What are effective treatments for an underactive thyroid?

Aviva J. Romm, MD
Family Medicine
Effective treatments for an underactive thyroid include dietary changes, as well as thyroid treatments using medications. Watch integrative medicine expert Aviva Romm, MD, discuss foods to support thyroid function and treatment with medication. 
Susan S. Blum, MD
Preventive Medicine

Treatment options for underactive thyroid include dietary changes to add key minerals, ashwagandha supplements, and thyroid hormone replacement. Watch functional medicine expert Susan Blum, MD, share a few methods that can improve thyroid function.


Hypothyroidism, or an underactive thyroid, is treated with thyroid medication. Levothyroxine (Synthroid, Levoxyl, Levothroid, etc), a synthetic thyroid hormone, is most commonly used. Levothyroxine is T4 which is the long-acting storage form of thyroid hormone. This medication replaces the hormone from your thyroid.
More information can be found at the American Thyroid Association (ATA) website http://www.thyroid.org/wp-content/uploads/patients/brochures/Hypo_brochure.pdf Endocrinediseases.org: Thyroid: hypothyroidism - treatment
Hypothyroidism is caused by an lack of adequate production and secretion of the thyroid hormone, a patient can often supplement the normal body's production of the hormone by injesting the hormone in pill form. Most patients are given T4  in a weight-based dose (1.6 mcg/kg) and because it administers something naturally produced by the body, there are minimal side effects or allergic reactions. However, symptoms associated with hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism may been seen is patients are taking too much or too little thyroid hormone. It is important for patients to work closely with their thyroidologist to determine the correct dose of thyroid hormone. 
Dr. Mehmet Oz, MD
Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease)

What happens when your thyroid isn't working? In this video, Dr. Oz advises on  alternatives to  synthetic thyroid medication for women suffering from a sluggish thyroid.

Continue Learning about Thyroid Disorders

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.