Hyperthyroidism is a condition in which the thyroid gland produces Thyroid hormone in excess. This hormone controls the every aspect of metabolism in the body, controls the body temperature, helps in protein synthesis, produces a hormone calcitonin that normalize the quantity of calcium in the blood and assists in the growth and consumption of oxygen in the cells. Overactive thyroid increases the BMR (body's metabolism rate). This leads to sudden weight loss, rapid heartbeat and excessive sweating.
Here we are recommending foods to balance each of the three doshas.
Hyperthyroidism - Causes
Some of the common reasons of this over active thyroid are as follows:
- Excessive intake of iodine in food
- Poor food habits or eating too much of unhealthy and processed foods.
- Thyroiditis - Inflammation of the thyroid gland leading to increased release of hormones.
- Thyroid nodules - Appearance of small nodules in the thyroid gland that may lead to increased secretion of hormones.
- Graves’ disease- an autoimmune disease in which the body’s natural immune system attacks the thyroid gland forcing it to release more hormones.
- Physical or Emotional Stress - Antibodies produced by the body can stimulate the thyroid gland to produce more hormones.
- Ovary or Testis tumors
Hyperthyroidism - Symptoms:
- Sudden weight loss and increased appetite
- Intolerance to heat
- Excessive sweating and excessive thirst
- Frequent bowel movement or diarrhea
- Muscle weakness that may cause trembling or cramps
- Brittle bones and aching joints
- Uncontrolled twitching of eyes
- Increased heart beat rate, irregular heart beats (arrhythmia and palpitations)
- High blood pressure
- Mood swings,Frequent bouts of nervousness and anxiety,Difficulty in concentration and memory lapses
- Tiredness, irritability or exhaustion
- Hair loss and brittle hair
- Thinning of skin with rise in acne
- Dryness, redness, puffiness or bulging of eyes
- Irregular menstrual cycle, Infertility
Ayurvedic Consideration of HyperthyroidismThyroid produce hormones responsible for metabolism in the body. In Ayurveda, this is related to “Agni” or metabolic “fire”. In hyperthyroidism, the agni is just too high and metabolism takes place too fast. We see pitta/vata aggravated symptoms such as irritation, anger, over-anxiety, rapid heart rate, low weight, deep shallow respiration, diarrhea, heat intolerance, flushing, menstrual disturbance, fatigue and bulging of eyes. In this case, all organ function is sped up. Vata dosha is also involved in this condition as Vata governs the neuro-hormonal system. According to Ayurveda, impaired digestion of food leads to blockage of the micro channels causing an imbalance in the function of the thyroid gland.
Diet Recommendations for Hyperthyroidism:
- -- Eat plenty of the following foods: broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, kale, mustard greens, peaches, pears, rutabagas, soybeans, spinach, and turnips. These help to suppress thyroid hormone production. For best effect eat them raw.
- -- Hyperthyroidism significantly weakens the immune system. Foods rich in antioxidants help boost the immune system and repair injured cells. Berries like strawberries, blueberries and raspberries are rich in antioxidants like vitamin C and phytochemicals that helps the body become more resistant to sickness and infections.
- -- Eat Protein-rich foods in adequate quantity to prevent muscle loss. Meat and poultry are excellent sources of protein. Vegetarians can get their protein boost from beans and nuts. Tofu is even better because not only does it provide a lot of protein, it also suppresses thyroid hormone production and absorption.
- -- Increase consumption of natural anti-inflammatory foods such as turmeric, oregano, ginger, rosemary, coconut and coconut products and cinnamon.
- -- Avoid foods high in iodine. Reduce the intake of iodized salt substantially. Avoid fish-sea fish and fresh water, sea vegetables, sea salts, sea foods, red meat, milk and dairy products, wheat, oats, rye, barley, refined flour, white bread, pasta, sugar, caffeine, nicotine and alcohol. Avoid eating sea vegetables like kelp, kombu, Irish moss, nori, dulse and arame.
- -- Switch to organic foods, fruits, vegetables and meat. Eliminate trans fats and switch to olive or vegetable oil for cooking.
- -- Take Calcium and Vitamin D supplements to prevent osteoporosis and to strengthen the bones and immune system. Use foods such as salmon, eggs, and mushrooms which are rich sourse of Vit.D.Increasing your intake of calcium also has an added bonus of helping lower your thyroid hormone levels.
- -- Omega-3 fatty acids have been proven to help prevent heart disease. Omega-3 fatty acids are found in abundance in fishes like salmon, mackerel, and herring and it can be also found in walnuts, olive oil and flaxseed oil.
Ayurvedic Medicines to treat Hyperthyrodism
- Medicines used to treat inflammation of the Thyroid Gland — Arogya-Vardhini, Panch-Tikta-Ghrut-Guggulu, Triphala-Guggulu, Punarnavadi-Guggulu, Maha-Manjishthadi-Qadha, Triphala, Kanchnaar (Bauhinia variegata), Saariva (Hemidesmus indicus), Usheer (Vetiveria zizanioidis), Chandan (Santalum album), Nimba (Azadirachta indica), Guduchi (Tinospora cordifolia) and Gokshur (Tribulus terrestris).
- Medicines to relieve excessive sweating and heat intolerance- •Kamdudha Ras, Praval-Panchamrut, Praval-Bhasma, Chandrakala-Ras and Sutshekhar-Ras.
- Medicines to ease increased bowel movements - Kutaj-Parpati, Panchamrut-Parpati and Bilva-Avelaha.
- Fatigue can be cured with Makardhwaj, Suvarna-Malini-Vasant, Kharjur-Manth, Drakshasav and Lohasav.
- Medicines used to normalise irregular menstrual cycles and heavy flow -Yograj-Guggulu, Boladi-Vati, Kumariasav and Gandharva-Haritaki.
- Medicines used for Nervousness, tremor and agitation - Brahmi, Jatamansi, Shankhpushpi, Sarpagandha, Saraswatarishta and Dashmoolarishta.
- Medicines used to improve immunity - Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera), Shatavari (Asparagus racemosus), Tulsi (Ocimum sanctum), Bala (Sida cordifolia) and Naagbala (Grewia hirsuta).
- Additional medicines used to hasten the recovery - Suvarna-Sutshekhar-Ras, Suvarna-Sameerpannag and Abhrak-Bhasma may be used.
Yoga Recommendation for Hyperthyroidism:Meditation, Pranayama and Yogasanas play a vital role in maintaining thyroid health. Yoga therapy for the Vishuddha or fifth throat chakra helps to heal the thyroid gland.Chanting of 'Om' while meditating balances thyroid function. Sheetali, Sheetkari, Nadi Shodhan, Bhramari, and Ujjayi Pranayam, and practice of asanas like Suryanamaskar at slow pace, shoulder stand(Sarvangasana), plough (Halasana), fish(matsyasana), and lion poses are beneficial.
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