The Root Causes of Low Thyroid

by Noah Lebowitz, DC

Over 70 million prescriptions are written for thyroid medications in the United States every year. Low thyroid symptoms most often include fatigue, cold sensitivity, constipation, dry skin, depression, and unexplained weight gain. Many of us have had one or more of those conditions at one time or another, but that doesn’t necessarily mean you have low thyroid hormone levels. Let’s look at the true causes of an underactive thyroid and how you can help in a natural and effective manner.

Food Sensitivities
Those with Celiac, as well as other gluten issues, tend to have an increased rate of hypothyroidism. The nightshade group of vegetables, including eggplants, tomatoes, and potatoes, contain alphasolanine, which has a tendency to be stored in the thyroid gland and can cause hypothyroid-type symptoms, as well.

Toxicity and Low Thyroid
Women with higher levels of mercury were shown to have thyroid disorders. Cadmium, among many other heavy metal toxins, have also been shown to induce hypothyroidism. Studies in England have shown twice the number of hypothyroidism events in areas where fluoride is added to the water compared to areas with no fluoride added. Other chemicals such as PCBs, flame-retardants, BPA, and other environmental chemicals have all been shown to contribute to hypothyroidism.

Dysbiosis (an altered gut bacteria ratio), especially fungal, has been shown to alter thyroid function. Evaluation for bacterial, parasitic, and other microbial infections is a key part of helping to restore proper thyroid function.

What Causes Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis?
Hashimoto’s thyroiditis is classified as an autoimmune disease, and is seven times more common in women. Many factors can induce or increase autoimmune diseases including chemical toxicity, microbial infections, and food sensitivities. Nightshades are a major food group associated with autoimmune conditions, but many others including wheat, dairy, corn, eggs, etc., can contribute.

Case Study
I recently had one patient come in with feelings of fatigue and weight gain. Lab testing from her doctor the previous year showed low thyroid hormone levels and a TSH (thyroid-stimulation hormone) level at 12, when 0.5 – 5.5 is normal. Because of this she was prescribed synthetic thyroid hormone. After working with her we were able to decrease her fatigue and help her lose over 10 pounds. She then told her doctor she wanted to get off her thyroid hormone, and she was able to gradually stop over 2 weeks. They re-did her blood work three weeks later and her new lab results showed a TSH of 2 (.5-5.5) and her thyroid hormone was normal. She was thrilled!

How to Help Low Thyroid, Naturally
When one has low thyroid, nothing should be taken out of context. All of the above causes of thyroid dysfunction should be evaluated to make sure that you are able to get to the root cause of the problem.

1. Get some extra iodine. High quality seaweeds such as dulse or kelp are a rich sources of iodine; which is essential for the production of thyroid hormone.
2. Keep your gut microbiome in check. Some of my favorite broad spectrum antimicrobials for controlling overgrowth situations are noni, neem, olive leaf, and goldenseal.
3. Thyroid function can be impacted by vitamin and amino acid deficiencies. L-Tyrosine is used by the thyroid to make thyroid hormone and the adrenal glands to make adrenaline. Vitamin B6 enables the thyroid to efficiently use available iodine. A health professional can help identify and supplement deficiencies.
4. Have your neck evaluated by a chiropractor and Applied Kinesiologist. If one of the nerves going from the neck to the thyroid becomes displaced, the thyroid can become sluggish.
5. Stay warm when outside, especially over your neck.
6. Decrease stress in your life by relaxation, praying, or meditation. If you are experiencing symptoms of low thyroid, I suggest seeing a doctor who is well-equipped to pin-point deficiencies or identify any of the above-mentioned issues. Applied Kinesiology is a beneficial tool since it helps your doctor determine what the true cause of your thyroid issue is while treating it in a fast and effective manner.

Dr. Noah Lebowitz is a second-generation licensed chiropractor and certified Professional Applied Kinesiologist who practices in Fircrest, Washington. For more information visit or call 253.302.3131.