most people with hypothyroidism will take the medication for the rest of their lives. Aging, other medications, and changes in weight and general health can affect how much replacement hormone a patient needs, and regular TSH tests are used to monitor hormone levels. Patients should not switch from one brand of thyroid hormone to another without a doctor's permission.

Regular exercise and a high-fiber diet can help maintain thyroid function and prevent constipation.


Alternative treatment


Alternative treatments are primarily aimed at strengthening the thyroid and will not eliminate the need for thyroid hormone medications. Herbal remedies to improve thyroid function and relieve symptoms of hypothyroidism include bladder wrack (Fucus vesiculosus), which can be taken in capsule form or as a tea. Some foods, including cabbage, peaches, radishes, soybeans, peanuts, and spinach, can interfere with the production of thyroid hormones. Anyone with hypothyroidism may want to avoid these foods. The Shoulder Stand yoga position (at least once daily for 20 minutes) is believed to improve thyroid function.




Thyroid hormone replacement therapy generally maintains normal thyroid hormone levels unless treatment is interrupted or discontinued.




Primary hypothyroidism can't be prevented, but routine screening of adults could detect the disease in its early stages and prevent complications.


Key Terms


Severe hypothyroidism that is present at birth.

Endocrine system

The network of glands that produce hormones and release them into the bloodstream. The thyroid gland is part of the endocrine system.


The part of the brain that controls the endocrine system.


A condition that can result from a thyroid gland that produces too little of its hormone. In addition to a decreased metabolic rate, symptoms may include anemia, slow speech, an enlarged tongue, puffiness of the face and hands, loss of hair, coarse and thickened skin, and sensitivity to cold.

Pituitary gland

Small, oval endocrine gland attached to the hypothalamus. The pituitary gland releases TSH, the hormone that activates the thyroid gland.

Thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH)

A hormone secreted by the pituitary gland that controls the release of T by the thyroid gland.

Thyroxine (T)

Thyroid hormone that regulates many essential body processes.

The thyroid gland is a small butterfly-shaped organ that lies flat across your windpipe. The hormones it produces control the rate at which the body metabolizes or uses energy. Their production is regulated by a feedback system. When blood levels of thyroid hormones decline, the hypothalamus (an organ in the brain) releases thyrotropin releasing hormone, which stimulates the pituitary (a tiny organ below the brain and behind the sinus cavities) to produce and release thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH). TSH then stimulates the thyroid gland to produce and/or release more thyroid hormones. Most of the thyroid hormone produced is thyroxine or T4. This hormone is relatively inactive, but it is converted into the much more active triiodothyronine orT3 in the liver and other tissues.

Hyperthyroidism produces too much hormone and Hypothyroidism does not produce enough.

The symptoms of a low body temperature are classic for low thyroid function. Body temperatures are normally lower in the morning, higher in the afternoon, and lower again in the evening. So if the temperatures are low during the day when they're supposed to be at their highest, that's better evidence that there's a problem.

If the thyroid gland produces excessive amounts of T4 and T3, then the person may have symptoms associated with hyperthyroidism, such as nervousness, tremors of the hands, weight loss, insomnia, and puffiness around dry, irritated eyes. In some cases, the patientís eyes cannot move normally and they may appear to be staring. In other cases, the patientís eyes may appear to bulge.

If the thyroid gland produces insufficient amounts of thyroid hormones, then the patient may have symptoms associated with hypothyroidism and a slowed metabolism, such as weight gain, dry skin, fatigue, and constipation. Blood levels of hormones may be increased or decreased because of insufficient or excessive production by the thyroid gland, due to thyroid dysfunction, or due to insufficient or excessive TSH production related to pituitary dysfunction.


Headaches & Migraines


Easy Weight Gain



Fluid Retention

Anxiety & Panic Attacks

Hair Loss

Poor Memory

Poor Concentration

Low Sex Drive

Unhealthy Nails

Dry Skin & Hair

Cold Intolerance

Low Motivation

Low Ambition

Insomnia - Heat Intolerance



Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Hives.....and many others

T4 makes up nearly all of what we call thyroid hormone, while T3 makes up less than 10%. Inside the thyroid gland, T4 is produced, bound to a protein called thyroglobulin, and stored. When the body requires thyroid hormone, the thyroid gland produces some T4 or T3 and/or releases stored T4 into circulation. In the blood, T4 is present in a free (not bound) and protein-bound form (primarily bound to thyroxine-binding globulin). The concentration of free T4 is only about 0.1% of that of total T4, but the free T4 is the portion of thyroxine that is active. T4 only becomes an active thyroid hormone when it is converted into T3 in the liver or other tissues.

If the thyroid gland does not produce sufficient T4 (due to thyroid dysfunction or to insufficient TSH), then the affected patient experiences symptoms of hypothyroidism such as weight gain, dry skin, cold intolerance, irregular menstruation, and fatigue. If the thyroid gland produces too much T4, the rate of the patientís body functions will increase and cause symptoms associated with hyperthyroidism such as increased heart rate, anxiety, weight loss, difficulty sleeping, tremors in the hands, and puffiness around dry, irritated eyes.

The most common causes of thyroid dysfunction are autoimmune-related Graves' disease causes hyperthyroidism and Hashimoto's thyroiditis causes hypothyroidism. Both hyper- and hypothyroidism can also be caused by thyroiditis (thyroid inflammation), thyroid cancer, and excessive or deficient production of TSH.

The thyroid gland makes T3 and T4. T3 is the active thyroid hormone and every cell in the body has molecular docking stations for T3. T4 is made by the thyroid, circulates and eventually ends up in the liver where it is converted to T3 and a tiny amount of a substance called Reverse T3 (RT3). RT3 has no action on the cell, except that it binds with the receptor sites, the tiny docking stations, and blocks the action of T3. However, in the normal situation, T3 dominates and RT3 is no problem. However, when a person experiences prolonged stress, the adrenal glands respond by manufacturing a large amount of cortisol. Cortisol inhibits the conversion of T4 to T3 and favors the conversion of T4 to RT3. If stress is prolonged, a condition called Reverse T3 Dominance occurs and persists even after the stress passes and cortisol levels fall. Apparently, RT3 itself acts like cortisol and blocks the conversion of T4 to T3.