The thyroid gland, despite its small size, is receiving a significant amount of attention amongst and health and nutrition experts across the world. And rightfully so – it’s estimated that nearly 20 millions Americans suffer from some type of thyroid disorder. However, most folks don’t even know where the thyroid gland is, let alone what it does. So let’s start with the basics before we move on to how the health of this highly important gland can be enhanced through natural means.
The thyroid is one of the glands that releases hormones within the endocrine system. This butterfly-shaped organ, which is located in the lower front part of your neck, secretes hormones responsible for literally every cell, tissue, and organ in the body.1
But a lot can go wrong with this gland, causing various thyroid-related problems. For instance, some people develop hypothyroidism, a condition in which their thyroid does not secrete enough hormones – leading to extreme fatigue, depression, forgetfulness, and weight gain. Alternatively, some people develop the opposite problem – hyperthyroidism – an over-secretion of hormones from the thyroid gland. Symptoms of hyperthyroidism include irritability, nervousness, muscle weakness, vision problems, and sleep loss. It’s also possible to develop thyroiditis (thyroid swelling), a goiter (an enlarged gland), nodules (gland lumps) or thyroid cancer.2 As you can see, these thyroid-related problems can really throw your body out of whack.
Depending on the specific condition, traditional treatments for thyroid problems include medication, surgery, and radio iodine therapy. In some cases, a person has to take medication over the course of their life to keep a thyroid problem under control. Plain and simple, the average person doesn’t want to be on medication forever, which is one of the reasons so many people pursue natural alternatives to improve the health of their thyroid gland. One of those remedies is red and near infrared light therapy, which based on recent research, is showing impressive results as a safe solution for enhancing thyroid function.
Clinical Research on Light Therapy Shows Positive Results for Thyroid Problems
There is strong research to back up the effects of light therapy on different types of thyroid problems. A randomized, placebo-controlled clinical study in the May 2013 issue of Lasers in Surgery and Medicine studied possible benefits of light therapy on chronic autoimmune thyroiditis. Researchers from this study found that near infrared light therapy helped improve the participants’ overall thyroid health. Various markers showed signs of improvement – most impressively – the participants' need for levothyroxine treatment declined, and in some cases, went away. Also significant, 47 percent of the participants no longer needed the treatment during the entire nine-month follow-up after the light therapy treatment. This is an important result because most patients suffering from thyroid problems are usually stuck on levothyroxine treatment over the course of their lives. In addition, patients in this study 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
Many additional studies and dissertations also support the fact that light therapy can have a positive effect on thyroid health. For example, a December 2005 study in Photomedicine and Laser Surgery found that near infrared light therapy influenced thyroid hormone levels in male mice.4 Also, 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. Even more, 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.5 The aforementioned studies are just some of the many scientific examples demonstrating the positive results that red and near infrared light therapy can have on thyroid conditions.
Conclusion: Study Results Showcase Light Therapy as an Effective Treatment for Thyroid Problems
Various clinical studies over the last 10-15 years have supported the theory that 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, which include 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 15+ minute treatment times. Instead, choose something like the Joovv Light, which can treat your entire body in the comfort of your own home. And if you're feeling skeptical, take advantage of our 60-day trial that allows you to conveniently try our light therapy devices in order to see if they help . You may be surprised by the results this safe, alternative treatment can have on enhancing the overall health of your thyroid gland.
(1) American Thyroid Association. Thyroid.org. 2017.
(2) Mayo Clinic staff. Mayoclinic.org. Nov 2015.
(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) Azevedo LH, Aranha AC, et al. Evaluation of low intensity laser effects on the thyroid gland of male mice. Photomedicine and Laser Surgery. Dec 2005; 23(6): 567-70.
(5) Heiskanen V. Hypothyroidism: Could it be treated with light? Valtsus. Sept 2015.