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Healing Thyroid Disease Naturally


Hypothyroidism is one of the most common medical conditions diagnosed in the U.S. Thyroid medications account for the 4th most commonly prescribed drug. It costs patients more than 4 billion annually to treat, while the disease effects an estimated 13 million plus people(Data source here). All of this medication has not been a viable solution. Healing thyroid disease naturally requires that you understand some basic fundamentals. In my experience there are two primary types of thyroid dysfunction:

  1. Autoimmune disease (AKA – Hashimoto’s)
  2. Nutritional Deficiency problems that contribute to an inability to produce, regulate, convert, or activate thyroid hormone.

The Thyroid Problem

Some of the most common symptoms of inadequate thyroid hormone include: fatigue, weight gain, bloating, dry hair and skin, joint pain, elevated cholesterol, sleep disruption, infertility, depression, and cold hands and feet. Traditional diagnosis is made based on a set of lab tests typically ordered by a general doctor, internist, or endocrinologist. This work up includes:

  • TSH (thyroid stimulating hormone)
  • T4
  • T3

One of the many problems with this approach is that it is not comprehensive. If your TSH comes back high or if your T4 and T3 come back low, the doctor tends to diagnose you with hypothyroid disease. Unfortunately, this approach often times leads to treatment with medications without further investigation. Keep in mind one fundamental point – Having a low thyroid diagnosis and taking medicine does not fix the problem. Ultimately, the goal of the doctor and patient is to identify the reason the thyroid levels are abnormal. And this, my friends, requires a fundamental knowledge of nutrition and biochemistry.

Lets take a deeper look at some of the common things that can contribute to low thyroid hormone production so that you can heal your thyroid disease naturally:

  • Nutritional Deficiencies (vitamins, minerals, etc)
  • Gluten induced autoimmune response
  • Excessive exposure to the halide elements – chlorine, bromine, and fluoride
  • Eating massive quantities of goitrogenic foods (i.e. soy, peanut, cassava)

Adequate Nutrition is Crucial for a Healthy Thyroid

The diagram below illustrates some very important nutrient-thyroid relationships. Vitamins and minerals help drive the chemistry behind the production of the different thyroid hormones. They also help these hormones communicate with the DNA and other organs to improve and regulate metabolism.

Thyroid and nutrition

The following is a list of nutrients that your doctor should measure when evaluating your thyroid:

  • Protein – most Americans eat too many carbohydrates and not enough protein. Protein is absolutely necessary to form the backbone of thyroid hormone (particularly the amino acid in protein called tyrosine). Protein is also responsible for carrying thyroid hormone through the blood stream to your tissues.
  • Magnesium – this minerals help your body make TSH (the hormone made in your brain that tells your thyroid gland to make T4).
  • Zinc – like magnesium, this mineral also helps your body make TSH
  • Selenium – this mineral is responsible for converting T4 (inactive thyroid hormone) into T3 (active thyroid hormone).
  • Iodine – this mineral helps the body build T4 (the hormone that doctors commonly measure that floats through the bloodstream). The “4” in T4 represents how many molecules of iodine are present.
  • Manganese – is crucial for thyroid hormone production and also works as an antioxidant to protect the gland from free radical damage.
  • Vitamin C – is extremely important for helping deliver iodine into T4
  • Vitamin B2 – is extremely important for helping deliver iodine into T4
  • Vitamin B3 – is extremely important for helping deliver iodine into T4
  • Vitamin D – allows T3 to communicate to your DNA to regulate metabolism
  • Vitamin A – works in conjunction with vitamin D to help T3 to communicate to your DNA to regulate metabolism
  • Vitamin B12 – one of the most common B vitamin deficiencies, B12 deficiency can mimic low thyroid.

Healing Thyroid Disease Naturally

Gluten and Your Thyroid

Gluten sensitivity contributes to hypothyroidism in a number of different ways. Gluten induced gastrointestinal damage is one of the main mechanisms of action. It is this mechanism that leads to a domino like effect. The first step in this process is the creating of intestinal hyper permeability (AKA – Leaky Gut). When the intestinal barrier is compromised, a cascade of inflammation, immune over stimulation, and molecular mimicry can ensue. Over time these processes can cause an autoimmune thyroid reaction often times referred to as Hashimoto’s disease.

Thyroid and gluten hydra

Gluten induced gastrointestinal damage can contribute to poor digestion and absorption of thyroid critical nutrients. Gluten can also alter normal gut bacteria. These bacteria play a crucial role in thyroid hormone conversion. Many doctors will argue that no research exists between gluten and thyroid disease. They are wrong. The image below is taken from a quick search in the National Library of Medicine database.

Multiple medical research studies show a connection between gluten and thyroid disease…

gluten and thyroid disease Dr. Osborne

Thyroid Problems Linked to Halide Exposure

The halides chlorine, bromine, and fluoride all compete with iodine for uptake into your thyroid. Over exposure to these toxic elements is linked to an increased risk for hypothyroidism, but also to thyroid cancers. Avoidance of excessive exposure to halides is recommended to maximize thyroid function. Below are common sources of exposure.

Chlorine is typically found in: plastics, pesticides, paper products, unfiltered drinking water, bath water, swimming pools, processed salt products, and Splenda (sucralose). Water filters on your drinking water and bathing water are recommended.

Bromine/Bromide is typically found in: brominated flour products, citrus flavored soft drinks, chemical additive used in municipal water purification, pesticides, dyes, leaded fuel additive, brominated flame retardants: Carpet, upholstery, electronics, mattresses; bromocriptine (hyperprolactinemia), and OTC antitussives (cough medicines).

Fluorine/Flouride is typically found in: Toothpaste; fluoridated drinking water; infant formula; processed cereals; non-organic grape juices; wine; beer; soda; tea (higher in decaf); glass etching; Freon/refrigerants; cockroach insecticide fluoridated salt; non-stick coatings, Medications: Anesthetics: (Enflurane, Isoflurane & Sevoflurane); fluconazole; fluoroquinolone antibiotics, and linezolid antibiotics, Prozac/fluoxetine, efavirenz, fluorouracil, flurbiprofen, fenfluramine, cerivastatin, paxil, fluvoxamine, astemizole (allergy), cisapride, fluvastatin, fluocinonide & fluocinolone (topical corticosteroids); fluticasone & flunisolide; fluocinolone acetonide (intravitreal implant); fludarabine (antiviral); fludrocortisone; antimalarial drugs.

Foods That Contribute to Goiter (Thyroid Enlargement)

There are a number of foods that can impact thyroid hormone production. These are typically referred to as goitrogenic foods, because when eaten in large quantities, they can cause a goiter to form. The following is a list of foods that have these properties. Keep in mind that just because a food is goitrogenic doesn’t mean you cannot eat it. Cooking them reduces this effect by as much as 70-80%.

  • Soy (cooking does not reduce the goitrogenic effects of soy)
  • Brussels Sprouts
  • Cabbage
  • Cassava
  • Broccoli
  • Kale
  • Spinach
  • Flax
  • Peanuts

The Labs You Should Have Your Doctor Analyze to Thoroughly Evaluate Your Gland

  1. TSH, T3 and T4, plus free T3 and T4
  2. Reverse T3
  3. Iodine loading test (urine test)
  4. Spectracell (vitamin and mineral deficiency blood test)
  5. Thyroid antibody testing – includes TPO and anti-thyroglobulin antibody testing
  6. Genetic testing for gluten sensitivity
  7. Food allergy testing
  8. Also consider measuring gut bacteria as well as ruling out chronic exposure to heavy metals (i.e. mercury and lead), and environmental molds.

Healing Thyroid Disease Naturally

To overcome hypothyroid disease naturally, you have a lot to consider. It is highly recommended that you develop a relationship with a functional medicine doctor who is experienced and can help guide you, and…

If you want more help with the gluten sensitivity, click below…

Heal Your Thyroid


If you have had a recovery from thyroid problems by addressing your diet and nutrition, leave a comment below. Your story might help change a life! Knowledge is power.

Always looking out for you,

Dr. Osborne – The Gluten Free Warrior


If you think that this information will help someone you love suffering with a thyroid problem, please forward this along.

37 Responses

  1. I started thyroid meds (for a slow thyroid) almost 4 years ago….
    I really didn’t want to but did not know then what I know now about healing the body with food and natural remedies.

    I can’t just stop taking them, but I would really want ro get rid of them…
    Could I still??? How??
    I’m on a 100 mc dose…

  2. Dear Doctor, I’ve been on my cleansing diet for 2 1/2 years now and am still not well. My doctor told me to avoid iodine because it interferes with the thyroid getting well. I rarely use salt, but for the few occasions I do use it, I bought a Kosher salt because it eliminates iodine. After reading this page about thyroid, I feel confused. Can you explain the error? Thanks, Becky Downs

    1. Becky,
      If you have been at this for 2 1/2 years, you might consider a different doctor. It is hard to say. Taking iodine is not always bad for those with autoimmune thyroid disease. It is always a case by case basis. Using the appropriate labs is important in determining this. Has your doctor run the labs listed above? If not, have him/her start there.

  3. I found out I had a goiter on my thyroid gland about 2 years ago, was sent to ENT doctors, both wanted to do surgery, had scans done every 6 mos. and started getting more small growths, I choose no surgery and started seeing a homeopathic type doctor last year. He did alot of different tests(some of with is mentioned in this article). He changed my eating habits and put me on natural herbs, vitamins, etc. The small growths disappeared, and the 1 larger one had stabilized after only 4 mos. of treatment. I was very surprised but happy.I only have a scan once a year now and I feel positive a cure is in site.

  4. Dr. Osborne please answer my question! I have been taking a compounded desiccated thyroid medication that is prescribed my doctor since I had my thyroid removed 5 years ago. I moved out of the state and he will no longer fill my prescription as I haven’t found a new doctor that will prescribe natural thyroid medication. My question is I bought Nutri Meds porcine powder and was wondering if that will be comparable with my prescribed medication. Thanks in advance!!

  5. My 14yr old daughter has Graves’ disease diagnosed at age 5. We struggle to keep it in balance. Are you saying the same deficiencies that apply to hypothyroidism could also apply to hyper? For starters, a gluten free diet? Thanks for the articles you put out they are so helpful!

  6. when I refused to take a synthetic thyroid medication, I tried and I have good results from a product of raw tissue concentrates made from toxin free lyophilized glands from animals (bovine)and freeze dried in capsule form. My physician approves after good test results.
    I found this product at a health food store.
    I am elderly and expect I have been gluten intolerant for many years since lots of family members are also. I started eating gluten free about 6 months before I spoke with my doctor so I have not been tested.

  7. Dr. Osborne,
    You mention being tested for mercury and lead and other heavy metals. I was tested a year ago and found that I had a huge, over the top amount of lead in my system! I have been undergoing chelation to remove heavy metals from my system since last January and feel like I am making progress, however I won’t know for sure how much progress until I get tested again! The test is $260.00 and that coupled with the detox protocol I am on, my expenses are high! I would just like to have you address the problem of lead in the system in adults. There is a lot of information for children and problems with lead but not much on the effects on adults and what to do to remove it from the system. (There is a lot of info on the dangers of mercury.) I would really like to see what you can tell us about lead!

  8. Dr Osborne,
    Please could you address the problem of lead in the system of adults, how to remove it naturally using supplements and other natural means. As Norene Mackley in the previous post has stated there is a lot of info on mercury but not on the removal of lead. Is it removed in the same way? I know selenium mimics mercury so takes up those sites in the body, so one needs to supplement selenium. I have heard calcium mimics lead. I would love to hear what you say about lead, I’m sure I speak for others too.

    To remove mercury apart from selenium and vitamin c, I used cilantro just before meals and chlorella half hour before meals. Then i also used calcium montmorillionite clay, what should one do for lead?
    Thankyou 🙂

    1. Hi Mike,
      I am actually getting ready to put up a heavy metal chelation formula. This will be available online shortly. It addresses lead effectively, as lead is more common in my experience than mercury. You can call my office at 281-240-2229 if you don’t want to wait. The product is called Chelemax.
      All the best,
      Dr. Osborne

  9. Dr Osborne, Kimberly – about 4 years ago my hair was falling out I was exhausted. I would regularly run a low fever at night and I could see a generalized swelling on my neck. I also had an almost constant dull earache and nasal congestion. I had repeatedly, through the years had a normal TSH. I went to the doctor for my earache and the PA I saw said I looked like I had thyroid issues and ordered tests. I came back with normal TSH and positive Hashimotos…she started me on 25mcg levothyroxine at the same time I picked up Dr Bloom’s book on autoimmune and started some of the protocols. My hair grew back and my energy soared…I also had food sensitivity tests done with Immunolabs – The results came back to 37 foods of delayed IGG senstivity. I did the 90 day elimination diet. And I think that really improved my health. Next year, I took the Immunolabs test again. This time it was 36 foods, but they all were only +1 in results versus the +3s and +4 that I had before. Meanwhile I am doing good. My thyroid swelling went down and TSH test continue normal. But again I knew I was having inflammation again and I took the LRA/Elisa test after hearing about it on one of the Summits. Fantastic! It turns out Yellow 5 was what I reacted to the worst. I don’t eat yellow 5, but it turned out to be in my lipstick and is in most makeup. I also reacted to all the dairy family and white rice (I don’t eat white rice but I found it in some supplements as filler.) I reacted to anchovy -again found in my fish oil. People with autoimmune can develop food sensitivities to foods or supplements or chemicals that they frequently use….This is a bit long-winded, but here is the point I intended to write about. Since I have discontinued my multivitamims which had iodine in them I wondered if I might need iodine. So one day last week, I rubbed a couple of drops of 2% iodine on my skin. The next day I took ONE, yes only one drop in water. That night I felt miserable…My heart had one of those beat out of your chest moments and it has taken me a few days to recover. I just picked up Dr. Kharrazian’s book “Why do I still have thyroid symptoms” and he says that iodine to hashimoto’s can be like gas to a flame and yes I experienced that. Now since my TSH is normal I am quitting the 25mcg of levothyroxine that I have been taking for maybe 4 years. I’ve looked online for what to expect and hope that by supporting my thyroid I can get off thyroid without side effects. ANY SUGGESTIONS OR HELP WILL BE APPRECIATED.

    1. Hi Gloria,
      You might look into ruling out heavy metal burdens. In my experience, most with Hashimoto’s respond best avoiding all grain, dairy, GMO foods, and sugar. Consider having your nutritional levels checked as well. Often times vitamin and mineral deficiencies can be triggers for autoimmunity.
      All the best,
      Dr. O

  10. thank you Dr 0.I really appreciate your advice. I live in a really small town in South Dakota and I’m not sure where I would find a practitioner. I already avoid all GMO and try to eat organic oh I forgot to say I also reacted to chlorodane which is a banned pesticides that can be still found in soils. I may have to look in Denver. The other blood tests I’ve had done I actually ordered online from the labs so thank you again so much

  11. A modern problem with Levothyroxine is that many brands contain wheat, which likely complicates the autoimmune thyroid issue. Natural products would be much more appropriate. Also, there are several Naturopaths in South Dakota.

    1. That is true. I was switched to Tyrosint which has a gel or oil like capsule. It works much better for me but it is still levothyroxine, synthetic T4.

  12. I love all the foods that have probably contributed to my goiter; I was back in nursing school under a great deal of stress and of course, lacking sleep. I also work night shifts.

    Last year 10 nodules were found in my thyroid during a scan. My husband and I “homestead” so to speak, growing and hunting our own food and we add very little salt to our food we put up.

    I started to wonder if I could be iodine deficient and started consuming pink Himalayan salt. I had another scan scheduled for the purpose of obtaining biopsies and all the nodules were gone! I still, however have a swollen thyroid gland and wondering what my next steps should be. I do feel great; gave up grains, beans and sugar over a year ago which took away severe joint pains and I lost 40# as well. I have lost lots of my hair, but it does seem like it’s slowed down a bit.

  13. How do I stop my latest Hashimoto’s attack? I’ve been upping the dose of my thyroid meds a quarter grain at a time based on symptoms including body temperature. Once I finally feel human again, the autoimmune attack continues and the next day I’m miserable again and have to up the dosage again. This has been going on like this every other day for several weeks. My symptoms are severe. I understand that in a Hashi’s attack the immune system can also attack the brain, not just the thyroid, and I feel this is happening, as my brainstem swells, causing migraine-like headache, intense nausea/vomiting, and sometimes heart palpitations and shortness of breath. Each time I catch up with thyroid meds dosing things even out, then the next day body temp is low again, I have fatigue, depression, and nausea and headache return. Have been taking Low-Dose Naltrexone to try to prevent autoimmune episodes, but it doesn’t seem to have helped. What else can I do to stop my immune system? I should mention my thyroid problems are caused by molecular mimicry with Lyme Disease bacteria, so I don’t know if something the bacteria are doing is the trigger or not, but I need a way to stop this episode so I can catch up with medication dosing and feel human and eat food!

    1. If you are taking LDN you might have to reduce your thyroid medication. Those symptoms sound like hyperthyroid which I have had in the past. Killer headaches, heart palpitations, out of breath…. Get your tsh tested or call your doctor!

  14. I’ve been diagnosed hashimoto’s. Been on levo for 15 years. Recently began having internal trembling/shaking and almost constant heart palpitations. Can this be thyroid related?

    1. Angela,
      Levo most likely has corn in it. Check it to make sure. If it does, you should consider compounding it.
      The symptoms you are describing resemble hyperthyroid. Your levo dose may be too strong. You should check in with your prescribing doctor. Let us know how it goes.
      All the best,
      Dr. O

  15. In 2014, after finishing the third rep of a hills session, I felt completely exhausted in a way well beyond fatigue from the training session. I spent the next 2 days in bed completed exhausted. I went to the doctor who told me I had depression and wrote me a script for medication. I felt like this wasn’t the right diagnosis so I went to another doctor for a second opinion who told me my adrenal glands were burnt out from chronic stress. I was pretty busy at the time – 4 kids (3 of which were under the age of 4), a personal training business and teaching full-time as a high school psychology teacher.

    I went to see a naturopath as well out of interest who was much more holistic. He told me to eliminate gluten (even though we didn’t test for an intolerance) to see how I felt. After just one week of eating only vegetables, meat, fish and chicken, I felt amazing.

    I’ve sporadically eaten foods containing gluten since and when I eat those foods high in wheat, such as bread, I usually end up with trembling arms and hands almost immediately, I feel dizzy and the following day I sometimes get heart palpitations, which seem regular but include a real heavy beat. These usually last 30-60mins.

    I still eat corn, rice and other less common gluten containing foods and I don’t get a noticeable reaction to these. However, I just listened to Dr Peter Osborne’s interview on The School of Greatness podcast with Lewis Howes for the second time and I’m about to eliminate these from my diet too. I didn’t realise they contain gluten and that there are over one thousand forms of gluten. I was shocked to learn that foods are only considered to contain gluten if they contain gliadin – just one form of gluten.

  16. I have had a hypothyroid for 6 years and been on a small dose of levothyroxin (25 mcg) to maintain. My blood word showed no allergies, but a nutritionist suggested I cut out gluten as a means to assist in weight loss for stubborn pounds I could not lose. After going gluten free I feel amazing, less bloated, more energy, etc I have done some research that seems to show that a gluten sensitivity could produce a false-positive for hypothyroid antibodies. (Which says to me- that maybe I haven’t been hydro-thyroid all along and it was a disguised gluten intolerance). What would you recommend for an action plan of testing this? I have been GF 8 months… But thyroid is testing normal due to still taking levothyroxin. Should I reduce dose or come off it to test in another month or 2 to see any abnormalities?

    1. Kristen,
      Gluten does not create a false positive for thyroid antibodies. The antibodies are real, and are caused by gluten exposure. That’s why going gluten free helps you so much. In essence, gluten sensitivity is a cause of autoimmune thyroid disease. If you want testing, look into having gluten sensitivity gene testing performed to confirm that your issues is gluten vs. pesticides, mycotoxins, or other chemicals frequently found in modern grain. Here is a link to learn more about this <<<
      I cannot give you advice on your medicine. Instead, I would recommend that you find a functional medicine doctor familiar with thyroid disease.
      All the best,
      Dr. O

  17. I have recently purchased the genetic testing kit for Gluten Sensitivity, I and all of my siblings have Hashimotos, our mother was a type 1 diabetic diagnosed in the 1930s and my daughter is type 1 diabetic and celiac. I am 51 and for the last 5 years battling IBS and my sister severe excema on her hands. Due to chronic atb use we both have been trying our best to control candida overgrowth with altered mentation being our most debilitating sign. We each have multiple food sensitivities based on IgG testing. In considering going 100% Grain free, I know my brand of thyroid meds Eltroxin has cornstarch as a filler, which brands are completely grain free?

  18. My daughter showed typical gluten issues when younger. 5 yrs old…bloat, low energy, smelly digestion etc. As I was confirmed coeliac (we suddenly discovered it was familial)we eventually twigged to removing gluten from her diet with good result mostly. There have been other health complicating factors in later years due to immunisation reactions …which supports Dr Osbornes claims that those with existing auto immune issues are more susceptible to vaccination reactions. I would urge anyone with children who have known auto immunity to carefully consider the need for vaccinations.
    After 8 years of chronic fatigue which leaves her semi functional, poor liver function, chronically high rT3, various sensitivities, and a slew of unsuccessful (but much richer) doctors in her wake………I am now beginning to see that perhaps gluten free will not be as far as we need to go…..just got to convince her to go grain free. And Dairy free. I am off to the recipe pages….fingers crossed can find enough things to which she is not sensitive and ‘tastefully’ agreeable! 🤔

  19. I think I may have a thyroid condition as I have had fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue . I went to a biogenic doctor to be on hormone creme progesterone, Testerone, low amount of estrogen in it and DHEA cream and have been using it for 3 months but it has added to my fatigue, depression and now seem to wake up almost everyday with a mild sore throat which begins in the late evening. I am on a Organic certified diet and eat barely no sugar or carbs but take organic certified vitamins just began this a few weeks ago. However yesterday right after tanning I became really nauseated and barely made it home before throwing up . I decided to stop taking the biogenic natural hormone creme as it appears to be making my symptoms and anxiety worse . I also suffer from chronic pain and inflammation in my foot as it swells up from plantar facisitis and achilles heel and a large bone spur. I was going to have my 2nd foot surgery but due to my so called adrenal fatigue my doctor called it off . So I tried organic certified b vitamins and organic turmeric with black pepper and just started a product I found online called DEToxadine . The first day I took 3 drops and put them in my mouth. I felt a sense of well being and alot of energy and my anxiety felt almost gone. However upon trying it the next day I felt my anxiety and really wired out feeling and couldnt do anything and just started this about a week ago. Is Detoxadine good for your thryoid as it is suppose to be a medical grade of iodine as I am trying everything to relieve my chronic fatigue, chemical sensitivitys and very bad anxiety as lately I have a hard time wanting to leave the house but it is winter and I do suffer from seasonal depression but I am so tired and feeling pain all over I get anxious thinking about going tanning. Do you think I may have a thryoid problem although whenever they take it they say its on the low end but stil normal .

  20. Thank you for the info on this site. It has helped me to ask more questions at my GP and to go for more tests, over my thyroid problem.

  21. I have had Hashimoto’s disease (hypothyroidism) for 11 years. Before being diagnosed I felt like death! I started out on Levoxyl 50 mcg. And eventually needed, over the course of time, up to 250 mcg. It made me felt better, however, my symptoms did not go away, joint pains, fatigue, weight gain, brain fog, rough and dry skin, constipation, depression etc. After much research I started on Hypothyroidism herbal formula i ordered from NewLife Herbal Clinic, i followed the treatment procedures faithfully for 8 weeks. It made a huge difference! It eliminated all my symptoms including my terrible joint pains. Go grain free of hypothyroidism!, Contact NewLife Herbal Clinic via their official website (Visit www . newlifeherbalclinic. com or email info@ newlifeherbalclinic .com). This NewLife hypothyroidism herbal formula helped me tremendously.

  22. I had have HASHIMOTO’S (Hipotiroidismo taking synthroid for probably 30 years and drs. Changing ml. Now lm taking 0.75 but all these years had depression ( l never want to take pills for depression ) but affect my moods when they change the dose l lost half of my hair. Should l stop or not lm 72 years change my food could help.or not?

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