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Patients often ask me whether they can cure hypothyroidism without hormone replacement therapy. Many are afraid of "terrible hormones", so they intend to use folk methods, risking their own health. Some patients even expect to stabilize their condition through diet. So, I'll tell you whether a person with low thyroid hormones can skip the medicines with such a diagnosis.

What methods people use to treat hypothyroidism without hormone replacement therapy

Basically, patients rely on the magical power of a correct diet combined with a healthy lifestyle. I will list some popular approaches to "treating" hypothyroidism without hormone replacement therapy:

  • Taking iodine. Be very careful with this!
  • Following high protein diets. People believe that the increased amount of protein will "speed up" the metabolism. However, you cannot expect that increased metabolism will certainly lead to stabilization of thyroid hormones.
  • Physical activity for the same purpose, that is to activate metabolism. I fully support moderate exercise. But, again, hardly aerobics will allow you to cure hypothyroidism without hormones.
  • hormone replacement therapy
  • Supplements. A number of substances, including zinc and selenium, can indeed positively affect metabolism and hormonal levels. But don't expect a miracle. Real diseases require real drugs.

When doctors can prefer treating hypothyroidism without hormonal therapy?

In fact, in rare cases, doctors do recommend going without pills. Particularly, a specialist can refuse hormone replacement therapy in case of serious contraindications to taking Synthroid. In addition, some patients develop hypothyroidism that is resistant to replacement therapy medications. Unfortunately, substitution therapy sometimes just doesn't work.

Finally, the doctor may recommend refraining from hormonal medications in case of mild thyroid hormone deficiency. In the future, if the disease progresses, you will still have to resort to traditional therapy. Actually, the treatment of hypothyroidism without hormone therapy today remains an undesirable, extreme method.

Author - Antonio C. Bianco, MD, PhD.