Top 5 Natural Ways Seniors Can Combat Hypothyroidism


Hypothyroidism is a thyroid disorder caused by the thyroid gland’s inability to produce certain hormones, such as triiodothyronine (T3) and thyroxine (T4). Also known as underactive thyroid disease, it affects nearly 5% of the American population.

Even though an individual can develop the condition at any age, it is more common in older adults (aged 60 years and above). Also, women have a higher risk of developing hypothyroidism.

The symptoms of hypothyroidism overlap with other conditions, such as cardiovascular disorders or depression. That makes it difficult to diagnose at an early stage.

However, leaving the condition undiagnosed and untreated can lead to serious complications, including heart ailments and mental health disorders.

Fortunately, advanced treatments that help maintain adequate hormonal levels and avoid life-threatening complications have been developed.

This blog will take a closer look at hypothyroidism and the available treatments for the condition. Also, it will discuss a few natural treatments for hypothyroidism that can improve the quality of life of patients.

Hypothyroidism: Causes, Symptoms and Complications

The precise cause of hypothyroidism isn’t known. However, medical professionals believe that it is the result of one or more of the following factors:

  • Age - Individuals above the age of 60 are at a higher risk.
  • Gender - Women are more likely than men to develop hypothyroidism.
  • Genetics - A family history of thyroid disorders increases an individual’s chances of developing the condition.

Additionally, autoimmune disorders, such as Hashimoto’s thyroiditis can cause the thyroid gland to malfunction. Individuals with type 1 diabetes or Celiac disease are also at a higher risk.

Likewise, psychiatric medications containing lithium can cause hypothyroidism. Medical treatments for hyperthyroidism, such as radioactive iodine or anti-thyroid drugs, can also result in permanent hypothyroidism.

Radiation therapy used for the treatment of cancer in the head or neck may interfere with the proper functioning of the thyroid gland.

Hypothyroidism affects various physiological functions, including heart rate, metabolism and body temperature. The most common symptoms in senior patients include:

  • Fatigue
  • Unexpected weight gain or difficulty losing weight
  • Brain fog
  • Constipation
  • Dry skin
  • Dry hair and hair loss
  • Depression
  • Memory impairment
  • Muscle weakness, pain, or tenderness
  • Joint pain, stiffness, or swelling
  • Facial swelling
  • Slow heart rate or palpitations
  • Elevated cholesterol levels
  • Cold intolerance
  • Hoarse voice

Additionally, women may experience irregular periods or heavy menstrual flow.

Identifying the symptoms and diagnosing hypothyroidism in the initial stages is important. Otherwise, it can lead to the following complications in older adults:

  • Heart ailments - Due to elevated LDL or bad cholesterol levels
  • Enlargement of the thyroid gland (goiter)
  • Mental health disorders - depression, mood swings and anxiety
  • Obesity - Due to slow metabolism

Moreover, hypothyroidism increases the risk of infertility, miscarriage, preeclampsia and congenital disabilities in younger women. Also, leaving the condition untreated for too long can result in a life-threatening condition called myxedema.

Hypothyroidism Treatments: Exploring the Options

Some of the most common and effective hypothyroidism treatments  according to patients’ reports are medications containing synthetic thyroxine. These medications contain levothyroxine and are available under different names, such as:

  • Eltroxin
  • Synthroid
  • Levoxyl
  • Euthyrox

Most patients don’t need to be prescribed medications containing triiodothyronine. It is because the hormone can be synthesized from drugs containing T4.

Patients often need antidepressants, such as Prozac (fluoxetine), to cope with depression and mood swings. Some patients might need synthetic T3 medications, such as Cytomel and Tertroxin.

Natural Ways to Treat Hypothyroidism

Hypothyroidism is a chronic condition that requires long-term treatment. Medications are necessary to maintain adequate levels of thyroid hormones and support important bodily functions.

It is, however, important to remember that medications aren’t the only options for treating hypothyroidism. Various natural remedies are available that can enhance the quality of life of older adults with hypothyroidism.

Here are a few natural hypothyroidism treatments that could be useful for seniors living with the condition:

Dietary Changes

To begin with, patients should make it a point to eat a balanced diet that is packed with whole grains, nuts, seeds and lean proteins. Also, they should include plenty of colorful fruits and vegetables in their diet to up their iodine intake.

Additionally, patients should eat selenium-rich foods, such as Brazil nuts, turkey and tuna. It is important because selenium plays a key role in thyroid hormone production and metabolism.

Also, patients are advised to avoid foods containing tofu, soy milk, soy sauce and other soy products. They should steer clear of processed and sugary foods too. A gluten-free diet could be equally helpful in alleviating hypothyroidism symptoms.

Patients should also ensure that their diet has an adequate quantity of probiotics. 


A regular exercise routine goes a long way to control many symptoms of hypothyroidism, including fatigue and depression. It facilitates faster metabolism and even helps stabilize the energy levels. It even helps keep the body weight in check.

Older patients should talk to their primary care providers to outline an exercise routine that won’t cause undue strain to their bodies. They could consider various forms of exercise, including yoga and pilates.

Natural Oils

Foods such as avocado, flaxseed, nuts, and fish are excellent healthy natural fats sources. These foods are packed with omega-3 fatty acids, which are crucial for maintaining a healthy thyroid gland and improving cognitive function. 

Similarly, coconut oil improves metabolic function and is easy on the digestive system. Patients with hypothyroidism are advised to include small quantities of these natural fats in their diet. These foods help with a plethora of other health conditions, including heart ailments and obesity.

Nutritional Supplements

Hypothyroidism can result in a deficiency of B vitamins and essential minerals, such as zinc and magnesium. Taking vitamin and mineral supplements helps patients overcome these deficiencies. However, patients should talk to their doctors before taking any nutritional supplements for hypothyroidism.

Stress Reduction

Hypothyroidism affects a patient’s mental health just as much as their bodily functions. Also, getting diagnosed with a chronic ailment can cause an individual to become more stressed and anxious.

That is why patients should consider using natural stress management techniques to cope with hypothyroidism. Effective ways for dealing with stress include journaling, meditation, deep breathing and trauma release exercises.

Patients should also consider other options, such as counseling and psychotherapy, to cope with the mental toll of hypothyroidism. Getting adequate rest and sound sleep is also necessary.

In Conclusion

Hypothyroidism is a debilitating illness that wreaks havoc on a patient’s physical and emotional wellbeing. However, healthy lifestyle changes, such as regularly exercising and practicing meditation, can improve their quality of life. Also, patients should consult their doctors to outline a balanced diet plan that has been tailored for their health condition.



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