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 hasn’t always been available in English.
Now, there are currently over 5,300 studies on Red Light Therapy, and that number is growing exponentially.
So, I wanted to share some of these 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% decrease 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…
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…
Advancements in LED technology have given us the ability to reproduce the same effects at only a fraction of the price.
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 Anymore
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 light technology are not only becoming more widely used, studies are showing that they can have the same effects as their expensive laser counterparts.
This has opened the window to the development of relatively inexpensive options that can be used in the comfort of your own home.
(NOTE: We are NOT recommending this as a replacement for your thyroid medication but rather to be used to complement your thyroid medication and supplements for even better results.)
Yet, you still have to be careful because as mentioned previously, not all lights are created equal.
Here’s how to find the right LED therapy light for you.
How to Choose the Right LED Red Light Therapy Device
There are a few important factors to consider when choosing the right Red Light Therapy device for you.
We’ll cover each one in detail here…
Most Red Light Therapy devices output either one or two wavelengths. While there is nothing wrong with these devices and they certainly do provide results, we don’t recommend these lights.
As mentioned above, Red Light Therapy works by activating the essential metabolic enzyme, cytochrome c oxidase.
This cytochrome c oxidase enzyme is activated most efficiently through four different wavelengths of light associated with the peaks of the graph shown below:
So, it should make sense that for maximum activation, we want to use four wavelengths tuned to these four peaks.
This is why we designed our Red Light Therapy Device to include four wavelengths tuned to 620nm, 670nm, 760nm, and 830nm.
Another important factor when selecting the right Red Light Therapy device is the size of the light itself.
Simply put, the greater the number of LEDs, the larger the area of light, and the larger an area the light can treat.
This is why you’ll find a wide array of sizes along with a wide array of costs.
There are certainly benefits to larger lights, i.e. full-body lights, yet the cost for larger lights becomes exponential to its size.
For our purposes, we use the light primarily on the thyroid gland, face, joints, etc., so we don’t need an expensive full-body light.
This is why we designed our Red Light Therapy Device for a smaller form factor containing 60 LEDs that fit roughly into an enclosure 10.25 inches x 8.25 inches x 2.75 inches.
This allows us to adequately cover the treatment areas we need and at a much lower price.
Plus, the smaller form factor allows this light to be portable, so you can take it anywhere, even when you travel.
Light Power (Irradiance)
The last important factor to consider is the actual power of the light itself.
If you look at manufacturer ratings, this is generally provided as the “irradiance” of the light. The greater the irradiance, the greater the power output.
While the light itself needs to be powerful enough to activate the cytochrome c oxidase enzyme in your cells, there’s another benefit of having a more powerful light.
The greater the power (irradiance), the shorter the treatment time you need to get the best results.
So, for less powerful lights, you might need to use them for 10 minutes whereas a more powerful light might require only 5 minutes.
That might not seem like a lot, but if you need to treat multiple areas at one time, that 5 minute savings could quickly turn into saving you 30 minutes or more.
That’s why we designed our Red Light Therapy Device using 60 LEDs at 5 Watts each, while other manufacturers often use 3 Watt LEDs.
That’s also why we’re able to achieve an irradiance of greater than 150 mW/cm2 at 6 inches distance.
That’s 45% to 225% more light power than similar devices that cost two to three times as much and only use two wavelengths.
The Benefits of Red Light Therapy are Not Limited to Your Thyroid
While we’ve discussed the use and amazing benefits of Red Light Therapy applied to your thyroid gland, it can do so much more.
Research has also shown that there are a vast number of other applications that can provide even more benefit to your overall health.
For example, Red Light Therapy has also been shown to be effective for:
- Weight Gain
- Skin Conditions
- Sleep Issues / Insomnia
- Hair Loss
- Pain Relief
- And much more!
We show you how to use Red Light Therapy for your thyroid and all of these symptoms in our Complete Thyroid-Boosting Guide to Quad-Wave Red Light Therapy, which you can click here to download.
As Red Light Therapy research continues to grow, every day we’re discovering more and more symptoms and conditions that can benefit from, or even be treated with, the use of Red Light Therapy.
The Bottom Line: Why You Need Light Therapy
The topic of stress and stress hormone production is something we discuss here at Forefront Health regularly.
This is because hypothyroid (and Hashimoto’s thyroiditis) sufferers compensate by over-producing stress hormones while these stress hormones further suppress one’s thyroid function.
It’s a vicious cycle that can trap you in a perpetual state of declining thyroid function.
One way this happens is these stress hormones deactivate the essential metabolic enzyme cytochrome c oxidase, which can prevent you from restoring the healthy oxidative metabolism you need for your Thyroid Hormone Pathway to function its best.
Red Light Therapy is one of the easiest way to re-active your metabolism so you can get back to the happy and healthy you.
It’s super easy to use, non-invasive, and is completely safe, making it a thyroid-boosting tool that anyone and everyone can (and arguably should) use.
There are also other extraneous factors that often result in a light deficiency that can further suppress thyroid function.
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 start 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.
So tell me…
Have you tried using light therapy?
If so, leave a comment and let us know your experience.