Are you constantly fatigued? Are you losing weight unusually? Are you often suffering from hot flashes? These unusual symptoms should be taken seriously. These are all signs that you may have a thyroid problem. Hyperthyroidism occurs when your thyroid gland produces excess thyroid hormone. Your organs need these hormones to function correctly, making you feel sluggish and lacking energy.
Approximately 300 million people suffer from hyperthyroidism.
Thyroid disorder has become a significant health problem even in developing countries. Ayurveda can offer you better care.
What does Ayurveda say about hyperthyroidism?
Ayurveda considers hyperthyroidism under bhasmak roga, where the metabolic rate is exceptionally higher due to vitiated tridoshas, where Kapha dosha becomes weaker, and Vata and Pitta dosha overpowers. This can be managed with drugs and regimens that pacify the aggravated pitta dosha.
Ayurveda describes health as a balanced condition of three dosha Vata (related to the nervous system), Pitta (related to metabolism), and Kapha (related to anabolism). Therefore, in Ayurveda, there is no exact description of Hyperthyroidism.
However, hyperthyroidism is a condition with hypermetabolism in the body due to excessive thyroid hormone production; it can be compared with Atyagni, Tikshnagni, or Bhasmaka Roga.
Both Bhasmaka Roga and Hyperthyroidism Pitta Prakopa (aggravation) are essential in both conditions’ pathogenesis and production of symptoms. Two thyroid hormones called Tri-iodothyronine (T3) and Thyroxine (T4) hormones work in the body as Pitta.
Increase in these hormone levels causes rapid digestion of food and, later on, the consumption of Dhatu (tissues).,
If the patient does not take food, this will increase the Jatharagni leading to tissue depletion and cachexia.
Symptoms of Hyperthyroidism
- Weight loss
- Heart palpitations and feeling hot all the time
- Immediately passing stool after eating.
- Unreasonable anxiety
- Heat intolerance
- Hair loss
- Thinning of skin
- Menstrual irregularities
- Excessive sweating
- Due to the excess of thyroid hormone in the body, metabolism increases, and every action starts happening rapidly.
- Thinning and falling of hair
- Weakness and pain in the muscles
- Osteoporosis, in which calcium depletion occurs
Diagnosis of Hyperthyroidism
A blood test is a method to diagnose the disease. TSH The amount will be less. But thyroid hormone levels will also be higher.
Free thyroxine and free triiodothyronine levels are elevated in hyperthyroidism. Therefore, sometimes a thyroid scan is also needed.
The leading cause of hyperthyroidism is an autoimmune disease, Graves’ disease. The body’s immune system itself affects the thyroid gland. This causes the thyroid gland to enlarge and produce too much hormone.
Tumors in the thyroid gland can cause hyperthyroidism. Some people have an increase in thyroid hormone production after childbirth. Most people get better after a few months. Viral infections of the thyroid gland can lead to hyperthyroidism. It does not last long.
Physical symptoms can give some clues about the disease.
There are many reasons behind hyperthyroidism; one is due to some disease, and the other is due to lifestyle, diet, and heredity.
Diseases cause hyperthyroidism
- Hashimoto’s disease
- Thyroiditis: It is caused due to inflammation in the thyroid gland. In the beginning, there is excess thyroid hormone production, which later decreases due to hypothyroidism. Sometimes it is seen in women after pregnancy.
- Graves’ disease: Graves’ disease is the leading cause of adult hyperthyroidism. It is a genetic disease that runs from generation to generation. The body’s immune system produces antibodies that increase TSH in this disease.
- Goitre – Due to goiter disease
- Hypothyroidism occurs due to a lack of iodine
- Vitamin B12 deficiency
- An imbalance in thyroid hormones is seen during pregnancy in women because, at this time, there are many hormonal changes in the body of women.
- Due to excessive use of soy products in food.
Treatment for Hyperthyroidism
Treatment of hyperthyroidism is not as simple as that of hypothyroidism. Treatment options include drugs to suppress thyroid function, radioactive iodine, and surgery, depending on the nature and age of the disease.
Hyperthyroidism can be cured in most people with medication. But in some people, there is a risk of relapse if the drug is stopped. In such cases, radioactive iodine treatment may be necessary. This is the case with Modern medicine. The ayurvedic management is described below; check it out!
Effectiveness of Ayurvedic Treatment for hyperthyroidism
Ayurvedic Management for hyperthyroidism aims to uproot the cause rather than treat the symptoms. This concept helps prevent relapse and is proven beneficial in hyperthyroidism compared to modern radiotherapy, iodine supplementation, and surgeries and can also be treated at the OPD level.
It involves management at the Agni level, and drugs possessing Pitta-Vatashamaka properties are supposed to be ideal agents for treating hyperthyroidism.
The dietary rules and proper lifestyle (Dinacharya and Ritucharya) described in Ayurvedic texts should also be followed for appropriate control of Hyperthyroidism. Ayurveda has advised three fundamental modalities to manage every disease, i.e., Nidana Parivarjana, Samsodhana Chikitsa, and Samshaman Chikitsa.
Avoidance of the various causative factors of the disease is called Nidana parivarjana. Hyperthyroidism manifests as a result of PittaVatavriddhi and Tikshnagni. Therefore, all the Pitta Vatadosha aggravating foods should be avoided in Hyperthyroidism.
Samsamana Chikitsa (Pacifying therapies)
- Mahatikta ghrit and Ksheerabala can be taken internally
- Meditation, Pranayama, and Yoga Asanas are vital in maintaining thyroid health.
- Yoga therapy for the gland. Chanting of ‘Om’ while meditating balances thyroid function. Sheetali, Sheetkari, Nadi Shodhan, Bhramari, and Ujjayi Pranayam, and practice of asanas like Surya Namaskar at a slow pace, shoulder stand
- Some pathya ahara and medicines described for Atyagni/Bhasmak Rog Payasa (milk pudding), krishara (thick gruel prepared of rice and lentils), snigdha (unctuous), products, the meat of aquatic animals or marshy area and stable water and roasted meat of sheep may be given to pacify the atyagni.
- Thick gruel mixed with beeswax or ghee should be given whenever a patient feels hungry.
- Milk medicated with the jeevaniya group of drugs, sugar, and ghee may be given.
- The patient should take ghee with beeswax along with cold water.
- Patients may be advised to take meat soup from animals residing in marshy areas.
- The bark of cluster fig mixed with human milk helps soothe the atyagni.
- Lemon balm has been used to treat symptoms associated with hyperthyroidism, like tachycardia, insomnia, and hyperactivity.
- Shankhapushpi, tulsi, moringa, biwa, etc., acts powerfully on some of the liver enzymes and helps improve symptoms of hyperthyroidism. It has antiulcer properties and helps alleviate the symptoms of hyperthyroidism.
Samshodhana chikitsa (Purefactory therapies)
- Virechana for pacifying aggravated pitta dosha
- Siraa Vyadhana (Venesection)
Risk Factors in hyperthyroidism
- Genetic susceptibility
- Endocrine disruptors
Prevention of Hyperthyroidism
Generally, hyperthyroidism symptoms occur due to an unbalanced diet and lifestyle. For this, hyperthyroidism can be controlled to some extent by making some changes in your lifestyle and diet.
- Consume a low-fat diet for thyroid disease.
- Include more vegetables and fruits in the food. Especially eating green leafy vegetables; contains the proper amount of iron which is beneficial for thyroid patients.
- Eat nutritious food; food rich in minerals and vitamins helps with thyroid control.
- Consume iodine-rich food.
- Consume more nuts like almonds, cashews, and sunflower seeds; they contain sufficient copper, which is beneficial for your thyroid.
- Consume more milk and curd.
- Consume more Vitamin-A.
- Avoid junk food and preservative-rich food altogether.
- Do pranayama and meditation regularly.
- Try to live a stress-free life.
- Perform yoga asanas.
- Avoid smoking, alcohol, etc.
- Consume whole grains; it contains plenty of fiber, protein, and vitamins.
- The elements present in licorice make the thyroid gland balanced. It also prevents cancer from growing in the Thyroid.
- Consume wheat and jowar.
Natural remedies for Hyperthyroidism
Generally, people rely on home remedies to get relief from hyperthyroidism.
This disorder is seen mainly due to improper diet and leading a stressful life, in which there is an imbalance of Vata, Pitta, and Kapha and main vitiation of Vata and Kapha. In such a situation, these doshas are brought into a balanced state by Ayurvedic treatment.
In allopathic medicine, steroids are used for this disorder, which is harmful. Therefore, Ayurvedic medicine is the best because of being a natural medicine. The drugs mentioned in it, like Guggulu, Amla, Kanchanar, Gokshura, and Shilajit, are very beneficial in thyroid disease.
- Turmeric milk has been used to treat various diseases since time immemorial. Similarly, drinking turmeric cooked in milk daily relieves the symptoms of hyperthyroidism.
- By the way, bottle gourd helps calm the stomach and improves digestion power. You may not know that regular consumption of bottled gourd juice also helps in providing relief from hyperthyroidism.
- Mixing half a spoon of aloe vera juice in two scoops of basil juice and consuming it gives benefits.
- Black pepper tea
- Taking one spoon of Ashwagandha powder with lukewarm cow’s milk at bedtime gives quick relief.
The main component, triterpenoid glyceric acid, found in licorice, is highly aggressive, which prevents thyroid cancer cells from growing.
Hyperthyroidism occurs when the thyroid gland is hyperactive and produces excessive thyroid hormone. As a result, the amount of T4 hormone produced by the thyroid gland increases in the blood, and the level of TSH decreases. This problem is found more in women than in men.
Proper ayurvedic management can do wonders in this condition.