Several clinical trials support the use of LED Light Therapy for thyroid health, in conjunction with healthy lifestyle choices. Overall, treatment with LED may even reduce the need for medication in some patients with chronic autoimmune thyroiditis!

HOW DOES LED THERAPY BENEFIT THOSE WITH THYROID ISSUES?

People have used red light therapy (also known as low-level laser therapy or infrared light) to treat various health issues, including inflammation and chronic pain. Undoubtedly, LED therapy is an effective and safe method to combat chronic autoimmune thyroiditis and other thyroid problems.

Hypothyroidism occurs when low thyroid hormone activity reduces energy production throughout the body. Some studies conclude that LED therapy near the thyroid may potentially break this vicious cycle by improving local energy availability. In short, the goal is to stimulate the thyroid gland to naturally produce hormones again. When the thyroid gland is healthy, the entire body can get the energy it needs!

patient receiving LED for thyroid

STUDIES OF LED THERAPY FOR THYROID HEALTH

Researchers conducted a 3-year, randomized, placebo-controlled trial involving 43 patients with a history of levothyroxine intervention for hypothyroidism caused by Hashimoto’s thyroiditis. Led by Dr. D.B. Höfling, they have published a series of studies outlining their findings, including a 9-month follow-up with all patients.

Basically, they discovered that:

  • Patients had less need for levothyroxine: Overall, after light therapy, patients’ need for the common thyroid drug declined, and in some cases went away entirely. The average dose required for the placebo group was nearly three times as high. Amazingly, 47% of participants in the light therapy group no longer needed levothyroxine at all during the entire nine-month follow-up after LED light therapy.
  • A decline in thyroid peroxidase (TPOAb): Study participants also showed a decline in levels of thyroid peroxidase (TPOAb), antibodies that indicate an autoimmune problem.
  • Thyroid vascularity: With ultrasounds, researchers found that LED light therapy treatments led to higher rates of growing blood vessels (that improve oxygen and nutrient supply) and increased circulation to thyroid tissues.
  • Improved overall thyroid health: LED light therapy is “effective at improving thyroid function, promoting reduced TPOAb-mediated autoimmunity and increasing thyroid echogenicity in patients with chronic autoimmune thyroiditis hypothyroidism.”

After the Study…

Overall, the benefits were in effect 9 months later; the researchers then continued with a 6-year follow-up. They found that even after 6 years, some of the benefits still remained, but periodic sessions were recommended to maintain all benefits.

For optimal benefits, most research indicates that therapy should be administered at least once a week, consistently.


Other Studies of LED for Thyroid Health

Several other studies have shown profound benefits of red and near-infrared LED light therapy for autoimmune hypothyroidism. This is one of the only treatments that has been shown to greatly slow the progression of or even reverse autoimmune hypothyroidism.

A 2010 study found that red light therapy helped 38% of study participants reduce their hypothyroid medication dose, with 17% being able to stop taking the medication altogether!
A 2014 study used the light therapy for 10 sessions with 347 women with subclinical hypothyroidism. At baseline, the average TSH (thyroid stimulating hormone) was 9.1 mIU/L. After ten sessions of light therapy, the TSH was normalized in 337 (97%) of these women. In short, their TSH averaged out at 2.2 mIU/L after just 10 LED light therapy treatments.

More research is still underway, but the existing research is very consistent. LED/red light therapy has profound beneficial effects on thyroid function. It’s shown to improve thyroid hormone output, increase blood vessel formation (and thus blood flow) in the thyroid gland, and decrease the progression of the condition!

IS RED LIGHT THERAPY SAFE?

LED Therapy offers a pain-free, natural, and safe alternative to conventional therapies. Low-frequency infrared light has longer wavelengths than UV rays, making it safe and gentle on the skin. Most importantly, you can also use it in conjunction with your current acupuncture treatment!

Ask us today if LED Therapy is right for you!


SOURCES

Höfling DB, Chavantes MC, Juliano AG, Cerri GG, Knobel M, Yoshimura EM, Chammas MC. Low-level laser in the treatment of patients with hypothyroidism induced by chronic autoimmune thyroiditis: a randomized, placebo-controlled clinical trial. Lasers Med Sci. 2013 May;28(3):743-53. doi: 10.1007/s10103-012-1129-9. Epub 2012 Jun 21. PMID: 22718472.

Höfling DB, Chavantes MC, Buchpiguel CA, et al. Safety and Efficacy of Low-Level Laser Therapy in Autoimmune Thyroiditis: Long-Term Follow-Up Study. Int J Endocrinol. 2018;2018:8387530. Published 2018 Nov 4. doi:10.1155/2018/8387530

Lee YI, Lee E, Nam KH, et al. The Use of a Light-Emitting Diode Device for Neck Rejuvenation and Its Safety on Thyroid Glands. J Clin Med. 2021;10(8):1774. Published 2021 Apr 19. doi:10.3390/jcm10081774