The thyroid is part of the endocrine system, which is made up of glands that produce, store, and release vital hormones into the bloodstream. Because of the many toxins with which our bodies have to contend on a daily basis, thyroid and endocrine dysfunction is an ever-present concern.
A staggering number of chemicals that are central to our industrial society—including some in our cosmetics, cookware, cleaning supplies, furniture, and clothing—are known to be potent endocrine disruptors.
As many as 1 out of every 10 people suffer from thyroid dysfunction at some point in their lives
It’s no surprise, then, that as many as 1 out of every 10 people suffer from thyroid dysfunction at some point in their lives. The number is much higher for those with “subclinical” thyroid symptoms, which can still lead to significant health risks.
The thyroid regulates metabolic and hormonal activity throughout the body. It secretes the hormones triiodothyronine and thyroxine—which regulate growth and calorie metabolism (i.e. how fast your body burns calories)—and calcitonin, which controls calcium levels. It is directly controlled by the pituitary, which is referred to as the “master gland” of the endocrine system.
Unfortunately, there are many types of thyroid disorders, including thyroiditis (inflammation of the thyroid), hypothyroidism (underproduction of thyroid hormones), hyperthyroidism (overproduction of thyroid hormones), Hashimoto’s disease (an autoimmune condition wherein the thyroid is attacked by the body’s own immune system), and goiter (enlarged thyroid).
All of these disorders can lead to a host of serious issues and complications, including:
severe hormonal imbalance
muscle and joint pain
dry and brittle skin and nails
poor cognitive performance
Luckily, once you’ve diagnosed a thyroid disorder, there are plenty of safe, natural measures you can take to prevent the more serious complications of these diseases.
Proper diet and supplementation play an immensely important role. If you’re in need of thyroid healing, one superfood you’ll definitely want to add to your diet is turmeric.
Research has demonstrated that Turmeric offers powerful support for thyroid conditions
Turmeric’s Many Healing Talents
You’re probably already familiar with turmeric’s many healing talents. Its trifecta of anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and endocrine-balancing properties make it a perfect addition to nearly any therapeutic regimen—and research has demonstrated that it offers powerful support for thyroid conditions.
Here’s why this wonder-root is so healing for your thyroid.
Inflammation control. Inflammation plays a central role in many thyroid conditions, especially thyroiditis, goiter, and thyroid cancer. Turmeric makes short work of inflammation by inhibiting the production of pro-inflammatory chemicals. And unlike NSAID’s, turmeric acts on both COX and LOX enzymes (ibuprofen and similar OTC drugs only act on COX enzymes), and it does so without any side effects.
Antioxidant activity. Turmeric is well-known for its powerful antioxidant properties—that is, its ability to combat oxidative stress and the free radicals generated by it. Oxidative stress, particularly in the brain, is commonly associated with hyperthyroidism; studies have shown that, through regulating an endogenous antioxidant called superoxide dismutase, turmeric relieves hyperthroidism-induced oxidative stress.
Liver and kidney support. Because of the severe hormonal imbalance that can result from it, hyperthyroidism can disrupt proper function of the liver and kidneys, and can even lead to organ damage over time. Studies have shown that turmeric not only normalizes organ function and protects against damage, but even helps to heal whatever damage has already been done in both the liver and kidneys.
Hormone level regulation. One of the things that makes thyroid conditions so difficult to treat is the problem of hormone regulation: pharmaceuticals tend to increase or decrease hormone levels exclusively, and sometimes the issue is more complicated than that. Turmeric, on the other hand, can freely pivot between these mechanisms and solve the issue however it needs to be solved—that is, it seems that curcumin can increase hormone levels when they’re low or decrease them when they’re high.
Immune system balance. Hormones aren’t the only thing turmeric brings into balance. It also exerts a powerfully modulating effect on the immune system, once again regulating immune response according to specific need. For example, turmeric is capable of boosting the immune system when necessary, and also reining in immune response in the case of autoimmune-related thyroid disorders.
Decreased risk of serious disorders. Adding turmeric to your regimen can reduce the risk of more serious thyroid conditions, especially in those who already cope with minor thyroid dysfunction. Studies specifically point to turmeric’s ability to lower the risk of developing goiter and thyroid cancer. It’s even been shown to inhibit the growth of thyroid cancer cells and to help increase the effectiveness of conventional thyroid cancer treatments.
The right way to use turmeric
As always, they key to getting the full spectrum of turmeric’s therapeutic benefits is to use the right form of turmeric.
Raw turmeric, and especially turmeric powder, is notoriously difficult for the body to absorb—so don’t expect much thyroid healing if this is the main way in which you’ve been consuming turmeric.
For the kind of results discussed in this article (and in the studies cited), you’ll need to use a high-bioavailability, liposomal turmeric extract.