How to Get Off Your Thyroid Medication Using “Light Therapy”

By | 2018-08-22T20:10:49+00:00 August 22nd, 2018|Healthy Living, Hypothyroidism|63 Comments
  • light therapy for hypothyroidism

It’s a question I get asked almost every single day…

“How can I get off my thyroid medication?”

While your doctor and the manufacturer of your thyroid medication will likely tell you that it’s impossible, there’s some interesting research that says otherwise.

The answer for some may be as simple as… “light”.

The problem however is that sometimes research like this can be very difficult to understand.

Not because it’s necessarily complicated… but because it’s not always available in English.

Yet, we have Vladimir Heiskanen to thank for bringing “light” to this research (pun intended).

Vladimir was kind enough to send me an article he wrote on light therapy for hypothyroidism which presented some very promising results.

So, I wanted to share some of his findings with you and how you can use this to help heal your own thyroid issues.

And just to be clear, we’re not talking about slight improvements in thyroid function.

Multiple studies out of Brazil showed that this light therapy not only reduced the need for thyroid medication in all patients…

…it also showed that

47% of patients no longer required any thyroid medication even 9 months later, when the study concluded.

Along with a 39% to 49% decreased in TPOAb (anti-thyroid antibodies) among those with Hashimoto’s thyroiditis.

And get this…

A Russian study demonstrated a 97% success rate when treating subclinical hypothyroid women.

Their baseline TSH averaged at 9.1 mIU/L, but after ten sessions of LLLT, the TSH was normalized in 337 (97%) of these women. Their TSH averaged at 2.2 mIU/L after the LLLT treatments.

These results were so impressive that according to Russian Researchers…

In our opinion, it [LLLT] is the method of choice in the treatment of [subclinical hypothyroidism], especially in the elderly.”

What Is LLLT and How Does It Work?

LLLT stands for “low level laser (light) therapy”.

Specifically it focuses on the therapeutic properties of red to near infrared light.

Maybe you’ve seen the infomercials with those red light devices claiming to improve your mood, take away all of your aches and pains, cure your acne, or even help you re-grow your hair…

infomercial

Well, all those claims are based on the therapeutic benefits of LLLT.

But please don’t go out and buy one of these cheap devices.

They are most likely poor quality and not designed accurately enough to provide much if any results.

With that being said, LLLT is scientifically proven to do all of these things and more.

However, real and effective LLLT devices as used for medical therapy typically cost in the range of thousands of dollars, making them unaffordable to most individuals.

But don’t worry…

You can get some of the same benefits that will only set you back $10 to $20 (I’ll explain in a minute).

The important thing to understand is that LLLT works by activating a very important enzyme known as “cytochrome c oxidase”… which plays a crucial role in healthy metabolism and energy production.

(Note: Activating “cytochrome c oxidase” is also something that we do in Step 5 of this article on “How We Overcome Hypothyroidism When All Else Fails”.)

In fact, as Dr. Raymond Peat points out, this is one of the same mechanisms that T3 (thyroid hormone) works to help stimulate healthy metabolism.

In other words, one of the reasons that light therapy has been proven as an effective treatment for hypothyroidism (and potential replacement for thyroid medication) is because it activates this important enzyme, the same way thyroid hormone does.

But also as Dr. Raymond Peat points out, there are many factors today that tend to de-activate this important enzyme… such as dietary PUFAs (polyunsaturated fats), excessive stress, estrogen dominance, low thyroid function, lack of light, copper deficiency, etc.

So, how can you benefit from this?

The Truth Is You Don’t Really Need a Fancy Laser

As Vladimir points out… so much of the light therapy research these days is focused on the use of laser light.

Most likely because laser light can be easily adjusted, which allows researchers to test specific parameters of the light very easily.

Now, less expensive devices using LED lights are becoming more widely used.

But even inexpensive higher powered incandescent light bulbs can provide many of the same therapeutic benefits.

In fact, we use this with clients all the time and it doesn’t have to be expensive at all.

You can get the all the parts you need at your local hardware store including bulbs and inexpensive reflectors to make a simple homemade lamp.

reflector

The key is to expose the light directly to your skin to activate the cytochrome c oxidase enzyme, making sure to get exposure to your thyroid and chest.

Starting with as little as 15 minutes daily can provide positive results.

(Note: We are NOT recommending this as a replacement for your thyroid medication as it isn’t as strong or directed as LLLT. But we still highly recommend it for its therapeutic benefits.)

The Bottom Line: Why You Need Light Therapy

If you work indoors, away from windows, and with little exposure to sunlight then light therapy can help protect against light deficiency and hypothyroidism.

If you work the night-shift then this can become extremely important.

But even as we’re approaching winter time in the northern hemisphere, days are beginning to shorten, which naturally reduces our light exposure.

And it’s the reason why so many hypothyroidism sufferers experiencing a worsening of symptoms during the winter months.

All of these are reasons why using light therapy can become extremely important for protecting your thyroid.

Want to build your own light therapy lamp for less than $20?

Here are the detailed instructions on how we use it with our clients and how you can use it too:

thyroid light therapy

How to Build Your Own Thyroid-Boosting Light Therapy Lamp

So tell me…

Have you used light therapy?

If so, leave a comment and let us know you’re experience.

About the Author:

Tom Brimeyer is the founder of Forefront Health and the creator of the popular Hypothyroidism Revolution program series. Specializing in thyroid and metabolism disorders, Tom's work has impacted over 50,000 people spanning more than 60 countries. Tom is also a highly sought after practitioner who runs a successful health consulting practice where he continues to help clients across the globe to take back control of their lives from their devastating health conditions.

63 Comments

  1. Alissa October 15, 2015 at 3:31 pm - Reply

    Tom, please show us step by step how to make this. Also, will it help people with Hashimoto’s? Thank you for all you do and your generous spirit.?

    • Tom Brimeyer October 15, 2015 at 3:46 pm - Reply

      The results of the published studies show significant decrease in in anti-thyroid antibodies indicating that it does help with Hashimoto’s.

  2. Tina October 15, 2015 at 3:44 pm - Reply

    So in theory if you live in a climate that’s warm and sunny all year round and go outside in the sunshine each day it can help the same as this?

    • Tom Brimeyer October 15, 2015 at 3:53 pm - Reply

      Thanks for reading… and to answer your question, yes and no.

      Adequate sunlight is important so the closer you live to the equator can help since you get more daylight year round.

      But there are also parts of the light spectrum that “de-activate” the cytochrome c oxidase enzyme, i.e. blue light and ultraviolet light.

      These studies are focusing specifically on the benefits of the red to infrared part of the light spectrum. When we isolate these wavelengths we see extremely beneficial results.

  3. Jonathan October 15, 2015 at 4:07 pm - Reply

    Wow, how encouraging! I’ve heard of using cold laser therapy for a short period over the thyroid, but this seems inexpensive than buying a cold laser. Looking forward to more info on this. Thank you for sharing! I’ll drop a nugget here in exchange. As a Hashimoto’s patient, I’ve benefited from a 150 point drop in my TPO antibodies by using Wobenzym PS systemic enzymes in a 3 month span.

  4. Bob October 15, 2015 at 4:15 pm - Reply

    Is this the same as the lightbulbs which simulate real sunshine for use indoors in the winter?

    http://products.mercola.com/light-bulbs/

    Thank you.

    • Tom Brimeyer October 15, 2015 at 4:24 pm - Reply

      No, this is focusing on the specific benefits of the red to infrared light spectrum.

  5. Manuela October 15, 2015 at 4:57 pm - Reply

    What kind of lightbulb should we get and where should it be directed to on our body?

    • Lori January 26, 2016 at 8:34 pm - Reply

      Hi, the article states to make sure the light gets to your chest and thyroid area. Also, if you see the blue lettering above that says “how to build your light” (or something close to that) it will have links in that article on where to purchase the items. Both are sold on Amazon.

  6. Stephanie October 15, 2015 at 4:58 pm - Reply

    So Tom when are you going to show us how to use it?

  7. Beth October 15, 2015 at 5:23 pm - Reply

    Tom, I would love to try this. Can you please spell out exactly what items to purchase (so that one can order the parts online) and then explain how to put it together. Thanks a lot!

    • Tom Brimeyer October 15, 2015 at 6:34 pm - Reply

      I plan to provide some options soon.

  8. Nancy October 15, 2015 at 5:57 pm - Reply

    So, if I go to Home Depot, which bulb do I need to buy, the actual name and watage?

  9. MS October 15, 2015 at 6:27 pm - Reply

    Does this light treatment help with those of us that have little or no TPO antibodies, but high TgAB (126)? Would this help me since I’ve been taking 3 Grains of Natural Dessicated Thyroid since 2008. I tried to lower my medication last year after changing diet and supplements, but my T4 and T3 tanked! WHEN will this be a readily available treatment in the U.S.?

    • Tom Brimeyer October 15, 2015 at 6:38 pm - Reply

      I’m not sure about TgAB. LLLT is available in the US. It’s being used for many therapeutic purposes but not specifically for hypothyroidism that I’m aware of.

  10. Ginny October 15, 2015 at 6:49 pm - Reply

    I don’t know if it’s related but I’ve been using the red light therapy booth twice a week for a year and have reduced my Armour gradually from 120 mg daily to 60 mg. I’m currently having some anxiety and sleep issues so am considering reducing it even more.

    • Mark Dunn October 18, 2015 at 7:19 am - Reply

      Ginny, please tell us more about the red light therapy booth. Is it something you bought for home, or somewhere you go? Is it big or small… How long do you use it? Where is it directed on your body… Sounds like a God-send.

  11. Nancy October 15, 2015 at 7:05 pm - Reply

    We have several of these clip on lights in the shed just waiting to be used for something! Just need to buy a bulb – what kind should be used?
    Anxious to give this a try!
    Thanks for sharing something so simple 🙂

  12. Lori October 15, 2015 at 7:13 pm - Reply

    So exactly what kind of bulb should one purchase Tom?

  13. Kerry October 15, 2015 at 7:14 pm - Reply

    We have a Bioptron light, which also has colours for different uses, will this be of help.
    My husband has thyroid problems so we are trying to overcome these. I use the Bioptron light therapy for sore muscles, sprains, headaches, burns and nerve problems etc

  14. Chantal October 15, 2015 at 7:32 pm - Reply

    This is exciting info,however disappointing because there is no info on how to put this together.
    Can you direct us to plans or list of supplies?
    Do you think this would work with thyroid resistance?
    Thanks

  15. Barbara October 15, 2015 at 8:21 pm - Reply

    I have a photonic therapy lamp which is just below the wave length of a laser. It was designed by Brian McLaren who has the highest degree in acupuncture in Australia. It does a great job at relieving back pain and helps injuries heal quicker. I may try putting it into the reflector l have like the one above and see what happens! I will also put an infrared bulb over my shower if you think that will help! Very excited about this prospect. I have Hashimotos and would love to put it in remission.

    • Tom Brimeyer October 16, 2015 at 8:22 am - Reply

      A laser isn’t defined by a wavelength. Lasers can be designed to emit various wavelengths. So you would want to check the wavelength/spectrum of the photonic therapy lamp to see if it’s in the beneficial range.

  16. Louisa T October 15, 2015 at 10:19 pm - Reply

    I have been put on Levothyroxin the last 6 months for hypothyroidism. But also suffer from SAD for which I use a full spectrum light from August through June. I do feel better using this light, but am wondering if a near infrared light might be better. Thanks for your article!

  17. siobhan October 16, 2015 at 4:28 am - Reply

    Hi Tom, really interesting article. I am wondering can this therapy be used in pregnancy?

    • Tom Brimeyer October 16, 2015 at 8:31 am - Reply

      Hi Siobhan. Like most things, there’s been no testing on pregnant women so the general consensus is to not use LLLT anywhere near the uterus. I believe it has been used during pregnancy for back pain. But you should always consult your doctor.

  18. Violet October 16, 2015 at 5:03 am - Reply

    Very excited to get the particulars on this. Like so many today I am in an office in front of a computer each day with little exposure to natural light. This would certainly be helpful. Can’t wait to get further info on this.

  19. Margaret October 16, 2015 at 12:08 pm - Reply

    I have a little hand-held device called a “light shaker” made by a place called Light Energy. It puts out a solid or a pulse led red light. It could be directed at or touched on the thyroid neck area. Wonder if that would be beneficial?

  20. Renee October 16, 2015 at 9:10 pm - Reply

    I have a Celluma LED panel. It has blue, red and in fared light settings. Are you familiar with it? If using this light therapy, how do you know if it is working if you are still taking prescribed meds such as NatureThroid?

  21. Tano Briglio October 17, 2015 at 12:53 am - Reply

    When are going to provide instructions to make this lamp ?

    • Tom Brimeyer October 19, 2015 at 10:17 am - Reply

      If you’re signed up to receive our emails, you’ll receive an email once it’s ready.

  22. coral October 17, 2015 at 11:01 am - Reply

    Tom, you haven’t answered anyone’s question about which light bulb to use? What wattage? Just a regular incandescent light bulb or one of those red LED bulbs?

    • Tom Brimeyer October 19, 2015 at 10:16 am - Reply

      In the article I mentioned that I’m working on putting together a resource for this. Thanks for your patience.

  23. sue October 17, 2015 at 12:25 pm - Reply

    Hi there
    very interesting, can i used since i have thyroid cancer ?

  24. L. Zautke October 17, 2015 at 10:40 pm - Reply

    You can buy this light on http://www.mosesnutrition.com/single-heat-lamp-info/ for $35. Also more info on building your own on http://drlwilson.com/articles/HEAT%20LAMP.htm. Hope this helps.

  25. Erika Harvey October 18, 2015 at 3:49 pm - Reply

    Would it not be sensible to get moderate amounts of sun exposure to achieve similar results

    • Peter from Dracos May 1, 2016 at 10:32 am - Reply

      Maybe but I have a feeling this device is more specific to the infrared spectrum and is for people who are deficient in natural lighting or who want more than a moderate amount of infrared without a more than moderate amount of uv. Maybe sunrise or sunset would appear redder. This however, is actually caused by pollution. Also hot stone massage contains quartz which has a pyroelectric effect.

  26. John October 19, 2015 at 10:08 am - Reply

    My wife uses an infrared light device for her skin, it is supposed to renew or help the collagen. We were already wondering about holding it over the Thyroid gland to see if it might help, now I’m really curious if this is the correct light or spectrum to help the Thyroid?

    • Tom Brimeyer October 19, 2015 at 10:15 am - Reply

      They typically use different wavelengths and different power levels because it has a lot to do with the depth of penetration of the light itself. So most designed for the skin would not necessarily work well directly on the thyroid gland.

  27. Becky Gilbert October 19, 2015 at 3:50 pm - Reply

    I have hypothyroidism. I also only have one kidney and one adrenal gland. Can this cause my thyroid to not work? Lacking the adrenal?

  28. jessica October 19, 2015 at 9:02 pm - Reply

    hi my boyfriend has sever hyperthyroid got a false normal test and in a sense his thyroids storms are five times worse then the average because he has a steel plate in his head and missing some brain cells it quite clear her has liver and gallbladder damage due to being electrocuted at the age of 15 and falling 60 feet he doesn’t believe his test was false due to not testing the t3 and t4 and cortisol testing he wont let me help him improve him self been slowly improving eating habits but its slow on welfare. I don’t understand why there is more on hypo then there is on hyper when hyper is far more dangerous? due to his hyperthyroid he suffers explosive conduct disorder, oppositional defiant disorder, immature personality disorder, and so much more including what I refer to as Jekle and Hyde syndrome often described as the locked in feeling or duel personality disorder. I suggested he should get prescribed propranolol twice a day and a special diet once diet improves enough there should be no more need of the medication. and his other health problems should improve as well. Tom could you talk to him on face book man to man about getting help his name is Andrew Madill.

  29. Gina October 22, 2015 at 10:35 am - Reply

    WOULD THIS WORK FOR SOMEONE WHO TOOK RADIOACTIVE IODINE?

    • Tom Brimeyer October 22, 2015 at 10:57 am - Reply

      I don’t have research with respect to thyroid hormone levels, however it would still be beneficial for promoting healthy metabolism.

  30. Patti B. October 26, 2015 at 4:18 pm - Reply

    How long do you sit in front of this light?

  31. Moletia Bates November 23, 2015 at 4:34 pm - Reply

    I bought the lamp and bulb from your link above. It looks like 15 minutes would be the recommended amount of time daily? How close should you place the heat lamp to your body? Thanks for all your useful information. Really enjoying your Facebook page also. Thanks Moletia Bates

  32. lara December 20, 2015 at 6:37 pm - Reply

    I found my supplies at Rural King for $13 total….same stuff used to warm or brood hatching eggs….i found the lamp fir 8.99..2 250W clear infrared bulbs for 1.99 each. The lamp has a ceramic ring inside that wont melt when the bulb gets hot. Red light therapy booths are found in some gyms and fitness centers such as Planet Fitness

  33. Deanna December 22, 2015 at 4:56 am - Reply

    Hello Tom. I woke this morning with a suspicion that led me to your site. My tsh level is at .1 and my dr just had to lower my Synthroid. As you know the normal range starts at .4. I developed Hashimoto’s 20 years ago with pregnancy. I sleep about 4yards away from an infrared heater and suddenly had a suspicion as to whether there was a correlation to the drop in my tsh level. I will keep an eye on this and report back when I get retested in six weeks. Thanks for your post.

  34. Anna December 30, 2015 at 3:37 pm - Reply

    Hi, I live in Sweden and I found my lamp att the zoo shop.
    http://www.zoo.se

  35. Tricia December 30, 2015 at 6:06 pm - Reply

    Got mine from link on forefront from amazon.com. I love it. I have mine attached to my vanity mirror and have it on while I do my hair and make-up in the morning. I feel energized. I definitely notice a difference on the days when I don’t use it. I have a very tough time in the winter months and looking forward to feeling better this winter, hopefully.

  36. Marissa April 25, 2016 at 9:20 am - Reply

    Hi Tom,
    I’ve certainly improved since I started following the steps on eating for thyroid health. My question is, “There is a red light therapy that they have at Planet fitness.” Usually you are only in there for about 15-20 minutes. Do you think that would be helpful for my thyroid? Thank you for all the research that you have provided for our health.

    • Tom Brimeyer April 28, 2016 at 4:04 pm - Reply

      Hi Marissa, it depends entirely on the wavelength of the light as some don’t penetrate the skin. Either way it would likely be beneficial for metabolism even if not directly on the thyroid.

  37. Carson May 21, 2016 at 10:47 pm - Reply

    To clarify to everyone here this is talking about deep penetrating infared therapy. Wavelengths between 830-850 LED. You can buy CCTV led security lamps for 20-40 bucks to do this it works great. Incandescent bulbs are good for everyday additional light, but it’s not gonna provide the thyroid correction benefits in these studies.

  38. Wendy June 9, 2016 at 9:49 am - Reply

    Is it better to use/buy the white bulb or the red bulb? Thanks

    • Tom Brimeyer June 10, 2016 at 2:30 pm - Reply

      We use the clear/white bulb.

  39. Sarah June 12, 2016 at 9:48 pm - Reply

    Just wondering did you post any info on how to get th light, what type and where to purchase? Would it be bad to use the light daily?

  40. Jason Klinger December 2, 2016 at 12:08 am - Reply

    This definitely works – i am using near IR light on my kidneys now too. i am hopeful that it will help. whenever i have inflammation or pain i use my red light and it always works…better than any pain med or steroid – it even helps with indigestion

  41. Kami December 14, 2016 at 8:50 am - Reply

    this is what I have been using for light therapy using the red heat bulbs. It is very relaxing.
    https://www.amazon.com/PIBBS-Headed-Lamp-Deluxe-Model/dp/B002IVBBMU/ref=sr_1_2_a_it?ie=UTF8&qid=1481730499&sr=8-2&keywords=pibbs+heat+lamp

  42. Kami December 14, 2016 at 8:51 am - Reply

    I have been using the PIBBS for over a year. I did order a couple clear bulbs to try per the article.

  43. kris January 1, 2017 at 7:14 am - Reply

    I have a clearlight infrared sauna dome and also a philips 10000 lux lamp does any of those 2 have the same effect?

  44. Stephen Ward January 8, 2017 at 8:40 pm - Reply

    Im interested to know if anyone has any idea whether infra red on the thyroid region would help with T4 to T3 conversion and what the pathway may be? Would there be any benefit also to target the liver as the main site of conversion?

  45. Betty Morelli September 24, 2017 at 4:58 pm - Reply

    Bought your book. Hypothyroid Revolution. Did not get the the online downloadables because I am not computer savvy. I am 84 yrs old. Diagnosed at age 25. Been off and on hypo meds my entire life because of TSH readings. I want to use the light therapy. Not allowed by family to put my credit card online. So. please email me info at bmor449
    @aol.com. or bmorelli1933gmail.com

  46. Virginia September 1, 2018 at 11:21 am - Reply

    Could one use one of the Home Depot 250W or 500W halogen work lamps and get the same results? Do you need a red filter? These are portable and only cost 10-15$. I’ve seen a lot of these type from medical companies online go for over 50. But they usually have a red filter.

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