Hypothyroidism is mainly caused due to auto-immune disorders and needs to be taken care of as soon as possible. HRT is a life time management leading to various side effects. The symptoms of the disease persist inspite of the continuous treatment. Homoeopathy is seen to be effective in its treatment and helps in stimulating the gland.
Hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid or impaired production of thyroid hormone) is a condition of insufficient thyroid hormone in the body. It develops when the thyroid gland fails to produce as much as thyroxine (T4) and triiodothyroxine (T3) as the body needs.
Since the main purpose of hormones produced by thyroid gland is to “run the body’s metabolism,” it is understandable that people with this hypothyroidism or underactive thyroid would have symptoms associated with a slow metabolism causing damage to organs and tissues of every part of the body and leading to life threatening complications.
It is one of the most common chronic diseases in the developed countries like United States, United Kingdom and so on. And it is now getting very common in developing countries like India, China and so on.
Although this condition is believed to affect as many as 13 million adults and children, but 2 out of every 3 people with hypothyroidism may not know they have the disease. Symptoms may not appear until years after the thyroid has stopped functioning and they are often mistaken for signs of other illnesses, menopause and aging.
It is at least twice as common in women as it is in men. Although it is most common in women who are middle aged or older, the disease can occur at any age.
The various causes are as follows:
• Chronic Autoimmune Thyroiditis (Hashimoto’s thyroiditis): A form of thyroid inflammation caused by damage to thyroid tissue.
• Autoimmune diseases: You are at more risk if you have diseases like rheumatoid arthritis, vitiligo, addison’s disease, diabetes and so on.
• Surgery: Removal of a partial or all of thyroid is another cause.
• Radioactive iodine therapy.
• Secondary Hypothyroidism: Disorders of pituitary and hypothalamus leading to thyroid hormone deficiency in addition to other hormonal imbalances.
Signs and Symptoms
Symptoms of hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid or impaired production of thyroid hormone) mainly depend upon the severity of the hormone deficiency and its duration. For most patients, the symptoms are mild and can often be confused with other problems. The symptoms may include:
• Fatigue, lethargy
• Weight gain
• Hair loss
• Muscle aches
• Menstrual irregularities
• Cold intolerance
• Dry, rough, pale skin
• Coarse dry hair
• Decreased concentration
• Slower mental processes
• Muscle cramps
• Slowed heart rate
• Tingling or numbness in the hands
If left untreated, hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid or impaired production of thyroid hormone) can lead to several other health issues:
• Goitre: Enlargement of thyroid gland resulting in swelling in throat, swallowing and breathing problems.
• Heart ailments.
• Mental health: Depression.
• Myxoedema: Life threatening condition which results due to prolonged, severe, untreated
hypothyroidism. Infertility and miscarriages.
• Babies born to women with untreated thyroid disease may have a higher risk of birth
defects. These kids are also more prone to serious intellectual and developmental problems.
It can be established on the results of tests done to measure the level of T4 and TSH hormones in the blood. Usually thyroid profile is ordered.
For Hashimoto’s thyroiditis Anti- TPO antibody testing is done.
When you are hypothyroid, higher quantities of TSH are circulating in your blood as your body attempts to foster increased production of thyroid hormones.
USG (Ultrasonography) of the neck and thyroid can be used to detect any nodules and infiltrative disease.
The only treatment available in conventional allopathic treatment is HRT or hormone replacement
therapy which actually compensates the insufficiency of the hormone that the thyroid gland is unable to produce.
But with HRT in the form of thyroxin products like Eltroxin and Thyronorm or levothyroxine sodium what happens is that the thyroid gland becomes more sluggish as its work is being done from outside, and eventually it stops producing hormones at all, and the patient becomes dependent on HRT for life time with increasing doses.
Most importantly allopathy treatment of HRT is associated with serious side effects. Scientific studies have suggested the relation between HRT and cancer and several warnings have been issued by government health departments.
Other side effects particularly in women include irregular menstrual cycles, infertility and diseases like ovarian cysts, uterine fibroids and endometriosis. Some patients on hormone replacement therapy may experience nervousness or chest pain.
In women using HRT for 5 years, 47 out of 1000 women develop breast cancer and in those using HRT for 10 years, there would be an extra 6 cases i.e. 51 out of 1000, and this goes on increasing. The rate of breast cancer was 26% higher among those receiving HRT as opposed to those getting placebo. The rate for heart disease was 29% higher. HRT increases the risk of stroke (brain attack) by almost a third; a review of clinical trials says – BBC News, 7th January, 2005. Stroke rates were 41% higher and blood clot rates were more than twice as high in those getting HRT – American Cancer Society, 2002.
It is seen in my clinical practice that even when the patient is on HRT and his or her TSH levels
are coming out normal; still the body is affected with symptoms of hypothyroidism like hair fall, weakness of memory, dryness of skin and hair, depression, lethargy, weight gain, aches, constipation, menstrual irregularities, numbness and so on. This is surprising but I see it happening regularly.
But this does not happen with homeopathic treatment in which we do not give HRT but natural homeopathic remedies which actually stimulate the thyroid gland to produce normal amount of hormones, thus curing the problem of hypothyroidism or underactive thyroid from the root.
This is seen from the fact that even after discontinuing homeopathy treatment the patient does not return to the diseased condition.
Homeopathic remedies for hypothyroidism are chosen to offer individualized treatment based on the study of patient’s underactive thyroid, its extent, cause, genetic pattern, emotional sphere, and hormonal imbalance, physical and mental state and so on.
Results are usually observed within 2 to 5 months of treatment whereby TSH levels reduce. With homeopathy treatment the HRT in the form of Eltroxin or Thyronorm is slowly tapered off i.e. reduced, keeping a watch on thyroid hormone levels.
Homeopathy is recommended for all types of hypothyroid patients; recently diagnosed cases as well as chronic patients already on HRT.
In my clinical experience in recent cases we are able to stop the HRT completely or we never let the patient start it. In chronic cases already on high doses of HRT usually we are able to bring down the dosage of HRT with symptomatic relief in all the complaints.
A female patient, aged 33 years
Weight: 65 kg
· Hypothyroidism diagnosed 4 years back. Her thyroid profile was coming out normal and she was taking Thyronorm 50 mcg. She says even though the TSH is normal but she is not losing weight and is obese for her height.
There is UTI after intercourse. Also there is hair growth on chin. She is suffering from hair fall.
Craving: She likes to eat spicy food, milk and milk products.
Food Aggravation: Drinking coffee causes pain in stomach.
Perspiration: There is perspiration of soles. She also feels uncomfortable in summers.
Mental Generals: Her memory is not sharp at all and she tends to forget things.
Totality of symptoms
• Desires spicy
• Desires milk
• Desires dairy products
• Perspiration – soles of feet
• Weakness of memory
• UTI –coition after
• Cramping pain caused due to Coffee
• Summers cause uneasiness and aggravation
• Falling of hair
• Growth of hair on chin
After analysing totality of symptoms and doing repertorization and cross checking the remedies from materia medica the following prescription was given.
1. Sulphur 200c, 10 pills to be taken every 15 days for 2 months.
2. Calcarea carb. 30c, 4 pills once daily for first one month.
3. Sac lac, 4 pills daily for second one month.
4. She was told to continue Thyronorm 50 mcg.
The patient reported back after 2 months of treatment. Her weight has reduced to 62 kg. She did not had any episode of UTI and TSH came out 2.1. She says she still forgetful and there is no change in hair growth on chin but hair fall has become better. Sweating soles was still there.
The same prescription was repeated for another 2 months. Also her Thyronorm dose was reduced to 50 mcg and 25 mcg on alternate days.
The patient again reported back after 2 months. Her TSH was 2.3. Her weight has further reduced to 60 kg. The perspiration of soles has stopped. No episode of UTI. She tells now her memory has improved and the hair fall problem is not there.
Hair growth on chin has reduced and the hairs on chin have become softer than before.
The patient is still under treatment and is hoping to improve with appropriate remedies in future.
Thus, homeopathy should be the first choice for hypothyroidism because it acts quickly without causing any side effects. It treats the disease from its roots stimulating the thyroid gland to produce normal amounts of hormones.
Source: The Homoeopathic Heritage.