The thyroid glands are situated in front of our neck and this produces thyroid hormone which is essential for various functions like influencing metabolic rates. Hyperthyroidism is a result of an overactive thyroid gland which produces excess hormones and increases metabolism. Graves’ disease is the most common type of hyperthyroidism.
Some symptoms include shortness of breath, rapid heart rate, swollen and bulging eyes, increased appetite, weight loss, goiter which causes swollen thyroid glands, anxiety, insomnia etc. Sometimes, taking excess thyroid medication prescribed for hypothyroidism could cause hyperthyroidism. Other causes include stress during pregnancy, non-cancerous tumors, malfunctioning of the pituitary gland and others. Treatment includes drug therapies, alternative medicine, consuming a balanced diet that includes antioxidant rich foods, avoiding food allergens and refined foods and more. Homeopathy, herbal medicine, acupuncture could also help.
Cinnamon for Hyperthyroidism
Thyroiditis which causes inflammation of the thyroid gland is one cause of hyperthyroidism. In one study, it was found that cinnamon extracts offer anti-inflammatory benefits by inducing tritetrapolin mRNA expression where there is a presence of pro-inflammatory cytokines. Hence, cinnamon could offer benefits for various inflammatory diseases like Alzheimer’s, arthritis, cardiovascular diseases and thyroditis.
Just like other endocrine glands like the adrenal and pituitary glands, the thyroid gland is also affected by high or low glucose levels. Apart from anti-inflammatory benefits, cinnamon can also regulate blood sugar levels and improve our body’s insulin resistance.
Studies have found the benefits of using 1-6g cinnamon to treat type-2 diabetes. This treatment was followed for 40 days. After this period it was found that patients given various cinnamon doses had lower levels of fasting serum glucose, triglycerides, LDL and total cholesterol. Controlling type-2 diabetes also reduces the risk of developing other diseases associated with diabetes. This includes benefits for hyperthyroidism – especially Graves’ disease. This condition causes sharp spikes in levels of blood sugar, which can cause hormonal imbalance. Using cinnamon could control blood sugar levels and benefit symptoms of Graves’ disease.
Hyperthyroidism is caused by autoimmune disorders and inflammatory conditions. Several factors such as food and environmental allergens, dysbiosis, vitamin D levels, bad nutritional habits and heavy metal toxicity can cause these disorders. Hence, people with hyperthyroidism are advised to avoid food allergens such as gluten, soy products, foods rich in proteins, nuts, eggs, rye, barley, oats, wheat and so on. They are also advised to follow an anti-inflammatory diet that consists of foods that do not aggravate the immune system. Some good anti-inflammatory foods are omega-3 fatty acids, berries, coconut products and herbs such as ginger, turmeric, cinnamon, oregano and rosemary.
There are many cinnamon supplements available online which could be effective for hyperthyroidism. One such product is ‘Cinnamon Bark’ from Gaia Herbs. These are liquid phyto-capsules which contain 33mg cinnamaldehyde, cinnamon bark 200mg and other ingredients. The product is said to provide antioxidant protection and regulate glucose metabolism. It is said to help improve energy levels and could be a natural treatment for hyperthyroidism. Each capsule offers 2500mg of crude equivalent of cinnamon herb. The recommended dosage is 1 capsule twice a day after meals. The product is not to be used by pregnant and breastfeeding women and you must consult a doctor before using it.
1-4g a day of ground cinnamon bark is the recommended daily dosage. For cinnamon oil, the daily dose is 0.05 to 0.2g daily. In one study it was found that 1-6g cinnamon taken daily for 4 months offered benefits for type-2 diabetes. 1tsp ground cinnamon is equivalent to 4.75g.
Used in food, cinnamon spice does not cause side effects. There is no definitive safe maximum dosage of cinnamon essential oil or supplements. Cassia cinnamon contains high levels of coumarin which cause liver and kidney damage. Consuming chewing gum, mints or candies with cinnamon could cause mouth ulcers and inflammation of the lips, throat etc., in those who are sensitive to cinnamon. Cinnamon could interact with diabetes medications. Pregnant and breastfeeding women, those requiring surgery and those suffering from hormonal cancer like breast cancer must avoid using cinnamon.
Always inform your doctor if you decide to use cinnamon supplements and are suffering from hyperthyroidism or any other medical condition.