WHAT IS THYROID?
The thyroid gland is a butterfly-shaped organ in the neck, slightly above the collarbone. The gland has two side lobes, which are adjoined by an isthmus in the middle. The thyroid gland has many blood vessels and the nerves that control the voice quality also pass through it.
The thyroid gland is a part of your glands that produce hormones for various regulatory functions. These are classified as thyroid hormones. One of the crucial hormones the thyroid produce is thyroxine, also called T4 that controls your heartbeat, metabolism, growth and development, and body temperature while in infants, thyroid hormones are held responsible for brain development.
Thyroid disorders can range from a small, harmless goiter to life-threatening cancers later in life. The most common complication is the abnormal production of thyroid hormones. If your body has started producing too many thyroid hormones, it is called hyperthyroidism, while hypothyroidism, is inadequate production of hormones.
Although, the complications may make you sick, mostly it is not tough to diagnose and treat thyroid problems.
If you have thyroid, you may witness multiple symptoms at the same time. Unfortunately, these symptoms correlate to other conditions that are often nonspecific. This makes diagnoses a difficult task.
The symptoms of an overactive thyroid hormone may include:
- Experiencing anxiety, irritability, and nervousness.
- Irregular menstrual periods
- An enlarged thyroid gland or a goiter
- Muscle weakness and tremors
- Sensitivity to heat
- Poor vision
- Weight loss
- Trouble sleeping
The symptoms of an underactive thyroid can include:
- Poor memory
- Frequent and heavy menstrual periods
- Dry hair
- Intolerance to cold temperatures
- Weight gain
Who may have thyroid?
The thyroid may affect anyone although women are more likely to be susceptible to thyroid than men do. It can be present since birth but tend to progress as we age.
Yearly, millions of people are affected by the thyroid. You are more at the risk of thyroid if you:
- Have a family history of thyroid disease.
- Have a medical condition (these can include anemia, type 1 diabetes, primary adrenal insufficiency, lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, etc.).
- Are taking a medication that’s high in iodine (amiodarone).
- Are older than 60, especially if women.
- Has had treatment for a past thyroid condition or cancer.
There are two main types of thyroid- hypothyroidism, and hyperthyroidism- both of which are triggered by other conditions that influence the functioning of the thyroid gland.
Conditions that likely cause hypothyroidism include:
- Thyroiditis: An inflammation (swelling) of the thyroid gland can shrink the number of hormones the thyroid gland secretes.
- Hashimoto’s thyroiditis: Sometimes, the body’s cells start to attack the thyroid gland due to faults in the immune system. It remains painless and is known to be an inherited condition.
- Postpartum thyroiditis: Usually, it develops in pregnant ladies.
- Iodine deficiency: The thyroid gland uses iodine to produce hormones. An iodine deficiency is the main culprit why people suffer from thyroid disorders.
- A non-functioning thyroid gland: Many a time, the thyroid gland does not function well after birth in babies. If left untreated, the baby could have physical and mental problems as he grows up. This is why doctors usually conduct a blood screening test to check for thyroid function as soon as the baby is born.
Conditions that likely cause hyperthyroidism include:
- Graves’ Disease: In Grave’s disease, the thyroid gland produces too much hormone and signaled overactive. It is also called the enlarged thyroid gland or diffuse toxic goiter.
- Thyroiditis: Thyroiditis is a painless condition that causes inflammation of the thyroid gland.
- Nodules: It can be caused by nodules that are overactive within the thyroid. A single gland is called a toxic autonomously functioning thyroid nodule while a gland with myriad nodules is called a toxic multi-nodular goiter.
- Excessive iodine: Taking too much iodine can trigger thyroid hormones in excess of normal. Iodine is also found in some medications such as amiodarone or in cough syrups, so if you consume them, it may raise your risk.
Ayurvedic treatment for thyroid
Thyroid imbalance happens when Ojas, the ayurvedic essence of health becomes vitiated in the body. In response to this, the person witnesses symptoms like fatigue, tiredness, dullness, and has weak immunity. This makes them susceptible to cough and cold more frequently than others.
Yes, synthetic thyroid may help cope with the signs and complications, yet it does not work with the root cause. So, the idea of ayurvedic herbs is to restore the functionality of the thyroid glands. This way, the disease could be terminated naturally.
At AyuKarma, we have therapies and procedures from Ayurveda that can help reduce the signs of the thyroid and slow down its progression. There are herbs that help to eliminate thyroid issues without bringing many complications.