Draft copy. Last update: 7/7/21.
1) Quote from The Clinician's Handbook of Natural Medicine, #4.3 on this list, which has an excellent, detailed section on thyroid function, including information beyond what common lab tests and common physicians would indicate or mention: "Hypothyroidism affects virtually all cells and body functions. Severity of symptoms range from mild (not detectable with standard blood tests [subclinical hypothyroidism]) to severe, which can be life-threatening (myxedema)...From 1-4% of the adult population have moderate to severe hypothyroidism. Another 10-12% have mild hypothyroidism. The rate of hypothyroidism increases steadily with advancing age. The rate of hypothyroidism is 25% of adults and much higher in the elderly." Note: these authors (some of the top authors in the fields of nutrition-based medicine) feel that subclinical, low and moderate hypothyroidism are much more common than mainstream physicians commonly state.
3) Common recommendations by nutrition-oriented physicians and health researchers are to minimize goitrogens and increase iodine sources. Seaweeds are top sources of iodine, and nutrition focused restaurants and health centers often have shakers on the table of dulse and kelp. Guides to Seaweeds: 1, 2, 3. Nutrition information: 1, 2, 3. Examples of popular seaweed products: Dulse leaves, dulse flakes. One option would be to simply try some dulse daily for a few weeks, and see how one feels. It's a little expensive. Larger bags are available at a better price direct from the above two vendors. See suggested serving sizes and nutrition info links.
4) There are other common recommendations such as nutrient dense foods and nutritional supplements commonly used to support energy production -- multivitamin and mineral formula, additional calcium and magnesium (since they are too big for one tablet, and they are often only included in multivitamin/mineral one-per-day products in small amounts), Co-Q10, L-carnitine, NADH, smaller meals throughout the day to support digestion, and identify and avoid food sensitivities. Additional information on these topics can be found in each of the books on this page, including this one, Eating Clean for Dummies, which is an excellent overview of nutrition and health. It is by Jonathan Wright, MD, ND (Hon), who skipped 2.5 years of high school, before attending Harvard for his undergraduate studies, and another school for his MD studies (and his coauthor Linda Larson, who has authored many books on nutrition). The ND is for naturopathic doctor, the top degree available on nutrition-based medicine and natural healthcare. Dr. Wright has had his own lab, Meridian Valley Lab, on-site at his medical clinic, Tahoma Clinic, for 40+ years of testing everything in real-time to see what works, what does not work.
5) Food sensitivities and detoxification support are often considered contributing factors to many health concerns, and the some of the books on this page suggest related food sensitivity nutritional therapies, food sensitivity testing, and detoxification therapies, if indicated.
6) The author of Nutritional Medicine, the #2 book on the above book list, and a team of researchers examined all of the research on nutrition and other bio-compatible therapies in the major medical journal for the last 100 years (a 30 year project, while completing other research and work projects). 16,800 studies were included as references in the book. For thyroid function, over 50 related health conditions are listed. The information is somewhat written for medical professionals, but most of the content is also very readable for consumers. Here are the author's sample chapters from the book on a few other topics: health effects of vitamin C, migraines and periodontal disease and gingivitis.
7) For evaluation of thyroid function, a common, inexpensive method is to place a thermometer under your armpit for 10 minutes upon rising. Extended quote from another book, Encyclopedia of Natural Medicine, #1.1 on the above book list, by the authors of the first book mentioned above:
Taking Your Basal Body Temperature
Your body temperature reflects your metabolic rate, which is largely determined by hormones secreted by the thyroid gland. The function of the thyroid gland can be determined by simply measuring your basal body temperature. All that is needed is a thermometer.
1. Shake down the thermometer to below 95F and place it by your bed before going to sleep at night.
2. On waking, place the thermometer in your armpit for a full 10 minutes. It is important to move as little as possible. Lying and resting with your eyes closed is best. Do not get up until the 10-minute test is completed.
3. After 10 minutes, read and record the temperature.
4. Record the temperature for at least three mornings (preferable at the same time of day) and give the information to your physician. Menstruating women must perform the test on the second, third , and fourth days of menstruation. Men and postmenopausal women can perform the test at any time.
"Basal body temperature should be between 97.6 and 98.2F. Low basal body temperatures are quite common and may reflect hypothyroidism. High basal body temperatures (above 98.6F) are less common but may be evidence of hyperthroidism..."
8) For more advanced evaluation methods, there are Meridian Valley Lab's Thyroid Function Tests and other lab tests. But, you may find reviewing the information in some of the above books to be helpful. The information in the books summarize what you will likely hear during visits to the below list of healthcare practitioners.
9) Physicians with expertise in nutrition-based medicine, natural healthcare and the above therapies: naturopathic physicians, healthcare practitioners with training in functional medicine, experts in orthomolecular medicine, and physicians and healthcare practitioners who practice integrative medicine.
10) For additional online educational sources, see Natural Healthcare News Sources, or contact me, if you'd like a detailed research summary prepared from many of the top books in the fields of nutrition-based medicine, natural healthcare and integrative medicine.