Q: Grandma, I feel tired most of the time even if I just stay at home. I also feel some dizziness after doing simple tasks. My friends think that it may be thyroid issues. I don’t have money to see a doctor. Any suggestions for my symptoms?
A: Dear V, Thyroid problems are a common health issue around the world. In fact, it is estimated that more than 200 million people worldwide have some form of thyroid disease. Because the thyroid gland is crucial to normal cell metabolism, untreated thyroid conditions can pose a serious threat to other parts of the body. The good news is, thyroid disorders are treatable in most cases.
Thyroid medications are an essential part of the treatment but there are home remedies for thyroid problems that can help alleviate the symptoms and prevent the condition from aggravating. If you’re suffering from either hyper- or hypothyroidism, you may want to try the suggestions below for better thyroid functioning.
HOME REMEDIES FOR THYROID PROBLEMS
1. Control stress – Eliminating the stresses in your life can help relieve the common symptoms of hyperactive thyroid such as anxiety and nervousness.
2. Stay away from caffeine – Avoid caffeine as much as possible. Caffeine consumption can worsen the symptoms of hyperthyroidism, such as fast heartbeat, nervousness, and difficulty concentrating.
3. Kick the smoking habit – This is particularly important if you have Graves’ disease. If you are a smoker and you have Graves’ disease, you are more likely to develop Graves’ ophthalmopathy. So, quit smoking to avoid this complication. 
4. Add protein to your diet – If you’ve dropped a lot of weight or experienced muscle wasting, you may benefit from adding protein and extra calories to your diet. Fish, cheese, chicken breast, tofu, beans, and legumes are all high in protein. If you want a more comprehensive list, ask your doctor or dietitian to help you with meal planning.
5. Get enough calcium and Vitamin D – Because hyperactive thyroid can cause thinning of bones, it is important to get enough calcium every day to aid in the prevention of osteoporosis. For adults ages 19 to 50 and men ages 51 to 70, the recommended dose of calcium is 1,000 mg a day. If you’re a woman over age 51 or a man over age 71, this increases to 1,200/day. For Vitamin D, the recommended dose is 600 IUs a day for adults ages 19 to 70 and 800 IUs a day for adults age 71 and older. 
6. Get enough iodine – This is especially true for people with hypothyroidism. Because people with hypoactive thyroid are unable to produce enough thyroid hormones (T3 and T4), they need to consume iodine-rich foods that can help in the production of these hormones.
7. Include Vitamin B-rich foods in your diet – B vitamins help in maintaining a healthy thyroid gland. These vitamins can especially work together to enhance your metabolism. By consuming foods that are rich in vitamin B, you can help boost your metabolism naturally. 
8. Take natural estrogen supplements as needed – In women whose hypoactive thyroid is caused by reduced estrogen levels, taking estrogen supplements can help improve the symptoms. Examples of herbs that can maintain estrogen levels in the body include Black Cohosh and Vitex Agnus Castus. 
9. Limit your consumption of brassica vegetables – For people with hypothyroidism, limiting their intake of brassica vegetables such as broccoli, cabbage,cauliflower, turnips, Brussels sprouts, and kale can help reduce the symptoms of underactive thyroid. These veggies, although nutritious, contain compounds that may interfere with iodine uptake in the thyroid gland.