Synthroid, also called Levothyroxine, is a synthetic thyroid produced by Knoll Pharmaceuticals. Synthroid is hormone replacement used to treat hypothyroidism, a condition in which the thyroid gland does not produce enough hormones. Synthroid is also used to treat or prevent goiter, or an enlarged thyroid gland. This can be caused by hormonal imbalances, radiation treatment, surgery or cancer. Synthroid can cause many side effects, leading some patients to seek natural alternatives.
The consumer information provided by drugs.com warns that people that have had a heart attack, a thyroid disorder called thyrotoxicosis or adrenal gland problems not controlled by treatment should not take Synthroid. An overdose of Synthroid could cause chest pain, pounding heartbeat, tremors, shortness of breath, leg cramps, confusion, vomiting, diarrhea or seizures. Allergy to Synthroid could cause hives, difficulty breathing, and swelling of the face, lips, tongue or throat. Other side effects include headache, insomnia, nervous or irritable feelings, fever, hot flashes, sweating, changes in menstrual periods, and appetite and weight changes.
If you are deficient in iodine, the University of Maryland Medical Center (UMMC) says you may be able to treat hypothyroidism by simply using iodized salt. Other natural sources of iodine include seafood and plants that are grown in iodine-rich soil. Kelp is one of the most well-known natural supplements used to increase iodine intake.
According to the UMMC, there are some things you can do with diet and supplements to help reduce the symptoms of hypothyroidism. Eat a diet high in B vitamins and include plenty of fresh vegetables and sea vegetables such as kelp. Eat antioxidant-rich foods, including fruits and vegetables. Get protein from cold-water fish, lean meats or beans, and avoid red meat. Exercise for 30 minutes daily.
Eliminate suspected food allergens. Avoid refined foods, trans-fatty acids, and alcohol and tobacco use. Avoid broccoli, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, kale, spinach, turnips, soybeans, peanuts, linseed, pine nuts, millet, cassava and mustard greens as they are known to interfere with thyroid function.
UMMC recommends several natural supplements to improve the symptoms of hypothyroidism. Vitamins A, B-complex, C and E, magnesium, calcium, zinc, selenium, omega-3 fatty acids, alpha-lipoic acid and L-tyrosine are recommended. Herbal supplements include bladderwrack, green tea, coleus and guggul. Consult a health care provider that is educated in natural alternatives to determine what will work best for you.