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Hypothyroidism happens when your thyroid gland, located at the front of your neck, doesn't produce enough thyroid hormone (underactive thyroid). There are several types of hypothyroidism. The most common is Hashimoto's thyroiditis, an autoimmune disease where the immune system mistakenly attacks the thyroid gland. The disease affects both sexes and all ages, but is most common in women over age 60. Because the thyroid gland helps regulate your metabolism, low thyroid levels cause your body to slow down and can affect everything from appetite to body temperature. Symptoms can appear over time and can be hard to diagnose. Left untreated, hypothyroidism can cause serious health complications.
Signs and Symptoms
Hoarse voice, slowed speech
Goiter (caused by swollen thyroid gland)
Sensitivity to cold
Dry, scaly, thick, coarse hair
Numbness in fingers or hands
Confusion, depression, dementia
In children, slowed growth, delayed teething, and slow mental development
What Causes It?
There are different kinds of hypothyroidism with different causes. In Hashimoto's thyroiditis, antibodies in the blood mistakenly attack the thyroid gland and start to destroy it. Post-therapeutic hypothyroidism occurs when treatment for hyperthyroidism leaves the thyroid unable to produce enough thyroid hormone. And hypothyroidism with goiter happens when you don?t get enough iodine in your diet. In the developed world iodine is added to salt so goiter is rare, although it still happens in undeveloped countries.
Your thyroid gland produces two main thyroid hormones, T3 and T4. In addition, the pituitary gland produces thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH), which helps control how much T3 and T4 the thyroid makes. Your health care provider will draw blood to measure levels TSH. When levels of thyroid hormones are low, your body produces more TSH to increase production of thyroid hormones. Your doctor may also test for levels of T3 or T4.
Natural medicine practitioners may pay particular attention to levels of T3 hormone. T3 is the active form of thyroid hormone. Your thyroid gland makes some T3, but the body also converts T4 into T3. If you are unable to convert T4 to T3, your laboratory tests for T4 may be normal, but you still may have all the symptoms of hypothyroidism. Talk to your doctor about including T3 laboratory tests in the treatment of your hypothyroidism.
Your health care provider will prescribe a synthetic thyroid hormone called levothyroxine (Levothroid, Synthroid, Unithroid) that you will take daily. A natural dessicated thyroid hormone drug, made from the thyroid glands of pigs, is also available by prescription. Your doctor will want to adjust your dose over a period of several weeks, after regular blood tests to check the amount of thyroid hormone in your blood.
Complementary and Alternative Therapies
If you have hypothyroidism, you need conventional medical treatment. Nutrition and herbs can help support conventional treatment, but should not be used by themselves to treat hypothyroidism.
Nutrition and Supplements
Following these nutritional tips may help reduce symptoms:
Eat foods high in B-vitamins and iron, such as whole grains (if no allergy), fresh vegetables, and sea vegetables.
Avoid foods that interfere with thyroid function, including broccoli, cabbage, brussels sprouts, cauliflower, kale, spinach, turnips, soybeans, peanuts, linseed, pine nuts, millet, cassava, and mustard greens.
If you take thyroid hormone medication, talk to your doctor before eating soy products. There is some evidence soy may interfere with the absorption of thyroid hormone.
Taking iron supplements may interfere with the absorption of thyroid hormone medication, so ask your doctor before taking iron.
Eat foods high in antioxidants, including fruits (such as blueberries, cherries, and tomatoes) and vegetables (such as squash and bell pepper).
Avoid alcohol and tobacco. Talk to your doctor before increasing your caffeine intake, as caffeine impacts several conditions and medications.
These supplements may also help:
Omega-3 fatty acids, such as fish oil, to help decrease inflammation and help with immunity. Omega-3 fatty acids may increase the risk of bleeding, especially if you already take blood-thinning medication. Ask your doctor before taking omega-3 fatty acids if you take blood thinners such as warfarin (Coumadin) or if you have a bleeding disorder.
L-tyrosine, 500 mg two to three times daily. The thyroid gland combines tyrosine and iodine to make thyroid hormone. If you are taking prescription thyroid hormone medication, you should never take L-tyrosine without direction from your doctor. Do not take L-tyrosine if you have high blood pressure or have symptoms of mania.
Do not take an iodine supplement unless your doctor tells you to. Iodine is only effective when hypothyroidism is caused by iodine deficiency, which is rare in the developed world. And too much iodine can actually cause hypothyroidism.
Herbs ( though not scientifically proven or dependable for hypothyroidism )
Herbs are a way to strengthen and tone the body's systems. As with any therapy, you should work with your health care provider to get your problem diagnosed before starting any treatment. You may use herbs may as dried extracts (capsules, powders, teas), glycerites (glycerine extracts), or tinctures (alcohol extracts). People with a history of alcoholism should not take tinctures. Unless otherwise indicated, make teas with 1 tsp. Herb per cup of hot water. Steep covered 5 - 10 minutes for leaf or flowers, and 10 - 20 minutes for roots. Drink 2 - 4 cups per day. You may use tinctures singly or in combination as noted.
Few herbs have been studied for treating hypothyroidism. More research is needed.
Coleus (Coleus forskohlii), for low thyroid function. Coleus may interfere with certain medications, including some blood pressure medicines, nitrogylcern, and blood-thinning medications, such as warfarin (Coumadin). Talk to your doctor.
Guggul (Commiphora mukul), for low thyroid support. Guggul may interfere with estrogen, birth control pills, and other medications. Talk with your doctor.
Bladderwrack (Fucus vesiculosus), for low thyroid support. Do not take bladderwrack unless directed by your doctor. Bladderwrack contains iodine. Although lack of iodine can cause hypothyroidism, most cases of hypothyroidism in the developed world are not caused by iodine deficiency. In fact, too much iodine can actually cause hypothyroidism. Bladderwrack may also contain toxic heavy metals.
After you start on thyroid hormone replacement therapy, your provider will want you to have frequent checkups to monitor its effectiveness.
Hypothyroidism refers to the lack of thyroid hormones in your body. Hypothyroidism is caused when the thyroid gland of your body is unable to produce the thyroid hormones like T3 (triiodothyronine) and T4 (thyroxine). Hypothyroidism can occur due to the inflammation of the thyroid gland or as a result of previous thyroid treatments, where a major portion of the thyroid producing cells has been removed. Hypothyroidism is more common in women. But, it can develop in any person irrespective of age or sex.
The symptoms of hypothyroidism are as follows:
- Increased feeling of cold
- Dryness of skin
- Increased blood cholesterol level
- Your muscles may be become weak and you may suffer from muscle pain
- Disruption in menstrual cycle
Though these are the common symptoms, but it may vary from person to person. Hypothyroidism is a very common problem and homeopathy offers a very safe, painless and effective treatment for hypothyroidism.
Homeopathic Treatment For Hypothyroidism
Homeopathy is best holistic therapy for hypothyroidism. Homeopathic medicines have been known to correct the imbalance in the thyroid hormones in a very mild and subtle manner. The homeopathic medicines for hypothyroidism are purely natural in origin and have no side effects at all. They are able to improve the functioning of the thyroid gland permanently. Once cured, one has no need to take medicines and can live a disease free as well as medicine free life.
There are excellent remedies in homeopathy for the patients suffering from hypothyroidism symptoms.The homeopathic remedies are prepared from a wide range of substances such as the vegetables, herb, mineral, chemicals and animal products in extremely minute. The homeopathic remedy selected will be based on all the symptoms of the patient including physical, mental and emotional states and family history of the patient.
Homeopathic remedies stimulate the body’s own immune system and offer a long lasting cure rather than giving temporary relief.
There are two ways to treat hypothyroidism-
- Supplement body with external thyroid hormone
- Administer medicines that could stimulate the thyroid gland
The conventional method is to supplement the hormone. But the problem here is that the body gets used to it and stops producing its own hormone in desired quantity.
In case of homeopathic treatment, it tries to stimulate the gland to make it produce normal production of hormone.
In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!
Being overweight can be as problematic as being underweight. Both the situations can have an effect on the infertility of a woman. Usually the body stores the sex hormones in the fat layers. That is why, if a person is underweight, she can have infertility issues, as there is not enough storage space for the hormones. In the same way if a person is overweight, then there is an excess of fat tissues and the amount of the hormone estrogen released is usually more than that the body can handle. This leads to a disruption of the chemicals and proteins, leading to adverse reactions and infertility.
Common Weight Related Infertility Reasons
Being overweight is somewhat linked with the Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) and an increase in estrogen hormone. Also, there is a greater chance of a luteal phase defect. Let us see how these can affect a woman:
- Estrogen: This hormone is produced by the fat cells, and if there is too much of estrogen production, then the body reacts to it in a similar manner when birth control pills are taken. Ovulation may or may not occur, and if it does, it might be inadequate. And the inadequate ovulation leads to luteal phase defect.
- Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS): This is basically an endocrine disorder with a combination of many symptoms. Symptoms are pain, irregular cycles, ovulatory pain, ovarian cysts, excessive body hair and heavy menstrual bleeding. Diagnosis for PCOS helps in determining the treatment for weight loss.
- Luteal Phase Defect: The luteal phase refers to the phase between the ovulation and the menses. The ideal time period for this phase is 14 days. LPD is generally caused by improper ovulation, and thus improving the quality of the follicles is necessary to correct the situation.
How Does Being Overweight Affect Conception Rate
As per a study which was published in the British Medical Journal, if women are too lean or too obese, they can have difficulty in conceiving and that fat distribution has an effect on the body. Women who have a large waist hip ratio have difficulty in conceiving, and apple shaped women also face the same trouble. Usually women who have PCOS have an apple shaped body.
Risk of Miscarriage Due To Being Overweight
Women suffering from PCOS and obesity have more chances of miscarriage as compared to others. The reason is that women with PCOS have increased LH, which tends to affect the pregnancy. However, it is noticed that even if excess fat does not play any role in pregnancy, women with PCOS have excess weight which creates high risk as compared to the others.
Finding Help for Overweight Issues is a Good Idea
Seeking help if you are overweight is always advisable. Consulting a good gynecologist can help along with weight management and fertility treatment. You shouldn't have any hesitations, and all the questions should be asked freely so as to get a holistic idea of the treatment. The doctor might suggest some tests and also conduct a physical examination of the lymph nodes and the abdomen, to feel the ovaries and the uterus. Post physical examination, an internal examination of the cervix to check for infections is done, and if need be, a pap smear might be collected and sent to the lab for culture. At times, a trans-vaginal or an abdominal ultrasound might also be done to rule out the possibilities of abnormalities or others cysts. Tests to check the levels of hormones are also done.
It is always a wise decision to know how being overweight can impact the chances of becoming pregnant. Working towards losing weight and getting it under healthy BMI levels, can lead to the restoration of the hormones and in turn make you healthier.
In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!