The thyroid gland is a small, butterfly-shaped gland lies in the bottom of the neck or thyroid. It is a part of the endocrine system (collection of glands that produce hormones) and responsible for producing several thyroid hormones that help regulate the body’s metabolism, growth, and development and body temperature.
Mainly there are two kinds of thyroid conditions:
Hyperthyroidism is one kind of thyroid condition which occurs due to excessive secretion of a hormone called thyroxine by the thyroid gland. As a result, the body’s metabolism boosts and causes several symptoms such as excessive sweating, weight loss, fatigue, frequent bowel movements, etc. The interesting fact is that this condition is more common in women than men of 30-50 years of age.
Hypothyroidism is another kind of thyroid condition which occurs due to insufficient circulation of thyroid hormone. Unlike hyperthyroidism, the body’s metabolism slows down in this case and several symptoms such as coldness in the hands or feet, dry skin, lethargy, constipation, hypertension, etc.
Let’s look at a few symptoms of these thyroid disorders :
- Excessive hunger
- Weight loss
- Frequent bowel movements
- Menstrual disturbances
- Excessive sweating
- Heat intolerance
- Cold intolerance
- Weight gain
- Dry skin
- Body pain
According to modern science, dysfunction of the thyroid gland occurs due to several reasons. Let’s have a look.
- Sedentary lifestyle
- Improper diet resulting lack of nutrition
- Lack of physical activity
- Hormonal imbalance
- Iodine deficiency or excessive intake of iodine
- Inflammation of thyroid
Ayurvedic Treatment For Thyroid
As we know, Ayurveda attributes the cause of many diseases to the imbalance in the three doshas. The thyroid is no exception. Hypothyroidism occurs due to the Kapha-Vata dosha imbalance in the body, whereas Hyperthyroidism occurs due to the Pitta-Vata dosha imbalance in the body. These disorders can be controlled by balancing the doshas and restore the correct production and circulation of the thyroid hormone called thyroxine. Climatic conditions, sedentary lifestyle, improper dinacharya, or daily routine contribute to the imbalance of the three doshas. Following specific diets and include ayurvedic herbs or medicines in your diet could be of great help. Let’s see.
- Include an adequate quantity of milk in your diet
- Increase the quantity of rice, barley, moong dal, Bengal gram, and cucumber
- Coconut oil helps improve the body’s metabolism, so fruitful for hypothyroidism
- Avoid heavy or spicy food
- Eating fresh fruits and nuts help reduce aggravated vata and pitta
- Onion, garlic, trikatu, and moringa can be included in your diet. Good for hypothyroidism.
- Ghee, sweets, milk products and sugarcane are good for hyperthyroidism
The following home remedies can help a person suffering from thyroid disorders:
- Mix cabbage, spinach, mustard greens, and prepare juice. Drink a cup of it once every day.
- A fine paste of jalkumbhi can be taken as a remedy.
- Take 10 gm of dhania (coriander) seeds and add it to a glass of water. Boil the mixture and leave it to cool. Strain the mixture and take twice a day to reduce cholesterol. Jeera water is also a beneficial remedy.
- Mix equal quantities of long pepper, black pepper, and dry ginger powder. Take a half teaspoon twice a day with lukewarm water.
- Use of coconut oil in different ways can also be very helpful for hypothyroid sufferers.
Yoga for Thyroid
· Ujjayi Pranayama(Ocean Breath)
This is the most effective pranayama or breathing exercise to cure thyroid disorders. It focuses on the throat part and thus reduces hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism. It stimulates the reflex pathways, which in turn activates the thyroid gland. It also helps in maintaining proper metabolism. Make it a habit of practicing every day if you’re suffering from this disease. Try to limit this practice upto 5-10 times a day and not more than that.
· Sarvangasana (Shoulder Stand)
Sarvangasana helps in maintaining the endocrine system of our body, which consists of thyroid as a part of it. It is considered to be very fruitful for thyroid disorders as it exerts the pressure on the gland. The thyroid receives the largest supply of blood in the body, and this posture helps in improving circulation and make the thyroid healthy. It is considered to be healthier for hypothyroidism and not hyperthyroidism as the pose increases the thyroid function.
· Halasana (Plow Pose)
Halasana is one of the advanced yoga postures. It is very beneficial for thyroid as it stretches the neck and stimulates the thyroid glands.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
By now, many queries you would have got answers to. But still, few questions might be whirling around your head. We’ll have a look.
1. When should I get my thyroid levels checked?
Generally, if you possess any of the symptoms above or a family history of thyroid disease, then you can go for it. In case you are diagnosed, further tests will take place. Your doctor will ask for blood samples to check your thyroid hormone levels.
2. How to keep my thyroid healthy?
Following a healthy lifestyle is the key. There is no doubt about that. It means doing regular exercise, keeping a healthy weight, and managing stress in day-to-day life. Maintaining overall good health is the key. Make ensure that your body is getting enough iodine to keep your thyroid healthy. You can include fish, dairy products, healthy fats, and eggs in your diet.
3. Can thyroid disorders cause weight gain?
Well, it depends. If you’re suffering from hyperthyroidism (overactive thyroid), you will likely lose weight. If you’re suffering from hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid), you will probably gain weight.
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