Light Therapy and Hypothyroidism
The importance of light therapy is growing as the day goes by. Evidence reveals it can be beneficial in the treatment of hypothyroidism. There are numerous benefits to using red light therapy.
One key benefit is that it improves blood flow around the body. Increased blood flow comes with the easing of pain in the muscles, tendons, and so on.
Think about this: What is hypothyroidism? Simply put, hypothyroidism is a condition in which the thyroid gland becomes underactive.
Normally, the thyroid gland produces some good levels of hormones for normal body functioning.
However, for some unknown reasons, the thyroid gland sometimes either fails to produce enough hormones or does not produce any at all.
There are some classical symptoms you experience with this condition. Getting tired too quickly after some form of exercise is a classic sign.
Additionally, you may also find out that you are not interested in doing any work. All you may want to do is stay in bed all day. Being sensitive to the cold is another classic example.
To treat this medical condition, red light therapy is an effective form of treatment. But is this form of treatment backed by science?
The purpose of this article is to critically examine the efficacy of red light therapy. Furthermore, we'll also examine other benefits of red light therapy.
Let's get down to business!
What is Light Therapy?
Light therapy is the act of using low-wavelength red light to improve cell activity. The ultimate goal of light therapy is to target the powerhouse of cellular activities—the mitochondria.
Once the emitted wavelength can go through the skin layers, it impacts the mitochondria, thereby boosting their activities.
Scientists prefer using LED lights over regular light sources because they can even penetrate deeper into the skin.
Furthermore, evidence reveals that LED lights, otherwise called "red lights," produce more ATP (adenosine triphosphate) than conventional light sources. Recent evidence also suggests that LED therapy reduces oxidative stress and promotes DNA sequencing.
Red light therapy is otherwise known as "photonic stimulation" in some quarters. The therapy is commonly used to improve skin conditions and blood flow.
For example, if a person has been experiencing chronic pain for a long time, the therapy relieves the pain by promoting blood flow to the painful area.
The interesting thing is that a lot of research is still ongoing about the efficacy of light therapy.
Although there have been a few studies done about its effectiveness, the results of these studies have been promising. However, there has been no concrete evidence to support its efficacy.
What is Red Light Therapy Used for?
The benefits of red light therapy span across different areas. The usefulness of this therapy in the management of pain cannot be underestimated.
Once a patient is placed under the effects of the red light, blood circulation begins to improve. More so, the cells and tissues of the body get oxygen and other vital nutrients.
The better the blood flow to a painful area of the body, the less pain one feels.
Apart from pain management, red light therapy is also useful for wound healing. For wound healing to occur at an injury site, there must be a reduction in the level of inflammation.
Evidence suggests that light therapy helps reduce inflammation.
Additionally, light therapy improves blood flow to the wound site. The better the blood flow to an injury site, the quicker the wound heals. And one of the key benefits of laser or light therapy is that it improves blood flow.
Furthermore, people suffering from skin-related problems can also benefit from red light therapy.
The therapy helps improve the texture and appearance of your skin. If you are suffering from any form of skin disease, the InfraGlow Red Light Therapy lamp is a great product that will provide you with some respite. People with impaired hair growth can also benefit from light therapy.
How to Use Red Light Therapy Devices
If you're without experience, using red light therapy devices can be a bit tricky. The fact that there are a lot of light therapy devices on the internet today even makes it trickier.
Using these devices wrong can have unpalatable consequences for your health.
There are different types of red therapy devices with varying degrees of wavelengths. Devices with lower wavelengths are less powerful when compared to those with higher wavelengths.
So if you purchase a light therapy device with a low wavelength, it won't give you the results you want. Before buying a red light therapy device, consult a dermatologist.
Furthermore, these devices are of two types: the type you can use privately at home and the type used in medical facilities.
Before using any light therapy device, make sure you carefully read all the instructions. Doing this will save you from any potential harm.
Experts recommend wearing eyeglasses if possible. This would protect your eyes from the red light's intensity.
For your convenience, you should lie down when using red light therapy. Remember not to spend an excessive amount of time on a device.
The maximum amount of time you should spend is about 20 minutes or thereabouts.
How Might Red Light Affect the Thyroid Gland?
A couple of studies done recently revealed some iota-sized effects of red light on the thyroid gland.
For example, a recent study brought about 43 women together to determine the effects of red light on the thyroid gland.
Fortunately, the results of the study are promising. After prolonged use of the therapy, the level of levothyroxine in the body decreases.
However, signs of reduction in hypothyroidism were only found in patients who used low-level wavelength devices.
Although there were no significant changes in the antibody levels of the patients that participated in the study.
Another notable study that was done to attest to the efficacy of red light on hypothyroidism did not yield very positive results.
About 30 women using portable low-level light therapy for skin problems were selected to participate in the study for 16 weeks.
At the end of the study, there were no significant changes in the thyroid peroxidase antibodies.
If you suffer from hypothyroidism, apart from red light devices, there are a few devices that can help you.
For example, a portable foot massager from LifePro would go a long way toward keeping your feet active. It will also ensure more blood flow to your feet.
To get a clear picture of the effectiveness and efficacy of red light therapy on hypothyroidism, more research must be done.
In addition, a large sample population must be used to test the therapy's effectiveness and efficacy across every demographic.
The red light is completely safe if you follow every instruction. When you buy a portable device for use, ensure you read the user's instructions.
Hypothyroidism is a lifelong condition, and you have to manage it well.
The primary way to manage the condition is through the use of thyroid medications. These medications boost the level of thyroid hormone in the body.
Anecdotal evidence reveals that red light therapy is somehow beneficial for treating hypothyroidism.
So there is a need for more research to determine the efficacy of light therapy in treating hypothyroidism.
Above all, do not buy a light therapy device without speaking with your doctor. Your doctor will determine if you will benefit from it or not.
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