As a busy chiropractor and Ayurvedic practitioner, I see many patients each week. Since the majority of them exhibit problems with their thyroid gland, I’ve developed successful protocols to treat them, based on the deep wisdom of Ayurveda. These protocols are showcased in Healing the Thyroid with Ayurveda. This book encompasses two mega trends: the growing interest of Ayurveda here in the West and a tremendous epidemic of thyroid problems.
There are basically two types of thyroid patients. The first group includes those who have full-blown thyroid symptoms, such as weight gain, hair loss, depression, constipation, and fatigue, yet their blood work comes back normal. They are told nothing is wrong with them and they leave the doctor’s office feeling frustrated and hopeless.
The second group does have problems show up in blood work. They are prescribed hormones, yet their symptoms continue. This is primarily due to the fact that the underlying cause of thyroid malfunction is not being addressed, and that once the hormone is taken, the thyroid goes into hibernation.
When either group decides to seek out alternative care, they quickly realize they are seeking advice in a fairly new country that has no long-standing established tradition of holistic medicine. We haven’t even discovered most of our herbs lying fallow in the fields. Therefore, many alternative practitioners use synthetic nutraceuticals as part of their treatment for thyroid patients.
These remedies, made in a lab and devoid of nature’s healing vibration (called “prana,” which comes from growing outside under the sun and moonlight), are toxic to the body and have side effects, much like their pharmaceutical cousins.
As a result, neither system, whether mainstream or alternative medicine, is fully capable of treating this tremendous epidemic of thyroid problems.
Ayurveda is a 5,000-year-old tradition from India that has over 700 herbs to choose from to treat every conceivable condition. Patients are taught proper diet, daily routine, and cleansing techniques, and the doctors are trained in advanced pulse diagnosis where thyroid problems can be detected many years before they will show up on blood work.
The thyroid is the only gland whose hormones affect every cell in the body. So any problem, anywhere in the body, will affect the thyroid gland. It is like a very delicate flower that will wilt when stressed, but if you can identify and fix the particular stressor—and they will be different in each person—the thyroid gland will perk right back up.
Many stressors can prevent the thyroid from working correctly: mental and emotional stress, environmental toxins (pharmaceuticals, poor diet, heavy metals, pesticides), and physical stress (going to bed late, rushing through the day).
In addition, the thyroid hormone (T4) has to be activated and converted into T3 to gain access into the cell where it can exert its influence. Eighty percent of this conversion occurs in the liver and 20 percent occurs via the friendly bacteria in the gut, both of which are corrupted from pharmaceuticals and other toxic exposures.
The Effect on the Gall Bladder
Having taken the pulses of thousands of thyroid patients over the past 30 years, I noticed early on that when the thyroid gland was weak, the gall bladder was also not working correctly.
After noticing this relationship, I looked at the research: When the thyroid gland malfunctions, the sphincter of Oddi, which releases the bile out of the gall bladder into the duodenum, will not work properly. Thus, bile is retained in the gall bladder, and if allowed to sit too long, it can form gallstones and even gall bladder disease.
Hashimoto’s is a thyroid disease in which the immune system has lost its intelligence and attacks the thyroid gland. The immune system knows to attack viruses, bacteria, and other pathogens, but if it gets thrown off its tracks it can mistakenly attack the body, a condition known as autoimmunity.
The immune system is comprised of the friendly bacteria in the gut, the liver, and the bone marrow. All three have to work correctly in order to keep the immune system running smoothly. However, if all three are corrupted, the immune system will go into attack mode.
There are many pharmaceuticals (such as birth control pills, immunizations, proton pump inhibitors, and steroids) that can deplete friendly bacteria, heat up the liver, and make their way into the bone marrow, disrupting its function as well. Immune system cells are born in the bone marrow, so any toxins reaching this deep tissue will disturb the immune system, causing it to launch an attack on the body.
There Is Hope
Whether you’ve been on thyroid hormones for years or you need hormones because your thyroid gland was removed, you should still identify the causative factors and fix them so these disturbances don’t eventually travel elsewhere in the body and wreak havoc there as well.
If you correctly learn how to take care of not only the thyroid gland but your whole body, you’ll be amazed at how well you feel. And it turns out that the medicine of the future is an ancient system from India that is still relevant today in this modern, complicated, and fast-paced world.
Marianne Teitelbaum will speak in Fairfield on Friday, June 7, 2019, at 2 and 7 p.m., at Revelations Cafe and Bookstore. Her book, Healing the Thyroid with Ayurveda, is available in bookstores and on Amazon.