|Causes||Dietary Factors, Food Colourings, Smoking, Environmental Toxins, Stress|
|See Also||Endocrine Conditions, Thyroid Disorders, Adrenal Fatigue|
|Books||Books on Endocrine Diseases|
|Articles||Articles on Endocrine Conditions|
Hyperthyroidism, or thyrotoxicosis, is a thyroid disorder characterized by an increase in free T4 and/or T3. The vast majority of hyperthyroidism cases are associated with an autoimmune disorder or Graves' disease. However, hyperthyroidism may also result from Hashimoto's Disease or Toxic Multinodular Goiter. 
- 1 Naturopathic Assessment
- 2 Characteristics
- 3 Naturopathic Treatment
- 4 References
- A diet that is too high in iodine may cause Iodine-induced hyperthyroidism.
- Food colourings such as Erythrosine can have an adverse effect on thyroid activity by increasing thyroid hormone levels which can in turn result in a hyperthyroid state. This dye was shown to cause thyroid cancer in rats in a study conducted in 1990.
- Environmental toxins can disrupt thyroid function.
- There is a strong correlation between chronic low-grade viral infections and thyroid disorders.
- Smoking cigarettes increases risk of hyperthyroidism.
- Prescription Medications
- Hyperthyroidism can be caused by caused by dieters taking thyroxine for weight loss.
- Certain gene variants appear to increase susceptibility to autoimmune thyroid disease.
Individuals with thyroid enlargement and/or signs and symptoms suggestive of thyroid disease should be tested to assess thyroid function. Although screening of the general population in not recommended, certain high risk groups benefits from screening:
- All newborns (neonatal screening)
- Women over 50 years of age
- Women trying to conceive
- Pregnant women during the first trimester
- Women 6 weeks to 6 months postpartum
- Patients on medications known to cause thryoid dysfunction or autoimmune disorders
- Patients with hyperlipidemia, hypertension or diabetes mellitus.
- Blood tests for hyperthyroidism often include: TSH, T3, T4 and thyroid antibodies. Other common labs include cholesterol panel.
Related Symptoms and Conditions
- Graves' disease
- Hashimoto's thyroiditis
- Toxic multinodular goiter
- Thyroid carcinoma
- Trophoblastic tumours
The symptoms for hyperthyroidism are generally common symptoms. Only if a person is experiencing a number of the following symptoms would it be common for them to be tested for hyperthyroidism:
- Heart palpitations. Atrial fibrillation is a common cardiac complication of hyperthyroidism 
- Tachycardia (increased heart rate)
- Weight loss
- Chest pain
- Breathing difficulties
- Increased bowel motility
- Excessive sweating
- Autoimmune signs
The goal of naturopathic treatment is to support and work in tandem with the healing power of the body and to address the causal factors of disease with individual treatment strategies. Hyperthyroidism is typically a chronic disease that can be treated quite effectively.
It is always advisable to work with a naturopathic doctor before engaging in any treatment plan.
Lifestyle recommendations include:
- Dietary recommendations. Ensure you are increasing calories, micronutrients, and proteins in the diet to match increased metabolic requirements. Eat a whole-foods diet.
- Engage in regular moderate exercise. Avoid extreme exercise programs.
- Ensure that you get adequate sleep. Ideally following the circadian rhythm.
The prescribing of naturopathic therapies requires the guidance of a naturopathic doctor as it depends on a number of factors including the causal factors, a person's age, prescription medications, other conditions and symptoms and overall health. It is always advisable to work with a naturopathic doctor prior to taking any natural therapies.
Naturopathic Therapies for hyperthyroidism include:
- Vitamins such as vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin E. and niacin (vitamin B3)
- Minerals such as selenium., calcium, and zinc.
- Herbs such as Bugleweed ( Lycopus virgincus), Valerian (Valeriana officinalis), Skullcap (Scutellaria lateriflora), Night blooming cereus (Cactus grandiflora), Blueflag (Iris versicolor), Kelp (Fucus), Gromwell (Lithospermum officinale), Lemon Balm (Melissa officinale)., Motherwort (Leonurus cardiaca), Bladderwrack (Fucus vesiculosis)
- Homeopathic remedies such as Spongia, Iodum, Kali-i.
- Traditional Chinese Medicine & Acupuncture Acupuncture is reported to be an effective treatment for hyperthyroidism. According to traditional Chinese medicine, hyperthyroidism symptoms are typically caused by rising liver fire, phlegm stagnation, qi and yin deficiency.
- Hydrotherapy such as: neutral baths before bedtime, or daily cold compress to throat.
- Pizzorno Jr. Joseph E, Murray Michael, Joiner-Bey Herb (2008) The Clinician's Handbook of Natural Medicine Churchill Livingstone.
- Friedman Michael (2005) Fundamentals of Naturopathic Endocrinology, Complementary & Alternative Medicine Guide CCNM Press.
- UK Food Guide, http://www.ukfoodguide.net/e129.htm
- Stojanovich L, Marisavljevich D. (Jan 2008) Stress as a trigger of autoimmune disease. Autoimmun Rev;7(3):209-13. PMID: 18190880
- Bagnasco M, Bossert I, Pesce G. (2006) Stress and autoimmune thyroid diseases. Neuroimmunomodulation;13(5-6):309-17. PMID: 17709953
- Nygaard B (Oct 2007) Hyperthyroidism. Am Fam Physician;Vol76(7):1014-6. PMID: 17956073
- Tsang W, Houlden RL (2009 Jul) Amiodarone-induced thyrotoxicosis: A review. Can J Cardiol;Vol25(7):421-24. PMID: 19584973
- Tomer Y (2010 Jul) Genetic susceptibility to autoimmune thyroid disease: past, present, and future. Thyroid;20(7):715-25. PMID: 20604685.
- Guidelines for the Use of Laboratory Tests to Detect Thyroid Dysfunction (2007) Ontario Association of Medical Laboratories
- Traube E, Coplan NL (2011) Embolic risk in atrial fibrillation that arises from hyperthyroidism: review of the medical literature. Tex Heart Inst J;Vol38(3):225-8. PMID: 21720457
- Toulis KA, Anastasilakis AD, Tzellos TG, Goulis DG, Kouvelas D. (2010 Oct) Selenium supplementation in the treatment of Hashimoto's thyroiditis: a systematic review and a meta-analysis. Thyroid;Vol20(10):1163-73. PMID: 20883174
- Ogura F, Morii H, Ohno M, Ueno T, Kitabatake S, Hamada N, Ito K. (Oct 1980) Serum coenzyme Q10 levels in thyroid disorders. Horm Metab Res;12(10):537-40. PMID: 7439878
- Benvenga S, Ruggeri RM, Russo A, Lapa D, Campenni A, Trimarchi F (2001 Aug) Usefulness of L-carnitine, a naturally occurring peripheral antagonist of thyroid hormone action, in iatrogenic hyperthyroidism: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial. J Clin Endocrinol Metab;86(8):3579-94. PMID: 11502782
- Locke A (1998) The Family Guide to Homeopathy: The Safe Form of Medicine for the Future. Penguin.
- Chen, J (2010) Treatment of Hyperthroidism: Western Medicine vs. Traditional Chinese Medicine. California Journal of Oriental Medicine;21(1):11-14.