In this post, we take a look at some of the causes that lead to the development of thyroid problems, as well as how a well-regulated yoga routine can act as an effective treatment for thyroid problems, and help patients manage the symptoms of the condition better.
Good Endocrine Health
The thyroid gland is arguably one of the most vital organs in the human body. Its primary function is to regulate our metabolism, through the hormones called thyroxine and triiodothyronine. However, these hormones also play a significant role in regulating the functions of other organs within the body, making the thyroid gland a critical part of the endocrine system.
And as with every system in our body, there needs to be an equilibrium between every component to ensure that the thyroid gland performs its role effectively – and any imbalance can give rise to a number of different health problems.
Thyroid-related problems are fairly common worldwide. It’s estimated that around 42 million Indians suffer from different conditions such as hypothyroidism (lack of sufficient thyroid hormones) or hyperthyroidism (excess of thyroid hormones). These conditions in turn display an array of symptoms such as excessive fatigue, weight gain, muscle weakness, and dry skin.
A healthy wellness routine that includes exercises for thyroid relief can help regulate the function of the gland better, ensuring better physical and mental well-being.
What are the causes of thyroid problems?
Broadly speaking, the only direct cause for these conditions is an imbalance in the secretion of thyroid hormones. But there may be multiple causes that lead to that imbalance in the first place:
- An autoimmune disorder called Hashimoto’s thyroiditis is one of the most common causal factors.
- Inflammation of the thyroid, caused by viruses or bacteria
- A deficiency of iodine in the body
- Radiation therapy to treat cancer in the head or the neck can also directly affect the thyroid gland, which is situated in the throat.
Symptoms of thyroid disease
Due to the interconnected nature of the endocrine system, how it impacts other functions in the body, as well as the different types of problems that can arise, the symptoms of thyroid disease can be many and varied:
- Constant fatigue – this is especially common in hypothyroidism when there is a lack of sufficient hormone regulation by the gland.
- Feelings of anxiety and nervousness – this is usually caused by an overactive thyroid gland (hyperthyroidism), and can be one of the most common symptoms of thyroid disease.
- Frequent chills – underactive thyroid secretion can sometimes result in an inability to withstand cold temperatures
- Menstrual disruption – women with hypothyroidism may experience unusually heavy flow during their periods, and they may also have their menstrual cycle more often than usual. On the other hand, hyperthyroidism may sometimes cause a complication which results in the cycle stopping completely.
In short, the symptoms of thyroid disease result in no end of discomfort, from both a physical as well as a mental standpoint. And so it’s important to take the appropriate steps necessary to manage this condition as effectively as possible, and this is where yoga for thyroid treatment can play a significant role.
Yoga as a treatment for thyroid problems
Despite the common occurrence of thyroid problems, there are several natural approaches one can take to help alleviate them. A well-curated yoga for thyroid treatment program can help ease the various symptoms, and restore the hormonal balance in the body.
Exercises for thyroid to stimulate the gland
One of the causes of thyroid problems is if the blood flow to the gland is inhibited due to poor circulation within the body. However, there are simple yoga postures and other exercises for thyroid problems that can help resolve this.
For instance, inversion postures and related stretching exercises can help to compress the neck, increasing blood flow to the throat, faster than normal. This improves circulation, helping to nourish the area around the gland, and can have a restorative effect on thyroid function. Since other endocrine glands are regulated by the thyroid, this in turn helps restore balance to the system itself, as well as other systems in the body.
Improving TSH levels in the body
Regularly practicing yoga as a treatment for thyroid problems can have a positive effect on cholesterol, and research has shown that it can also improve serum TSH (thyroid-stimulating hormone) levels in the body. This is a hormone secreted by the pituitary gland, and is one of the most significant in the endocrine system, as its main function is to regulate the operation of the thyroid gland itself.
Incorporating the right exercises for thyroid problems can help maintain the equilibrium that is required for the thyroid gland to perform its functions normally, and also ensure that the interconnected systems continue to run without any problems.
Reducing stress levels
High levels of stress can also be a precipitating factor for conditions such as hyperthyroidism. Conversely, the onset of thyroid problems can either result in or further compound symptoms of stress, anxiety, nervousness and irritability.
Simple guided meditations, combined with the regular practice of exercises for thyroid problems, can alleviate and keep these symptoms in check, helping to enhance mental well-being, and boost the overall endocrine functions in the body.
Strengthening the body
While not necessarily impacting the function of the gland directly, regular exercises for thyroid relief can go a long way towards strengthening the core muscles in the body. Yoga exercises that are used as a treatment for thyroid problems will typically involve postures that place an emphasis on the spine, shoulders and upper back.
As a result, muscle strength in the core can be significantly enhanced, helping to improve overall balance, and improve basic coordination, helping to heal the body in a more holistic and well-rounded manner.
On the whole, the thyroid forms a critical part of a balanced body and mind. It helps to regulate numerous functions in the body, and helps us maintain the internal equilibrium required for a healthy overall well-being. A well-curated yoga routine as a treatment for thyroid conditions and the endocrine system can play a huge role in ensuring good overall thyroid health, and in turn help keep numerous other potential health problems at bay.