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Red Light Therapy For Thyroid: Is It Better Than Medication?

Let's fight thyroid

July 4, 2022 0 comments
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Red Light Therapy for Thyroid may be the best non-invasive treatment that uses red or near-infrared light to help heal your body’s function. It is also called Low-Level Laser Therapy (LLLT), Infrared Light Therapy or Photobiomodulation (PBM), which is used by many at-home therapy devices like Joovv red light.

We have complied all essentials about Red Light Therapy for Thyroid, and we will share it with you with great pleasure!

Why Should You Care About Your Thyroid Gland? 

The thyroid gland is an organ of butterfly shape at the base of the neck. It releases hormones that control metabolism – the way your body uses energy.

Another gland, called the pituitary gland, tells how many thyroid hormones your body needs. Thus, it affects many vital functions of our body. For this reason, this small gland needs to fulfill its role correctly.

Only 4 but very important tasks of the thyroid gland include:

#1: It controls the most important function in your body

First and foremost,thyroid controls  most essential body functions. Among them, we can highlight:

  • breathing
  • heart rate
  • digestion
  • body temperature

Obviously, all of those processes work when the hormone system is stable. But problems arise if the thyroid produces too much or too little hormone.

#2: Active thyroid hormone increases mitochondrial energy production

Secondly, Thyroid hormones act directly on the mitochondria and thus control the conversion of energy from oxidation to the form used by the cell. People with hypothyroidism use oxygen more slowly because the mitochondria breathe more slowly. On the other hand, people with Hyperthyroidism use oxygen faster because the mitochondria use it up faster.

#3: Thyroid gland produces thyroid hormone

Thirdly, Thyroid gland produces two hormones: thyroxine (T4) and triiodothyronine (T3). 

They regulate the body’s metabolic functions, such as heat production and using carbohydrates, proteins, and fats.


#4: Understanding the functions and disorders of the thyroid can support and prevent complications in the future

Last but not least, when we know how to care for the thyroid gland and recognize the symptoms of a malfunctioning thyroid gland, we can prevent the onset or development of the disease.

Types Of Thyroid Disorders:

  • Hypothyroidism is when the thyroid doesn’t produce enough thyroid hormone to keep the body healthy. Often called “underactive thyroid“.
  • Hashimoto’s disease makes the thyroid under-active. Also called “autoimmune thyroiditis.”
  • Hyperthyroidism is when the thyroid produces too much of the thyroxine hormone. It’s also called “an overactive thyroid.”
  • Graves’ disease is an autoimmune thyroid condition that makes the thyroid over-active.
  • Goitre (also called “goiter”) is a swelling in the thyroid gland. It causes a lump in the front of the neck. In short, the lump moves up and down when swallowing.
  • Thyroiditis is inflammation of the thyroid gland. It causes unusually high or low levels of thyroid hormone in the blood. It’s a disorder from the group of autoimmune thyroiditis.
  • Thyroid Cancer is a disease that forms malignant (cancerous) cells in the tissues of the thyroid gland.
  • Thyroid Nodules are cysts filled with fluid. A cyst has both fluid and solid parts, called a complex thyroid nodule. Must be surgically removed if they cause neck pain or make swallowing difficult.
  • Postpartum Thyroiditis is inflammation of the thyroid gland after childbirth of a woman. In most cases, it clears within a year but may be life-long. Postpartum Thyroiditis can lead to an overactive thyroid. Sometimes, it turns into Hypothyroidism.

What’s The Difference Between Hypothyroidism And Hyperthyroidism? 

In the first place, the difference between Hypothyroidism and Hyperthyroidism is quantitative. In the first one, the thyroid produces minimal thyroid hormone. On the other hand, the body of the person with an overactive thyroid produces too much thyroid hormone.

We can associate Hyperthyroidism with higher levels of the hormone, which causes an acceleration of metabolism. In contrast, your metabolism slows down if you have an underactive thyroid gland.

In short, many other things are opposite between the two conditions.

If your thyroid is underactive, it may be challenging to deal with the common cold. In the same way, if your thyroid overproduces hormones, you may not like the heat.

They are the opposite extremes of thyroid function. Ideally, you should be in the middle. Treatment for both conditions works to keep thyroid health as close to this average level as possible.

Also read: Red light therapy for tendonitis 

Symptoms Associated With Hypothyroidism 

If you have Hypothyrodoism, you may experience symptoms such as:

  • Fatigue
  • Muscle weakness
  • Weight gain
  • Memory impairment
  • Muscle aches & stiffness
  • Enlarged thyroid gland (Goitre)
  • Low heart rate (below 75 bpm)
  • Low body temperature, less than 98°F
  • Always feel cold (esp. hands and feet)
  • Dry skin anywhere on the body
  • Depression
  • Frequent urination
  • Moody / angry thoughts
  • The feeling of stress/anxiety
  • Brain fog, headaches
  • Bowel issues


And other conditions including:

  • Low libido (and/or weak erections / poor vaginal lubrication)
  • Heavy and painful menstrual cycle
  • Yeast/candida susceptibility
  • Infertility
  • Frequent urination
  • Rapidly thinning/receding hair and eyebrows
  • Slow-growing hair/fingernails
  • Bad sleep
  • Enlarged tongue
  • Drooping eyelids
  • Puffy face and eyes
  • Higher level of cholesterol
  • Lower and hoarser voice

Symptoms Associated with Hyperthyroidism

If you have Hyperthyrodoism, you may experience following symptoms:

  • Sleeping difficulty
  • Irregular and rapid heartbeat
  • High sensitivity to heat
  • Skin Thinning
  • Unintentional weight loss
  • Increased sweating

And other conditions like:

  • Nervousness, anxiety and irritability
  • Concentration problems
  • Fine, brittle hair
  • Enlarged thyroid gland
  • Muscle weakness
  • Vision problems
  • Heat intolerance
  • Sleep loss

Who Is At Risk of Thyroid Disease?

Thyroid disease should be seen as a concern of the majority, not only the elderly. In fact, almost no one in modern society has truly ideal thyroid hormone levels. It’s hard to believe, but nearly 20 million Americans suffer from thyroid disorder! In addition, 60 percent of them are unaware of thyroid problems. In general, a woman is approximately five to eight times more likely to have a diagnosis of thyroid disease than a man.

Moreover, there are overlapping causes and symptoms with several other metabolic issues like diabetes, heart disease, IBS, high cholesterol, hair loss and even depression.

The risk of developing thyroid disease may be higher if:

  • You have a family history of thyroid issues.
  • You have had treatment for cancer or thyroid condition (thyroidectomy or radiation).
  • You have a medical condition (pernicious anemia, type 1 diabetes, primary adrenal insufficiency, lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, Sjögren’s syndrome and Turner syndrome).
  • You use a medication that’s high in iodine (amiodarone).
  • You are older than 60 (especially women).

What Affects The Thyroid Function?

Generally, typical causes of thyroid issues are complex.

Among them, we can distinguish:

  • Diet (polyunsaturated fats, low carbohydrate intake, low calories intake)
  • Stress
  • Heredity
  • Aging
  • Sleep deprivation
  • Alcoholism
  • Excess endurance exercise

Other factors such as:

  • Lack of iodine intake
  • Thyroid removal surgery
  • Fluoride intake
  • Various medical therapies
  • Postpartum thyroiditis
  • Birth control pills

How Is Thyroid Disorder Diagnosed?

Occasionally, thyroid disease can be difficult to diagnose because symptoms can easily be confused with other medical conditions.

You might experience similar symptoms when you are pregnant or getting old and if you develop thyroid disease. Fortunately, some tests can help determine if your symptoms are caused by a thyroid problem.

Following tests may be needed:

  • Thyroid Scan or Ultrasound
  • Physical exams
  • Blood tests

Thyroid Scan or Ultrasound

In most cases, looking at the thyroid gland can answer many questions. Your healthcare professional may perform an imaging test called a thyroid scan. This allows your doctor to look at your thyroid gland to see if it is enlarged in size, shape, or growth (nodules).

Additionally, your provider may also use an imaging test called an ultrasound. This diagnostic procedure transmits high-frequency sound waves inaudible to the human ear through body tissues. Echoes are recorded and then transformed into video or photographic images. Ultrasound, unlike X-rays, does not use radiation.

How Do I Prepare For The Ultrasound Test?

Usually, there is little or no preparation before the ultrasound. During the test, firstly, you must lie flat on a padded examination table with your head on a pillow and tilted back. Then, a warm gel is applied to the skin in the test area. This gel will not damage your skin or stain your clothes. After, your doctor will place the probe around your neck and gently move it to see all thyroid parts.

How Long Does Ultrasound Take?

On the whole, an ultrasound usually takes about 20 to 30 minutes.

Physical Exam

Another way to quickly check your thyroid is through a physical examination at your doctor’s office. This is a very easy and painless test where your doctor senses your neck for thyroid growth or enlargement.

Blood Tests

One of the final ways to diagnose thyroid issues is with a blood test. Thyroid blood tests measure the number of thyroid hormones in the blood. Thus, it shows whether the thyroid works properly. These tests are done by drawing blood from a vein in your arm.

The specific blood tests that will be performed to test the thyroid may include:


It’s stimulating thyroid hormone produced by the pituitary gland. It regulates the balance of thyroid hormones – including T4 and T3 – in the bloodstream. This is usually the first test your healthcare provider will do to see if your hormones are out of balance. Most of the time, we associate thyroid hormone deficiency with elevated levels of TSH.

T4: Thyroxine test: 

Hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism tests are used to monitor the treatment of thyroid issues. Low T4 levels mean a low level of hormone production, while high T4 levels indicate an overactive thyroid.

FT4: Free Thyroxin

FT4 is a T4 measurement method that eliminates the effect of proteins that naturally bind to T4 and may make it impossible to measure accurately.

T3: Triiodothyronine 

Triiodothyronine tests help diagnose Hyperthyroidism or show the severity. Low T3 levels are observed in Hypothyroidism. Nevertheless, this test is increasingly helpful in diagnosing and treating Hyperthyroidism in which T3 levels are elevated.

FT3: (or free triiodothyronine) 

Free triiodothyronine is a T3 measurement method that eliminates the influence of proteins that bind naturally to T3 and may prevent accurate measurement.

Importantly, these tests alone are not intended to diagnose any disease. Still, they may prompt your healthcare provider to perform additional tests to assess a possible thyroid condition.

Thyroid antibodies may be another needed blood test for a comprehensive examination of the thyroid gland. These tests help identify different autoimmune thyroid conditions (autoimmune thyroiditis)

Standard thyroid antibody tests include:

  • Microsomal antibodies (also known as thyroid peroxidase antibodies or TPO antibodies).
  • Anti-thyroglobulin antibodies (also known as anti-TG antibodies).
  • Anti-thyroid receptor antibodies (including thyroid stimulating immunoglobulins [TSI] and thyroid-blocking immunoglobulins [TBI]).
  • Calcitonin: This test is used to diagnose C cell hyperplasia and medullary thyroid cancer, both thyroid gland diseases.
  • Thyroglobulin: This test is used to diagnose autoimmune thyroiditis (thyroid inflammation).

Talk to your doctor about the ranges of these thyroid blood tests. Your ranges may not be the same as other people’s ranges. Often that’s okay. Consult your doctor if you have any concerns about your blood test results.

How Can Red Light Therapy Help Your Thyroid? 3 Crucial Effects Of The Therapy

We’re sure you wonder how Red Light Therapy could help your Thyroid.

There is a ton of research about the effects of red light therapy on the thyroid gland. These studies describe complex processes. However, we will try to explain it in simpler words.

#1: It Stimulates Cellular Energy Production

Since Hypothyroidism is a reflection of the low cellular energy in the thyroid gland, red and near-infrared light help cells work better by supplying more energy to the body.

They have a photoreceptor called cytochrome c oxidase, which works by capturing pictures of light. Similarly, just as our body processes our food to make the mitochondria stimulate energy, the light also stimulates energy production in the mitochondria. Mitochondria are responsible for producing energy in our body’s cells.

#2: It Prevents Stress

Low-Level Laser Therapy has also been shown to help decrease nitric oxide poisoning. In other words, it helps prevent stress. Moreover, red light therapy helps the thyroid hormone by mitigating the effects of stress-related molecules. In effect, it supports mitochondrial function.

#3: It Breaks The Cycle

Hypothyroidism is a vicious cycle of low energy levels. Additionally, it decreases production of thyroid hormones. However, Red light therapy has the potential to break the cycle responsible for this process. In this case, it’s possible by stimulating energy production in the mitochondria and preventing nitrous oxide poisoning.

In summary, red light therapy can help:

  • increase T4 production
  • decrease TPO antibodies
  • reduce inflammation
  • improve thyroid function
  • heal mitochondrial dysfunction caused by electromagnetic fields
  • help the body to heal

What Does Research Show About Red Light Therapy And Thyroid? 

Near-infrared light has been the most studied type of light used to treat the thyroid gland. In fact, it penetrates the skin surface deeper than other wavelengths in the red spectrum.

Also, researchers found a strong correlation between red light therapy, increased energy and improved circulation. Also, most participants found a significant increase in the levels of ATP (the body’s primary energy source). (1)

Apart from this, preliminary results indicate that low-level laser therapy (LLLT) promotes the improvement of thyroid health as patients experienced:

  • reduced LT4 requirements
  • decreased TPOAb levels
  • increased parenchymal echogenicity

In short, the importance of LLLT and its effects on the thyroid were significant. The results confirmed that the thyroid, like any other tissue in the body, benefited from the wavelengths of red light therapy.

Applied at the appropriate frequency to the neck, red light therapy has the potential to increase local energy availability. Due to that, the gland to re-produces its natural thyroid hormone. When the thyroid gland is healed, there are many positive side effects. Thus, your entire body is finally getting the energy it needs. The agreement about red light therapy is that it can produce cellular energy. As a result, the thyroid’s function is enhanced by suppressing negative stress-related cells.

Particular studies:
  • 2018 study shows that proper use of red light can improve hormone production. The thyroid gland especially requires energy to carry out all its functions. Obviously, thyroid hormone is a crucial ingredient in stimulating energy production. You can see how its lack in gland cells reduces further thyroid hormone production – a classic vicious cycle. (2)


  • One placebo-controlled clinical trial showed that LLLT effectively improved thyroid function. It has increased T4 production, which decreased thyroid peroxidase antibodies (TPO ab). As a result, it helped reduce autoimmunity. (3)


  • In addition to the potential systemic benefits of thyroid exposure, applying light anywhere on the body can also produce systemic effects via the bloodstream. Although red blood cells do not have mitochondria, platelets, white blood cells, and other types of cells in the blood contain mitochondria. This alone is being studied to see how and why it can lower inflammation and cortisol levels – a stress hormone that prevents the activation of T4 -> T3. (4)

Thyroid Function: Red Light Therapy vs. Medication

The researchers noted that light therapy could even negate the need for thyroid medication.

In one study, participants with Hashimoto’s disorder were randomized to 10 sessions of LLLT or placebo treatment. As a result, patients from the control group experienced a decrease in anti-thyroid antibody TPO levels. Additionally, autoimmune tissue destruction mechanisms were reduced significantly. (5)

As a result, the need for the synthetic thyroid replacement hormone (levothyroxine) fell sharply after light therapy. In some cases, the thyroid medication could be excluded entirely. In fact, the mean dose of levothyroxine in the placebo group was almost three times higher than in the control group.

People who did not receive red light therapy required a 276% higher dose of T4 substitution than those who received light therapy. During the 9-month follow-up after red light therapy, 47% of the light group participants no longer required levothyroxine treatment. Obviously, that’s a fascinating development in red light therapy!

Diet And Thyroid Health

Undoubtedly, a healthy diet is vital to your overall health. It provides the body with essential nutrients, fluids and energy. Also, it helps in providing the right micronutrients. Including these foods in your diet is critical to your overall health.

So what’s the importance of diet in treating thyroid diseases?

Foods That Should Be Avoided With Hyperthyroidism

If you have an overactive thyroid gland, you may need to change your diet. Always consult your provider or registered nutritionist before changing your diet drastically. Similarly, if you are taking medication, always take the amount prescribed by your provider.

In general, eating too many iodine-rich foods can worsen thyroid function. According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the recommended daily dose of iodine is about 150 micrograms (mcg). The daily dose is higher for pregnant people. A low-iodine food requires even less.

If your provider or dietician has recommended a low-iodine food, try to avoid the following seafood:

  • Fish
  • Seaweed
  • Crab
  • Lobster
  • Nori
  • Alginate
  • Prawns
  • Kelp
  • Algae

Other foods with high amounts of iodine include:

  • Milk and dairy products
  • Cheese
  • Egg yolk
  • Iodized salt

Food That Can Help Hypothyroidism

Western diets may contain iodine, so you don’t have to worry about your diet. Iodine is a mineral that activates the thyroid gland to produce hormones. One solution is that if you have low thyroid hormone levels, eating iodine-rich foods can help your hormone levels increase. Do not try any new diets without first consulting the provider. Talking to him before starting a new diet is essential, especially if you have Hypothyroidism.

Foods that are high in iodine include:

  • Eggs
  • Dairy products
  • Meat, poultry and seafood
  • Edible seaweed
  • Iodized salt

Above all, consult your doctor or nutritionist to set a meal plan. Your food is your fuel. Make sure you are eating the foods that will help your body. Similarly, take your medications as prescribed by your doctor. Altogether, it can keep you healthy over time.

You should pay attention that people with thyroid conditions should not consume too much iodine. The effect may be paradoxical (self-contradictory).

What Happens If Hypothyroidism Is Not Treated?

Hypothyroidism can become a serious and life-threatening disease if you do not receive treatment from your doctor. Consequently, if you don’t get treated, your symptoms may become more severe and may include:

  • Developing mental health problems
  • Breathing problems
  • Disability maintains average body temperature
  • Heart problems
  • Goiter development (enlargement of the thyroid gland)

You may also develop a serious medical condition called a myxedema coma. This can happen when Hypothyroidism is not treated.

FAQ: Red Light Therapy For Thyroid

Red Light Therapy For Thyroid FAQ #1: How To Use Light Therapy Technology For The Thyroid At Home?

It is recommended to use Low-Level Laser Therapy daily for about 20-30 minutes. The light of the lamp needs to be directed towards the neck. Also, it is essential to choose your quality red light therapy device.

Red Light Therapy For Thyroid FAQ#2: How Long Does It Take To See The Results of Red Light Therapy?

Studies show that it takes around 16 weeks of daily application to see significant improvement.

Red Light Therapy For Thyroid FAQ#3: Is Red Light Therapy Good For The Thyroid? 

Red light therapy is effective in reducing inflammation, promoting T4, and improving thyroid function in several cases. This promising treatment can support and heal your thyroid.

Red Light Therapy For Thyroid FAQ #4: Does Light Therapy Help the Thyroid?

Infrared therapy can be beneficial to chronic thyroiditis and promote thyroid function. Low-Level Laser Therapy is recommended to treat tyrosine deficiency.

Red Light Therapy For Thyroid FAQ#5: Is Low-Level Laser Therapy For Thyroid Safe?

According to studies, Red Light Therapy is an absolutely safe and non-invasive thyroid treatment.

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