Yoga for Thyroid

(August 18, 2008)

Can you suggest yoga for correction of thyroid problem. I have hypothyroidism or under active thyroid.

Hypothyroidism is a disease condition wherein the thyroid gland produces insufficient amount of thyroid hormone. It is the most common thyroid disorder which is observed commonly in women. Hypothyroidism usually develops gradually. In some cases, symptoms of hypothyroidism occur suddenly if this disease is caused due to surgery or treatment provided for hyperthyroidism.

Hypothyroidism is caused due to the inflammation of the thyroid gland which is known as chronic thyroiditis. In chronic thyroiditis; the immune system fails to recognize the thyroid gland as one of the body's tissue and considers it as a foreign body. The immune system tends to attack the thyroid gland thus impairing its functions and destroying the gland. Other causes of hypothyroidism are radiation, surgery, viral or bacterial infection, iodine deficient diet, medication and contaminants in the environment.

General symptoms of hypothyroidism include fatigue, weakness, weight gain, slowing down of the metabolic processes. In severe cases of hypothyroidism, a condition called myxedema coma occurs which is life threatening and is characterized by loss of consciousness and hypothermia.

Hence it is necessary to increase the intake of food that contains iodine. Addition of iodine in table salt and other foods can also be beneficial. Reduce the intake of food that contains goitrogen like spinach, peanut, cabbage and soybean. Goitrogen can interfere with the production of thyroid hormone.

Yoga can provide relief for people suffering from hypothyroidism. It tends to stimulate the endocrine gland and can improve the blood flow. Sarvangasana (Supported shoulder stand) is the yoga posture which is beneficial against hypothyroidism. Lie down flat on your back. Raise your feet slowly at 30, then 60, then 90 and finally at 130 degrees where the knees are extended beyond the head. Remain in this position for few seconds. Exhale and bring the feet back to 90 degrees. Lift the buttocks slowly with the support of the hands on the back of the trunk. Lift your body as high as possible. Your body should rest on the shoulders rather than on the back. Hence this asana is also called as shoulder stand.

Another yoga asana that can be beneficial for hypothyroidism is Paschimothanasana (The Forward bend). Sit on the floor with the feet stretched .Keep the heels together. Sit straight. Bring your both the hands towards the toes with the palms facing downwards so that the hands are parallel to the feet. Inhale and proceed towards touching the toes. Exhale and bring your head down in between the hands. Stretch your hands, toes and head. Remain in this position for few seconds. Inhale and come back to the original position by bringing the hands back to the sides of the body.

Submitted by A V on August 18, 2008 at 12:55

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