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Ashwagandha for Hypothyroidism and Hashimoto’s Disease

May 10, 2023 | Adrenal Health, Blog, Herbal Remedies, Thyroid Health

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Ashwagandha for Hypothyroidism and Hashimoto’s Disease

The uses of ashwagandha for hypothyroidism and Hashimoto’s Disease have been known for a long time.  Ashwagandha, also known as Withania somnifera, is a powerful ADAPTOGENIC HERB that has been used for centuries in Ayurvedic medicine to help support and balance the body’s natural systems. In recent years, scientific research has shown that Ashwagandha has numerous benefits for various health conditions, including subclinical hypothyroidism and Hashimoto’s disease.

SUBCLINICAL HYPOTHYROIDISM is a condition where the thyroid gland does not produce enough hormones, but the levels are still within the normal, reference range. In other words, they are not in the FUNCTIONAL, or OPTIMAL range.  HASHIMOTO’S disease is an AUTOIMMUNE disorder that affects the thyroid gland and leads to hypothyroidism.

Both of these conditions can cause a variety of symptoms, including fatigue, weight gain, depression, and anxiety.

An eye-opening study we’ll be covering in this article is titled:

 

“Efficacy and Safety of Ashwagandha Root Extract in Subclinical Hypothyroid Patients: A Double-Blind, Randomized Placebo-Controlled Trial.”

This study is of high quality, as it is double-blind, randomized, and placebo-controlled, which means that the results are reliable and accurate. The study included 50 subjects, all of whom had an elevated TSH level (between 4.5 and 10) but normal T4 and T3 levels.

A bit of biochemistry…

 

What is TSH (Thyroid Stimulating Hormone)?

TSH stands for Thyroid Stimulating Hormone. It is actually a hormone that is secreted by the BRAIN (the PITUITARY GLAND, actually). As the name suggests, when your thyroid is a bit weak, or sluggish, then the brain responds by INCREASING the amount of TSH. So, on a regular blood test, a HIGH TSH (over 4.5) is indicative of LOW THYROID (HYPOTHYROIDISM)

The subjects were divided into two groups, one taking Ashwagandha root extract (300mg twice a day) and the other taking a placebo pill. The study lasted for 8 weeks, during which the subjects’ TSH, T4, and T3 levels were tested at the beginning of the study, at 4 weeks, and at 8 weeks. The results of the study were impressive.

The group taking Ashwagandha had a significant increase in T3 levels by 18.6% at 4 weeks and 41.5% at 8 weeks, and T4 levels increased by 9.3% at 4 weeks and 19.6% at 8 weeks. TSH levels, which indicate an improvement in thyroid function, decreased by -12.5% at 4 weeks and -17.4% at 8 weeks.

Only one person in the Ashwagandha group experienced mild and temporary side-effects.

The study’s authors concluded that Ashwagandha normalized thyroid function in subclinical hypothyroid subjects to a significant degree, and treatment was safe and tolerable. However, they noted the study’s limitations, including its small sample size and short duration of only 8 weeks. A larger and longer study would provide more definitive results.

 

How Ashwagandha Works

Ashwagandha is an ADAPTOGEN that helps stabilize biochemical processes in the body, making it beneficial for ADRENAL stress, fatigue, depression, anxiety, inflammation, and regulating the immune system.

It has been shown in previous studies to improve T4 and T3 levels in animals and humans. In a human study on those with BIPOLAR DISEASE, Ashwagandha improved TSH, T4, and T3 levels. Ashwagandha was even able to reverse hypothyroidism caused by the drug Metformin.

INFLAMMATION and STRESS inhibit thyroid function by suppressing the hypothalamic-pituitary-thyroid axis. CORTISOL, the stress hormone, also inhibits T4 and T3 production.

Ashwagandha helps to lower excess cortisol levels, allowing thyroid hormone levels to improve. It is also an excellent anti-inflammatory agent that inhibits NF-kappaB, which is involved in inflammation and autoimmune disease.

Ashwagandha is one of the most preferred herbal medicines for Hashimoto’s disease used by traditional herbalists and Ayurvedic practitioners for centuries. However, there are some caveats to consider before using Ashwagandha for Hashimoto’s disease.

Ashwagandha is a PREBIOTIC that can stimulate certain bacteria in some individuals, which can have an effect on the IMMUNE SYSTEM. Additionally, Ashwagandha acts differently depending on whether it is consumed with or without fat. If taken with fat, it stimulates a Th1 immune response, but if taken without fat, it has no effect on Th1. Therefore, it’s essential to take Ashwagandha under the supervision of a FUNCTIONAL MEDICINE doctor, especially if you have Hashimoto’s disease.

If you are considering taking Ashwagandha, it’s crucial to talk to your doctor first. They can help determine if Ashwagandha is the right choice for you and what dosage would be appropriate. It’s also important to note that any herbal medicine can cause side effects, depending on the individual’s unique genetics and biochemistry.

In conclusion, Ashwagandha has numerous benefits for subclinical hypothyroidism and Hashimoto’s disease. The results of the double-blind, randomized, and placebo-controlled study showed that Ashwagandha normalized thyroid function in subclinical hypothyroid subjects and was safe and tolerable.

 

In addition to taking Ashwagandha, it’s also essential to make LFIESTYLE CHANGES to support thyroid health.

 

Other Lifestyle Changes to Support Thyroid Health

This includes eating a healthy, balanced diet that is rich in nutrients and antioxidants, getting regular exercise, reducing stress, and getting enough sleep.

If you’re looking to improve your thyroid health, there are many other natural remedies and lifestyle changes that can complement Ashwagandha supplementation.

For example, consuming foods that are rich in IODINE and SELENIUM, such as SEAWEED, BRAZIL, and seafood, can help support thyroid function.

Additionally, REDUCING STRESS through practices like MEDITATION, YOGA and DEEP BREATHING can help lower CORTISOL levels and support thyroid function. Getting enough SLEEP is also crucial for thyroid health, as the thyroid gland is most active during the night. Aim for 7-9 hours of sleep each night and establish a regular sleep routine to help improve the quality of your sleep.

EXERCISE is another important factor in supporting thyroid health. Regular physical activity can help improve thyroid function, reduce stress, and support weight management. Aim for at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise each day, such as brisk walking, cycling, or swimming.

 

Supplements and Herbs Effective for Hypothyroidism

When it comes to natural remedies for thyroid health, there are many other herbs and supplements that have been studied for their potential benefits.

For example, studies have shown that SELENIUM, MAGNESIUM and ZINC may help support thyroid function and improve symptoms of hypothyroidism.

In addition, certain herbs like GUGGUL, BLADDERWRACK and FORSKOHLII have been used in traditional medicine for thyroid conditions and may have potential benefits. However, it’s important to note that not all natural remedies are safe or effective, and it’s crucial to work with a FUNCTIONAL MEDICINE healthcare professional before taking any new supplements or herbs.

It’s also important to be aware of potential side effects and interactions when using natural remedies for thyroid health. For example, taking extremely high doses of IODINE SUPPLEMENTS or consuming excessive amounts of iodine-rich foods may be harmful to thyroid function. Certain herbs and supplements may also interact with medications or exacerbate certain health conditions, so it’s important to discuss any new supplements or herbs with your healthcare provider before use.

 

In addition to natural remedies, conventional medical treatments like hormone replacement therapy may also be recommended for managing subclinical hypothyroidism and Hashimoto’s disease. These treatments can help improve thyroid function and reduce symptoms, but they may also have potential side effects and risks.

 

Ultimately, the best approach to managing subclinical hypothyroidism and Hashimoto’s disease is a comprehensive one that takes into account all aspects of your health and well-being. This may include a combination of natural remedies, lifestyle changes, and conventional medical treatments, as well as regular monitoring and communication with your healthcare provider.

 

In Conclusion:

there are many natural remedies and lifestyle changes that can help support thyroid health and improve symptoms of subclinical hypothyroidism and Hashimoto’s disease. Ashwagandha is a powerful adaptogenic herb that can be a useful addition to a comprehensive treatment plan. It helps stabilize thyroid function and has been shown to improve T4 and T3 levels in both animals and humans. By incorporating Ashwagandha into a comprehensive treatment plan, combining Ashwagandha supplementation with other natural remedies and lifestyle changes, individuals with thyroid conditions may experience significant improvements in their symptoms and quality of life

However, it’s important to work with a healthcare professional to develop an individualized treatment plan and to make additional LIFESTYLE CHANGES to support thyroid health which meet your specific needs and goals.

 

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