Management of Hypothyroidism in Ayurveda-Diet and Herbal Remedies

What is Hypothyroidism

Hypothyroidism is an endocrine system disorder of the thyroid gland, mainly affecting the females in which the thyroid gland does not produce enough thyroid hormones. The thyroid gland is responsible for controlling various functions like heartbeat and digestion and provides energy to every organ in our body. If there is depletion of thyroid hormones in our body, natural functions will begin to slow down and will result in Hypothyroidism.

Clinical features

Hypothyroidism can be felt with following signs and symptoms

  • Sudden weight gain
  • Hair loss
  • Rough and pale skin
  • Frequent muscle cramps
  • Constipation
  • Puffy face
  • Depression
  • Increase blood cholesterol
  • Impaired memory
  • Hoarseness of voice
  • Cold intolerance
  • Weakness and fatigue
  • Muscle stiffness
  • Slower heart rate

Etiology

Some of the causes of Hypothyroidism are listed below

  • Autoimmune disorders
  • Congenital thyroid deficiency
  • Stress
  • Pituitary disorder
  • Deficiency of iodine
  • Hyperthyroidism treatment
  • Pregnancy
  • Radiation therapy
  • Surgery of thyroid

Diagnostic methods

Hypothyroidism can be diagnosed by following diagnostic methods

A.Case history of the patient

Your Doctor will ask you about your signs and symptoms and will diagnose the condition.

B. Simple blood test

Mainly the Level of TSH is raised (best screening test) and level of T3 or Thyroxine is low, in Hypothyroidism.

Complications

This disorder may cause severe complications, if not managed early. These complications can be as follows –

  • Goiter
  • Myxoedema
  • Peripheral neuropathy
  • Infertility
  • Birth defects

Ayurvedic perspective of Hypothyroidism

According to Ayurveda, the function of the thyroid gland and the metabolic processes carried out by the thyroid hormone are controlled by the Pitta (Agni) dosha. According to Ayurveda, in Hypothyroidism Pitta dosha is covered by Kapha Dosha which results in diminished cellular metabolism.

Herbal remedies for Hypothyroidism

Natural treatment of any disease involves treating the disease in a natural and safer way to manage its symptoms. Ayurvedic treatment of hypothyroidism is mainly aimed at removing the Kapha dosha covered with Pitta dosha to help Pitta dosha to perform its functions normally. The factors such as healthy diet, lifestyle and some herbal remedies are also very helpful in treating this disorder

1. Diet

Thyroid problems start as the result of poor diet, stress and due to missing nutrients  in our body, so changing your diet and taking an herbal supplement are two ways that you can help with your thyroid condition. Natural remedies help to fix the root cause of the thyroid problem, have fewer or no side effects than the allopathic medicine and these methods can also be helpful in those people who are not responding well to medicines

Dietary factors include

a. Gluten-free dietIt a well-known fact that majority of people with thyroid disease also have celiac disease, which is a digestive disorder in which people cannot handle consuming gluten so take gluten-free diet which proves beneficial in Hypothyroidism and Hashimoto’s thyroiditis so avoid wheat and other gluten-containing foods.

b. Sugar-free dietSugar and processed foods  can lead to increased inflammation in the body which can further slow down the conversion of T4 hormone to tri-iodothyronine, or T3, another thyroid hormone, which can make our symptoms and thyroid disease get deteriorated . Eliminating sugar from your diet may help to regulate your energy levels, it may also help with your skin diseases and reduce stress levels.

c. SeleniumSelenium is a trace element that plays a good role in thyroid hormone metabolism. Foods containing Selenium are –  tuna, turkey, and Brazil nuts. In,Hashimoto’s thyroiditis body’s selenium supply diminishes and these supplementing has shown to help balance thyroxine, T4 levels.

d. ProbioticsThyroid problems can occur due to an overgrowth of bacteria, such as yeast. Probiotic supplements contain live bacteria that can help in keeping our stomach and intestines healthy. Other Probiotic sources are – Fermented food and drink like – Kefir, kombucha, raw cheese, and yogurt

e. Vitamin – BLow thyroid hormones can affect your body’s vitamin B-12 levels so taking certain vitamin supplements may help you repair some of the damage caused due to hypothyroidism, can help with the tiredness caused by thyroid disease and they can also have an effect on your thyroid health. Vitamin – B rich foods areMilk, eggs, peas, asparagus, sesame seeds, tuna, cheese, etc.

2. Some home remedies

Some home remedies which will help in restoring the normal functioning of the thyroid gland. You do not need to follow them all, one or more remedies can often be enough.

Following are some home remedies

A. AshwagandhaAshwagandha is an adaptogenic herb that helps in balancing your thyroid hormones, strengthens immunity, helps in reducing stress and enhances your stamina.

Ancient verse about Ashwagandha(WithaniaSomnifera)

ReferenceBhavaprakashanighantu, Verse 189-190.

MeaningAshwagandha has various synonyms like- Varda, Balda, Kusthgandhini, Hyahriya, Vrahkarniand Baji. It is astringent, bitter in taste, hot in potency, anti-aging, energy provider, enhances the spermatogenesis, manages Vata, Kapha, inflammation,  leucoderma and the emaciation problems.

B. FlaxseedsFlaxseeds are rich sources of an omega-3 fatty acid called alpha-Linolenic acid, magnesium and vitamin B12, which help in inducing the production of thyroid hormones, help to support your thyroid and also help in restoring the functions of your body and fight the symptoms of hypothyroidism.

How to prepareTake 1 tablespoon of powdered flaxseeds and 1 glass of milk or fruit juice and mix them. Drink this solution 1 to 2 times a day.It is best to grind frozen flaxseeds immediately before using.

C. Coconut oilRegular intake of coconut oil can help combat hypothyroidism, increases your metabolism and body temperature and can also help you lose weight because it contains medium-chain fatty acids that are known for their wide range of benefits.

Dosage1-2 tablespoons of 100% virgin coconut oil 2 to 3 times daily.