About World Thyroid Day and why we celebrate it?
World Thyroid Day is observed annually on May 25th to raise awareness about thyroid-related conditions and promote understanding of the importance of thyroid health. It aims to educate the public and healthcare professionals about thyroid disorders, their impact on individuals, and the available treatments. This day also serves as a reminder to get regular check-ups and seek appropriate medical advice if any symptoms of thyroid problems are present.
The thyroid is a butterfly-shaped gland located in the front of the neck, just below the Adam’s apple. It plays a crucial role in regulating metabolism, growth, and development in the body. The thyroid gland produces hormones, namely triiodothyronine (T3) and thyroxine (T4), which influence various bodily functions, including heart rate, body temperature, weight management, and energy levels.
Types and causes of thyroid – modern medical science:
In modern medical science, the two main types of thyroid disorders are hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism. Hypothyroidism occurs when the thyroid gland doesn’t produce enough thyroid hormones, leading to a slowdown in bodily functions. Common causes include autoimmune diseases (such as Hashimoto’s thyroiditis), iodine deficiency, certain medications, and damage to the thyroid gland.
On the other hand, hyperthyroidism happens when the thyroid gland produces an excess of thyroid hormones, causing an acceleration of bodily functions. Graves’ disease, an autoimmune condition, is the most common cause of hyperthyroidism. Other causes include thyroid nodules, inflammation of the thyroid (thyroiditis), and certain medications.
Signs and symptoms of thyroid:
Signs and symptoms of thyroid disorders can vary depending on whether it is hypothyroidism or hyperthyroidism. In hypothyroidism, individuals may experience fatigue, weight gain, dry skin, cold sensitivity, constipation, depression, muscle weakness, and memory problems.
In hyperthyroidism, symptoms may include weight loss, increased appetite, rapid heartbeat, anxiety, irritability, heat intolerance, sweating, tremors, sleep disturbances, and changes in menstrual patterns.
Treatment of thyroid in modern medical science:
Treatment options for thyroid disorders in modern medicine depend on the specific condition and its severity. For hypothyroidism, synthetic thyroid hormone replacement therapy is commonly prescribed to restore hormone levels. In hyperthyroidism, treatments may include anti-thyroid medications to reduce hormone production, radioactive iodine therapy to destroy thyroid cells, or surgery to remove part or all of the thyroid gland.
Thyroid – What Ayurveda defines about it?
According to Ayurveda, the thyroid gland is associated with the energy center known as Vishuddha chakra or the throat chakra. It is believed to govern communication, self-expression, and metabolism. Ayurveda views thyroid disorders as imbalances in the body’s doshas (energetic forces) and the disruption of Agni (digestive fire) leading to impaired metabolism.
Types, causes, and symptoms of thyroid according to Ayurveda:
Ayurveda categorizes thyroid disorders into different types based on the dominance of doshas involved. Vata-dominant thyroid disorders may lead to dryness, constipation, fatigue, and weight loss. Pitta-dominant disorders can cause irritability, excessive sweating, weight loss, and diarrhea. Kapha-dominant disorders may manifest as weight gain, lethargy, depression, and fluid retention.
Causes of thyroid imbalances in Ayurveda can include poor diet, sedentary lifestyle, stress, hormonal imbalances, and genetic predisposition.
Medicinal treatment of thyroid according to Ayurveda:
Ayurveda emphasizes a holistic approach to treating thyroid disorders, focusing on balancing the doshas and rejuvenating the body. Herbal remedies like ashwagandha, guggul, brahmi, and shilajit are commonly used to support thyroid health. Ayurvedic practitioners may also prescribe specific formulations based on individual imbalances.
Additionally, Ayurveda promotes detoxification therapies (panchakarma), including herbal oil massages (abhyanga), steam therapy (swedana), and nasal administration of herbal oils (nasya) to cleanse the body and balance the doshas.
Dietary and yoga suggestions for thyroid:
Ayurveda recommends a balanced diet to support thyroid health. It emphasizes consuming whole foods, including fresh fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, and healthy fats. Avoiding processed foods, refined sugars, excessive caffeine, and alcohol is also beneficial.
Certain yoga asanas (poses) and pranayama (breathing exercises) can help regulate the thyroid gland. Sarvangasana (shoulder stand), Halasana (plow pose), Matsyasana (fish pose), and Bhujangasana (cobra pose) are believed to stimulate the thyroid gland and improve its function. Practicing calming techniques, such as meditation and mindfulness, can also help manage stress levels.
In conclusion, World Thyroid Day serves as an opportunity to raise awareness about thyroid disorders and their impact on overall health. While modern medicine provides effective treatments for thyroid disorders, Ayurveda offers a holistic approach that focuses on balancing the body, mind, and spirit. Integrating Ayurvedic principles, herbal remedies, dietary modifications, and yoga practices can potentially support thyroid health and overall well-being.
Remember, it’s important to consult with healthcare professionals and Ayurvedic practitioners for accurate diagnosis, personalized guidance, and appropriate treatment options for thyroid-related concerns. Click here to consult now