There’s a lot of misinformation online about hypothyroidism.
Our resources and guides summarises the best recommendations from both science-based and alternative medicine.
What is Hypothyroidism?
Hypothyroidism is also referred to as slow thyroid or an underactive thyroid.
It’s the medical diagnosis given when an individual’s thyroid gland is not producing enough thyroid hormone.
Estimates show that up to 8.5% of people from Western countries have hypothyroidism. That’s around 20 million Americans (1).
It’s caused by poor function of the gland itself, or by not adequately “switching on” properly. This can occur for several reasons (2, 3):
- Hashimoto’s disease (an autoimmune condition that is the most common cause of hypothyroidism)
- Removal of thyroid
- Radioiodine treatment
- Diseases and conditions that affect the pituitary gland.
Management of hypothyroidism basically involves replacing low thyroid hormones with thyroid hormone medication.
Left unmanaged it can lead to numerous health problems such as weight gain, fatigue, poor memory and hair loss.
Hashimoto’s occurs when your immune system mistakenly attacks and damages the thyroid gland.
This is what is known as an autoimmune disease.
Researchers still don’t understand why people develop autoimmune diseases, but it appears to be due to a range of factors.
Your genetics, environmental factors (including stress, infections or drugs), and the balance of gut bacteria (gut dysbiosis) are thought to be key triggers (4).
TSH (Thyroid Stimulating Hormone) is a hormone that controls thyroid function.
It typically fluctuates in line with the amount of thyroid hormone in your system. If thyroid hormone levels are low, then TSH secretion is increased. If high, TSH is reduced.
For this reason, TSH levels are used to make a hypothyroidism diagnosis.
It has been the gold standard diagnosis test for decades, however some believe that the references ranges are not accurate.
Our Top Hypothyroid Articles
All articles about Hypothyroidism
How to Lose Weight with Hashimoto’s Disease
Weight loss is hard enough—especially if you feel like your body is working against you.
Those with Hashimoto’s face an especially tough obstacle.
The disease is characterized by an underactive thyroid (hypothyroid), which can wreak havoc on your metabolism and lead to weight gain, fatigue and other nagging health problems.
But there are specific steps you can take to overcome this struggle.
Below, we discuss why it’s so hard to lose weight with Hashimoto’s and how exactly you can change your diet to help you start shedding those extra pounds.
Low Dose Naltrexone: Splitting Fact From Fiction
[Last updated 14th August, 2018]
Low Dose Naltrexone (LDN) is a small or microdose of the drug Naltrexone.
Over the past few years it has become very popular due to its supposed anti-inflammatory and anti-pain effects.
This article explains what LDN is, how it works and who could consider using it.[Discover More…]
Armour Thyroid vs. Synthroid: An Unbiased Look at The Evidence
[Last updated 7th March, 2023]
Armour Thyroid and Synthroid are medications used to treat hypothyroidism (an underactive thyroid).
Synthroid is the most commonly prescribed, however some claim Armour Thyroid produces better results.
So, which is the best treatment for you?
This article looks at the evidence for both to help you decide.[Discover More…]
Levothyroxine for Hypothyroidism: What You Need to Know
[Last updated 26th October, 2019]
Levothyroxine is the preferred medication of choice for treating an underactive thyroid (hypothyroidism).
It’s typically taken for a long period of time, if not for life, so there are many important things you should know.
This article looks at how it works, how much you need, and your alternatives if it doesn’t seem to be working.[Discover More…]
What is T4 and T3? A Simple Guide For The Non-Scientist
[Last updated 22nd March, 2019]
T4 and T3 are important hormones produced by the thyroid gland.
Unfortunately, several thyroid conditions can cause abnormal levels in the blood.
This article will explain the actions of T4 and T3 and how to interpret test results.[Discover More…]
Is Low Carb Bad For Hypothyroidism?
[Last updated 9th January, 2019]
Hypothyroidism is becoming increasingly more common in Western countries.
One of the main symptoms of this hormone disorder is a slower metabolism and gradual weight gain.
Low carb and ketogenic diets have emerged as popular approaches to weight loss, at least in otherwise healthy individuals. But there is some controversy over the safety of these eating patterns for hypothyroidism.
This article reviews the scientific evidence available.[Discover More…]