HYPERTHYROIDISM – YOU MAKE MY HEART FLUTTER!
A small butterfly-shaped gland in our neck – the thyroid gland is responsible for stimulating our growth, metabolic rate, heart, digestive function, brain development and muscle control among other things. When it functions fine, it is something we never really think twice about. But as many as 42 million people in India can testify what happens when it doesn’t function properly as mentioned in a study published in research gate: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/51687778_Thyroid_disorders_in_India_An_epidemiological_perspective
Types Of Thyroid Disorders
There are 5 major types of thyroid disorders:
- Hyperthyroidism: It is a disorder where there is an over production of the thyroid hormones.
- Hypothyroidism: In this case the thyroid gland produces insufficient quantity of the thyroid hormones.
- Goitre: It is a condition which leads to an abnormal enlargement of the thyroid gland, in most cases due to iodine deficiency.
- Hashimoto's Thyroiditis: In this case the body’s immune system attacks the thyroid gland, gradually destroying it.
- Thyroid Cancer: It is the cancer of the thyroid gland.
Surprised? Something you never gave much thought to has 5 big ways in which it can go wrong.
To begin with, let’s look at one of the thyroid disorders
Symptoms Of Hyperthyroidism
- Irregular and rapid heart beat
- Muscle weakness and fatigue
- Irritability or nervousness
- Trouble in sleeping
- Heat intolerance
- Shaking hands
- Mood swings
- Weight loss
The causes of thyroid disorders can be many. Let’s look at what factors are responsible for hyperthyroidism.
Causes Of Hyperthyroidism
So what causes this dreaded imbalance in the hormones? Well we do have a few culprits to blame:
- Graves’ Disease: It is caused by the over-activity of the thyroid gland and is the most common cause of hyperthyroidism. Red alert for all the ladies as it is more common in women than in men.
- Thyroiditis (Inflammation of the Thyroid Gland): It can occur after a viral illness and is characterized by sore throat, fever and painful swallowing.
- Over Consumption of Medication for Thyroid Hormones: It is of utmost importance to keep regular check of your hormone levels and accordingly take medication for the same. Taking more medicines than required can adversely affect your thyroid gland and lead to hyperthyroidism.
- Excessive Intake Of Iodine: The thyroid gland uses iodine to produce the thyroid hormones. Thus consuming large quantities of iodine can lead to overproduction of thyroid hormones.
While one cannot really predict who can get the ailment, the following people are more likely to develop the symptoms of hyperthyroidism.
- People who have a family history of hyperthyroidism
- People who suffer from vitamin B12 deficiency, type 1 diabetes or primary adrenal insufficiency.
- People who are over the age of 60
- Women who were pregnant in the last 6 months
- People who consume large quantities of food or medicines containing iodine
Effects Of Hyperthyroidism
Let us understand the different ways in which hyperthyroidism can affect us:
- Excessive fatigue, hunger, sweating or heat intolerance
- Abnormally fast heart rate
- Restlessness, irritability or hyperactivity
- Hair loss, weight loss, diarrhoea, weakness of muscles, tremors
- Irregular menstrual cycles
- Puffy eyes
Helpful Tips To Deal With Hyperthyroidism
- Consume plentiful proportions of vegetables, fruits and lentils, and foods rich in lean protein and calcium.
- Bring your iodine consumption to a minimum. The thyroid gland uses the iodine in our food to produce thyroid hormones. Hence, cutting down your intake of iodized salt, milk, cheese, saltwater fish, and eggs can help bring down the production of the hormones.
- Try and be active throughout the day. A sedentary lifestyle leads to an increase in your thyroid problems.
- Stress is another factor affecting thyroid hormones. Engage yourself in hobbies of your interest to take your mind off the things worrying you.
- Exercising and yoga can help a lot in building your immunity, improving your sleep and managing stress, eventually managing your thyroid levels. Yoga poses like pranayama, shoulder stand pose, bridge pose, corpse pose, child’s pose, cat-cow stretch, bow pose and Surya Namaskar work really well for managing symptoms of hyperthyroidism.
Treatment For Hyperthyroidism
In many cases, it often takes a while before problems in the thyroid gland are identified. Hyperthyroidism does not go away on its own and needs strong medical attention. As seen in hyperthyroidism causes, many times, if regular checks are not kept on the levels of hormones in your body, the medicine meant for the thyroid hormone itself can become a cause of hyperthyroidism. In such a scenario, homeopathy emerges as the best system for treatment of hyperthyroidism. Homeopathy medicines are completely natural and thus free from any side-effects. They help the body to produce the thyroid hormones naturally by stimulating the body’s immune system. It can also be safely taken with conventional medicines without reducing its efficiency. The best part is, along with treating hyperthyroidism, it also treats underlying problems associated with it like hair fall, problems in sleeping, problems in appetite, weight-related problems, and so on thus providing a sense of complete wellbeing.
Living with an invisible illness is hard. But getting timely and quality medical care can help ensure you do not let the illness get the better of you!