The short answer is YES, Red Light can help thyroid disease! However, that answer doesn’t come close to the reality I have witnessed in my office, because Red Light therapy is more like miraculous for thyroid disease. I knew the research on Red Light therapy, a.k.a. Photobiomodulation (PBMT), was good when I added it to my office. What I have witnessed in my thyroid patients has been amazing!
Why does Red Light help Thyroid Disease?
It turns out that PBMT is a great match for the thyroid because of how PBMT works and the location of the thyroid. Because the thyroid is near the skin in the front of the neck, the red and infrared light can actually be absorbed by the thyroid.
When the thyroid cells are lit up with these wavelengths of light it helps the cells heal, detoxify and do their jobs better. In my experience thyroid problems come from three major categories.
The first is nutrient deficiency. The most common nutrients that I find thyroid patients need are iodine, iron and selenium. Obviously if the thyroid doesn’t have what it needs it’s going to have a difficult time doing its job.
The second common cause of thyroid disease is toxins. All glands seem to be a place where toxins get stored. (It’s not a coincidence that the most common cancers are in glandular tissue.) As a result of the toxins, thyroid cells are damaged. The part of the cell that is hurt the most is the mitochondria. Mitochondria are the powerhouse of the cells. Without healthy mitochondria making the fuel for the thyroid, the thyroid can’t do its job.
The last category of problems that hurt the thyroid are from the GI tract. Infections in the gut can hurt the thyroid. A leaky gut will hurt the thyroid. When the gut is inflamed the thyroid will be inflamed.
I help my thyroid patients by testing for these categories and fixing whatever problems the testing identifies. This is necessary for complete healing of the thyroid.
Regardless of the reason for thyroid dysfunction, Red Light therapy helps the thyroid heal. PBMT speeds up the time it takes for the thyroid to recover. I have witnessed some amazing treatment outcomes in just the past month.
Recent Red Light Thyroid Success Stories
In our own practice, we have had two patients that we ran blood tests for before and after they had been consistently coming in for PBMT sessions. The first patient, a 64 year old female, had struggled with a hypoactive thyroid that we had been treating with Functional Medicine. Change in the body takes time, and certainly that was the case here. However, when this patient got her blood work done, she improved significantly in just two months! Most of her TSH, T4, T3, Thyroglobulin Antibodies, and TPO levels had gone from low to back in the ‘healthy’ range. She reported having more energy, less pain, and overall feeling much better.
Patient two, a 13 year old female with a hyperactive thyroid, also got blood work before and after consistently getting PBMT multiple times a week for two months. Her results showed that her extremely high levels had lowered enough to no longer have a hyperactive thyroid! She let us know that now she has less pain, sleeps better, and has less anxiety. It is amazing to be able to offer this treatment to our patients and see real results that help improve their quality of life.
It’s important to point out that both of these patients had testing that identified issues which were causing their thyroid to stop working right. In addition to getting PBMT they were fixing the underlying problems.
Studies on Red Light Helping Thyroid Disease
These studies are only testing the effect of Red Light therapy on thyroid disease. No additional treatment was used.
In 2020, 350 patients with Hashimoto’s were tested to see if regular PBMT usage could impact their T3/T4 ratio. The conclusion was that PBMT was VERY effective in increasing T3/T4 ratio (70 times MORE effective!) and decreasing TPO Ab levels. TPO levels in the blood point directly back to diseases like Hashimoto’s, so the decrease shows the amazing impact of the weekly PBMT sessions.
A randomized, placebo-controlled trial with a 9-month follow-up was conducted from 2006 to 2009. Forty-three patients with a history of thyroid replacement therapy for hypothyroidism were randomly assigned to receive either 10 sessions of PBMT or 10 sessions of a placebo treatment. The results of the study suggest that Red Light therapy was effective at improving thyroid function, promoting reduced autoimmunity and increasing thyroid hormone production in patients with hypothyroidism.
The objective of this study was to gauge the value of applying PBMT to hypothyroid patients based on both ultrasound studies and evaluations of thyroid function and thyroid autoantibodies. Fifteen patients who had hypothyroidism were undergoing thyroid replacement treatment were selected to participate in the study. Patients received 10 applications of Red Light therapy, twice a week. The results indicate that PBMT promotes the improvement of thyroid function, as patients experienced a decreased need for LT4, a reduction in autoimmune levels, and an increase in blood flow to the thyroid.
I expect many more studies to be published on Red Light therapy and thyroid as this therapy gains exposure.
How to Get Started:
A Red Light therapy session is ten minutes long, and it is recommended that you come in three times a week – if you can. Patients can see results after just one session! Oftentimes, however, you will start to see results after 2-3 months. Once you establish the baseline, you only need to come in as needed. We have a great UNLIMITED plan that is only $49.95 a month and gives you all the access you need. If you want to get started, get scheduled HERE.
Don’t live nearby? You can order a portable device for your home to still get the great benefits. Order your device HERE.
Note: with a smaller device, you will need to apply the red light to the location of your body you are trying to help. For example, the front of your neck to get your thyroid.