The thyroid is the butterfly-shaped gland present at the base of the throat. It secretes hormones that control the metabolic processes of the body. Thyroid diseases can vary from a slight enlargement (goitre) that does not require treatment to life threatening thyroid cancer. Through this article, we will know the effectiveness of homoeopathy in treating various thyroid problems.
What are the Signs and symptoms of thyroid disorders?
Signs and symptoms due to thyroid problems can be divided into two categories.
Signs and symptoms due to the overactive thyroid gland.
- Anxiety, nervousness and irritability
- Sleep troubles
- Weight loss
- Goitre or enlarged thyroid gland
- Having tremors or muscle weakness
- Cessation or irregular menstrual cycle
- Being hot blooded
- Having eye and vision-related problems
Signs and symptoms due to the underactive thyroid gland.
- Weight gain
- Having a heavy or frequent menstrual cycle
- Having coarse and dry hair
- Hoarseness of voice
- Being oversensitive to cold temperature
What are the causes of thyroid disorders?
The thyroid gland produces and secretes specific hormones namely T3 or triiodothyronine and T4 or thyroxine. These hormones influence the metabolism of the whole body. The amount of thyroid hormones to be produced is in turn supervised by the pituitary gland which is located below the brain in the centre of the skull. It secretes the hormone called Thyroid Stimulating Hormone (TSH) depending on the levels of thyroid hormones in the blood. TSH then acts on the thyroid and signals what needs to be done to maintain equilibrium in the body.
The two main types of thyroid disorders are hypothyroidism when the thyroid gland secretes less than required thyroid hormone and hyperthyroidism when the thyroid gland secretes hormones in excess.
The causes of hypothyroidism are:-
- Inflammation of the thyroid gland or thyroiditis
- An autoimmune condition called Hashimoto’s thyroiditis
- Postpartum thyroiditis
- Deficiency of iodine in body
- Non – functioning thyroid gland since birth
The causes of hyperthyroidism are:-
- Grave’s disease or diffuse toxic goiter- In this the whole thyroid gland is overactive and this leads to an excess thyroid hormone.
- Nodules- In this single or multiple nodules within the thyroid gland become overactive.
- Iodine excess which can be due to intake of certain medication such as cough syrups etc.
What are the risk factors for developing thyroid problems?
The factors that put someone at a higher risk of developing thyroid problems are:-
- Female gender- Women are 5-8 times more likely to develop thyroid problems than men.
- Positive family history of thyroid problems.
- Age above 60 years.
- Have a past history of thyroid cancer or other thyroid problems.
- Have medical conditions such as type 1 diabetes, pernicious anaemia, lupus, primary adrenal insufficiency, rheumatoid arthritis, Turner syndrome and Sjogren’s syndrome.
What are the diagnostic procedures for thyroid disease?
Thyroid disease signs and symptoms can be easily confused with many other conditions such as ageing and pregnancy. Diagnostic procedures are advised by the physician to find out if thyroid disorders are the cause of the above symptoms or not.
These diagnostic procedures are:-
- Blood tests- Specific blood tests to test the thyroid gland include:-
- Thyroid-stimulating hormone or TSH
- Thyroxine or T4
- Free thyroxine or Free T4
- Triiodothyronine or T3
- Free triiodothyronine or Free T4
Additional blood tests to diagnose thyroid problems are:-
- Thyroid antibodies test to diagnose autoimmune thyroid problems
- Calcitonin to test thyroid cancer
- Thyroglobulin to diagnose thyroiditis
Imaging test or thyroid scan- This includes an ultrasound of the thyroid gland.
Physical examination- In this the physician examines the neck for any enlargement of the thyroid gland or any growths.
What are the management tips for thyroid patients?
- Eat a balanced diet.
- Avoid excess consumption of cruciferous vegetables such as cauliflower. Cabbage, broccoli and kale. Cook and steam these vegetables before eating them.
- Avoid excess consumption of soy products or soya beans especially if the thyroid problem is due to iodine deficiency.
- Do aerobic exercises such as running, swimming and cycling on daily basis.
- Practice mind relaxation exercises such as yoga and meditation for stress Management.
- Include a hobby such as dancing, drawing etc to release mental stress.
- Take adequate sleep daily and have fixed sleep hours.
- Avoid use of technology at least two hours before bedtime as the radiation from the devices badly influence the sleep cycle.
- Try and eliminate the exposure to toxins and chemicals that are present in everyday products.
Is the homoeopathic treatment effective for thyroid problems?
Homeopathy has a significant role to play in the treatment of various thyroid problems. Several researches have been conducted that have yielded favourable results for the treatment of thyroid problems by homeopathic medications.
Homeopathic medications directly act on the thyroid gland and correct the imbalance in the normal functioning of the gland. This eventually brings the thyroid hormone level within normal range without causing dependency of a patient on medications.
The best homeopathic medicine for the treatment of thyroid problems is the constitutional medicine. Symptoms from both mental as well as physical spheres are elicited by a trained homeopathic doctor for holistic treatment. Constitutional medicine not only acts on the thyroid gland but it corrects the abnormal functioning of other parts of the body as well. This is important as at times thyroid problems can be the result of an abnormality in the immune system or pituitary gland that eventually affects the secretions from the thyroid gland.
For prescription, finer details are elicited as homeopathic medicines are not prescribed based on the name of the disease but on the unique presentation of the disease in each case. Such medications don’t cause any side effects in the patients and don’t interact with drugs and supplements that patient might be taking for other medical conditions.
Read More Homeopathic Medicine for Thyroid
Commonly indicated homeopathic medicines for thyroid problems are:-
Calcarea carbonica– It is indicated in patients who have a tendency to gain excessive weight as well as sweat profusely on the head and neck. It helps to relieve the symptoms such as severe constipation, acidity, nausea, sensitivity to cold with the coldness of feet, hands, and suffocation from the slightest ascent, jaded mental or physical state due to overwork, and menses that are early, profuse, long-lasting and return from least excitement.
Iodium– It is indicated in thyroid patients with rapid metabolism such that they are exceedingly thin despite a voracious appetite. They have great debility and the slightest effort causes perspiration. They feel better after eating. It is indicated in people who have acute catarrh of mucus membrane as well as enlarged lymphatic glands. Such patients are warm-blooded and feel better in cool environments.
Natrum muriaticum- It is indicated in patients who have onset of thyroid problems after grief or loss of a loved one and consolation aggravates them. They tend to be emaciated which is most notable in the neck despite eating well. They tend to be hot-blooded and are aggravated by going out in sun or near the sea. They have dry mucus membranes with a great thirst and a desire for salt.
Sepia– It is indicated in thyroid problems that occur during pregnancy, lactation and childbirth. It is indicated when there is sudden prostration and easy fainting, excessive sensitivity to cold, pain extending from other parts to the back, the sensation of a ball in inner parts, constipation, great falling of hair with frequent headaches. The patient tends to be indolent and indifferent even to his family.
Also, some clinical studies have found the efficiency of thyroidinum 3X and 6X in the treatment of thyroid problems. Thyroidinum 3x and 6x when given along with levothyroxine has been found useful in significant weight loss and providing symptomatic relief to the hypothyroid patient.
Thyroidinum 3x, thyroidinum 6x and other thyroid homeopathic medicines manufactured by Dr Wilmar Schwabe are available online. These medicines are prepared using the best quality raw material and standardized procedures.
The thyroid gland influences the metabolism of the whole body. T3 or triiodothyronine and T4 or thyroxine are important thyroid hormones. Their secretion is in turn supervised by the thyroid stimulating hormone or TSH which is secreted by the pituitary gland. Thyroid disorders can be broadly divided into two categories namely, hypothyroidism or thyroid disorder with too little secretion of thyroid hormones or hyperthyroidism or thyroid disorders with excess secretion of thyroid hormones. Causes of hypothyroidism are thyroiditis, postpartum thyroiditis, iodine deficiency and Hashimato’s thyroiditis. Causes of hyperthyroidism are diffuse or nodular toxic goiter and iodine excess in the body. Hyperthyroidism produces symptoms such as anxiety, nervousness and irritability, sleep troubles, weight loss, goiter, tremors, irregular menses, and hot bloodedness. On the other hand, an underactive thyroid gland leads to fatigue, weight gain, forgetfulness, heavy menses, coarse hair and oversensitivity to cold.
Homeopathy treatment is known to be safe and effective in the treatment of various thyroid problems. These medications act on the dysfunctional gland and restores equilibrium within the body. Homeopathic medicines don’t have side effects and don’t interact with medications prescribed for other medical conditions. Thyroidinum 3x and thyroidium 6x are very often prescribed homeopathic medicine for the treatment of hypothyroidism. These homeopathic medicines for thyroid disorders are easily available online.