Hypothyroidism, is a disorder of the endocrine system in which the thyroid gland does not produce enough thyroid hormone.
Thyroid Gland, is the small, butterfly-shaped organ at the base of the neck that makes hormones that regulate the metabolism, which affects the usage of energy in the body and other processes.
Hypothyroidism is most common in middle-aged and older women. But sometimes infants and children can develop the condition, such as infants who were born without a thyroid gland or who have a thyroid gland that doesn’t function properly.
Worldwide lack of iodine is the most common reason for hypothyroidism. Salt iodization has prevented hypothyroidism in many countries. Other reasons may include Pituitary Gland or hypothalamic injury.
Symptoms of Hypothyroidism in Adults:
- Joint or muscle pain
- Muscle weakness.
- Weight gain, without eating caloric surplus
- Fatigue feeling
- Pale dry skin.
- Hair and memory loss
- Increased cholesterol levels
- Trouble sleeping
- Sensitivity to cold
- Heavy Menstrual Periods
- Thinning hair
- High Cholesterol Levels
Symptoms of Hypothyroidism in Children and Teens :
- Poor growth
- Weight gain
- Puberty delay
- Dry hair or skin
- Muscle cramps
- Mental development delay
Where is the thyroid located? What are thyroid hormones?
Thyroid hormones are produced by the thyroid gland. This gland is located in the lower part of the neck, below the Adam’s apple. The gland wraps around the windpipe (trachea). The thyroid gland uses iodine (mostly from foods in the diet like seafood, bread, and salt) to produce thyroid hormones. The two most important thyroid hormones are thyroxine (tetraiodothyronine or T4) and tri-iodothyronine (T3), which account for 99% and 1% of thyroid hormones present in the blood respectively. However, the hormone with the most biological activity is T3. Once released from the thyroid gland into the blood, a large amount of T4 is converted as needed into T3 – the active hormone that affects the metabolism of cells.
Pituitary gland or hypothalamic disease
If for some reason the pituitary gland or the hypothalamus are unable to signal the thyroid and instruct it to produce thyroid hormones, it may cause decreased T4 and T3 blood levels, even if the thyroid gland itself is normal. If pituitary disease causes this defect, the condition is called “secondary hypothyroidism.” If the defect is due to hypothalamic disease, it is called “tertiary hypothyroidism.”
Yoga helps in thyroid function. Although it doesn’t offer immediate cure, it can control the symptoms while being supplemented with medication. A 2016 study found that 6 months of yoga practice helped to improve cholesterol levels and levels of thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH). This reduced the need for thyroid replacement therapy in women suffering from hypothyroidism.
- Suryanamaskara : Fast paced
- Sethu bandhasana or bridge pose : Improves thyroid function and strengthens the back as well.
- Sarvangasana or Shoulder stand : Inversion postures helps flow towards the head. Researchers believe this helps in stimulating thyroid.
- Halasana or Plough pose : Halasana has similar benefits like sarvangasana. It stimulates the thyroid gland.
- Navasana or Boat pose : Revitalize the entire endocrine system, especially thyroid, pancreas, testes and ovaries.
- Matsyasana or Fish pose : It should be performed right after shoulder stand or halasana. It is a perfect counter pose, stretching the body in opposite direction.
Ushtrasana or Camel pose : Ustrasana, or the camel pose, stimulates the thyroid activity by stretching the neck and allowing blood circulation to the gland.
- Chakrasana or Wheel pose : This pose stretches the entire anterior chain of muscles. It stretches the neck as well while stimulating the thyroid gland.
- Bhujangasana or Cobra pose : Bhujangasana stretches the neck and the throat region, which helps increase the thyroid function.
- Marjariasana or Cat-Cow stretch: The fluid motion in cat-cow pose is also believed to stimulate your thyroid. Drawing your chin into your chest and then exposing your throat chakra brings blood flow to this area.
- Shashankasana or child pose : It stretches the back while the chin is down towards the knee, which helps in stimulating the thyroid gland.
- Sirsasana or head stand : As an inversion posture it improves blood circulation towards the head and the throat, hence improving thyroid functions.
- Shavasana or corpse pose
- Ujjayi Pranayama : While doing this pranayama, there should be a slight hissing noise while inhaling. When this is done, the throat is contracted. Now, fill in the lungs with air. After that do the Chin-Lock pose. This pose is done touching the throat. Then when you exhale, close the right nostril and exhale from left nostril and do this at least 10 times. If a person has some cardiac issues, then one should not retain their breath but inhale and exhale instantly.
- Kapalbhati : Kapalbhati is also beneficial for thyroid issues along with many other benefits.
- Jalandhar bandha : Bandha, is also called as Neuro- muscular lock, created by holding the breath. Jalandhara Bandha regulates the circulatory and respiratory systems, stimulates the thyroid to balance metabolism, and is said to cure all diseases of the throat.
The treatment of Hypothyroidism through yogic practice is possible by early diagnosis and also with Lifestyle Management steps. Along with the asnanas & pranayamas, its also important to have 6-8hrs of sleep, 2-3 litres of water and to each food on time every day.