Hypothyroidism in Ayurveda.
The thyroid gland is an endocrine gland in the neck, consisting of two lobes connected by an isthmus. It is found at the front of the neck, below the Adam’s apple. The thyroid gland secretes thyroid hormones which primarily influence the metabolic rate and protein synthesis. The hormones also have many other effects including those on development. The thyroid hormones triiodothyronine (T3) and thyroxine (T4) are created from iodine and tyrosine. The thyroid also produces the hormone calcitonin, which plays a role in calcium homeostasis.
Hormonal output from the thyroid is regulated by thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) secreted from the anterior pituitary gland, which itself is regulated by thyrotropin-releasing hormone (TRH) produced by the hypothalamus.
Thyroid disease are common and include:
- Hypothyroidism (insufficient thyroid hormone production), this can be due to Iodine deficiency and is preventable.
- Hyperthyroidism (excess amounts of thyroid hormones are produced).
- Graves disease.
- Hashimoto’s disease.
- Nodules on the thyroid.
- Thyroid cancer.
The thyroid is one of the most important endocrine glands in the body. Until the 17th century it was believed to have nothing more than the cosmetic role of making the neck more beautiful giving it a more rounded contour. Now we know what an incredible gland the thyroid is. Anyone having suffered from a Thyroid disease would agree that the multitude of presented symptoms can make an individual feel very unbalanced.
The thyroid/ thyroid hormones have and affect on so many vital functions such as:
- Cardiovascular ❤️ system- thyroid hormone increases the heart rate and also promotes vasodilatation leading to enhanced blood flow to many organs.
- Central nervous system – too little thyroid hormone tends to make the individual feel mentally sluggish while too much induces anxiety and nervousness.
- Kidney functioning.
- Gastro intestinal system – thyroid hormone stimulates gut motility.
- Reproductive system – promotes normal female reproductive ability and lactation.
Ayurvedic Explaination of the Endocrine System.
The main function of thyroid hormones is to increase the metabolic activities.
In Ayurveda metabolic processes are controlled and regulated by Agni 🔥Agni can be literally be translated as fire. This Agni is responsible for digestion and metabolism. There are 13 Agni mentioned in Ayurveda they are one Jatharagni, 5 Bhutagni and 7 Dhatwagni.
The doshas (Vata, Pitta and Kapha) along with Agni maintain the homeostasis of the body. So when we look at endocrine disordesr and disease it can be understood as the combined effects of tridosha and Agni imbalance.
The imbalance of the doshas and the Agni will have an effect on the srotas, the bodily channels. The functioning of the bodily channels is another crucial part of the Ayurvedic understanding. The srotas are through which life, dosas, tissues, wastes and toxins flow. They link the whole body and mind through an intricate network of channels.
The understanding of the doshas, agni and srotas is very important for planning Ayurvedic treatment. This understanding is gathered through a thorough consultation with an Ayurvedic Practitioner.
The line of management is:
Nidana Parivarjana – eliminating the cause. If we know the cause we need to eliminate it. For example, Iodine deficiency can be a cause so Iodine should be substituted.
Dhatu Agni Deepana – improving the tissue agni/fire.
Pathya/Apathya ahara vihara – suitable diet and lifestyle.
Shamana – Ayurvedic medicines.
Srothoshodhana – cleansing the bodily channels. Panchakarma body purification treatment such as Vaman, Virechana, Basti, Nasya.
External treatments such as Shirolepana, Takradhara, Ksheeradhara, Shirodhara, Udwarthana (these are Ayurvedic body treatments which would be recommended by the practitioner based on your unique needs).
Rasayana, Rejuvenation treatment.
Alongside treatment, a suitable diet, lifestyle, yoga, nadi shodhana pranayama and meditation is recommended. It always amazes me what Ayurveda has to offer in comparison with western medicine where most thyroid disease are treated with medication, radiation, chemotherapy and surgery.
There are also certain emotions linked to the thyroid disease such as lack of communication, guilt, abandonment, lack of love and betrayal.
Ayurvedic home remedies for Thyroid health:
Avoid iced water and start drinking warm 💧 water.
Head and foot massage 💆🏻♀️ with Brahmi thailam.
Home nasya 👃(infusion of oil into the nostrils). Always speak with an Ayurvedic Practitioner to understand the process of at-home nasya treatment.
Increase your intake of Sattvic fresh and organic diet and avoid sugar, deep fried and processed food.
If you suspect or have been diagnosed with any thyroid disorders, you are welcome to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. The first line of treatment would be having a consultation with an Ayurvedic Practitioner to discuss your condition further.
Much love, have a great weekend. The Lakshmi Ayurveda team.
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