Updated: Jun 9
Thyroid hormones help you adapt to changes. It is an endocrine gland situated at the base of your neck. An individual can suffer from both Hyper- or Hypothyroidism where the hormone levels are either more or less than the required amount.
Hypothyroidism is very common. Almost 11% of the Indian populace suffers from it.
The thyroid secretes three hormones T3, T4, and Calcitonin. The focus of this article is on T3 and T4.
What do thyroid hormones do?
They maintain your basal metabolic rate.
They keep your body warm. Even when you turn down your air conditioning to the lowest temperature your body continues to be at 37 degrees.
They regulate metabolism by:
By stimulating protein formation in the body
Uses up fats and sugars to produce energy
Decreases fat from its storage
And reduces blood cholesterol levels
It is responsible for maintaining your bone and nerve health.
The effects of Thyroid hormones are pleitropic, meaning they affect many functions in the body. Many are still not well understood.
Remember a healthy thyroid can give you better bones and muscle, and reduce fat in the body, if that isn't motivating enough, I don’t know what is!
What can weaken my thyroid gland functions?
These are some common reasons. The thyroid can be affected by various other medical conditions, which are beyond the scope of this article.
Bad bowel health, and chronic indigestion.
High-calorie foods - Rich in Fats, Sugars, and Refined carbohydrates (Maida)
Micronutrient deficiencies - Iodine, Selenium, Vitamin D, Omega, etc.
Lack of exercise.
Day sleeping, sleeping for more than 9 hours daily.
Exposure to Toxins.
Here are some unconventional - ways to upkeep your thyroid:
Choosing Organic: Pesticide-laced food deeply affects thyroid function. Reduce your intake by choosing organic food. The linked study demonstrates the devastating effects of toxins on the thyroid.
Plastic: Throw away all cheap plastic items in your kitchen. Ensure the ones you use are BPA-free, or better yet switch to glass/steel utensils, and tiffin boxes. Low-quality plastic can affect your thyroid function. Think twice before planning to buy hot food in cheap plastic containers, from restaurants.
Food journaling: Writing down whatever you have eaten throughout the day, can help you keep track of your mood, calories, and binges. The simple act of writing down can revolutionize your efforts to maintain a healthy body weight.
Daily healthy bowel: Good gut environment positively aids thyroid function. If you suffer from a sluggish potty routine, and slow metabolism feel free to take expert help and regularize it. Regular use of probiotics is a must. If Ayurveda was an old stern woman, she would simply say, "Told you so! It all begins in the gut."
Nutrients: Food should be nutrient-rich, ensuring you are consuming the right amounts of Iodine, Selenium, and Vitamin D. Healthy fats (Omega 3) are excellent to stimulate thyroid functions. Include walnuts, Hemp seeds, Chia seeds, ghee, etc. in your diet.
Accept and adapt to the reality of life: Herbs like Ashwagandha, Tulsi, Yashtimadhu, etc. can help mentally and physically adapt better to demanding and tiring times.
Reducing caffeine intake: Tea and coffee are known to plummet TSH levels. TSH (Thyroid-stimulating hormone) is secreted by the pituitary gland. This hormone encourages the Thyroid gland to form and secrete the thyroid hormones. Dosing on caffeine can decrease TSH and hence can make your thyroid function sub-optimally in the long term.
Ujjayi: This simple pranayam when done regularly can encourage blood flow to your Thyroid gland and help keep it in tip-top shape. daily practice of Pranayam can help allay stress.
Sarvangasana: Yoga not only helps keep stress at bay. This particular yoga mainly works on your Vishuddha chakra. This Chakra is known to provide energy to your Thyroid gland. Yogasana in general help make the body more adaptable to various demands of life.
Taking vocal music lessons: Singing can help encourage blood flow in the organs in your neck. Also, music can calm down anxiety, and stress. It can also uplift your mood when you are feeling low. Ayurveda equates thyroid functions with Vishuddha chakra. This Chakra functions optimally when your speech is clear and true. Singing can be an excellent way to vent out.
Ayurvedic therapies help relieve Hypothyroidism problems. They can improve fertility outcomes and drastically reduce thyroid symptoms.
Hypothyroidism is a Vata Kapha Disorder according to Ayurveda. Modern research has confirmed that ayurvedic medicines when taken in conjunction with hormone replacement therapy can drastically improve the symptoms of hypothyroidism.