Alternatives to Thyroid Medication: Yoga and Diet

Tess Thompson

There are times that we actually look endlessly for the causes of some small health conditions that trouble us daily. These conditions defy us, and since they are not too troublesome or do not cause us to stop our daily routines, we tend to ignore them. The fact is that even medical science is not completely sure of the causes of many diseases. There is still a fair amount of ambiguity about what causes physiological disorders like thyroid conditions like hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism. We also do not know completely when and why the thyroid, a little pear-shaped gland located at the base of the neck, will suddenly (or gradually for that matter) start underperforming or over-performing.

The worst part is that thyroid dysfunction is probably the most under-diagnosed condition due to the non-specific nature of symptoms of thyroid problems. The hormones secreted by the thyroid are used by practically all cells in the body, and any disturbance in thyroid production (less or more) is capable of producing symptoms related to abnormal functioning of practically any part of the body. Yoga and a thyroid-friendly diet provide an alternative to conventional thyroid medication. These also help in preventing thyroid problems.

Yoga is not only a system of exercises practiced as part of the Hindu discipline to promote control of the body and mind. It also aims at training consciousness for a state of perfect tranquility. The yogic postures are intended for improving and maintaining both physical and mental health. Practicing yoga helps in eliminating stress, which is considered to be one of the causes behind thyroid dysfunction. Some of the postures are specifically meant for stimulating individual organs. The shoulder stand or Sarvangasana is considered to be the mother of all postures and is specifically meant for maintaining good thyroid health.

The type of food that we eat has a direct impact upon our health, and there is a long list of foods that are good and bad for thyroid health. For example, soy is considered to be a goitrogen, a substance that depresses the function of the thyroid and induces the formation of goiter, abnormal enlargement of the thyroid. On the other hand, essential fatty acids like Omega 3 are considered to be good for thyroid health, as they aid in cell-sensitivity to thyroid hormones.

It is a matter of concern that over the years soy products have become more popular, and consumption of Omega 3 fatty acids has come down to nearly one sixth of what it was earlier. In addition, lifestyles have become sedentary. These may be some very valid reasons behind the increased incidence of thyroid disease.

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