Management of Hypothyroidism in Ayurveda
Ashtavaidyan A N Narayanan Nambi, MD (Ayu), India
Thyroid disorders are the most common disorders of the endocrine glands. It is estimated that about 42 million people suffer from thyroid disorders in India. Women are 6 times more prone than men. In general; disorders of thyroid gland are hypothyroidism, hyperthyroidism, goitre and iodine deficiency disorders, Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, thyroid cancer. Hypothyroidism is one of the most common functional disorders of thyroid gland.
The Thyroid gland produces two related hormones Thyroxin [T4] and Triiodothyronine [T3]. These hormones play a critical role in cell differentiation during development and
help maintain thermogenic and metabolic homeostasis in the body. Deficiency of these hormones is known as Hypothyroidism. It occurs due to the hypo functioning of Thyroid gland
which results in decrease in body’s basal metabolic rate [BMR].
Hypothyroidism is a common condition with various causes like Autoimmune, Iatrogenic, Transient Thyroiditis, Iodine Deficiency, Stressful life style, Congenital, Infiltrative, Secondary Hypothyroidism. The clinical presentation depends on the duration and severity of the Hypothyroidism. A state of Hypothyroidism may be due to primary disease of the Thyroid gland itself or lack of Pituitary TSH [Thyroid Stimulating Hormone] or Hypothalamic TRH [Thyrotropine Releasing Hormone].
The signs and symptoms of Hypothyroidism at the initial stage are vague and ambiguous which is often missed in its early stages and instead treated for infertility, hyperlipidaemia, depression etc. In primary stage the signs and symptoms are in general but later on affect the different systems of the body and worsen the condition of patient. Hence, Hypothyroidism is an important public health issue.
Management of Hypothyroidism with the modern drugs may bring the value of TSH and T4 to normal range but the increased dosage and continuous medication are cost expensive and make the patient into drug dependent till the end of mortal life. So, a better, safer and long lasting therapy is needed for the present society and now it is a demand of time to
search the management for this type of ailment through the heritage of Ayurveda.
As in our Ayurveda texts mentioned, it is not possible to name all the manifesting diseases, as the Doshas based upon the Samuttana vishesha and Sthanantara gati leads to a wide array of diseases. In such a situation where the disease can’t be named, the treatment must be done by understanding the Vikara prakriti, Adhishtana and Samuttana Vishesha. The presenting complaints of Hypothyroidism can be understood and assessed based on the involved Agni, Dosha, Dushya, Sthana and Srotus.