If you are or have suffered from Thyroid related issues, you probably know how this condition affects you day to day life. Medication help in keeping the levels in normal range so its very important to take what you are prescribed. In this post Dr. Vikram from Planet Ayurveda is sharing some really helpful Ayurvedic treatments for thyroid that you can easily do at home. Some natural remedies for hypothyroidism mentioned here are very easy and simple, that can be done using herbs that are already present in your kitchen.
What Is Thyroid and Why does It Matter
Thyroid is a small, butterfly shaped gland situated at the base of the front of the neck just below Adam’s apple. Hormones produced by thyroid gland—triiodothyronine (T3) and thyroxine (T3) that have an enormous impact on the health affecting all aspects of metabolism.
Physiological actions of thyroid gland are–
• Principle function of thyroid gland is to act as a catalyst for the maintenance of oxidative metabolism.
• It is necessary for normal growth, maturation and tissue differentiation.
• Accelerates energy production
• Regulates metabolism of carbohydrates, proteins, fats, calcium and phosphorus. Hypothyroidism or under-active thyroid is a condition in which thyroid gland doesn’t produce enough of certain hormones. It upsets the normal balance of chemical reactions in the body and untreated hypothyroidism can cause a number of health problems like—obesity, infertility, heart disease, etc.
The accurate thyroid function tests are available to diagnose hypothyroidism and modern treatment involves the prescription of synthetic thyroid hormone.
What are the symptoms of Hypothyroidism?
The symptoms of hypothyroidism vary depending on the severity of the hormone deficiency. When hypothyroidism is not treated, its signs and symptoms gradually become severe. Constant stimulation of thyroid gland makes it to release more hormones which may lead to an enlarged thyroid (goiter). In addition, person may become more forgetful and the thought processes may become slow or may feel depressed. Advanced hypothyroidism is known as myxedema is rare but life threatening. Signs and symptoms of myxedema include—low blood pressure, decreased breathing, unresponsiveness, decreased body temperature and even coma.
• Dry skin
• Increased sensitivity to cold
• Muscle weakness
• Elevated blood cholesterol level
• Muscle aches, tenderness and stiffness
• Pain, stiffness or swelling in the joints
• Weight gain
• Increased sensitivity to cold
• Heavier or irregular menstrual periods in females
• Slow heart rate
• Impaired memory
Hypothyroidism in Infants:
Hypothyroidism mostly affects middle aged and older women but anyone can develop this condition, including infants. When new born babies do have problems with hypothyroidism, the problems may include:
• Whitening of the eyes and yellowing of the skin (jaundice). In most of the cases, it occurs when a baby’s liver cannot metabolise a substance known as—bilirubin which normally forms when body recycles old or damaged red blood cells.
• A large protruding tongue
• Frequent choking
• Puffy appearance of the face
• Excessive sleepiness
• Poor muscle tone
• Constipation When hypothyroidism in infants is not treated, even mild cases can lead to severe physical and mental retardation.
Hypothyroidism in children and teens—Symptoms experienced by children affected with hypothyroidism are—
• Delayed development of permanent teeth
• Delayed puberty
• Poor growth resulting in short stature
• Poor mental development
What are the causes of Hypothyroidism?
When thyroid gland doesn’t produce enough hormones, the chemical balance of hormones gets upset due to a number of causes like—auto-immune disorders, iodine deficiency, radiation therapy, thyroid surgery and other medications.
Hypothyroidism according to Ayurveda
Ayurveda has endowed the function of thermogenesis and metabolism in the body to “Agni”. Agni is defined as an entity that brings about conversion or transformation in any form. There are 13 types of Agni that bring about all the chemical reactions and transformations in the body. “Samagni” is one of the most important criteria for a healthy person. “Agnimandya” is one of the commonest disorders of Agni. Agnimandya leads to the formation of “Ama”—noxious form of Rasa Dhatu. Ayurveda has not mentioned endocrine disorders, instead treatment of unspecified syndromes, it emphasises on careful observation of symptoms and pathophysiology. The normal and abnormal functions of thyroid gland and agni are similar. Symptoms of hypothyroidism and agnimandya are also similar. A disease named Galaganda, characterised by neck swelling is well known. Master Charak has included it under 20 ShleshmaVikara. Master Sushruta has mentioned the seat of Galaganda as RohiniTwacha, the 6th layer of the skin. Charak described it as a solitary swelling while Sushruta has mentioned it as two encapsulated, big or small swelling. The environmental factors, especially deficiency of iodine plays an important role in the functioning of thyroid gland. Galaganda can be co-related with simple goitre- the non-inflammatory, non-neoplastic condition of thyroid gland. Ayurvedic treatment For hypothyroidism includes removal of Ama dosh. The causes of Amadoshas are mainly dietary. It is observed that Amadosha further aggravates the symptoms of Hypothroidism. The Deepan-Pachan therapy of Amadosha strengthens the Jatharagni and in turn regularises Bhootagni and Dhatavagni. Thus, Ayurvedic treatment not only gives the symptomatic relief but also the metabolism at the cellular level is also improved.
Natural Ayurvedic Remedies for Hypothyroidism
1. Coriander—The best remedy for hypothyroidism is coriander. Make powder of dried coriander seeds and take one spoon of coriander powder with water twice a day.
2. Kanchnaar (Bauhinia variegata)—Kanchnaar is a natural thyroid stimulant. Include kanchnnar as a vegetable in your daily diet. It also helps in weight loss.
3. Guggul—Guggul is a gum resin of an Indian tree called Commiphoramukul helps in the treatment of hypothyroidism by stimulating thyroid function. It has anti-inflammatory properties also.
4. Vitamin D—Vitamin D deficiency has been associated with several auto-immune diseases. Exposure to early sunshine is a good way to generate Vitamin D requirement in the body.
5. Ginger—Ginger is a good source of zinc, magnesium and potassium and its anti-inflammatory properties improve thyroid functioning.
Specific herbs which are useful in treating hypothyroidism are—
1. Kanchnaara—It is the most important plant in Ayurvedic pharmacopoeia for treating any type of thyroid problem.
2. Pippli—It increases the absorption of selenium, whose deficiency can impair thyroid function because conversion of T4 into T3 is catalysed by several selenoproteins.
3. Punarnava—It is an excellent herb for treating inflammation or swelling as it has diuretic action.
4. Triphala—It is one of the most popular herbal remedies which cleanses the toxins. Triphala corrects the Agnimandya which is one of the main factors involved in the pathogenesis of hypothyroidism as per Ayurveda. Person must get up early in the morning before sunrise for the proper secretion of thyroid hormones and must go for regular walk in the morning.
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