Guest Blog post by Dr. Brent Wells, D.C.
In the United States, more than 12% of the population is likely to develop some type of thyroid condition in their lifetime. That means about 20 million people living in the US have a thyroid disease of some form and about 60% of those people are unaware they have a thyroid condition. With the prevalence of thyroid issues being relatively common among our population, it is important for patients to take control of their health and seek treatment for medical conditions. However, many people are now seeking alternative therapies and holistic approaches to their health and wellness, and that includes the treatment of thyroid conditions as well.
When it comes to thyroid issues, most of the time, the conditions can be managed with medication and a combination of lifestyle changes and alternative medicines. In fact, many believe that thyroid conditions like hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism can be treated without medication when diet, supplements, and overall lifestyle improvements are made.
Interestingly, and not commonly discussed, chiropractors are healthcare professionals that can help manage thyroid function in patients. While you may not think there is any link between chiropractic manipulations and overall chiropractic care for taking care of the thyroid, there is indeed a strong connection.
In this post, we will take a look at the role of chiropractors in thyroid management and why it might be a good alternative way of controlling proper thyroid function with additional treatments.
How Chiropractors Can Help
While you cannot solely rely on a chiropractor to treat a thyroid condition, they can help manage thyroid function and help with the treatment process in addition to other therapies, medications, and supplements. You should always use chiropractic care in conjunction with other treatments as established by your primary doctor. Seeing a chiropractor as your sole form of treating a thyroid condition is not recommended.
With that being said, chiropractors are often turned to when a patient wants to use a holistic approach to treat their thyroid condition (in addition to other natural therapies) or as a way to help manage symptoms associated with thyroid issues. Chiropractors can work with patients to help design a specific nutrition plan that supports normal and healthy thyroid function. Chiropractors use a mind-body approach to health and wellness in the body and nutrition plays a vital role in the health of your body.
Chiropractors can also provide relief from musculoskeletal pain that is commonly associated with thyroid conditions. Patients may suffer from achy and stiff joints, which a chiropractor can help with.
Furthermore, when your body is properly aligned, it promotes overall better functioning throughout the body. Chiropractic manipulates realigns your body and can help with spinal, back pain, neck pain, stronger immune system, and properly functioning organs.
The Spine and Thyroid Connection
Your spine and your thyroid are connected. Perhaps not literally, but they rely on one another more than you may think. Some thyroid conditions, like Hashimoto’s, can cause inflammation and swelling of the thyroid gland. The swelling can make your vertebrae push out of place. If you do not get your thyroid issues under control, the imbalances in your body and hormones from improper thyroid function can damage your peripheral nerves. If you have damage to these nerves, you may feel pain, tingling, numbness, and weakness in the muscles.
Furthermore, diseases like Hashimoto’s can cause arthritis, joint pain, back pain, and other pain issues within the body, which a chiropractor can address with manipulations and realignment of the spine.
Nutrition and Exercise
Chiropractors can do a lot more than just perform spinal manipulations and readjust your body. They often will help create a plan to better improve your health and overall lifestyle through food and exercise as well.
Your chiropractor can take a look at your current lifestyle and suggest changes that can help your body and thyroid function better. Chiropractors use a full mind-body approach to wellness and food and exercise play a vital role in everyday life. Some foods that are known to help healthy thyroid function include:
- Leafy greens – spinach, kale, lettuce, collard greens, etc.
- Nuts – cashew, pumpkin seeds, brazil nuts
- Organ meats
Your chiropractor can also help you come up with an exercise plan that can help restore healthy thyroid function and help with your ongoing treatment process. Exercise can help improve thyroid function, which in return, improves your mental and physical wellbeing. Partaking in regular physical exercise can support your thyroid function. Some of the best exercises you can do are things like walking, hiking, swimming, yoga, and Pilates as they can stimulate thyroid gland secretion.
The good news is, many insurance plans cover chiropractic care for patients with health conditions. If you do not have insurance or your current provider does not cover chiropractic care, you do have some options! You can see a chiropractor without insurance, and it may not be as expensive as you think. You may even have the option to do payments with certain chiropractic offices to cover the cost of your care, although that it’s not always the case.
In the end, managing your thyroid condition can be done in a variety of ways and there is not a one-size-fits-all approach. Speaking with your doctor and coming up with the best treatment plan for your needs is necessary for improving your thyroid function and overall health. Seeing a chiropractor in conjunction with other treatment methods is a great way to help manage your thyroid and get back to feeling like your best and healthiest self.
About Dr. Brent Wells
Dr. Brent Wells, D.C. has been a chiropractor for over 20 years and has treated thousands of patients. He founded Better Health Chiropractic & Physical Rehab in Alaska in 1998 and is a member of the American Chiropractic Association and the American Academy of Spine Physicians. Dr. Wells is also the author of over 700 online health articles that have been featured on sites such as Dr. Axe and Lifehack. He continues his education to remain active and updated in all studies related to neurology, physical rehab, biomechanics, spine conditions, brain injury trauma, and more.