Q: I’m 25 years old. My weight is 76kg and height is 5’3”. I was recently diagnosed with a thyroid problem for that I’m using thyronorm tablet. Can Ayurveda help me?

A: First, a little about thyroid glands, the butterfly shaped glands situated in the neck. The hormones they produced have a major impact on our metabolism. They also influence the control of body temperature and heart rate. In hypothyroidism, thyroid gland becomes underactive, and doesn't produce enough of thyroid hormones.

Hypothyroidism may go undiagnosed in the early stages. However, untreated hypothyroidism can cause health problems like – obesity, joint pain, infertility, and heart disease. Other signs and symptoms of hypothyroidism may include – fatigue, increased sensitivity to cold, constipation, dry skin conditions, weight gain, puffy face, muscle weakness and aches, elevated cholesterol, pain or swelling in joints, irregular menstrual periods, hair fall, slow heart rate, depression, memory issues and enlarged thyroid.

The most common cause of hypothyroidism is an autoimmune disorder known as Hashimoto’s thyroiditis.

In autoimmune disorders, our immune system produces antibodies that attack our own body parts; these antibodies affect the thyroid's ability to produce hormones. Sometimes, medications used for correcting hyperthyroidism can end up lowering thyroid hormone production resulting in hypothyroidism. Thyroid surgery, radiation therapy, certain medications, congenital causes, Iodine deficiency, pituitary disorders are other causes. The thyroid controls the boyd's metabolism. How fast energy is produced in the body is directly proportional to the thyroid hormone. A low metabolic rate is the main reason for being overweight. Losing weight in a hypothyroid case is not just about eating a low-calorie diet. Exercise is important for weight loss among hypothyroidism sufferers.

• Make sure you're not undertreated; hypothyroids can't lose weight unless your hormones are in the low-normal range.

• Consider taking your calorie requirements broken into smaller, 250 calorie mini meals.

• Consider limiting starches such as bread, pasta and rice.

• Eat plenty of vegetables.

• Exercise 30 minutes a day. Even brisk walking in three- to 10-minute segments a day will raise metabolism and help you burn more calories.

There are effective medicines in Ayurveda for hypothyroidism. Consult meeting an Ayurveda doctor for a prescription.

Dr VL Shyam is a Dubai-based Ayurvedic practitioner. Got a problem? Our fantastic panel of renowned experts is available to answer all your questions related to fashion, well-being, nutrition, finance and hypnotherapy. Email your queries to friday@gulfnews.com.

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