Regular daily exercise stimulates thyroid gland function and increases tissue sensitivity to thyroid hormone. Exercise is especially important for dieting overweight hypothyroid patients, as dieting can often put the body into a lower metabolic rate as the body tries to conserve fuel. Adjunctive regular exercise prevents the metabolic rate from dropping with the decrease in caloric intake.
Case History: Hypothyroidism
Eliza, 44-year-old woman, reports weight gain without an increase in dietary intake, fatigue, muscle weakness, frequent infections, poor healing skin lesions, and alopecia. Symptoms began about 6 months ago and over the last 5 weeks have increased in severity. She works 30 hours a week as a therapist, lives alone with her two cats, and loves to garden. She takes a daily multivitamin and mineral supplement plus 1000 mg daily of vitamin C.
Her maternal family history is positive for hypothyroidism, allergies, and depression, paternal history is positive for late-onset diabetes, stroke, and allergies. The patient reports a generally healthy diet of whole foods with light meats, eggs, tofu, and fish as her main proteins. She eats mostly organic vegetables and seasonal fruits along with whole grains breads and cereals. She eats some cheese and butter, but uses rice milk instead of cow milk. She drinks water, herb teas, and one cup of coffee each morning. She often skips breakfast, because she has no hunger in the morning.
She experiences sluggish bowels, often skipping a day or two each week and has frequent gas and bloating. She experiences recurrent sore throat and tonsillitis along with frequent sinus fullness and swollen glands in her neck. She claims to sleep well but wakes too early and often feels tired upon rising. She feels tired often in her day and experiences muscle fatigue. Her menstrual cycle length is every 32 days, with menses lasting 6 to 7 days and accompanied by heavy bleeding and clots for 2 days, and with dysmenorrhea on those first 2 days. Associated complaints include bloating, food cravings, irritability, weepiness, and depression for 5 to 7 days before her menses starts. She reports no children and never having been pregnant. She has no breast complaints and does a monthly self-breast exam. On physical exam, her BBT averages 96.4 over a 5-week period. Her normal blood pressure is 110/66, pulse 68, and she has reduced lower extremity reflexes. Her skin is slightly dry to the touch. Laboratory results demonstrate a thyroid-stimulating hormone of 17.04 (0.32-5.00), Free thyroxine of 0.8 (0.8-1.8), Total tri-iodothyronine of 94 (60-180), tri-iodothyronine uptake of 36 (22-37). Thyroid antibodies, antimicro-somal antibody of 400 (<100) and anti-thyroglobulin antibodies are normal. She was diagnosed with Hashimoto’s disease.
Tincture to be taken internally:
|Coleus||(Coleus forskohlii)||20 mL|
|Ashwagandha||(Withania somnifera)||20 mL|
|Bladderwrack||(Fucus vesiculosus)||15 mL|
|Licorice||(Glycyrrhiza glabra)||10 mL|
|Guggul||(Commiphora mukul)||10 mL|
|Nettles||(Urtica dioica)||10 mL|
|Reishi mushroom||(Ganoderma japonica)||10 mL|
|Ginger||(Zingiber offtcinalis)||5 mL|
Total: 100 mL
Dose: 5 mL morning and noon
Include, along with the balanced diet:
• High-quality multivitamin supplement
• Selenium 100 ug, three times daily with meals
• Zinc 15 mg daily
• Tyrosine 500 mg daily
• Apply rose hip-myrrh essential oil blend daily to the thyroid area to stimulate thyroid function.
Patient was evaluated 3 months after starting treatments with the following lab values: thyroid-stimulating hormone of 1.27, fT4 1.1, and fT3 4.0. The botanical medicine dose was adjusted to 3 mL am and noon. The patient was instructed to continue all else and follow up in 6 months.