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Hypothyroidism is the condition when thyroid gland fails to produce thyroid hormone as required by the body. The females are more likely to have hypothyroidism. It seldom causes symptoms in the early stages, but over the time, untreated hypothyroidism can cause a number of health problems, such as obesity, joints pain, infertility and cardiac ailments. The symptoms of hypothyroidism depend upon the severity of the problem. The initial symptoms are often non serious. Over the time if not treated, the symptoms of hypothyroidism become more and more severe, leading to goiter, and an impaired memory functionality and slow metabolism. When the thyroid gland doesn't produce enough hormones, the balance of chemical reactions in the body stays upset. There can be a number of causes, including autoimmune disease, treatment for hyperthyroidism, radiation therapy, thyroid surgery and certain medications. Some babies are born with a defective thyroid gland or no thyroid gland. A relatively rare cause of hypothyroidism is the failure of the pituitary gland to produce enough thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) ― usually because of a benign tumor of the pituitary gland. Iodine deficiency can also lead to hypothyroidism.

Ayurvedic Description Of Hypothyroidism :

The condition of hypothyroidism and thyroid gland do not have direct mention in Ayurveda. But the condition with the name of galaganda is mentioned which can be correlated with hypothyroidism. The root cause of hypothyroidism is disequilibrium of the body doshas. There is a vitiation of Kapha and Pitta dosha in general.

 

Signs & Symptoms

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  • Dry, coarse skin
  • Cool extremities
  • Hair loss
  • Slow pulse rate
  • Swelling of the limbs
  • Hoarse voice
  • Fatigue
  • Poor memory and concentration
  • Shortness of breath
  • Constipation
  • Heavy menstrual periods in women

Causes and Risk Factors

Age

Women older than 60 years are more at the risk of getting hypothyroidism.

Iodine deficiency

Iodine deficiency causes the primary hypothyroidism and endemic goiter worldwide.

Autoimmune disorder

Hypothyroidism is most commonly caused by the autoimmune disease Hashimoto’s thyroiditis (chronic autoimmune thyroiditis). This condition may be associated with a goiter also.

Medications

Lithium based mood stabilizers, amiodarone, interferon alpha, tyrosine kinase inhibitors such as sunitinib are some of the medications that increase the risk of primary hypothyroidism.

Family history

An individual is more likely to have hypothyroidism if it runs in the family also.

Infections

Infections like tuberculosis, mycoses and syphilis can cause central hypothyroidism.

Surgery

Partial thyroidectomy or thyroid surgery limits the secretion from thyroid gland and increases the risk of hypothyroidism.

Pregnancy

During the phase of pregnancy, the thyroid gland has to produce more thyroid hormone, if the thyroid produces less hormone, this leads to the hypothyroidism in the pregnant ladies.

Self Care Tips

  • The focus of meals should be around vegetables, fruits, whole grains, lean protein, and healthy fats.
  • It is very important to keep the energy levels stable, so eating small meals throughout the day is recommended.
  • Weight gain is a common symptom of hypothyroidism, so eating well and balanced diet is very necessary to maintain a healthy weight.
  • Exercise regularly, do more of sun salutation if you are already doing some workout.
  • Don’t let yourself to be occupied with any negative emotions and stress. Take the help of some pranayama or meditations techniques.
  • Go to bed and wake up at the same time every day, including at weekends too.
  • Get enough calcium and vitamin D in the diet plan to prevent any damage to bones.

Ayurveda therapy for thyroid disease is a holistic and supportive therapy that aims to correct the dosha imbalance and hence the flawed function of the thyroid gland. It includes the recommendation of herbal medicines principally for dosha balance and to some extent specifically to promote thyroid function, dietary guidance, and lifestyle recommendations.

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