Hypothyroidism is an autoimmune disorder, which occurs when your immune system produces antibodies that attack your tissues. This syndrome happens when the thyroid gland does not produce the required amount of thyroid hormone. Hypothyroidism may not have symptoms in the early stages but progresses very soon, deteriorating a person’s health and well-being. If not diagnosed and treated in time, hypothyroidism can show various signs and symptoms like the heart problems, nerve injury, infertility, slow metabolism, nausea, constipation, chronic fatigue, hair loss, low libido, dry skin, and unexplainable weight gain among others.
Patients with hypothyroidism also have a low count of vitamin D, which is essential for absorbing calcium. Without it, calcium is not absorbed from the intestine. To maintain the level of calcium in the bloodstream, the thyroid gland stimulates hormones to withdraw calcium from the bones instead to keep the body functioning correctly. If this process continues for long, the primary function of the thyroid gland gets disturbed – thereby, resulting in Hypothyroidism. The only way for the thyroid gland to return to normal functioning is if the vitamin D deficiency in the body is taken care of D, and it starts absorbing vitamin D from the intestine as usual.
Low levels of vitamin D, in turn, leads to reduced Calcitriol hormone in the body. This leads to a deficiency in calcium absorption from the intestines and a loss of calcium from your bones – weakening them and making them thin and brittle. Hence, individuals with Hypothyroidism must have both vitamin D and Calcium levels monitored naturally, without any supplement. As per the Ayurvedic literature, along with medicine, yoga plays an essential role in keeping the thyroid gland functioning optimally. Below are some Yogic practices that are beneficial for the patients suffering from Hypothyroidism:
- Ujjayi pranayama (A Yogic breathing technique that calms the mind and warms the body).
- Sarvanga asana (shoulder-stand) is one of the best Yogic exercises for Hypothyroidism.
- Nadi shodhana pranayama (alternate nostril breathing) is useful in rebalancing the disturbed metabolism.
Dos for thyroid patients
- Always remember to check your thyroid levels regularly.
- Drink at least 4 to 5 litres water regularly as it allows the thyroid gland to function correctly. It also helps in cleansing the liver and kidney of undesirable toxins.
- Make sure your diet contains antioxidant-rich foods.
- Foods rich in Vitamin B are essential for patients having abnormal thyroid levels.
- Make sure you get your daily intake of vitamin D as it is essential for treating Hypothyroidism.
- Add vegetables and greens to your diet if you are suffering from Hypothyroidism
Don’ts for thyroid patients
- Say no to cigarettes and alcohol. Cigarette smoking can increase the risk of contracting multinodular goitre by disturbing the iodide balance in the thyroid gland.
- Say no to foods with macronutrients, such as those including carbohydrates, fats and protein.
- Say no sugar and coffee.
- Say no to self-medication. If you’re having health problems, the smartest thing to do is to seek out a consultation with a healthcare professional.
With inputs from Mohamad Yusuf N Shaikh, Ayurveda Expert and Founder of Kudrati Ayurved
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