Thyroid

Our thyroid is a small butterfly-shaped gland located at the base of the neck below Adam’s apple. It is part of our endocrine system, which coordinates our body’s activities. The primary function of the thyroid remains to regulate the regular body metabolism. However, several disorders can arise when thyroid production is more or
less than required. Most common conditions include Hyperthyroidism, Hypothyroidism, Hashimoto’s disease, Grave’s disease, Goiter and Thyroid nodules.
Surveys claim that women are more likely to get affected with thyroid abnormalities than men, especially right after pregnancy and menopause.

Thyroid treatment in Ayurveda

Ayurveda relates the thyroid functions to the activities of Agni (metabolism). Based on this, the treatment and medications are adapted. In hypothyroidism, the dosha dushya involvement is medo sroto‑duṣṭi (fatty tissue vitiation or disturbed lipid metabolism) due to deranged Agni.

Medicines that possess the properties of Deepana, Pachana, Ushna, Tikshna, Sukshma and Lekhana are preferred. Deepana pachana medicines help in increasing digestive fire and processing the undigested material in the body. Drugs that act on Agni and which removes obstruction in the dhatus and srotas are chosen for treatment.

At Sitaram, treatments like udwarthana (dry powder massage), classical virechana (detoxification), followed by vasti (medicated enemas), helps to control the variation in the thyroid secretions. Virechana is the best treatment for the thyroid as it helps remove the pitta dushti, does the Kapha chedana and effectively brings back the normal metabolism. Main Ayurveda herbs used for treating thyroid problems are Guggulu, Kanchanara, Punarnava etc.

Diet for thyroid disease

  • Eat fresh and healthy food
  • Drink plenty of water
  • Avoid fried food, junk food, and heavy oil items
  • Reduce the intake of coffee, tea, chocolates, yogurt, vinegar, meat etc.
  • Include more fresh salads, leafy veggies, barley, old rice and coconut oil in the diet. Optimum spices in the diet like ginger, pepper, asafoetida, jeera help to normalize the metabolism.

Depending upon the patient condition, our doctors alter the treatments, diet and yoga routines.

Thyroxine, commonly known as T4, is the primary hormone released by the thyroid. The T4, when released to the bloodstream, is later converted to triiodothyronine T3, which is the most active hormone. When the thyroxine is less, the brain produces a hormone known as thyrotropin-releasing hormone (TRH) that causes the release of thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH), which helps the thyroid gland release more T4.

Estimated levels of TSH in adults are –

Age Range Normal Low High
18–30 years 0.5–4.1 mU/L < 0.5 mU/L > 4.1 mU/L
31–50 years 0.5–4.1 mU/L < 0.5 mU/L > 4.1 mU/L
51–70 years 0.5–4.5 mU/L < 0.5 mU/L > 4.5 mU/L
71–90 years 0.4–5.2 mU/L < 0.4 mU/L > 5.2 mU/L

Here we will discuss mainly two types of thyroid diseases – Hyperthyroidism and Hypothyroidism.

What is Hyperthyroidism?

Hyperthyroidism is a condition where the thyroid glands are overactive. As a result, the thyroid gland secretes too much hormone than required. Hyperthyroidism causes Grave’s disease is considered to be the most common cause of hyperthyroidism. The nodules present in the thyroid, a condition called toxic nodular goitre or multinodular goitre, also lead to excess hormone secretions from the thyroid gland.
The other Hyperthyroidism causes include excess intake of thyroid hormones, abnormal secretions of TSH, excess consumption of salty food, thyroiditis (inflammation to the thyroid gland).

Hyperthyroidism symptoms

Excessive release of thyroid hormone leads to –

  • Restlessness in the body
  • Nervousness
  • Increased rate of heartbeat
  • Profuse sweating
  • Shaking or tremors in the body
  • Anxious behavior
  • Disturbed sleep
  • Brittle skin, hair and nails
  • Weight loss
  • Muscle weakness
  • Bulging in the eyes (in grave’s disease)
  • Hyperthyroidism in Pregnancy

Hyperthyroidism in Pregnancy

Maternal hyperthyroidism, if left untreated, risks both mother and baby’s life. Pregnant women with uncontrolled hyperthyroidism are likely to develop high blood pressure. In addition, the risk of miscarriage, premature birth or low birth weight remains high in women diagnosed with Hyperthyroidism in Pregnancy.

Hyperthyroidism diagnosis and treatment

Hyperthyroidism can be diagnosed with blood tests that measure the level of thyroid hormones. For example, a high thyroxine (T4) level and low TSH level indicate an overactive thyroid gland.

Doctors also perform radioactive iodine through the mouth or as an injection and measure how much the thyroid gland takes up. Taking more iodine is a sign of an overactive thyroid gland. The treatment suggested includes blocking the excess consumption of thyroid gland secretions. Hyperthyroidism can be diagnosed with blood tests that measure the level of thyroid hormones.

What is Hypothyroidism?

In this condition the thyroid glands are underactive and cannot produce enough hormones as required. Hypothyroidism causes

The underactive thyroid may be due to Hashimoto’s disease, thyroid removal by surgery, or due to any damage caused during the radiation treatment. Most of the times the symptoms are mild.

Hypothyroidism symptoms

Very less production of thyroid hormone leads to symptoms like

  • Dry skin
  • Increased sensitivity to cold
  • Fatigue
  • Memory issues
  • The depressed or confused state of mind
  • Constipation
  • Weight gain
  • Decreased heart rate
  • Rounded and puffy face, puffiness around the eyes
  • Hair thinning in the scalp as well as eyelashes.
  • Fungal infection in the nails

Hypothyroidism diagnosis and treatment

The blood test helps to confirm the levels of TSH and thyroid hormones. When the level of TSH is high and thyroxine is at low levels, it means the individual is suffering from hypothyroidism. Main treatment for hypothyroidism is to take medicine that reach the optimum level as required by the body.