Thyroid Disorders


Thyroid related disorders in India are increasing alarmingly and silently!


Alarmingly because number of studies has indicated that around 11% people from India are suffering from thyroid disorders and silently because around 8.5% people are suffering from subclinical hypothyroidism with Anti TPO positive state. The five common thyroid diseases in India are


HYPOTHYROIDISM

An underactive thyroid (hypothyroidism) is when your thyroid gland doesn't produce enough of the thyroid hormones (T4 and T3) to meet your body's needs.

Hypothyroidism affects almost all of the organs in the body because thyroid hormones are important for ensuring normal function of essentially all of the cells in the body.

For example, hypothyroidism can slow down the metabolism of fat and cause high cholesterol levels, which may lead in the long term to an increased risk of clogging of the arteries (atherosclerosis), and an increased risk of heart attacks.


What causes hypothyroidism?

Most cases of underactive thyroid are caused by:
• A lack of dietary iodine: iodine is needed to make thyroid hormones. Worldwide, this is the most common cause of hypothyroidism but is easily corrected if iodine is added to salt (this happens in many countries).
• The immune system attacking, and damaging, the thyroid (this is called an autoimmune reaction). Hashimoto's disease is the most common type of autoimmune reaction. This is the most common cause of hypothyroidism in countries where iodine deficiency is not a problem (that is, in countries where iodine is routinely added to salt).
• Thyroid damage resulting from some treatments used for overactive thyroid or thyroid cancer (including surgical removal of the thyroid gland).
• Side-effects of some drugs used to treat other conditions.
• A problem with the pituitary gland, which is a gland below the brain that regulates the thyroid by producing thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH). This is also described as secondary hypothyroidism.


How common is hypothyroidism?

Worldwide, about 5% of people have hypothyroidism. Prevalence increases with age and hypothyroidism is much more common in women than men.


What are the symptoms of hypothyroidism?

The symptoms of hypothyroidism are not that specific; in other words, they overlap with many symptoms that people experience. For example, fatigue, constipation and weight gain are common in people who do not have any underlying illness, but these also often occur in people with hypothyroidism.
Common symptoms of an underactive thyroid are often similar to common symptoms of other conditions, so it is always important to see your doctor if you have several of the following symptoms
• Tiredness
• Excessive sleepiness
• Weight gain
• Constipation
• Depression
• Irregular menstrual periods
• Dry skin and hair
• Hair thinning or loss
• Goitre (swelling of the neck)
• Muscle aches or cramps
• Difficulty concentrating, and forgetting things

Hyperthyroidism

Hyperthyroidism is a condition in which the thyroid gland is overactive and makes excessive amounts of thyroid hormones. When the thyroid gland is overactive the body’s processes speed up and you may experience nervousness, anxiety, rapid heartbeat, hand tremor, excessive sweating, weight loss, and sleep problems, among other symptoms.


Hyperthyroidism is the production of too much thyroxine hormone.


Hyperthyroidism has a number of causes and, fortunately, a number of treatment options. It is important you talk to your doctor if you think you may have symptoms of hyperthyroidism.

Symptoms

The symptoms of hyperthyroidism include the following:
• Fatigue Or Muscle Weakness
• Hand Tremors
• Mood Swings
• Nervousness Or Anxiety
• Rapid Heartbeat
• Heart Palpitations Or Irregular Heartbeat
• Skin Dryness
• Trouble Sleeping
• Weight Loss
• Increased Frequency Of Bowel Movements
• Light Periods Or Skipping Periods.


Some people may develop a goiter, which is an enlarged thyroid gland that feels like a swelling in the front of your neck.

Causes of Hyperthyroidism

The most common cause of hyperthyroidism is the autoimmune disorder Graves’ disease. In this disorder, the body makes an antibody (a protein produced by the body to protect against a virus or bacteria) called thyroid-stimulating immunoglobulin (TSI) that causes the thyroid gland to make too much thyroid hormone. Grave’s disease runs in families and is more commonly found in women.


Hyperthyroidism may also be caused by a toxic nodular or multinodular goiter, which are lumps or nodules in the thyroid gland that cause the thyroid to produce excessive amounts of thyroid hormones. In addition, inflammation of the thyroid gland—called thyroiditis—resulting from a virus or a problem with the immune system may temporarily cause symptoms of hyperthyroidism. Furthermore, some people who consume too much iodine (either from foods or supplements) or who take medications containing iodine (such as amiodarone) may cause the thyroid gland to overproduce thyroid hormones.

Finally, some women may develop hyperthyroidism during pregnancy or in the first year after giving birth.

Goiter

A condition that increases the size of your thyroid is called a goiter. A goiter may develop in anyone, but is more common in females. Sometimes, it affects the way the thyroid functions.

Symptoms of a Goiter

The primary symptom of a goiter is noticeable swelling in neck. If you have nodules on your thyroid, they may range in size from very small to very large. The presence of nodules may increase the appearance of swelling.

Other symptoms include the following:
• Difficulty in swallowing or breathing.
• Coughing.
• Hoarseness in voice.
• Dizziness when you raise your arm above your head.

What causes a goiter?

Iodine deficiency is the main cause of goiter. Iodine is essential to helping thyroid produce thyroid hormones. When you don’t have enough iodine, the thyroid works extra hard to make thyroid hormone, causing the gland to grow larger.


Who is at risk for a goiter?

You may be at risk for a goiter if you:

• Have a family history of thyroid cancer, nodules, and other problems that affect the thyroid.
• Don’t get enough iodine in your diet.
• Have a condition that decreases the iodine in your body.
• Women have a higher risk for goiter than men.
• Had radiation therapy in the neck or chest area. Radiation may change the way your thyroid functions.


How is a goiter diagnosed?

Blood tests

Blood tests can detect changes in hormone levels and an increased production of antibodies, which are produced in response to an infection or injury or overactivity of immune system.

Thyroid scan

Your doctor may order scans of your thyroid. This is usually done when your thyroid level is elevated. These scans show the size and condition of your goiter, overactivity of some parts or whole thyroid.

Ultrasound

An ultrasound produces images of your neck, the size of your goiter, and whether there are nodules. Over time, an ultrasound can track changes in those nodules and the goiter.

Hashimoto's Thyroiditis

Hashimoto’s disease is an autoimmune disorder that can cause hypothyroidism, or underactive thyroid. With this disease, the immune system attacks thyroid. The thyroid becomes damaged and can’t make enough thyroid hormones.

Hashimoto’s disease is also called Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, Chronic lymphocytic thyroiditis or autoimmune thyroiditis.

Hashimoto’s disease is at least 8 times more common in women than men. Although the disease may occur in teens or young women, it more often appears between ages 40 and 60. The chance of developing Hashimoto’s disease increases if other family members have the disease.

Many people with Hashimoto’s disease develop hypothyroidism. Low levels of thyroid hormones can contribute to high cholesterol that can lead to heart disease.

What are the symptoms of Hashimoto’s disease?

Many people with Hashimoto’s disease have no symptoms at first. As the disease slowly progresses, the thyroid usually gets larger and may cause the front of the neck to look swollen.

The hypothyroidism of Hashimoto’s disease often is subclinical—mild and without symptoms—especially early in the disease. As hypothyroidism progresses, one may have following symptoms:

• Tiredness
• Weight gain
• Trouble in tolerating cold
• Joint and muscle pain
• Constipation
• Dry and thinning of hair
• Heavy or irregular menstrual periods and problems in becoming pregnant
• Depression

What causes Hashimoto’s disease?

Researchers aren’t sure why some people develop autoimmune disorders such as Hashimoto’s disease. These disorders probably result from a combination of genes and an outside trigger, such as a virus.

In Hashimoto’s disease, the immune system makes antibodies that attack the thyroid gland. Large numbers of white blood cells called lymphocytes, which are part of the immune system, build up in the thyroid. Lymphocytes make the antibodies that start the autoimmune process.

How do doctor’s diagnose Hashimoto’s disease?

Doctor’s will start with a medical history and physical exam, and will order one or more blood tests to find out if you have hypothyroidism. You may have a goiter, which is common in Hashimoto’s disease. Your doctor will order more blood tests to look for antithyroid antibodies known as Thyro-peroxidase antibodies (TPO), which almost all people with Hashimoto’s disease have.

However, if your doctor suspects Hashimoto’s disease but you don’t have antibodies in your blood, you may have an ultrasound of your thyroid. The images that the ultrasound makes can show the size of your thyroid and other features of Hashimoto’s disease. The ultrasound also can rule out other causes of an enlarged thyroid, such as thyroid nodules—small lumps in the thyroid gland.

What should I avoid eating if I have Hashimoto’s disease?

The thyroid uses iodine, a mineral in some foods, to make thyroid hormones. However, people with Hashimoto’s disease or other types of autoimmune thyroid disorders may be sensitive to harmful side effects from iodine. Eating foods that have large amounts of iodine may cause hypothyroidism or make it worse. Taking iodine supplements can have the same effect.

Tokyo

Tokyo is the capital of Japan.


Patients visiting homeopathic doctors have thyroid related complaints as a primary or associated one. They approach homoeopaths with varied expectations:

• Their hormone levels - TSH, T3, T4 are not under control in spite of increasing the doses of allopathic drugs.

• Hormones are under normal range, but they are not better! They are still having a majority of symptoms in spite of taking the prescribed allopathic medication.

• Some want a permanent cure for thyroid problem.

• Some come for other complaints and don’t want any medication for thyroid problem.

Homeopathy believe that in order to cure the patient, we need to bring the deranged susceptibility of a patient to its original-harmonious state of health. Psycho-Neuro-Endocrine- Immune (PNEI) system plays a pivotal role in maintaining homoeostasis (harmonious state of health) of an individual.


In homoeopathic case taking physician needs to understand the role of various factors (genetic/hereditary, developmental, nutritional, infectious, autoimmune and psychosocial) responsible for the travel of an individual from state of health to disease.


Cure Homeo Clinics has a trio (Dr Indu Goel, Dr Aman Goel & Dr Pooja Gupta) of experienced homeopathic physician with a team of assistant doctors. They have several documented and evidence-based case reports of thyroid disorders.


The best way to judge the effectiveness of a homeopathic treatment is through its results. Where thyroid disorders are considered as incurable and patients are advised to take allopathic drugs for lifetime; homeopathy offers a ray of hope for the society.