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Hyperthyroidism

Ayurveda offers a very simple and logical explanation for hyperthyroidism:

"In Ayurvedic terms, an imbalance (Vipaka) of the biological process of Agnyana or 'dormancy' is responsible for causing hyperthyroidism." [3] In other words, when the agni (digestive fire) that is supposed to burn up dead or excess tissue in the body is not performing its duties properly – due to external influences such as exposure to toxins, electromagnetic fields and toxic relationships – those tissues become stuck. And those tissues will eventually cause damage if they are not processed by the digestive system…and it's these damaged tissues which show up on blood tests as thyroid auto-antibodies.

And the toxins causing such an imbalance in the agni are usually found within…yes, you guessed it: foods!

So hyperthyroidism is caused by faulty Agni or digestive fire.

What happens to someone with hyperthyroidism? According to Ayurveda:

"An overactive thyroid can lead to feelings of heat and sweatiness throughout the body due to a disturbance in Vata dosha." [4] This makes sense because an overactive thyroid can often cause dramatic weight loss (Vata) as well as heart palpitations, insomnia, anxiety and nervousness (Vata). In addition, there are many books on Ayurveda that also point out that an overactive thyroid can cause insomnia (due to agni malfunction), heart palpitations, anxiety and nervousness, as well as feelings of heat and sweating throughout the body.

The main difference between Western medicine's approach towards hyperthyroidism and Ayurveda's viewpoint is that Ayurveda says the problems caused by an overactive thyroid are usually caused by 'dormant' tissue being stuck in the digestive system due to a faulty agni. Whereas according to Western medicine, hyperthyroidism is often caused by an autoimmune disease such which causes the immune system to attack healthy cells within the thyroid gland itself – resulting in it producing too much hormone [5].

Hyperthyroidism is a condition in which the thyroid gland produces excessive amounts of the hormone thyroxine. It's not uncommon for hyperthyroidism to be initially misdiagnosed as a panic attack or anxiety disorder, but it can have serious health effects if left untreated. The following are signs of Hyperthyroidism: irritability, nervousness, tiredness, sensitivity to heat/cold, increased appetite and weight loss or gain; palpitations (the sensation that your heart is beating too rapidly); irregular heartbeat; tremors; difficulty sleeping or insomnia (insomnia caused by rapid heartbeat at night); sweating profusely without physical exertion; acne-like rash on the forehead, behind the ears and across the bridge of the nose; reddened eyes and sensitivity of eyes to bright light.

What are the causes of hyperthyroidism?

There are two types of hyperthyroidism: Graves' disease (also called exophthalmic goiter), which is an autoimmune disorder, and toxic adenoma, in which a non-cancerous tumor develops on the thyroid gland. Both diseases have similar symptoms. People with Graves' disease usually develop swollen/distended eyes that bulge out slightly (exophthalmos). It's common for children and teens to be misdiagnosed as having this condition because it produces eye changes. In contrast, many children with toxic nodular goiters (a type of hyperthyroidism) do not show eye changes. If a toxic nodular goiter is diagnosed before age 35, it's more likely that the thyroid gland will continue to grow and produce excess hormones. It may even develop into Graves' disease later in life. For those with Graves' disease, the enlargement of your face can be severe enough to affect your appearance.

What are the symptoms of hyperthyroidism?

While some people experience only a few mild symptoms, others experience many serious ones:

  • rapid heartbeat
  • sweating
  • fluctuating moods (e.g., feeling nervous or anxious for no reason)
  • diarrhea
  • constipation
  • hair loss
  • Insomnia or restless sleep
  • fatigue and weakness upon waking in the morning due to disrupted night-time sleep
  • decreased tolerance to heat, with fever and chills, if exposed to warm weather or temperatures above 75 F (23.9 C)
  • increased appetite, weight loss despite increased appetite
  • bulging eyes (exophthalmos).