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Woman gently touching her neck, considering natural treatment methods for Hashimoto's Thyroiditis

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Introduction to Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis

Hashimoto’s thyroiditis is an autoimmune disease where the immune system mistakenly attacks the thyroid tissue. This results in inflammation and reduced thyroid hormone levels, leading to fatigue, weight gain, hair loss, depression, and brain fog.

While conventional treatments such as hormone replacement therapy are commonly used for managing Hashimoto’s, many individuals are now turning to natural approaches. These natural treatment options aim to address the underlying causes of the condition and provide symptom relief without relying solely on medication.

Dietary modifications

Gluten-Free Diet:

One common dietary intervention for managing Hashimoto’s is adopting a gluten-free diet. Gluten is a protein found in wheat products like bread, pasta, and pastries. Research suggests that individuals with autoimmune conditions may benefit from eliminating gluten from their diets as it can exacerbate inflammation and trigger immune responses. In addition to its inflammatory effects, gluten has been implicated in molecular mimicry between gliadin (a component of gluten) and thyroid tissue antigens. This means that the antibodies produced against gliadin may also attack the thyroid gland due to similarities in molecular structure between gliadin and thyroid proteins. In addition, people with Hashimoto’s may have an increased risk of developing celiac disease – another autoimmune disorder triggered by gluten consumption.

By adopting a gluten-free diet, individuals with Hashimoto's thyroiditis may experience reduced inflammation levels and improved overall well-being while potentially reducing autoimmunity triggered by molecular mimicry between gliadin and the thyroid gland. Studies have shown that adhering to a strict gluten-free diet led to significant improvements in thyroid function and reduced antibodies in patients with both celiac disease and Hashimoto’s (Husby et al., 2012; Krysiak et al., 2019).

Eliminating gluten from your diet can help reduce inflammation in your body and ease symptoms associated with Hashimoto’s. Opt for naturally gluten-free alternatives like quinoa, brown rice, and vegetables while carefully reading food labels for hidden sources of gluten.

Autoimmune Protocol (AIP) Diet:

The Autoimmune Protocol (AIP) diet has gained popularity among individuals with autoimmune conditions, including Hashimoto’s. This elimination diet focuses on removing potentially inflammatory foods to reduce immune system activation and promote healing.

Research has shown that following the AIP diet led to reduced inflammation and improved symptoms in patients with various autoimmune diseases (Konijeti et al., 2017). Although specific studies on Hashimoto’s are limited, individuals have reported positive outcomes after adhering to the AIP diet for a period of time (Abbot et al., 2019).

The AIP diet involves avoiding grains, dairy products, legumes, eggs, nuts, seeds, nightshade vegetables (such as tomatoes and peppers), processed foods, refined sugars, and food additives. Instead, focus on nutrient-dense foods like fresh fruits and vegetables, lean proteins such as fish and poultry, healthy fats from sources like avocado and olive oil, and bone broth.

It is important to note that the AIP diet is typically recommended as a short-term intervention to identify trigger foods and provide relief from symptoms. It is not intended for long-term use due to its restrictive nature, which may result in nutrient deficiencies if followed over an extended period.

While initially challenging due to its strict nature, the potential benefits make the AIP diet worth considering for managing Hashimoto’s symptoms.

Stress Management Techniques

Chronic stress can worsen autoimmune conditions like Hashimoto’s thyroiditis. Implementing effective stress management techniques is crucial for managing the condition naturally. Here are some strategies that can help:

Meditation and Mindfulness:

Practising meditation or mindfulness exercises can help calm the mind and reduce stress levels. Research has shown that mindfulness-based stress reduction techniques significantly decrease stress-related inflammatory markers (Rosenkranz et al., 2013).


Engaging in gentle yoga poses combined with conscious breathing promotes relaxation and reduces stress. Studies have indicated that regular yoga practice resulted in reduced cortisol, blood pressure, blood glucose and cholesterol and improved heart health (Pascoe et al., 2017) and overall quality of life in patients with hypothyroidism (Singh et al., 2011).


Physical activity releases endorphins, natural mood-lifting chemicals in the brain, which help reduce stress levels. Incorporate activities like walking, swimming, or dancing into your routine for both physical and mental well-being.

A randomised controlled trial demonstrated that aerobic exercise improved thyroid function parameters and quality of life scores in women with subclinical hypothyroidism (Werneck et al., 2018).

Adequate Sleep:

Prioritising quality sleep is essential for managing stress levels and supporting overall health. Aim for 7-9 hours of uninterrupted sleep each night and establish a relaxing bedtime routine to promote restful sleep.

Nutritional Supplements for Hashimoto’s

Several nutritional supplements have shown promise in managing Hashimoto’s thyroiditis. However, it is important to consult with a healthcare professional before starting any new supplement regimen. Here are some commonly recommended options:


Zinc plays a crucial role in thyroid hormone synthesis and metabolism. Studies have indicated that zinc supplementation improved thyroid function patients with autoimmune and other thyroid disorders (Beserra et al., 2021).

Vitamin D:

Low vitamin D levels have been associated with autoimmune conditions, including Hashimoto’s thyroiditis. Supplementing with vitamin D can help regulate the immune system and support optimal thyroid function.

A recent randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial found that vitamin D supplementation significantly reduced thyroid antibody levels and improved thyroid function in patients with Hashimoto's thyroiditis (Bhakat et al., 2023).


Selenium is an essential mineral involved in antioxidant defence systems and thyroid hormone metabolism. Research suggests that selenium supplementation may reduce inflammation and antibodies associated with Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, leading to improvements in overall thyroid health.

A systematic review demonstrated that selenium supplementation decreased thyroid peroxidase antibodies and improved quality of life measures in patients with Hashimoto’s (Toulis et al., 2010).

Even though selenium is an essential trace mineral for optimal health, it is important to note that too much selenium can potentially be toxic. Symptoms of selenium toxicity include hair loss, nail, skin and dental issues, and neurological disorders. It can also present as nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, and fatigue and impair blood sugar metabolism. Therefore, caution should always be taken when considering supplementing with selenium as over-consumption could have serious long-term negative effects on your health. It's best to consult a healthcare provider before beginning supplementation if you're uncertain about the proper dosage to meet your needs specifically.

Vitamin A:

Vitamin A supports normal immune function and plays a vital role in maintaining healthy thyroid tissue. Consider supplementation or consuming foods rich in vitamin A, such as carrots, sweet potatoes, and leafy greens.


Myo-Inositol is a compound found naturally in certain fruits, beans, grains, and nuts. Studies have shown that inositol supplementation may reduce thyroid antibodies and decrease thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) levels in patients with autoimmune thyroiditis (Paparo et al., 2022).

Herbal Supplements for Hashimoto’s

In addition to nutritional supplements, herbal remedies can be considered as natural treatment options for Hashimoto’s thyroiditis:

Hemidesmus indicus:

Hemidesmus indicus, also known as Indian Sarsaparilla or Anantamul, has been traditionally used in Ayurvedic medicine for its anti-inflammatory and immune-modulating properties.

Research has shown that Hemidesmus indicus extract demonstrated protective activity against autoimmune disorders in animal models of arthritis (Mehta et al., 2012). Further studies are needed to validate its effectiveness in humans with other autoimmune disorders, including Hashimoto’s.

Nigella sativa:

Nigella sativa, commonly known as black seed oil or black cumin, has demonstrated antioxidant and immunomodulatory effects.

A randomised controlled trial found that Nigella sativa supplementation resulted in decreased levels of thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) and thyroid antibodies, improved thyroid hormone levels and reduced body weight in patients with Hashimoto’s (Farhangi et al., 2016).


Guggul is a resin extract from the mukul myrrh tree (Commiphora mukul) used in traditional Ayurvedic medicine to support thyroid health and balance cholesterol levels.

Research has indicated that guggulsterone, an active compound found in guggul, has anti-inflammatory effects and improves thyroid hormone levels in animal models of induced hypothyroidism (Panda and Kar, 2010).

Cordyceps sinensis:

Cordyceps is a type of fungus with adaptogenic properties, meaning it helps the body adapt to stressors. It may regulate inflammatory and immune response and improve energy levels in individuals with Hashimoto’s.

Rehmannia glutinosa:

Rehmannia is a herb commonly used in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) to tonify the kidneys and nourish Yin energy. It may help restore balance within the body and support thyroid health.

While specific studies on Rehmannia’s effects on Hashimoto’s are limited, a review noted its potential benefits for autoimmune disorders due to its immunomodulatory properties (Kim et al., 2017).


While there is no cure for Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, natural treatment options can complement conventional medical therapies and enhance the overall well-being of individuals living with this condition. Consult with your healthcare professional before making any significant dietary or supplement changes, as individual needs may vary. By adopting healthy lifestyle practices such as following a gluten-free or AIP diet, practising stress management techniques, and considering nutritional and herbal supplements, you can take proactive steps towards managing Hashimoto’s and improving your quality of life.

Please note that it’s essential to consult with healthcare professionals before implementing any new treatment options for Hashimoto’s thyroiditis.



Abbott RD, Sadowski A, Alt AG. Efficacy of the Autoimmune Protocol Diet as Part of a Multi-disciplinary, Supported Lifestyle Intervention for Hashimoto's Thyroiditis. Cureus. 2019 Apr 27;11(4):e4556.

Beserra JB, Morais JBS, Severo JS, Cruz KJC, de Oliveira ARS, Henriques GS, do Nascimento Marreiro D. Relation Between Zinc and Thyroid Hormones in Humans: a Systematic Review. Biol Trace Elem Res. 2021 Nov;199(11):4092-4100.

Bhakat B, Pal J, Das S, Charaborty SK, SircarMedical NR, Kolkata, RGKar, NorthBengal, Siliguri. A Prospective Study to Evaluate the Possible Role of Cholecalciferol Supplementation on Autoimmunity in Hashimoto's Thyroiditis. J Assoc Physicians India. 2023 Jan;71(1):1.

Farhangi MA, Dehghan P, Tajmiri S, Abbasi MM. The effects of Nigella sativa on thyroid function, serum Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor (VEGF) - 1, Nesfatin-1 and anthropometric features in patients with Hashimoto's thyroiditis: a randomized controlled trial. BMC Complement Altern Med. 2016 Nov 16;16(1):471. doi: 10.1186/s12906-016-1432-2.

Husby S et al. (2012). European Society for Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition guidelines for the diagnosis of coeliac disease. Journal of Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition, 54(1), 136-160.

Kim SH, Yook TH, Kim JU. Rehmanniae Radix, an Effective Treatment for Patients with Various Inflammatory and Metabolic Diseases: Results from a Review of Korean Publications. J Pharmacopuncture. 2017 Jun;20(2):81-88.

Konijeti GG et al. (2017). Efficacy of the autoimmune protocol diet as part of a multi-disciplinary approach for the management of Crohn’s disease: A case report. BMC Research Notes, 10(1), 668.

Krysiak R, Chrostowska M, Okopień B. (2019). The effect of gluten-free diet on thyroid autoimmunity in drug-naïve women with Hashimoto’s thyroiditis: A pilot study. Experimental and Clinical Endocrinology & Diabetes Reports.

Mehta A, Sethiya NK, Mehta C, Shah GB. Anti-arthritis activity of roots of Hemidesmus indicus R.Br. (Anantmul) in rats. Asian Pac J Trop Med. 2012 Feb;5(2):130-5.

Panda S, Kar A. (2010). Gugulu (Commiphora mukul) induces triiodothyronine production: possible involvement of lipid peroxidation. Life Sciences, 87(19-22), 650–655.

Paparo SR, Ferrari SM, Patrizio A, Elia G, Ragusa F, Botrini C, Balestri E, Guarneri F, Benvenga S, Antonelli A, Fallahi P. Myoinositol in Autoimmune Thyroiditis. Front Endocrinol (Lausanne). 2022 Jun 28;13:930756.

Pascoe MC, Thompson DR, Ski CF. Yoga, mindfulness-based stress reduction and stress-related physiological measures: A meta-analysis. Psychoneuroendocrinology. 2017 Dec;86:152-168

Rosenkranz MA et al.. (2013). Reduced stress and inflammatory responsiveness in experienced meditators compared to a matched healthy control group. Psychoneuroendocrinology , 38(10), 2168–2178.

Singh P, Singh B, Dave R, Udainiya R. The impact of yoga upon female patients suffering from hypothyroidism. Complement Ther Clin Pract. 2011 Aug;17(3):132-4.

Toulis KA, Anastasilakis AD, Tzellos TG, Goulis DG, Kouvelas D. Selenium supplementation in the treatment of Hashimoto's thyroiditis: a systematic review and a meta-analysis. Thyroid. 2010 Oct;20(10):1163-73.

Werneck FZ, Coelho EF, Almas SP, Garcia MMDN, Bonfante HLM, Lima JRP, Vigário PDS, Mainenti MRM, Teixeira PFDS, Vaisman M. Exercise training improves quality of life in women with subclinical hypothyroidism: a randomized clinical trial. Arch Endocrinol Metab. 2018 Oct;62(5):530-536.

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Inna Kurlyandchik | BHSc (Naturopathy), Grad Cert Nutr, PhD candidate

07 July 2023

Natural Treatment Options for Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis

Hashimoto’s thyroiditis is a chronic autoimmune condition that causes inflammation in the thyroid gland. While conventional medical treatments focus on medication and hormone replacement therapy, many individuals seek natural treatment options to complement their management plan. In this blog post, we will explore various natural approaches, including dietary changes such as gluten-free and Autoimmune Protocol (AIP) diets, stress management techniques, and the use of specific nutritional and herbal supplements.

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