Thyroid Gland Disorder ( Hyper / Hypo Thyroid ) - Disease Problem Causes Symptoms Treatment As Per Ayurveda And Traditional Healing Methods
Thyroid gland is a butterfly shaped endocrine gland located in the front of the neck and below the Adam’s apple. It has two lobes connected by a thin band of tissue called isthmus that produces and secretes two hormones: triiodothyronine (T3) and thyroxine (T4) by iodine absorption. These two hormones are regulated by thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) secreted by anterior pituitary gland which are regulated by thyroid releasing hormone (TRH) by hypothalamus. The parathyroid gland located posterior to the thyroid gland secretes calcitonin, a peptide hormone which regulates calcium homeostasis in the body.
Function of the thyroid hormones (T3 and T4) is to regulate the basal metabolic rate of the body, and influence protein synthesis, growth and development of the nervous system before birth, in childhood and among adults. Every cell in the body depends upon thyroid hormone for regulation of their metabolism.
Ayurveda Perspective Of Thyroid Gland Anatomy And Physiology
Thyroid gland is present in the neck (gala) region which is the place of kapha dosha. Considering the function of thyroid hormone of metabolism which is always done by Agni controlled by pitta dosha. There are 3 types of agnis: jatharagni, dhatvagni, and bhutagni; and food is digested in smaller form as ‘ahara rasa’ and ‘kitta’ bhaga (mala) by jatharagni and metabolised to dhatus by dhatvagni at different levels circulated by srotas (channels).
Hence, it can be said that any impairment in these agnis results in ‘ama’ formation i.e toxins. If these toxins are not removed from the body, they can accumulate and impair further nano metabolism process at different levels, causing various diseases. If jatharagni is impaired, less rasa formation occurs and more mala i.e. more Kapha (mala form ofrasa) is formed and obstructs various srotas (channels) resulting in less nutrition formation to next levels. Further if dhatvagni is impaired,which results in respective dhatu dushti as rasa and meda dushti found in hypothyroidism. Similarly if agni elevates, it results in over consumption of dhatus and rasa, which is seen in pitta prakopa as in hyperthyroidism and without vata none of the movement carries out. So hypothyroidism can be considered as Vata Kaphaj vyadhi and hyperthyroidism as Vata Pittaj vyadhi.
Thyroid Gland Disorder Can Cause
- Hashimato’s disease
- Grave’s disease
- Goiter (galganda)
- Thyroid nodules and malignancy
The condition Where there is less secretion of thyroid hormones i.e T3 and T4 and raise in TSH is called hypothyroidism. Its caused due to stressful lifestyle, diet, structural deformity in thyroid gland,autoimmune disease, surgery, over exposure to radiation etc.
It can be correlated to rasa dushti, kapha prakop, medo dushti vyadhi, Vata kaphaj vyadhi.
Causes Of Hypothyroidism
- Autoimmune disease as Hashimoto’s thyroiditis
- Less iodine intake
- Over response to hyperthyroidism treatment (hormonalsupplements)
- Thyroid surgery
Sign And Symptoms
- Cold intolerance
- Weight gain
- Heavy bleeding with cramps or irregular menstrual period
- Memory weakness.
- Hair fall and thinning of hair
- Dry skin
- Hoarseness of voice
- Muscle weakness, aches, tenderness.
- Joint pain and swelling
- Elevated blood cholesterol
Treatment Of Hypothyroidism
Hypothyroidism is considered as the ‘vata kapha pradhan vyadhi’ along with vitiation of agni and sroto rodha i.e.(Obstruction of nutrition providing channels) according to lakshana results in various organ diseases. Hence, treatment focuses on regulation of imbalance especially low agni (agnimandya).
For agnimandya, firstly treatment begins with digestion of undigested food(Pachan), then removal of toxins(Shodhan) and then maintenance of equilibrium of dosha and dhatu (Rasayan) treatments.
Pachan treatment includes agni vardhak medicines(carmitive), laghu aahar (lighter -easy to digest diet) and rest.
Further,shodhan chikitsa includes panchakarma as virechan, vaman, basti, nasya according to doshas followed by a light diet plan called as samsarjana karma. Some other karma such as swedana, udvartana for medo dushti and shiro dhara for relieving stress and then medicines to maintain balance of doshas and dhatu.Along with it yoga and meditation is practiced to avoid lifestyle disturbances.
When there is excess secretion of thyroid hormones i.e T3 or T4 or both that condition is called hyperthyroidism. As thyroid hormone controls every aspect of metabolism its hyperactivity results in an increased metabolism rate which causes various complications.
Cause Of Hyperthyroidism
Over secretions of thyroid hormone are caused by
- Excessive consumption of iodine in food, over intake of processed food.
- Thyroiditis- it is inflammation of thyroid gland causes over secretion of hormones
- Thyroid nodules, grave’s disease , autoimmune disease may increase thyroid secretions
- Weight loss
- Intolerance to heat
- Increase appetite
- Excessive sweating and thirst
- Increase bowel movement
- hair loss
- Enlarge and bulging of eyes
- High blood pressure
- Irregular menstrual cycle
- Increase heartbeat
Complications may occur due to Thyroid Disorders
- Graves’ Disease
- Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis
- Thyroid Cancer
- Thyroid Nodules
Management Of Hyperthyroidism In Ayurveda
Ayurveda treats hyperthyroidism as ‘vata pitta vyadhi ‘ according to it vitiated vata and pitta dosha stimulates the jatharagni (gastric fire) which increases metabolism and causes symptoms mentioned above.Treatment of hyperthyroidism concentrates on hyper agni resolution and maintenance of pitta and vatta equilibrium. Treatment includes lifestyle and diet modification along with detox (panchakarma) therapies, shirodhara, nasya , lepam and pitta vata shamak herbo-mineral medications. Yoga, pranayam and exercises have a very positive impact in its treatment. Ayurveda is a very ancient science which not only treats body but also mind and soul and keeps every individual happy and healthy.