Hypothyroidism in women is a condition that affects the overall quality of life, silently. A person may become sluggish, gain weight and develop other diseases due to it. Homeopathy for hyperthyroidism treatment in women has been producing tremendous success rate over the years. Homeopathic medicines, in general, improve the body’s immunity and restore its normal functionality. Homeopathic treatment is individualized and customized according to unique set of specific causes associated with every woman.
Hypothyroidism is a disease in which the thyroid gland does not produce the required amount thyroid hormones to fulfill the body’s requirement. It is also commonly referred to as ‘under active thyroids’. Hypothyroidism is more common in women and older adults. Hypothyroidism may occur due to several factors, such as Hashimoto’s thyroiditis (an autoimmune disorder), thyroiditis, treatment with radioactive iodine, removal of the gland, or certain medications. Symptoms such as fatigue, weight gain, puffy skin, thinning of hair, cold intolerance, dry skin, menstrual or fertility problems are commonly evident.
This article covers: what is hypothyroidism, and what are the causes and symptoms of hypothyroidism. The article also covers health complications if hypothyroidism is left untreated, and how it can be prevented. We will also go through the idea of a proper diet that should be taken in combating hypothyroidism. We will also discuss the benefits of homeopathic medicines and the most commonly prescribed homeopathic medicines for treatment of hypothyroidism.
Homeopathic treatment for hypothyroidism has great efficacy. There are several reasons. Hypothyroidism symptoms tend to aggravate in due course along with a disturbance in different functions of the body, such as irregularity in the menstrual cycle, increase in weight, and mood swings. Hypothyroidism is a condition that cannot be cured generally and progresses with time.
Homeopathy uses medications that are natural, safe, and without any side effects to treat hypothyroidism.
Homeopathic medicines enhance the curative ability of the body to treat the disease. Homeopathic medicines focus on the production of thyroid hormone through the stimulation of the thyroid gland instead of supplying hormone from an external source. Homeopathic medicines are able to penetrate the hypothalamic pituitary axis which controls the endocrine secretions.
Hypothyroidism is deficiency of thyroid hormone. The thyroid gland produces inadequate amount of thyroid hormone. Hypothyroidism slows down metabolism, and heart rate. This leads to several health issues such as hormonal imbalance, infertility, difficulty in pregnancy, goiter, obesity, fatigue, dry skin, etc. Cases of hypothyroidism are often engulf with depression.
Hypothyroidism is also commonly called Underactive Thyroid Disorder. The thyroid is a small and butterfly-shaped gland, and it is present on the lower front side of the neck. This gland is responsible for producing two hormones: Triiodothyronine (T3) and thyroxine (T4).
Both T3 and T4 hormones are partially made up of iodine and responsible for regulating metabolism of the body. In a nutshell, thyroid controls energy production and consumption in the body. The thyroid gland also controls the digestive system and how the heartbeats. If the thyroid gland does not function properly, then the essential and natural processes of the body start to slow down. The metabolism of the body declines, and there is less energy production in the body.
Women are more frequently affected by hypothyroidism than men. Although people over the age of 60 years are more susceptible to have an underactive thyroid gland, the thyroid gland may become underactive at any age.
There are several factors and their combinations can form causes of hypothyroidism in women. The most common causes include:
Hypothyroidism is most commonly caused by Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, an autoimmune disorder. In any autoimmune disorder, the body’s immune system works against own body. So, your own body is responsible for the disorder.
In Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, the antibodies produced by the body’s immune system start fighting the cells of our own thyroid gland and destroy them. This causes severe inflammation of the gland and can hamper the chances of producing thyroid hormones. Hashimoto’s thyroiditis is most commonly observed in women. However, men and children are also susceptible. The exact cause of this disorder is still unknown. This autoimmune disorder can result from combination of several factors.
- Family history: Hashimoto’s thyroiditis run in the families. If any of your family members has had Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, there are good chances that you may have it too.
- Environmental factors: Such as exposure to radiation can stimulate antibodies of the thyroid gland. This stimulation can cause damage to the thyroid by antibodies. Any bacteria or virus can also prompt the attack on thyroid by antibodies.
- Excessive iodine consumption: Excessive intake of iodine can stimulate autoimmune Hashimoto’s disorder.
- Hormones: Such as thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) in large amounts cause more stimulation by the thyroid gland. As a result, the thyroid gland becomes enlarged and does not secrete thyroid hormones.
Thyroiditis is the inflammation of the thyroid gland in which a large quantity of thyroid hormone leaks in the body. Initially, the leakage of hormone results in excess of thyroid in the body. This condition is similar to hyperthyroidism (overactivity of the thyroid gland). Such condition of hyperthyroidism sustains for 3-4 months. Eventually, the level of thyroid hormone starts decreasing leading to hypothyroidism. Such hypothyroidism condition can last for 12 to 18 months. In some cases, it can even become a permanent condition.
Treatment of Hyperthyroidism
In individuals with Hyperthyroidism, thyroid glands start functioning very aggressively and produce enormous quantities of thyroid hormone. Anti-thyroid medicines or radioactive iodine is often used to treat this condition. But at the same time, while correcting hyperthyroidism, these medicines can sometimes damage the cells of the thyroid gland. Hence, it results in less production of thyroid hormones leading to hypothyroidism.
Surgical Removal of The Thyroid Gland or a Part of it
If a person has thyroid cancer, Graves’ disease, or thyroid nodules; the thyroid gland or a part of it is removed surgically. In both conditions, the hormone production is reduced, leading to hypothyroidism.
Normal thyroid hormone production can be affected by the use of medicines such as lithium, amiodarone, interleukin-2, and interferon-alpha. Hypothyroidism is most likely to be triggered by these medicines in patients with a family history of hypothyroidism.
Thyroid hormones require iodine for their synthesis. The body obtains iodine through the food we take. If the body gets too little iodine, it results in hypothyroidism. Iodine in excess is also not good. If the body gets too much iodine, the situation worsens in people already suffering from hypothyroidism.
Women can suffer from hypothyroidism during or after pregnancy. Hashimoto’s thyroiditis is responsible for hypothyroidism in 2 to 3 out of every 100 pregnant women. Anemia (deficiency of red blood cells), preeclampsia (increase in blood pressure during late pregnancy), miscarriage, early or stillbirth can result from untreated hypothyroidism. Hypothyroidism also affects the development of the baby in the womb.
Pituitary gland is responsible for maintaining the balance of hormones in the body. When there is a deficiency of thyroid hormones in the body, the pituitary gland senses and releases its hormone, the Thyroid Stimulating Hormone (TSH). TSH has the function of informing the thyroid gland to balance the levels of its hormones in the body. For instance, if thyroid hormone level is lower than required level, pituitary sends information to thyroid gland through TSH to increase rate of secretion of thyroid hormones.
If the pituitary gland doesn’t perform its normal function because of any reason (such as the benign tumor), TSH is not produced. Consequently, the thyroid gland does not release its hormone. Subsequently, it results in hypothyroidism.
The symptoms of hypothyroidism may differ from person to person. Some common symptoms may include:
- Fatigue: When you have hypothyroidism, your body metabolism slows down. A person gets quickly tired because energy production in the body decreases.
- Weight-gain: Low levels of thyroid hormone are not able to metabolize the food you eat. Therefore, the body is not able to burn calories, and it results in weight gain.
- Sensitivity to cold: When the body metabolizes food, it generates energy and heat. Since in hypothyroidism, there is a decline in metabolism, the heat generation is also affected. Therefore, people suffering develop sensitivity to cold.
- Constipation: Thyroid hormones regulate digestion. Inadequacy of thyroid hormones in the body causes improper digestion and consequently constipation.
- Puffy face: Low levels of thyroid hormone causes swelling of the face or lips. Medically, this condition is known as myxedema. In this condition, sugar molecules accumulate in the skin due to poor metabolism. These molecules attract water that in turn causes swelling.
- Dry skin: There are numerous glands in our skin that help maintain skin moisture. In hypothyroidism, the secretions of these glands decrease which results in skin-dryness. Skin becomes flaky and dry. Dryness of soles and palm is quite prominent in such condition. Fine scales become visible on skin, especially on the outer surface of joints. This may also be accompanied with thickening of skin. The exact mechanism by which decline in the secretions of these glands occur is still not clear, however, it is suggested that the changes at the cell level during hypothyroidism may be a reason.
- Joint and muscle pain: Accumulation of excess proteins in the joints and tissues can result in muscular and joint pain. Excess proteins are released in response to high TSH levels in patients with hypothyroidism.
- Dull and thin hair: The hair follicles are developed and maintained by thyroid hormones. When there’s a deficiency of thyroid hormone in the body, it can hamper the development of hair. Dull and thin hair is often associated with hypothyroidism. At times hypothyroidism results into hair-fall as well.
- Decreased sweating: In hypothyroidism, a person may experience a decrease in sweating. The decrease in sweating is due to slow rate of metabolism as well as decrease secretions of sweat glands in skin.
- Irregular or heavy menstrual periods: When you have hypothyroidism, hormones that regulate the reproductive system get affected adversely. This causes irregularity in period cycle or heavy period bleeding.
- Goiter: Enlargement of thyroid gland is called goiter. Pituitary gland releases TSH to send instructions to thyroid gland to produce thyroid hormones. In case of hypothyroidism, pituitary gland releases increased TSH in response to low levels of thyroid hormones. More TSH creates more pressure on thyroid gland in secreting its hormones. This constant stimulation and pressure on thyroid gland results in its enlargement, leading to Goiter. Certain cases of hypothyroidism does not develop goiter. Hence absence of goiter should not be confused with absence of hypothyroidism.
- Depression: A person with hypothyroidism may feel sad all the time and experience frequent mood swings. There might also be loss of motivation and decision-making ability. Feeling of hopelessness, anxiety, low self-esteem may also be present.
- Fertility problems: Thyroid hormone is also responsible for controlling period cycle. Imbalance in levels of thyroid hormones, can disturb the period cycle. It can result in heavy or too light bleeding. In some cases, the periods stop altogether for months or even longer. Menopause can occur early if hypothyroidism is caused due to auto immune reason. Disturbance in period cycle also affects the release of eggs from ovaries. This is huge dampener if you are trying to get pregnant.
- Slow heart rate: In cases of hypothyroidism slow rate of heart beats is commonly observed.
The thyroid gland uses iodine for the production of thyroid hormones. Therefore, those people are more at risk of developing hypothyroidism who do not get enough iodine through their diet. Hypothyroidism cannot get cured with diet alone. However, thyroid function can be restored, and symptoms can be minimized with the help of the right nutrients.
Since iodine is required for thyroid hormone production, you might consider adding it to your daily food intake. Iodine-rich foods such as seafood (e.g. fish, seaweed), eggs, and dairy are a great source of iodine. Iodized salt can be another source of adding iodine into the diet. Consume iodine in just the right amount. Excess of iodine is also not so good for health.
Selenium activates thyroid hormones and make them ready to be used by our body. This mineral also has antioxidant properties. Therefore, it also protects the thyroid gland from the attack of free radicals. The level of selenium can be increased in the body through a selenium-rich diet. Eggs, legumes, sardines, tuna, and brazil nuts are a great source of selenium.
Like selenium, zinc also helps in the activation of thyroid hormones. It has been researched that thyroid-stimulating hormone is also regulated by zinc. Zinc is abundantly found in chicken, shellfish, legumes, nuts, dairy foods, eggs, and oysters, etc.
Antioxidant-Rich Vegetables and Fruits
Antioxidants protect the body from the damage of the free-radical molecules. Tomatoes, blueberries, bell peppers, and other antioxidant-rich fruits and vegetables should be made part of the diet.
Eggs, all kinds of meat, seafood, dairy products, leafy green vegetables, fruits like berries, tomatoes, oranges, or bananas, gluten-free seeds & grains like quinoa, buckwheat, rice, chia seeds, and flax seeds should be consumed in moderate amounts if you are suffering from hypothyroidism.
There are also some food items that you need to avoid or take some precautions while consuming in case you have hypothyroidism because these food substances may interfere with the absorption of the thyroid medicines. These include:
- Soy: The enzymes that make up the thyroid hormone, their activity may get inhibited by the phytoestrogens present in the soy-bean or foods rich in soy. The likelihood of developing hypothyroidism is three times more in those women who consumed soy supplements.
- Too much Iodine-rich foods: Although hypothyroidism is caused by the deficiency of iodine in the body and taking iodine through the diet may correct the condition. But at the same time, the thyroid gland activity may get suppressed by excessive quantity of iodine. Therefore, iodized-salt or iodine-rich food should be eaten with consideration.
- Calcium and iron supplements: Both of these supplements may interfere with thyroid medicine absorption and, therefore, may affect their activity.
- Foods high in fiber: Such food items may also interfere with the absorption of thyroid medicines if eaten right after taking medicine. It is recommended to wait at least two hours before eating anything rich in fibers.
- Cruciferous vegetables: Vegetables such as spinach, kale, broccoli, cabbage, and Brussels sprouts are also rich in fibers. If these vegetables are taken immediately after taking the thyroid medication may affect the medicine’s absorption. It is helpful to avoid taking these vegetables when you take your medicine.
A diet that contains the right amount of lean meat, fruits, and vegetables helps maintain weight gain because these are filling and low calorie.
The best course of action that you can take to prevent hypothyroidism is to eliminate all the possibilities of developing it into a serious condition. Understanding the risk factors, identifying the symptoms, and getting diagnosed early can prevent you from facing the complications of undiagnosed thyroid disease. If hypothyroidism is diagnosed early and treatment begins at the right time, it becomes much easier to manage. Otherwise, there is very little you can do to prevent the onset of hypothyroidism.
Several health problems result from untreated hypothyroidism.
It is a condition in which the thyroid gland becomes enlarged in response to continuous stimulation to release more hormones to overcome the deficiency in the body.
You may have a weakened and slow pulse and abnormal heartbeats if you have hypothyroidism. The volume of the blood pumped by your heart decrease by 30 to 50% in each beat. A deficiency of thyroid hormones, especially triiodothyronine (T3), may also result in heart failure.
Your kidneys may not function at their full capacity if you are suffering from severe hypothyroidism. This is because a decreased amount of blood reaches your kidneys. As a result, they are not able to excrete water properly. Moreover, the reabsorption of sodium is also affected adversely, which further disturbs the osmotic and ionic balance of your body.
Complications of The Nervous System
Peripheral nerves that carry messages across the body, from the brain and spinal cord, damage if you have uncontrolled and long-term hypothyroidism. The deterioration of the peripheral nerves causes peripheral neuropathy in which you will feel a tingling sensation, numbness, and pain in affected areas. You may also face difficulty in breathing and trouble in walking and talking.
Infertility in Women
Sex hormones are regulated by thyroid hormones. Women who suffer from hypothyroidism have three times more problems with menstrual periods. There is an irregularity in the period cycle and changes in the flow. Ovulation is affected by low thyroid hormones, which impair fertility. There are higher chances of infertility in women suffering from autoimmune thyroid disease.
Complications in Pregnancy
There is an increased risk of miscarriage, early birth, or preeclampsia in women with hypothyroidism. There is also a risk attached to the new-born of having congenital disabilities if the mother has untreated hypothyroidism.
Subclinical hypothyroidism is a mild and early form of hypothyroidism. In this condition, the thyroid hormones (T3 and T4) are found to be in normal range. The TSH levels are, however, slightly on the higher side.
Subclinical hypothyroidism is present in 3 to 8% of the people, and 26.8% of people have chances of developing full hypothyroidism within six years of diagnosis of subclinical hypothyroidism. Women and older adults are more at risk of developing subclinical hypothyroidism.
11 percent of the general population in India suffers from hypothyroidism. Cities of India that are not located on the coastline like Ahmedabad, Kolkata, Bangalore, Delhi, and Hyderabad have a higher prevalence of hypothyroidism (11.7%) in comparison to coastal cities like Goa, Mumbai, and Chennai (9.5%). In India, people aged between 46 to 54 years are more affected by hypothyroidism (13.1%), whereas people aged between 18 to 35 years have less likelihood of developing hypothyroidism (7.5%).
Hypothyroidism commonly prevails globally. One-third of the world’s population has iodine deficiency. Hypothyroidism prevails in the range of about 1 to 2 percent in the countries having iodine sufficiently present in their diet. This prevalence increases to 7 percent in people between the age of 85 and 89 years.
In the United States, 4.6% of the total population, 12 years old or above, suffers from hypothyroidism. However, most of these cases are mild. The occurrence of hypothyroidism increases by ten times in women in comparison to men. In Europe, 0.2 to 5.3 percent of the general population suffers from hypothyroidism. The incidence of hypothyroidism in Australia is 0.5 percent in people aged greater than 55 years and 2% in the UK.
The most commonly prescribed homeopathic medicine for hypothyroidism is Calcarea Carbonica. It is prescribed to those people who are not able to tolerate cold and are obese. Bromium and Iodium are also used for hypothyroidism. Other commonly used homeopathic medicines for hypothyroidism are Sepia, Graphites, Lycopodium, etc. None of them should be consumed without the prescription of a homeopath.
Q: Does homeopathy work for hypothyroidism?
A: Yes, homeopathy works wonders for hypothyroidism. It is evident from the study conducted by Kiruthiga that homeopathic medicine increases the pace with which the thyroid gland heals, relieving the symptoms of hypothyroidism without any side effects. Similarly, in Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, it has been reported that the levels of antibodies can be controlled through individualized Homoeopathy treatment.
Homeopathy presents a highly effective way of treatment for thyroid disease. The main focus of homeopathy is to erase the root cause of the disease. Homeopathic medicines stimulate the thyroid gland in producing the right quantity of hormones, and therefore, the thyroid disease can be cured permanently.
The cure and treatment of hypothyroidism with homeopathy has been achieving high degree of successful results. Homeopathic treatment helps patients reduce their dependency on externally supplied hormones. This makes it the most suited for treating hypothyroidism. Studies have found significant reduction in the levels of Thyroid-stimulating hormones in children suffering from subclinical hypothyroidism after treatment with homeopathic medicines.
Q: How to reduce Thyroid-stimulating Hormone (TSH) levels in female?
A: When there is deficiency of thyroid hormones in the blood, the TSH levels increase. If the level of thyroid hormones is restored, TSH level reduces. This can successfully be achieved at home by keeping a strict check on the diet. Foods like tofu, tempeh, cabbage, broccoli, kale, sweet potato, and peaches can help you reduce your TSH levels. Moreover, you should avoid foods that can interfere with the absorption of thyroid hormones like soy. Try to minimize junk food, instead focus in clean eating. Exercising daily is another highly effective way to keep your hormones in optimal balance. You can even practice yoga to help regulate your body hormones. Including probiotics in your diet can also help, such as yogurt, apple cider vinegar, etc.
Q: How to check thyroid at home?
A: You can follow a simple process to check your thyroid at home. You just need a mirror and a glass of water. Keep your face near the mirror and focus on the area located on the lower front of your neck, below the voice box, and above the collarbone. This is the place where the thyroid gland is located. Then, tip back your head while you keep your focus on this area. Take a sip of water and while swallowing, look at your neck. If you notice any bulges or protrusions in this area while swallowing, consult a physician. As you may have an enlarged thyroid gland or thyroid nodule that needs immediate check-up to determine if further medical evaluation is required.
Q: What is TSH level test?
A: TSH (Thyroid Stimulating Hormone) is produced by Pituitary Gland. A high level of TSH is an indication of underactive thyroid. Normal range of TSH is 0.4 – 5.0 milli-international units per liters. Pituitary produces more TSH in an effort to stimulate thyroid gland into producing more thyroid hormones. In case of high TSH level, it is recommended to go for Thyroid Hormone Test. Low level of thyroid hormone (especially thyroxine or T4) is also an indicator of hypothyroidism. In some cases, TSH levels are higher but T4 levels are normal. It is called subclinical (mild) hypothyroidism. It is believed to be an early stage of hypothyroidism. In such cases regular check-up is recommended. If the test results are abnormal, it is recommended to go for thyroid ultrasound or thyroid scan. This is to check for presence of nodules or inflammation.
Final Thoughts on Homeopathy for Hypothyroidism Treatment in Women
Homeopathy treatment offers a holistic solution to hypothyroidism in women. Hypothyroidism has ripple effect on many other complications. In women, particularly, it can lead to infertility, miscarriages, or ectopic pregnancies. Surgeries of thyroid gland is not proven to be the most apt option. You should always prefer to act at an early stage. Sounds obvious, but not practiced often. As a homeopathic doctor, I recommend you should find adopt to a natural solution like homeopathic treatment. Follow the treatment procedure with discipline and patience. More often than not, the results are no less than magical.
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|About the Author
|Dr. Sanchita Dharne, recognized as the best homeopathic doctor in Gurgaon, is an expert in homeopathic treatment of hypothyroidism in women. She is an ardent follower of classical homeopathy. She believes in stimulating natural healing mechanism of body.
Disclaimer: Please don’t consume any of these medicines without the prescription of an expert homeopath. The list above is not a comprehensive list of medicines. An expert homeopath, prescribes combination of medicines on the basis of your case and various symptoms pertaining to the same.