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Home > Health & Disease in Naturopathy > Female Diseases > Thyroid
Thyroid disease assumes various forms, the most frequent being hypothyroidism, also known as myxedema, and hyperthyroidism also known as thyrotoxicosis or exophthalmic goitre. Hypothyroidism results from the withering or atrophy of the thyroid gland. Hyperthyroidism is a serious condition of the body, which results from overactivity of the thyroid gland.

Women are more prone to thyroid disease. They are especially likely to develop a sluggish thyroid after middle age. The disease is more common in women who are over worked and who do not get sufficient rest and relaxation. The period in older women`s life, when she is more likely to be affected by this disease is at the menopause and thereafter, or when there is any extra physical strain on the body.

Symptoms of Thyroid are:
In hypothyroidism, the basal metabolism decreases below normal, with the result the patient tends to be slow in his movements. He is susceptible to cold, suffers from constipation and puts on weight. Other symptoms include dry, scaly and thickened hair, puffiness in the face. The pulse is slow and the patient often complains of vague pains in the back and stiffness in the joints.

The patient with hyperthyroidism is usually nervous, weak, sensitive to heat, sweats frequently, is over active and often underweight. There might be slight tremor in the fingers and palpitation of the heart. In many cases, there may be bulging of the eyes and passing excessive quantity of urine. The heart is over-active and usually enlarged. The pulse rate is rapid and may be irregular.

Causes of Thyroid:
The main cause of hypothyroidism is insufficient production of thyroid hormone. Other causes of this disease are some pituitary deficiency and inborn error of the thyroid gland. The change usually comes gradually. The main cause of hyperthyroidism is the excess amounts of thyroid hormone produced by the overactive gland. This raises the metabolic rate of the body. Another important cause of this disease is physical or emotional stress. Heredity also plays a role and the disease seems to run in families.

The real cause of thyroid disease, however, is wrong feeding habits over a long period of faulty style of living, together with suppressive medical treatment of other diseases in the past. The thyroid gland plays an important role in destroying toxic matter generated in the intestines as a result of the putrefaction of animal protein material, like meat, fish.eggs, cheese and milk. The thyroid glands will be overworked when excessive quantities of these foods are consumed, resulting in the clogging of the intestinal tract with toxic matter. The overworking of the thyroid gland is further complicated by wrong living habits and excessive emotionalism, both of which weaken the system.

Treatment of Thyroid:
The only real treatment for thyroid disease, whether hypothyroidism, hyperthyroidism or any other condition of thyroid gland, is cleansing of the system and adoption of a rational dietary hereafter, combined with adequate rest and relaxation. To begin with, the patient should take juices of fresh fruits such as orange, apple, pineapple and grapes every two hours from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. for five days. The bowels should be cleansed daily with warm-water enema.

After the juice fast, the patient may spend further three days on fruits and milk, taking three meals a day of juicy fruits with a glass of milk, at five-hourly intervals. Thereafter, he may adopt a well-balanced diet consisting of seeds, nuts and grains, vegetables and fruits.The patient should take plenty of rest and spend a day in bed every week for the first two months of the treatment. He should take physical exercise after the symptoms subside.

The appetite of the thyroid patient is usually very large and the weight reduction cannot be prevented for some time in case of hyperthyroidism. This is because until the heart beat slows down and the tremors stop, there will be incomplete assimilation of food. But as soon as the balance is restored, weight will slowly increase. To help the absorption of food, a narrow waist compress and, later, a neck compress should be worn for five nights a week. As weight increases, the almost constant hunger will gradually disappear.

Certain foods and fruits are extremely injurious for thyroid patients and should be avoided by them. These include white flour products, white sugar, flesh foods, fried and greasy foods, preserves, condiments, tea, coffee and alcohol.

Great care must be taken never to allow the body to become exhausted and any irritation likely to cause emotional upset should be avoided. The cure of thyroid disease is not a speedy one and there is often a recurrence of symptoms but these should gradually become less pronounced. Strict adherence to diet is essential for one year for complete cure. Half the daily intake of food should consist of fresh fruits and vegetables and the starch element should be confined to whole wheat products and potatoes. The protein foods should be confined to cheese, peas, beans, lentils and nuts. There might be slight recurrence of this extremely nervous complaint for some time, but the attacks will become less severe and of short duration as the treatment progresses.
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