Saw Palmetto for Thyroid
Disclaimer: This content has been produced purely for informational and educational purposes only and is never intended to be used as a substitute for professional medical guidelines including diagnosis, advice, and treatment.
Thyroid disorders are widespread nowadays that affect both men and women with a number of symptoms such as hair loss, imbalanced metabolism, and excess fatigue. The use of saw palmetto for thyroid disorders and associated symptoms has been gaining increasing popularity over recent years. Saw palmetto is a century-old medicinal herb historically used in traditional medicine to treat a range of ailments including respiratory congestion, prostate issues, and hair loss.
In this article, we’ll be laying out some of the common benefits of using saw palmetto for thyroid disorders and associated symptoms. But before we get into how saw palmetto can benefit thyroid conditions, it’s important to have a basic idea of the thyroid and its conditions first. So, let’s get started.
Table of contents
- Understanding thyroid and its associated symptoms
- Thyroid issues and hair loss
- What is saw palmetto?
- Benefits of saw palmetto for thyroid and its associated symptoms
- How to use saw palmetto supplements
- Precautions and side effects
- Final words
Understanding thyroid and its associated symptoms
The thyroid is a small gland seated in the neck covered by the windpipe called the trachea. It plays a range of essential roles in the human body. This small gland produces thyroid hormones such as T3 (triiodothyronine) and T4 (tetraiodothyronine) or thyroxine, all of which play an important role in different bodily functions including metabolism and organ functions.
Both an overactive and underactive thyroid, medically known as hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism respectively are associated with the malfunction of the body that may show up in various unpleasant symptoms. A large number of factors could be involved in different types of thyroid conditions such as diet, environmental exposures, medications, imbalanced immunity, inflammation, and surgical removal of the gland.
An overactive thyroid (hyperthyroidism) releases too much thyroid hormones that may cause a whole variety of symptoms, including, but aren’t limited to:
- Hair loss
- Weight loss
- Muscle weakness and tremors
- Sleeping problems
- Nervousness, anxiety, and irritability
- Rapid heartbeat
- Excess sweating
- Oversensitivity to heat
In contrast, an underactive thyroid (hypothyroidism) releases insufficient quantities of thyroid hormones that also may lead to various unusual symptoms, such as, but aren’t limited to:
- Hair loss
- Weight gain
- Physical and mental fatigue
- Cognitive decline
- Hoarse voice
- Oversensitivity to cold
Thyroid issues and hair loss
One of the most common and prevalent symptoms of thyroid issues seems to be hair loss. It can be associated with both overactive as well as underactive thyroid conditions. Whether the thyroid hormones are too much or insufficient, they directly affect how the hair follicles function, causing hairs to fall out along with a large number of other hair issues.
It’s not only hair loss either, a malfunction of the thyroid gland may also affect hair in many different additional ways, such as:
- Hair thinning
- Hair breaking
- Abnormal hair growth
What is saw palmetto?
Saw palmetto is a palm plant species botanically known as Serenoa repens that is native to the sandy soils in the coastal regions of the United States, especially in Southeastern America. It grows fan-shaped leaves and berries that become deep purple when ripe.
The berries have long been used historically by Native Americans as a staple food and natural medicine for the treatment of various ailments including urinary tract issues and loss of libido.
Benefits of saw palmetto for thyroid and its associated symptoms
Saw palmetto berries contain several active ingredients such as plant sterols, flavonoids, fatty acids, and polysaccharides (beneficial sugars). The health benefits of saw palmetto for thyroid and its associated symptoms seem to come from these pharmacologically active ingredients. These active ingredients have been shown to have several medicinal properties including an anti-inflammatory, diuretic, antiseptic, immuno-modulating, sedative, expectorant, and more.
The most significant benefit of saw palmetto for the thyroid is that it can help with hair loss induced by the malfunction of the thyroid gland no matter whether it's caused by too much thyroid hormones or insufficient ones. It can hugely help with alopecia caused by autoimmune thyroid conditions such as Hashimoto’s thyroiditis.
Besides, saw palmetto can be used to uphold the optimal function of the thyroid gland. It can also help with imbalanced metabolism, inflammation, unwanted weight gain, and weight loss as well. Moreover, saw palmetto can help balance hormone levels, improve muscle building and muscle tone, and reduce the risk of hormone-sensitive cancer.
How to use saw palmetto supplements
Saw palmetto is available in various forms including powdered capsules, tablets, dried berries, liposterolic extracts, and liquid tinctures. Doses of saw palmetto supplementation are individual and based on personal health status and outcome goals. In general, its doses could be anything between 160 mg to 960 mg per day. Work with a natural health practitioner to determine your best dose.
Precautions and side effects
Saw palmetto is normally safe and well-tolerable for most people. It doesn’t cause any significant side effects except some rare, mild, and uncommon ones such as stomach upset and headaches.
But, saw palmetto may interact with other supplements, herbs, and medications such as blood thinners, contraceptive pills, and finasteride. Since it affects hormone levels and overall bodily functions, it’s essential to consult with a certified natural health practitioner prior to using saw palmetto for thyroid or any other issues to determine the safety profile and the best method of use.
Saw palmetto is a herbal extract derived from the berries of a palm species called Serenoa repens. There are many different potential benefits of saw palmetto for thyroid disorders and their associated symptoms. It can help reduce and reverse hair loss, strengthen thyroid function, and reduce the risk of autoimmune thyroid conditions. As saw palmetto affects hormone levels, it’s important to talk with a certified natural health practitioner before using this supplement.
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