Can Red Light Therapy Actually Heal Your Thyroid?

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Red Light Therapy (RLT) is a promising not so new technology for healing from the inside out. What used to be only available in doctor’s offices or specialty clinics can now be used at home. This episode explores whether RLT can support thyroid healing. I talk about my health journey with hypothyroidism and Hashimotos and my experience using RLT as one of my health tools to put my Hashimotos into remission. 

In this episode, I cover:

  • What Red Light Therapy is  
  • Understanding the different wavelengths
  • How Red Light is different than Infrared Saunas
  • What the science says about red light and your thyroid
  • How to shop for a quality red light that works
  • Red light brands I trust

My Thyroid Healing Journey

My journey into exploring Red Light Therapy (RLT), started when I started exploring holistic ways to heal the root cause of my Hashimotos. The more I delved into the science of RLT, the more interested I became. I had already made a bunch of really positive changes to my diet and lifestyle: I was avoiding gluten, getting plenty of morning sunshine, walking a bunch, grounding and upped my protein in take to 100 grams a day.

What is Red Light Therapy?

Red Light Therapy, also scientifically known as Low-Level Light Therapy (LLLT) or, to some, as cold laser therapy, is a practice that involves bathing the skin in red and near-infrared light, precisely within the 660 nm to 890 nm wavelength spectrum. These wavelengths are friendly to your skin and don’t have any of the UVA/UVB rays emitted by the sun.

The light interacts with our cells through a process called photobiomodulation. Without diving too deep into the scientific jargon, let’s focus on the mitochondria – which are basically our cellular power stations. Our mitochindria absorb light, and then use that light to produce more ATP (adenosine triphosphate), which you can think of as cellular fuel.

Mitochondria is found in nearly all our cells, with the exception of our red blood cells, and acts as the powerhouse that fuels all of our cellular activities. Providing cells additional energy allows enhanced mitochondrial ATP production, which then helps the cell perform its functions more proficiently.

Makes sense, right? Red light at certain frequencies supercharges are mitochondria.. which in turn supercharges our body’s ability to heal itself.

Benefits of Red Light Therapy

RLT isn’t merely a one-trick pony. It has been shown to have a wide variety of researched benefits, including:

  • Enhanced Skin Quality: Anticipate reduced acne, calmed irritation, smoothed wrinkles, and a harmoniously bright complexion.

  • Accelerated Healing: Experience more rapid wound healing and minimized visibility of scars.

  • Cellular Vitality: Enjoy boosted cellular energy with escalated ATP production.

  • Pain Alleviation: Attain assistance in managing pain, especially concerning our joints.

  • Optimized Circulation: Benefit from improved blood flow, delivering oxygen and nutrients to tissues more effectively, courtesy of nitric oxide production.

The intriguing aspect of RLT is how it comes across as a near-magical remedy, considering its multifaceted benefits. But, as with all wellness trends, understanding its workings and principles is key to fully embracing its advantages.

In a nutshell, RLT gently invites our cells into a revitalizing dance, empowering them to perform optimally. Do share your thoughts or experiences with Red Light Therapy in the comments below, as we continue this journey of wellness exploration together.

Can RLT Improve Thyroid Health?

The short answer? The science is leaning that direction. In fact, RLT might be a game-changer for your thyroid health?

In one study, participants who underwent RLT saw a boost in their thyroid function, especially in T4 production. Plus, it also lowered thyroid antibodies known as TPOab.

Another study gave a thumbs up, noting that people needed less thyroid medication (LT4) after RLT. They also experienced improved thyroid health and reduced TPOab levels. So, it seems like our thyroid tissues really benefit from this treatment!

For those worried about safety, a follow-up study reassured us that using RLT for hypothyroidism (especially when caused by autoimmune thyroiditis) is A-OK!

Oh, and there’s a cherry on top! One study highlighted RLTs anti-inflammatory effects, showing a notable increase in the helpful TGF-β1 levels after treatment.

Beyond just the thyroid, science suggests that near-infrared light therapy could help our body heal from issues like mitochondrial dysfunction, which can be brought on by things like EMF exposure.

In a nutshell? Red light therapy might boost T4, lower TPO antibodies, ease inflammation, spruce up thyroid function, and even help with some EMF-related troubles. Pretty cool, right?

Red Light Therapy Vs. Infrared Saunas

In the wellness world, infrared saunas are very popular and there is a a lot of confusion on the differences between RLT and infrared saunas. So, to clear up that confusion, here are the key differences.

  • Wavelength: RLT utilizes mid-six hundred to eight hundred nanometer ranges, whereas infrared saunas go beyond a thousand nanometers. The smaller range of red light doesn’t heat your body. It does a little bit; when you’re doing a red light session, you can feel warmth, but the wavelengths in the infrared saunas are strong and heat you internally. 

  • Depth of Penetration: RLT penetrates approximately five millimeters beneath the skin surface, while infrared light goes 3-4 centimeters deep, triggering perspiration and a deeper, internal warmth. That deep penetration leads to sweating that you get, which then detoxifies your body and burns calories. You’re in a sauna-type environment.

Health Benefits of Red Light Therapy

I’m not going to tell you that red light therapy alone healed my thyroid and Hashimoto’s. I was doing a lot of different things at the time to heal my body, and red light therapy was one of them. I have no way of knowing how big of a role red light played in my healing journey, but I know other science-backed health benefits from daily red light therapy sessions.

1. Skin Health

Red light therapy can stimulate collagen production, improving skin elasticity and reducing wrinkles and fine lines. It can also help clear acne.

2. Pain and Inflammation Relief

It reduces inflammation by increasing blood flow and cellular repair processes. Studies have shown that red light therapy can reduce pain and stiffness in joints affected by arthritis. Many athletes use red light therapy to speed up muscle recovery post-exercise by enhancing blood flow and reducing inflammation.

3. Mental Health

Red light therapy has been found to improve mood and alleviate symptoms of depression by influencing the production of serotonin and other mood-regulating neurotransmitters.

4. Hair Growth

Red light therapy has been shown to stimulate hair growth in people with hair loss conditions by increasing blood flow to hair follicles and promoting cell proliferation.

5. Eye Health

I did a whole episode on this one. Some studies suggest red light therapy may slow the progression of age-related macular degeneration. While it’s not an approved treatment, there is evidence that it has the potential to improve eye health.

6. Sleep Improvement

Exposure to red light, especially in the evening, can help regulate sleep patterns by influencing melatonin production, aiding in better sleep quality. This is one of my favorite parts of my nighttime routine!

There’s still a lot to be researched regarding red light therapy, but it has the potential to be a useful tool for people trying to heal their bodies of various conditions. Listen to the episode for more details on red light therapy and check out my red light therapy recommendations!

Wrapping Up My RLT Journey (For Now)

Embarking on this wellness journey with red light therapy has been eye-opening, to say the least. The promising research pointing toward its potential in managing and perhaps even reversing health issues, especially related to thyroid function, is compelling and worth keeping an eye on.

Products mentioned in the episode:

As I ventured into the realm of RLT devices, I found it paramount to prioritize quality and safety. Ensuring devices adhered to scientifically validated wavelengths and power outputs was key.

Here are a couple of products I found noteworthy:

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