Ayurveda and Thyroid Diseases
Stress is a dominant reason for thyroid malfunctioning. Unfortunately, today’s world contains abundant stressors that are not easy to deal with. Hence, this takes a toll on our thyroids. Hyperthyroidism is a condition that occurs when there is excessive hormonal production. On the other hand, its insufficient production of these hormones causes hypothyroidism.
Hormonal imbalance can lead to secondary health problems as well. The initial symptoms are evident. Some of these are dryness, puffiness, constipation, and muscle weakness or soreness. As the condition worsens, you can face anxiety, brittle hair, tremors, or fatigue. Fortunately, you can prevent even early symptoms using Ayurveda, an ancient form of medication and healing.
Ayurveda takes an alternative approach to conventional medicine. For instance, it emphasises on the importance of prevention rather than cure. Furthermore, it believes that ama or toxins are the root cause of all diseases. These accumulate when you have neglected your health over a long term. Fortunately, you can prevent this if you commit to an Ayurvedic lifestyle.
Here are three basic measures to keep your thyroid working properly.
Yoga and Meditation
Regular yoga practice can strengthen your nervous system and boost metabolism. Most importantly, it stimulates your thyroid, pituitary, pineal and adrenal glands. There are a number of poses you can practice to keep these glands in check.
Try to practice poses which direct blood towards the thyroid gland. The inverted pose (or ‘legs up the wall’ pose), shoulder stand, and the camel pose are some examples. These also lower levels of stress, insomnia, and anxiety, and can stimulate blood circulation.
There are other poses which have an indirect effect on thyroid health. Some examples are the camel, bridge, plough, fish, and cobra poses. Each for these poses help to stretch out the neck, spine and throat, and have miscellaneous benefits as well. For instance, the fish pose relieves throat and neck tension by inverting the head. Additionally, the bow pose massages the thyroid gland and balances hormonal secretion.
However, some yoga poses cannot be practiced by everyone. The camel pose should be avoided if you have arthritis, vertigo, or abdominal injuries, or even hernia or ulcers. Likewise, avoid the bridge pose if you are in your final year of pregnancy. Also avoid the cobra pose if you have hernia or ulcers, of have recently undergone an abdominal surgery.
Diet and Nutritional Health
Our diet is a crucial but often neglected component of our health. Some items that are often excluded from our diet include selenium, vitamin D and probiotics. Each of these elements offer unique benefits and can make your skin glow.
Firstly, selenium acts as a trace element acting as an Ayurvedic medicine for thyroid. It helps to balance your thyroxine or T4 levels. Some selenium-rich foods include are turkey, tuna, brazil nuts, and grass-fed beef. Secondly, vitamin B, specifically vitamin B-12, can fix insufficient hormonal secretion. This is present in beans, asparagus, sesame seeds, tuna, cheese, milk, and eggs.
Thirdly, probiotics can prevent cultivate gastrointestinal symptoms of hypothyroidism. It cultivates healthy bacteria in your stomach and intestines. Some probiotic-rich foods include fermented food and drinks, such as pickle, buttermilk, yogurt and cheese.
Try to avoid sugar and gluten. Sugar and processed food can increase inflammation; which slows down your T4 to T3 conversion rate. This can worsen the symptoms of an existing thyroid disease. While it improves your short term energy levels, it can cause an energy crash or sluggishness. This is especially true for those who are kapha-dominant, and are more prone to lethargy or weight gain.
Gluten is a substance found in grains and cereals. It may react adversely with some people causing a celiac disease; which damages the small intestine lining. As a result, it can cause osteoporosis, nerve damage, infertility, and seizures, and interfere with nutrient absorption. There is a significant overlap between those with a celiac and a thyroid disease; thus rendering it better to avoid gluten.
Both hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism are linked to inadequate sleep. This can be accompanied with anxiety, insomnia, and a rapid heart rate. Moreover, you may feel fatigued and inattentive during the day. Thankfully, Ayurveda has a number of natural remedies in store to improve sleep quality.
Try consuming herbal supplements and tea to calm you down. For instance, chamomile, cardamom and hibiscus can produce a soothing effect. You can also sip a hot milk concoction with other supplements (such as turmeric and ashwagandha), which induce sleepiness.
Make sure to practice healthy long term sleep habits. This is most beneficial in restoring hormonal rhythms and secretion, and can thus keep your thyroid healthy. Ayurveda recommends that you sleep within the first 1/3rd of the night (between 8:00 pm – 11:00 pm) and awaken within the last 1/3rd (between 5:00 am – 8:00 am). As a result, you will feel energised and refreshed as your body is in tune with the environment.
Keep a check on your night time rituals as well. Avoid stimulants such as tea or coffee, which can keep you awake. Also keep your screens away – the blue light it emits can interfere with your melatonin levels. Other basic tips include taking a hot shower (followed with a coconut oil massage), eating a light dinner, drinking enough water, and engaging in light activity – such as walking or stretching, before bedtime.
Another underrated but helpful ritual is spending time alone. Observe your breathing and pay attention to your thoughts. For instance, you can partake in a meditative experience or a prayer, or even gratitude journaling. These calm you down and put you in a peaceful state of mind.
Your thyroid is a critical organ at the base of your neck. It regulates metabolism, brain development, body temperature and cholesterol levels, among other functions. Most importantly, it regulates hormonal rhythms and secretion. These can get compromised in the case of hyperthyroidism or hypothyroidism. Thankfully, maintaining proper thyroid health is an achievable task.
Be sure to practice yoga and meditation, nutritional health, and adequate sleep to keep your thyroid healthy. It is not that easy to make lifestyle changes. However, it is these sustainable solutions that provide a permanent cure for thyroid in Ayurveda.