Maylin Rodriguez-Paez, RNthyroid controls the metabolic reactions in your body. If you have an overactive thyroid, your body is basically working in overdrive all of the time. This means that your body is constantly on full throttle, which can lead to symptoms such as anxiety, weight loss, insomnia, and muscle weakness.
Hyperthyroidism is difficult to treat and can be very frustrating. In an effort to slow things down, doctors will often prescribe thyroid-blocking drugs or even surgery if absolutely necessary.
However, this may not be enough to protect against some of the serious consequences that a high thyroid can inspire. This is where natural options may be able to help.
Although the natural suggestions below can’t replace your medications, they may help to relieve some of the troubling symptoms that people with an overactive thyroid experience on a day-to-day basis.
Whey Protein Protects MusclesLosing weight is typically thought of as a good thing but not with hyperthyroidism. In fact, a high functioning thyroid can actually cause your muscles to break down. As such, it’s important to eat the right foods, including enough dietary protein to protect your muscles.
If you have an overactive thyroid, you should first and foremost avoid junk food and make healthy food choices. Select nutritious foods that are good sources of protein, like cold water fish, nut butters, yogurt, seeds, eggs, nuts, and beans.
Generally, healthy people need about half a gram of protein per pound of body weight daily, which can be hard to get through diet alone. This is where protein supplementation can help. Just one serving of whey protein can provide as much as 17 grams.
Clinical studies show that whey protein enhances muscle mass and strength.1 It’s well-absorbed by the body and can be incorporated into many of your favorite beverages.
In short, people with hyperthyroidism need extra protein to maintain their body weight and muscle mass. For this reason, supplementing with whey protein is a very good idea.
L-Carnitine Preserves Muscle StrengthCarnitine is amino acid that our bodies need for muscle strength. It transports fuel to our muscles for energy production. People with hyperthyroidism often have carnitine deficiencies and weak muscles.2
Research shows L-carnitine may help to reverse muscle weakness in hyperthyroidism. Clinically effective dosages range between 2–4 grams daily.3 Consider adding it to your regimen for extra energy and strength.
Lemon Balm Supports a Calm MoodOne of the most troubling symptoms of hyperthyroidism is anxiety, which can make you feel irritable and restless. Fortunately, research shows that lemon balm can help support a calm mood by inhibiting the breakdown of gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), a neurotransmitter which calms the nervous system.4
In a clinical trial involving people with mild-to-moderate anxiety, participants were given lemon balm extract for 15 days. They were interviewed with the Free Rating Scale for Anxiety (FRSA), a tool which measures anxiety symptoms.
The results of the study were significant. Participants felt less anxious and even slept better at night. Remarkably, over 95% of the participants responded to the treatment.4
For this reason, you may want to consider supplementing with lemon balm to help with hyperthyroidism-inspired anxiety.
What You Need to KnowHyperthyroidism is difficult to treat, but it’s not impossible. With a balance of conventional treatments and the right nutrients, it can most certainly be managed.
Do you have an overactive thyroid? Have any specific supplements helped you overcome your symptoms? Please let us know in the comments below!
- Int J Sport Nutr Exerc Metab. 2006 Oct;16(5):494-509.
- Muscle Nerve. 2005 Sep;32(3):357-9.
- J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2001 Aug;86(8):3579-94.
- Med J Nutrition Metab. 2011 Dec;4(3):211-218. Epub 2010 Dec 17.
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