Thyroid disorders are more common with aging. Women are at greater risk than men. The thyroid problem may arise in the case of a person with family history of thyroid disease or persons living in iodine deficient area. Over-consumption of turnips, and soya products aggravates the problem. Thyroid disease may lead to infertility, menstrual irregularity, lower I.Q. in a child and depression.
The thyroid gland, measuring about 5 cms is located in the lower part of the neck below the Adam’s apple. It is wrapped around the wind pipe (Trachea) and has the shape of a butterfly since it is formed by two wings (lobes) attached in the middle by isthmus. Normally, thyroid gland cannot be seen. If it becomes enlarged (goiter), doctors can feel it easily and a prominent bulge may appear below or to the sides of the Adam’s apple.Thyroid disorders are more common with aging. Women are at greater risk than men. The thyroid problem may arise in the case of a person with family history of thyroid disease or persons living in iodine deficient area. Over-consumption of turnips, cauliflower and cabbage and soya products aggravates the problem.
Soy products and thyroid problems
Goitrogens, found in all unfermented soy products, block the synthesis of thyroid hormones and interfere with iodine metabolism, thereby interfering with your thyroid function. One common source of soy is soy milk. Many consume it as an alternative to milk or one of their primary beverages. Soy milk is a significant contributor to thyroid dysfunction or hypothyroidism in women in the US. So if you’re struggling with low thyroid function and you’re drinking soy milk, you need to stop consuming it immediately.
Thyroid disease may lead to infertility, menstrual irregularity, lower I.Q. in a child and depression.
The thyroid gland secretes thyroid hormones, which control the speed at which the body’s chemical functions proceed (metabolic rate). The thyroid hormones influence the metabolic rate in two ways by stimulating almost every tissue in the body to produce the proteins and by increasing the amount of oxygen that cells use. Thyroid hormones affect many body functions, namely, the heart rate, the respiratory rate, the rate at which the calories are burned, skin maintenance, growth, heat production, fertility and digestion. The main hormones released by the thyroid are Thyroxme (T4), Trnodothyronine and Calcitonm.
FUNCTIONS OF THE THYROID GLAND
Control the body metabolism by producing T4 and T3 Thyroxine.
Calcitonm acts in conjunction with Parathyroid hormone to regulate the level of calcium in the body. The secretion of Calcitonm by the thyroid is regulated directly by the level of calcium in the blood. Raised blood calcitonin stimulates calcium secretion, stimulating deposition of calcium in bones and thereby reducing the calcium level. Decreased blood calcium inhibits Calcitonin output to help increase the calcium level.
The thyroid hormones are helpful for the normal physical growth and mental development of the children.
The hormone of the thyroid gland contains iodine and therefore, a supply of iodine in the diet is necessary to its formation. In the absence of an adequate intake of iodine, the thyroid gland attempts to produce a large amount of hormones as if to make up for its deficiency in iodine and the gland becomes markedly larger. This enlargement of the gland is simple ‘Goiter’.
There are two pairs (4 small glands) of oval, pea-shaped glands, which lie behind the lobe of the thyroid gland in the neck. The Parathyroid secretes parathyroid hormone (Parathormone) which raises the level of calcium from the bones. The action of parathyroid hormone is antagonistic to the action of calcitonin from the thyroid gland, and the two hormones thus regulate the level of calcium in the blood.
If the level of calcium in the blood drops, the parathyroid glands respond by increasing their output of parathyroid hormone. This causes the bones to release more calcium into the blood, the intestines to absorb more from food and the kidneys to conserve calcium. These actions quickly restore the blood calcium level. If the blood calcium rises, the glands reduce their output of hormones, reversing the above process.
Thyroid hormone production is controlled by the Pituitary Gland, situated at the base of the brain. When there is insufficient thyroid hormone in the body for normal functioning of the cells, the Pituitary Gland releases another hormone called Thyroid Stimulating Hormone (TSH). The TSH in turn stimulates the Thyroid Gland to make more thyroid hormones. The more severe the hypo thyroid condition, the higher the TSH level.
Thyroid problems can be listed as follows.
In this case the thyroid gland is under-active and there is under-protection of thyroid hormones. The cause may be surgery to remove a part of the thyroid gland and radioactive iodine treatment. The other cause of this disease is thyroiditis – an inflammation of thyroid gland. This disease may result from a diet that does not have enough iodine. The main symptoms of the disease are weight gain, fatigue or weakness, decreased appetite, change in menstrual periods, infertility, constipation, muscle aches, cramps, puffiness around the eyes, brittle nails, dry, itchy skin, hair loss, intolerance to cold and hoarse speech.
Results when the thyroid gland is making too much thyroid hormone. This causes the metabolism to speed up. The most common cause of hyperthyroidism is the autoimmune condition known as Grave’s disease, where antibodies target the gland and cause it to speed up hormone production. The common symptoms are weight loss, fatigue, nervousness, rapid heart beat, increased sweating, drowsiness and sluggishness, intolerance to heat, diarrhoea, bulging eyes, trembling hands, increased appetite, wasting of skeletal and heart muscles and high level of cholesterol, changes in menstrual periods and tremors.
The four pea-sized glands are embedded in the thyroid gland in the neck and produce parathyroid hormone, which controls the level of calcium in the body. In this case, there is over-production of parathyroid hormone, which raises the level of calcium from the bones. To normalize the high calcium level, the kidneys excrete large amount of calcium in the urine. The main cause of this problem may be tumour in the parathyroid gland and enlargement of this gland. The symptoms of this disease are generalised aches and pains, depression, kidney stones and osteoporosis (weakening of bones).
In this case, there is low level of parathyroid hormone, which results in hypocalcaemia (low level of calcium in the blood). This may result from surgery to remove a portion of the parathyroid gland.
NATUROPATHY AND YOGIC TREATMENTS for THYROID PROBLEMS
After seeing the symptoms of the thyroid problem, we should go in for a blood test indicating T3, T4 and TSH under the advice of an endocrinologist.
Normal values of Thyroid Gland Hormones
T3 : 0.2-0.5 ng/dl
T4 : 0.7-1.5 ng/dl
TSH : 0.4-6.0 mIu/ L
If there is a great variation in the test report than the normal values, we have to take remedial measures. Conventional medical treatment for the thyroid disease is done by giving drugs, which have side effects and give only temporary relief and suppress the problem. Drugs can only stabilize the situation temporarily and these do not address root of the problem, but only the symptoms. Without addressing the real cause, it will break out again as a other disease and so on. When we give our body what it needs (natural treatment), the whole body begins to normalize and all organs begin to run like they were designed. When they do that, even genetically weak organs begin to move towards normal function. It is better to consult an experienced Naturopath and Yoga consultant. A naturopath will go deep into the problems, including digestive problems, prolonged stress and anxiety, muscle and joint problems in the neck and upper back which my interfere with circulation and nerve supply to the gland. Some of these problems may be indirectly responsible for thyroid disease. Naturopathic measures may include :
- Dietary adjustment and nutritional support for the thyroid gland.
- Herbal support for liver and other metabolic functions. (see also : natural way to keep our liver healthy)
- Hydrotherapy such as compresses and bathing to improve circulation and ease painful joints.
- Acupressure on the thyroid gland and other related parts will stimulate the system and root out the problem.
- Relaxation and stress management techniques will help release neck, back and chest restriction. (See also : Natural remedies and relief for Stress and mental tension
Diet plays an important role in the treatment of thyroid problem. In the case of hypo-thyroidism, which is due to deficiency of iodine, iodine rich foods like singhara, lotus stem, chaulai, pineapple, seafoods, garlic, onion and strawberries are very beneficial. Iodine may be properly called thyroid mineral, which is the life line of thyroid gland.
- Carrots contain carotenoids, which has Vitamin A, is good for goiter and thyroid metabolism problem. (See also : Miracles of carrot juice)
- Rice bran is a food source of B Vitamins which are often used for stress and anxiety which weaken the thyroid problem.
- Take Vitamin B, magnesium and sprouts of alfalfa and wheat grass juice which are beneficial in this problem.
- Selenium supports thyroid hormone production and function as part of many enzymes which have antioxidant effects and also supports cardiovascular health. Food selenium is about twice as well retained than non food selenium.
- Zinc deficiency in human can cause thyroid problems, alopecia, impotence, skin problems, immune deficiencies and infection / sore throats, growth retardation, male infertility (low sperm counts), liver enlargement and spleen enlargement.
According to Franklin Institute, almonds, avocados, bananas, lima beans, dairy products, pumpkin seeds, and sesame seeds are abundant sources of L-tyrosine -the amino acid which supports optimal thyroid function.
Omega-3 fatty acids help support thyroid function to optimal level and ease inflammation that may be present from thyroid dysfunction according to the UMMC. Coldwater fish, seeds and nuts are sources rich in omega-3 fatty acids.
Hydrotherapy Treatment : recommended for thyroid problems are :- Mud Application on Neck, Cold And Hot Neck Pack, Hip Bath, Enema, Full Body Mud Application, Abdomen Mud Pack, Full Body Wetsheet Pack, Full Body Massage, Steam Bath and Spinal Bath.
Yogasanas : Sarvangasan, Singhasan, Halasan, Bhujangasan, Matsyasan, Pawanmuktasan, Ushtrasan, Naukasan, Paschimotanasan, Shavasan, Uttanpadasan and Brisk Walking.
Meditation : Yog Nidra, Om Dhwani and Meditation in Gyan Mudra go a long way in curing this problem and brings a hormonal balance.