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Hypothyroidism

Because Ayurveda is a natural system of medicine that holds the body to be in balance when it is free from all illnesses and symptoms, hypothyroidism may not seem to fit into that framework. In fact, it doesn't — but there are other ways in which the disease can be viewed as being out of whack. For starters, while some types of hypothyroidism run in families (genetic), many do not (acquired). It makes sense then for an individual with an acquired hypothyroid condition to ask whether he has somehow violated his 'dosha' or energy type (see below) and thereby caused his thyroid to malfunction. Depending on his dosha, a person with hypothyroidism may need to take herbal remedies or apply cooling substances such as ghee (clarified butter) or sandalwood paste.

Ayurveda's system of energy types

There are three doshas in Ayurveda: vata, pitta and kapha. Each is associated with certain qualities and physical characteristics. Kapha people tend to be heavier than other dosha types, have wavy hair and easily gain weight; they also tend toward colds due to their slow metabolism. Pitta individuals will usually show some signs of heat in the body — hot intolerance, red coloration of the skin — but not so much that they scare others away. They are prone to anger and impatience, liable to take hot showers and eat too much spicy food. Vata types like cold weather; they tend to be thin, have dry skin with a tendency toward constipation or diarrhea. Constipation is their main problem while anxiety and nervousness come next in the list of vata-type symptoms.

In fact, these last two qualities — anxiety and nervousness — especially suggest that an imbalance has taken place in a vata individual. So if you're a vata type who has become anxious or nervous after trying to lose weight by dieting (which often triggers hypothyroidism) – then it's time to restore your energy balance using Ayurvedic methods! But how do you do that?

How does Ayurveda treat hypothyroidism?

There are many ways that Ayurveda helps to cure hypothyroidism, but some of the best are:

> Ayurvedic diet – This is one of the cornerstones of Ayurvedic treatment for any illness. People who follow a healthy, nutritious diet in which they eat foods naturally high in iodine, as well as spices are known to stimulate metabolism, tend to have more energy and experience less fatigue than people following a traditional Western diet — even when their thyroid condition isn't fully cured! They also tend to lose weight (and keep it off) since the body naturally burns extra calories when it's properly nourished.

> Herbal remedies – There are specific herbs that help support thyroid function while controlling various aspects of Vata, pitta, and Kapha, such as vata's energy (called marma in this system), pitta's digestive fire (called Agni), and Kapha's lubrication of the joints.

> Ayurvedic exercises – Ayurveda includes many different types of postures (asanas), breathing techniques (pranayama), cleansing measures, and meditative practices to cultivate health and balance for each individual type. Some postures are invigorating whereas others make you calmer

Hypothyroidism is a chronic condition where the thyroid gland does not produce enough active hormones. This can result in a number of different symptoms for sufferers, which depend on how severe their condition is. Symptoms such as tiredness, headaches, hair loss and depression are sometimes attributed to hypothyroidism or an underactive thyroid gland but this is a common misconception.

Hypothyroidism occurs when the thyroid gland does not produce enough of the thyroid hormones triiodothyronine (T3) and thyroxin (T4). These hormones are used by every cell in our bodies, regulating how fast they work and their ability to grow. A lack of these hormones can affect every organ including the heart, kidneys and nervous system.

Hypothyroidism affects about one in every 100 people in the UK and is more common in women than men. It can affect anyone of any age but it most commonly presents itself between the ages of 30 to 60 years old. More often than not, symptoms are observed by friends and family and it is not diagnosed by a doctor.

What are the symptoms of hypothyroidism?

The main symptoms of hypothyroidism are tiredness, weight gain, depression and irritability. There is no specific pattern to these symptoms as each sufferer can have different ones but they will all be related to low levels of thyroid hormones in the blood. High cholesterol, low libido, muscle cramps, constipation and hair loss can also occur but only if a person's condition is advanced. Most patients experience some or all of these at some point during their lives. The severity of the symptoms vary immensely with many people having no noticeable problems at all but others being severely affected by them.

Symptoms are often mistaken for depression or panic attacks. As a result, hypothyroidism is often not diagnosed until it has progressed to an advanced stage where symptoms become more noticeable. This can have devastating consequences as lack of treatment results in damage to internal organs and the body gradually becomes weaker and unable to deal with stress or infections.

How does someone get thyroid disease?

There are two types of hypothyroidism that affect people all around the world; Hashimoto’s and Non-Hashimoto's. The first type is caused by autoimmune destruction of the thyroid gland while the second one occurs due to reduced hormone production at its source. Symptoms vary between these conditions but all sufferers will have tiredness, weight gain and hair loss as their most noticeable ones.