Hypothyroidism and Ayurveda

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Hypothyroidism and Ayurveda
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The book "Hypothyroidism and Ayurveda" written by the well known author, Professor Ajay Kumar Sharma is a complete and comprehensive treatise on the subject. This is the first book in English which deals with the subject in all completeness and clarity covering all aspects of "Hypothyroidism and Agni Mandyata" as described in various modern medical texts and various treatise of Ayurveda. The entire text is richly supported with original references from Ayurvedic classics. Latest information regarding Hypothyroidism has been incorporated with the objective of providing basic knowledge to readers. The book is meant especially for Ayurvedic students, physicians and teachers for creating awareness among masses about the dsependable holisitic approach of Ayurveda in the management and prevention of "Hypothyroidism — Agni Mandyata."

Separate chapters have been added on modern concepts of Hypothyroidism, Ayurvedic concepts of Agni Mandyatci, Diet — Pathya — Apathya in Hypothyroidism, Exercises and Yoga in the management of Hypothyroidism and Recent advances in the Ayurvedic management of Hypothyroidism.

The author of the book being a Senior Professor of Ayurvedic Medicine (Kayacikitsa) at National Institute of Ayurveda, Jaipur and being a reputed teacher, clinician and researcher, this book has been richly benefited by his scholarship and professional experiences. It is expected that this book will be useful for prospective readers.


About the Author

Born on May 31st, 1954 Professor Ajay Kumar Sharma graduated in Ayurveda with Medicine and Surgery from A. & U. Tibbia college, New Delhi in 1976 with throughout top rank career. He completed his M.D. (Ay.) and Ph.D. from B.H.U. Varanasi, U.P. under the guidance of his illustrious mentor Prof. R. H. Singh, presently Professor Emeritus, Faculty of Ayurveda, I.M.S., B.H.U., Varanasi - U.P. and Ex-Vice Chancellor, Rajasthan Ayurveda University, Jodhpur.

Prof. Sharma is now one of the senior most Professors and Head of P.G. Department of Kayacikitsa and Deputy Medical Superintendent of the Hospitals at National Institute of Ayurveda, Jaipur. He is one of the Chief Ayurvedic Physicians and Pancha karma specialists in the Institute. In the capacity of a reputed Ayurvedic physician, a capable teacher and outstanding researcher, Professor Sharma has published 11 standard books on Ayurveda and over 210 research papers in various journals of National and International reputation. He is recipient of Rashtriya Ekta Sammana in memory of Late Shri Rajiv Gandhi, 2007 and many more awards and prizes for outstanding services, achievements and contributions in the field of Ayurveda. He has contributed one full chapter to the prestigious volumes on Ayurveda - Kayachikitsa - Panchakarma published by CRC Press, Boca Reton-London-New York-Washington, and Argentina. Prof. Sharma has produced 45 M.D.(Ay.) and 10 Ph.D. under his guidance. He is the expert member of several important national level committees.



Hypothyroidism is the diseased condition where deficiency in the amount of biologically active Thyroid hormone at the tissue level is there. It results from decreased level of Thyroxine (T4) and Triidothyroninc (T3) by the Thyroid Gland irrespective of the cause. The severity of Hypothyroidism varies widely. Patients arc classified as "Sub-clinical hypothyroid" if diagnostic findings show Thyroid hormone deficiency but they do not exhibit any symptoms. Other has moderate symptoms that can be mistaken for other diseases and states. "Advanced Hypothyroidism" may cause severe complications, the most serious one of which is `Myxoedema', refers to the accumulation of glycosaminoglycans in cutaneous and other interstitial tissues associated with non-pitting oedema that occurs in hypothyroid patients.

The signs and symptoms of Hypothyroidism vary widely, depending on the severity of the hormone deficiency. These include, Increased sensitivity to cold; Pale, dry skin; A puffy face; Hoarse voice; Constipation; An elevated blood cholesterol level; Unexplained weight gain, Muscle aches, tenderness and stiffness; Pain, stiffness or swelling in the joints; Muscle weakness; Heavier than normal menstrual periods; Depression etc. Gradually, signs and symptoms can become more severe. Constant stimulation of the Thyroid Gland to release more hormones may lead to an enlarged thyroid (Goiter). Two parameters commonly used to diagnose the condition are the Serum Free Thyroxine (FT4) and TSH Concentration.

The modern treatment of Hypothyroidism is unsatisfactory. Majority of the patients have to take thyroid extract throughout their life. The treatment though effective, has many side effects. It is often seen that the patients taking thyroid extract for years together, gradually develop complaints of increased appetite, insomnia, heart palpitations and shakiness. It has been noted that this life-long hormonal replacement therapy is associated with detrimental effects on heart and bones. The dysfunctioning of the 'Agni' is the basic cause of the clinical manifestations of Hypothyroidism. The hypofunctioning of Vatharagni' in turn affects "Dhatwagni" which acts as the basic factor for the occurrence of the diseased condition. Hypothyroidism finds its mention as early as in ancient Hindu literature "Atharvaveda" by the term `Galaganda or Apachi which indicates 'Goiter' a disease resulting from malfunctioning of the Thyroid Gland. Apart from this, various references are available in Chat-aka and Sushruta Samhita under the nomenclature of 'Galaganda and Apachi'.

As described earlier that the main factor responsible for the manifestations of Hypothyroidism is the "Agnimandya", hence drugs acting on Agni, having Deepana, Paachana, Srotoshodhaka, Medohara, Lekhana and Karshana Pradhana properties arc likely to check the basic pathogenesis of Hypothyroidism. The simultaneous use of Naimittika Rasayana agents as mentioned in Ayurvedic classics may revitalize the whole body tissue and generate potent immunity in the individuals, which may help in controlling the disease. The proper nutritional balanced diet, food habits and mode of living as described in the Ayurvedic texts are also required to be followed by the patient, for the proper control of the disease. For the present clinical trial Kaanchanaara Guggulu (Bhaishajya Ratnavali – Granthi Prakarana) and Pippali Vardhamaana Rasayana have been used as specific medication in a series of clinically diagnosed patients of Hypothyroidism for their role in the management of Hypothyroidism on certain scientific parameters.

The basic objective of writing this book is to high light the holistic and rational approach of Ayurvedic system of medicine in the management of Hypothyroidism which seems to be more result oriented and successful. Great emphasis has been laid over the preventive aspects of Hypothyroidism along with improving the quality of patient's life, which is possible with holistic approach of Ayurveda only.

The book is divided into four units. First Unit deals with the modem concepts of Hypothyroidism. The Second Unit consists of Ayurvedic concepts of Hypothyroidism vis-a-vis Agni Mandyata in details. In Third Unit Diet & Life Style in Hypothyroidism are described in details. Unit Four contains exhaustive description of Clinical Studies in a series of patients of Hypothyroidism and its management with Ayurvedic Drugs. The book provides a comprehensive Bibliography and opens avenues for further reading. The author of this book being a teacher, physician and researcher in this field has utilized his professional experiences with clinical medicine of Ayurveda in compiling the present book. It is hoped and believed that this small effort will prove to be of some benefit to the prospective readers.

Opinions and suggestions to improve the book are welcome.

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