Enhance the Health of Your Thyroid Gland with Red and Near Infrared Light Therapy

It is estimated that nearly 20 million Americans suffer from some type of thyroid disorder, however, most don’t even know where the thyroid gland is located, let alone what it does. So let’s start with the basics… then we’ll move on to how the health and function of this critically important gland can be enhanced through natural means.

The thyroid is a butterfly-shaped organ located in the lower front part of your neck. It’s one of several glands that comprise the endocrine system, and it secretes hormones responsible for regulating literally every cell, tissue, and organ in the body.[1]

The thyroid gland produces two hormones that are secreted into the blood and are necessary for each and every cell in your body to function properly: thyroxine (T4) and triiodothyronine (T3). The T4, or rather the T3 derived from it and secreted directly by the thyroid gland influences almost all of the metabolic processes in the body impacting a wide range of functions including:

• Breathing
• Heart Rate
• Central & Peripheral Nervous Systems
• Body Weight
• Muscle Strength
• Menstrual Cycles
• Body Temperature
• Cholesterol Levels

The hormones the thyroid releases regulate the speed at which your body’s cells function and as you might surmise, a lot can go wrong when this gland isn’t functioning properly, leading to various thyroid-related problems throughout the body. For instance, some people develop hypothyroidism, a condition in which their thyroid does not secrete enough hormones causing the cells and organs of your body to slow down—leading to extreme fatigue, depression, forgetfulness, dry skin, constipation, poor concentration, feeling cold, prolonged or excessive menstrual bleeding, depression, fluid retention and weight gain. Some people develop the opposite problem, hyperthyroidism, in which the thyroid secretes too many hormones. Symptoms of hyperthyroidism include irritability, nervousness, muscle weakness, vision problems, heat intolerance, increased sweating, concentration problems, unintentional weight loss, and sleep loss. It’s also possible to develop thyroiditis (thyroid swelling), a goiter (an enlarged gland), nodules (gland lumps) or thyroid cancer.[2] Having a baby can sometimes trigger a thyroid disorder. This is known as post-partum thyroiditis. It is usually temporary but can return each time you have a baby.

The mechanism that regulates the amount of T4 and T3 secreted by your thyroid to ensure that the proper amounts are manufactured and delivered into the blood stream is the pituitary gland. The pituitary senses the level of thyroid hormones in your blood stream, just as the thermostat in your living room senses the temperature. Under normal circumstances, if the level drops just a little below normal, the pituitary reacts by secreting a hormone called the thyroid stimulating hormone, also known as TSH, and this hormone activates the thyroid gland to put out more T4 and T3.

Conversely, when the thyroid hormone levels rise above normal the ‘thermostat’ senses this and the pituitary stops secreting TSH so that the thyroid gland stops working so hard and the secretion of T4 and T3 is reduced.

As you might imagine, thyroid-related problems can be incredibly damaging to a person’s overall health. Depending on the specific condition, traditional treatments for thyroid related problems include medication, surgery, and radioiodine therapy. In some cases, a person has to take medication throughout their life to keep a thyroid problem under control. Of course, the average person doesn’t want to be on medication forever—which is one reason many are pursuing natural alternatives to improve the health of their thyroid gland.

One of those remedies is red and near infrared light therapy—otherwise known as photobiomodulation (PBM). Based on recent research, PBM is showing impressive results as a safe, effective way to enhance thyroid function.

Clinical Research on Light Therapy Shows Positive Results for Thyroid Problems

There is strong research supporting the benefits light therapy can have on different types of thyroid problems. In one clinical study printed in the May 2013 issue of Lasers in Surgery and Medicine, researchers found that near infrared light therapy helped improve the overall thyroid health of participants with chronic autoimmune thyroiditis.

The study reported improvements in various markers—most impressively, the participants’ need for levothyroxine treatment declined, and even went away in some cases. Additionally, 47 percent of participants no longer needed levothyroxine during the entire nine-month follow-up after light therapy. Since so many people suffering from thyroid problems are stuck on levothyroxine treatment for their entire lives, this was a very exciting result! Study participants also showed a decline in levels of thyroid peroxidase (TPOAb), which are antibodies indicating an autoimmune problem—further demonstrating the benefits of near infrared light therapy.[3]

There are many other studies and dissertations that report the positive effects light therapy can have on thyroid health. For example, a 2003 dissertation by Viktor Dubovik studied people with postsurgical hypothyroidism and found that light therapy reduced the need for medication by 50 to 75 percent. And a 2010 Russian dissertation showed that light therapy helped 38 percent of the participants reduce their hypothyroidism medication dose, with 17 percent being able to stop taking the medication altogether.[4]

Conclusion: Study Results Showcase Light Therapy as an Effective Treatment for Thyroid Problems

Now you know a little bit more about the various clinical studies that suggest how light therapy can be used to safely improve the overall health of the thyroid gland—showing promise as an effective and safe alternative to traditional thyroid treatments, including medication and surgery.

But as we’ve noted in past articles, consistency is critical when using red or near infrared light therapy. It’s imperative to use a device that delivers the right wavelengths along with professional-grade power. Stay away from products that are severely underpowered and require long treatment times of 15 minutes or more.

Instead, choose something like the Joovv, which can treat your entire body in the comfort of your own home. And if you’re feeling skeptical, take advantage of our no-hassle, 60-day trial and discover how our light therapy devices can help you meet your health goals. You may be surprised by the ways this safe, alternative treatment can help enhance the overall health of your thyroid gland—and the rest of your body!

References:

[1] American Thyroid Association. Thyroid.org. Accessed February 2018.

[2] Mayo Clinic staff. Mayoclinic.org. Accessed February 2018.

[3] Hofling DB, Chavantes MC, et al. Low-level laser in the treatment of patients with hypothyroidism induced by chronic autoimmune thyroiditis: a randomized, placebo-controlled clinical trial. Lasers in Surgery and Medicine. May 2013; 28(3): 743-53.

[4] Heiskanen V. Hypothyroidism: Could it be treated with light? Valtsus. Accessed February 2018.

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