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Can Thyroid be treated with Naturopathy?

Can Thyroid be treated with Naturopathy?

Naturopathy is a branch of medicine that emphasises natural healing without the intervention of any external elements. Naturopathic doctors treat the patient using various natural remedies and therapies according to the symptoms the patient is exhibiting, the severity of the symptoms, the family history and medications prescribed previously. 

There are many conditions that naturopathy can treat, and thyroid is one among them. Like every other ailment, naturopathy treats thyroid disorders without using medications and surgery. Naturopathy strives to address this condition through various lifestyle and dietary changes.

What is the Thyroid?

The thyroid is a small gland in front of your neck, under your skin and a part of the endocrine system. The thyroid produces or secretes hormones that help with metabolism. Metabolism is a process where the food consumed gets transformed into energy. 

The hormones secreted by the Thyroid include:

  • Thyroxine (T4) – The primary hormone made and secreted by the thyroid and doesn’t significantly affect your metabolism. 
  • Triiodothyronine (T3) – The thyroid produces T3 in lesser quantities than T4, but it has a greater effect on metabolism than T4. 
  • Reverse Triiodothyronine (RT3) – The thyroid secretes only an extremely small amount of RT3, which reverses the effect of T3. 
  • Calcitonin – This hormone helps regulate the amount of calcium in the body. 

Types of Thyroid

The thyroid helps in metabolism, and for it to happen smoothly, it must secrete the hormones in optimal quantities. If the amount of hormone released by the thyroid varies extensively, it can lead to conditions such as Hypothyroidism and Hyperthyroidism. 

Hypothyroidism 

Hypothyroidism is a condition caused by the under-functioning of the thyroid gland, a result of high levels of stress, environmental influence, genetics, age or autoimmunity. Under-functioning of the gland results in the limited release of T4/T3 hormones in the bloodstream, which may lead to the following symptoms:

  • Fatigue
  • Weight Gain 
  • Poor Concentration 
  • Dry Skin
  • Constipation 
  • Fluid Retention 
  • Muscle and Joint aches
  • Depression 
  • Prolonged and Excessive Menstrual Bleeding 
  • Infertility 
  • Hair loss, Brittle Hair, and Brittle Nails

Hyperthyroidism

Hyperthyroidism is a situation in which the thyroid secretes an excess amount of hormones, thereby speeding up the body’s metabolism. Hyperthyroidism is less common and usually is the result of an autoimmune condition known as Graves’ disease. 

These are the various signs and symptoms of Hyperthyroidism:

  • Extensive Weight Loss
  • Fast heartbeat (also called tachycardia)
  • Irregular Heartbeat (also called Arrhythmia)
  • Heart Palpitation or Pounding of the Heart
  • Increased Hunger
  • Nervousness, Anxiety and Irritability 
  • Sweating
  • Increased Sensitivity to Heat
  • Tiredness
  • Weakness in Muscles

Causes of Thyroid Disorders

Thyroid is a condition found mostly in women. As discussed above, it is caused either by of lack of secretion of the thyroid gland or excess secretion of the thyroid gland.

Causes of Hypothyroidism 

These are some of the conditions that can lead to Hypothyroidism: 

Thyroiditis

Thyroiditis is a condition caused by swelling in the thyroid gland, which lowers the amount of hormones released by the thyroid gland. 

Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis

It is an inherited autoimmune condition where the body’s cells attack and damage the thyroid. 

Postpartum Thyroiditis

This condition only affects 5-9% of women after childbirth and is usually a temporary condition.

Iodine deficiency

Iodine is used by the thyroid to produce hormones, so a deficiency in the level of iodine in the body can cause the thyroid 

Causes of Hyperthyroidism 

These are some of the conditions that can lead to Hyperthyroidism:

Graves’ Disease

If an individual is suffering from Graves disease, then they are at risk of getting hyperthyroidism, because in this condition, the entire thyroid gland tends to produce too much of hormones. 

Nodules

Nodules that are overactive within the thyroid gland can be a cause of Hyperthyroidism. 

Thyroiditis

It is a condition in which the thyroid releases hormones that were there. This condition can be painful, and sometimes you don’t feel it all. 

Excessive iodine

When there is too much iodine content in your body, the thyroid releases and releases more hormones than needed, and this causes hyperthyroidism. 

Treatment of Thyroid in Naturopathy 

It is possible to treat thyroid disorders through naturopathic healing techniques. In naturopathy, doctors use all the natural methods that don’t have any kinds of side effects. Naturopathic doctor plans the treatment procedure based on symptoms, type, and cause of thyroid.

The treatment for thyroid in naturopathy includes:

Diet

One of the treatment options in naturopathy to treat your condition is to control your food intake. Naturopathy doctors encourage you to limit your sugar intake. Large sugar intake can lead to excessive weight gain, metabolic derangement and fatigue. They also suggest consuming a balanced level of iodine, as it can help in the production of thyroid hormones. 

Yoga

Hypothyroidism is a common condition that affects people, and this can be treated with a disciplined practice of yoga because studies have shown that yoga can improve thyroid hormones and cholesterol levels by practising for six months. Yoga can reduce our stress levels and enhance our overall well-being. Yoga has various exercises that improve the blood circulation in the neck region and also help in regularising the secretion of the thyroid. 

Herbal medicines

Herbal medicines or infusions are an integral part of naturopathic therapy and are frequently used to treat thyroid disorders as these herbal medicines boost the function of underactive thyroid glands. 

However when consuming these medicines one must only have the prescribed amount as overconsumption can lead to overproduction of the thyroid hormone. 

Acupuncture

Acupuncture is also one of the effective methods that help to treat the thyroid by balancing the level of hormones in the body as it releases or relieves anxiety and muscle tension which are also two of the causes of anxiety. 

Massages

Massages are one of the alternative methods of treatment of thyroid that have been adopted by many naturopathy doctors, as the reflexology techniques coupled with proper massages will help boost the adrenal and thyroid glands and make them perform better. 

FAQs

  • Can naturopathy completely cure thyroid disorders?

Naturopathy may contribute to managing symptoms and improving overall thyroid health, but to cure them, it often requires a combination of treatments, including conventional medicine.

  • How long does it take to see results from naturopathic treatments for the thyroid?

The time to see results from naturopathic treatments for thyroid conditions can vary significantly depending on the individual, the specific thyroid disorder, and the types of naturopathic methods used. 

Generally, it may take several weeks to several months to notice improvements since naturopathic approaches and treatment involve dietary changes, herbal supplements, and lifestyle modifications, often requiring time to impact the body’s systems gradually.

  • Can lifestyle changes alone in naturopathy effectively manage thyroid disorders?

Thyroid disorders, such as hypothyroidism or hyperthyroidism, typically require a comprehensive approach that may include medication, diet, exercise, and stress management. Lifestyle changes alone in naturopathy may help manage some symptoms of thyroid disorders, but they are often not sufficient to effectively manage these conditions on their own. 

  • How does diet affect thyroid health in naturopathy?

Diet is considered a crucial factor in supporting thyroid health, and certain foods and nutrients can positively impact thyroid function. Foods rich in iodine are often recommended for thyroid health, as iodine is essential for producing thyroid hormones, and selenium-rich foods such as nuts and seeds can support thyroid function.

  • Can stress management techniques in naturopathy improve thyroid function?

Stress management techniques in naturopathy can improve thyroid function. Stress can significantly impact the endocrine system, including the thyroid gland. Managing stress through naturopathic approaches like meditation, yoga, deep breathing exercises, and relaxation techniques can help reduce the body’s stress response, which in turn helps in balancing thyroid hormones.

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