Hypothyroidism, and Treatment with Vitex and Coconut Oil
Answered by: Christine Dennis
Question from: Terri
Posted on: December 07, 2007

I am wondering if vitex will have any effect on my hypothyroidism (as it affects the pituitary gland which signals something or other to stimulate something or other to regulate the thyroid - this would be why you are the expert and obviously not me) which appeared after the birth of my second child. What is your opinion on the benefits of coconut oil to speed metabolism? My thyroid is completely off which means so am I. Any suggestions you have would be greatly appreciated. Does anyone who starts thryoid treatment - synthroid - ever get off of it?

Hypothyroidism is common after the birth of a baby. The adjustments the body must make is huge never mind the extra work and stress that goes along with it! Coconut oil has been shown to help nourish and stimulate thyroid function and vitex has been long used to help regulate hormone imbalances. However, I think it is important that you address the underlying cause of your low thyroid as well and that is your low adrenal function. Your body has gone through a lot of changes - both pregnancies and all the work that goes with having had two babies. Throw in a "little" stress and our stress coping mechanisms can eventually become burned out (adrenal glands.) After a while the thyroid steps in to help the adrenals and we are able to cope a little longer before it too becomes weakened.

The reason why your low thyroid did not show up until after the baby was born is because during the pregnancy your body has been using the excess thyroid hormones that the fetus was producing and eliminating. When woman say "I never felt as good as I did when I was pregnant" is a very clear example of this. This is very common in my practice and in fact is something I experienced myself for a short while after my second baby. The road to recovery begins with focusing on adrenal health as well as thyroid health.

Herbs such as kelp, chickweed, and wild carrot have been used to help restore an underactive thyroid. A diet high in minerals is extremely important as well. Herbs such as spikenard, nettles, borage, ginseng and licorice have been used to help restore adrenal health. Essential fatty acids are extremely here as well such as flax seed oil and fish oils. Lots of sleep and gentle walking nad building up to gentle exercise helps as well. Avoid caffeine and other stimulants as this just prolongs the process.

In my experience with women in my practice, once one starts on synthroid it is hard to get them off again. It is not impossible but unlikely for most women. However, an extremely low functioning thyroid can be quite serious for some women. Contact a registered herbalist for help. Herbal medicine offers a lot of tools for this sort of imbalance. Just keep in mind that it takes time so allow yourself time to nurture yourself.

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