Homeopathic approach to thyroid disorders
Hormones are the ultimate messengers which have the ability to affect every organ and system in our bodies. It is of little wonder, then, that when the hormonal (endocrine) system becomes imbalanced, the results are widely spread and can be seen in many parts of the organism.
Thyroid, one of the endocrine system’s glands, has its origin in the pharyngeal pouches of the branchial apparatus, very close to the lung primodium. During embryonic development, thyroid bud grows downward toward the chest cavity along with parathyroids and thymus. Fully formed thyroid gland is located below larynx and In front of the trachea.
The very fact that both thyroid gland and lungs develop out of the pharyngeal primodium makes them closely interconnected in their action. Whilst lungs play a primary role in the oxygenation of blood and cellular metabolism, thyroid increases the actual consumption of oxygen by cells which boosts their activity.
Thus increased availability of oxygen= increased activity= increased alertness of the whole system.
The regulation of energy and metabolism is governed by two of the thyroid hormones:
- T4- thyroxine or tetraiodothyronine, consisting of 4 iodine atoms (produced by thyroid)
- T3- Triiodothyronine, consisting of 3 iodine atoms (approx 20% of T3 is released by thyroid and 80% is converted from T4 by liver and kidneys)
The production of both T4 and T3 is dependent on the presence of iodine. There are good news though: our bodies have the ability to reuse iodine, so only minute amounts of it need to be derived from food (0.15mg/day). It is important to consider that excessive consumption of iodine-rich foods (kale, broccoli, dairy, cod) can result in the same symptoms as its deficiency, since high amounts of iodine are capable of inhibiting the production of T4 and T3!
Taking into consideration that thyroid hormones govern the amount of energy available to our bodies, it is not surprising that patients suffering from over- or underactive thyroid will notice characteristic symptoms regarding their energy levels and overall functioning of their whole system.
Hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid) takes place when the thyroid is not producing enough T4 despite receiving signals from pituitary gland to do so (hence on the blood tests we can find high levels of TSH and low levels of T4).
Most common symptoms of hypothyroidism include, but are not limited to:
- Memory problems
- Weight gain
- Low pulse rate
- Hair loss
- Intolerance of cold
Remember: in hypothyroidism we are dealing with decreased amount of oxygen being made available to cells which results in overall reduction of activity in the whole system!
Hypothyroidism is often a result of:
- Autoimmune disease- where body’s immune system damages the thyroid
- Surgery- if a large portion of the thyroid is removed, it might not be capable of producing adequate amounts of T4 and T3
- Excess of dietary iodine- remember, iodine has the capability to inhibit production of T4 and T3 by thyroid!
- Hyperthyroid treatment- which can include administration of radioactive iodine or thyroid-reducing medications which can have a stronger effect than intended
- Other medical procedures- cancer treatment (especially radiotherapy)
- Certain medications taken for different disorders, e.g. lithium salts,
- Pituitary disorder- if pituitary gland doesn’t produce enough TSH, the production of thyroid hormones will be equally diminished
Homeopathic treatment of hypothyroidism focuses on the aetiology and the presenting symptoms of the patient, not just the disease. Although underactive thyroid encompasses characteristic group of symptoms, their exact expression will differ from patient to patient, i.e. the amount and pattern of hair loss will not be the same in every person suffering from this disorder, some of them might not experience any hair loss at all!
Some of the most commonly prescribed homeopathic remedies for Hypothyroidism include, but are not limited to: Calc Carb, Calc-iod, Graph, Kali-iod, Nat-M, Spong, Thyr, Brom, Lach, Lyc, Bad, Bufo, Aq-mar, Calc-f, Calc-p, Con, Fl-ac, Sil, Thuj, Iod, Nat-c, Lycps, Pineal, Fuc, Form
Hyperthyroidism (overactive thyroid) occurs when thyroid is producing high levels of T4 and T3 despite low amount of TSH (hormone responsible for initiating production of T4 and T3) released by the pituitary.
The symptoms of hyperthyroidism include:
- Increased appetite
- Frequent defecation
- Intolerance of heat
Remember: in hyperthyroid all bodily functions tend towards overactivity!
Most common causes of hyperthyroid:
- Autoimmune disease- e.g. Graves disease which leads to overstimulation of thyroid, resulting in overproduction of T4 and T3
- Lifestyle and dietary errors- too much iodine intake!
- Thyroiditis- inflammation of the thyroid which can lead to ‘leaking’ of T4 and T3 into the bloodstream
- Pregnancy- HCG can stimulate hormone production in thyroid
- Ovarian or testicular tumors which include thyroid tissues, i.e. Struma Ovari
When you see a homeopath for the treatment of hyperthyroidism, you will be asked about your own experience of the disease, the way in which it affects your life, along with some seemingly-unrelated questions about your fears, sleep pattern, dreams, food preferences and past medical history, all in order to narrow down to the most suitable remedy which will aim to help you regain equilibrium within your whole body.
Some of the most commonly prescribed homeopathic remedies for hyperthyroidism include, but are not limited to: Iod, Nat-M, Phos, Spong, Thyr, Aml-n, Bell, Cact, Calc Carb, Ferr-I, Ferr-ac, Glon, Lycps, Piloc, Aur-I, Calc-I, Hed, Ars-I, Brom, Stram, Adren, Bad, Nux-v, Sel, Verat