Thyroid disease is more common than diabetes, heart disease or even more common than breast cancer. It is estimated that more than 30 million Americans have thyroid disorders but more than 50% people may not be diagnosed or treated.
What Is A Thyroid, And What Happens When It Is Not Working Properly?
The thyroid is a small gland located in the base of the neck. This gland is brownish- red in color and shaped like a butterfly and secretes several hormones, collectively called thyroid hormones. The main hormone is thyroxine (T4).
What are thyroid Disorders?
Thyroid hormones are very important because all other body cells, tissues and organs like heart, brain, liver and kidney depend on the correct amount of thyroid hormone to function properly.
Thyroid hormones act throughout the body, influencing metabolism, growth, and body temperature etc. During infancy and childhood, thyroid hormones are crucial for brain development.
Thyroid problems range from harmless Goiter (enlargement of Thyroid gland) to Thyroid cancer. Abnormal production of thyroid hormone results in conditions.
- Hyperthyroidism: Excessive thyroid hormones cause Hyperthyroidism
- Hypothyroidism: Insufficient hormone production leads to Hypothyroidism. Untreated hypothyroidism can cause myxedema coma (is a loss of brain function), a rare but potentially fatal condition that requires immediate hormone treatment.
- Graves’ disease: Graves’ disease is an autoimmune condition in which the thyroid is overstimulated.
Sometime diagnosis of thyroid dysfunction may be difficult, which is one of the reasons of number of cases remain undiagnosed. Symptoms may include fatigue, unexplained weight loss or gain, moodiness, and anxiety. Thyroid disease can affect anyone, but women are five times more likely than men to suffer, and a person’s risk increases with age.
Thyroid disorder can be successfully treated with proper treatment, healthy lifestyle and Increasing awareness of thyroid dysfunction and its symptoms.
Natural therapy for Thyroid Problems
Diet and other Regimen: According to Charka Shamthia old rice, Cow milk, Moong dal, barley, sugar juice are advice in thyroid problems.
Yoga Poses for Thyroid Problems:
Some of the yoga postures are beneficial in thyroid problems:
- Sarvangasana (Shoulder stand)
- Surya Namaskar (Sun Salutation)
- Pranayama: The most effective Pranayama for thyroid is Ujjayi Pranayama.
“Remember, if your thyroid isn’t working properly, neither are you!”
References: www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov, www.webmd.com, Charak Samhita.Read More
What is Insomnia?
Insomnia, also known as sleeplessness, is a sleep disorder where people have difficulty falling asleep, or staying asleep as long as desired, even when a person has the chance to do so.
Insomnia is typically followed by daytime sleepiness, fatigue, low energy, difficulty concentrating, mood disturbances, and decreased performance in work or at school. It may result in an increased risk of motor vehicle collisions, as well as problems focusing and learning.
What causes Insomnia?
Insomnia can occur independently or as a result of another problem. Insomnia can be caused by psychiatric and medical conditions, unhealthy lifestyle, specific substances, and/or certain biological factors.
Examples of medical conditions that can cause insomnia are nasal allergies, gastrointestinal problem, arthritis, asthma, chronic pain, hyperthyroidism, restless leg syndrome, menopause, certain medications etc.
Unhealthy lifestyles, working night shifts and sleep apnea and sleep habits can create insomnia on their own (without any underlying psychiatric or medical problem).
Some substance like Caffeine, nicotine, and Alcohol etc. (Alcohol is a sedative. It can make you fall asleep initially, but may disrupt your sleep later in the night.)
Some people are biologically prone to insomnia and seem to struggle with sleep.
A sleep study may be done to diagnose underlying sleep disorders. Screening may be done with two questions: “do you experience difficulty sleeping?” and “do you have difficulty falling or staying asleep?”
Types of Insomnia:
Acute insomnia is brief and often happens because of life circumstances (for example, when you can’t fall asleep the night before an exam, or after receiving stressful or bad news). This condition sometimes resolves without any treatment.
Chronic insomnia is disrupted sleep that occurs at least three nights per week and lasts at least three months. Chronic insomnia disorders can have many causes. Changes in the environment, unhealthy sleep habits, rotating shift work, other clinical disorders.
Herbs for Insomnia:
- Valerian (Valeriana officinalis): The root of this plant is used. According to numerous studies, valerian may help reduce the amount of time it takes a person to fall asleep and also help in increasing the duration and quality of sleep.
- Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera): Considered one of the most powerful herbs in Ayurvedic practice. The roots of this plant are used. This herb helps in the body to relax, reduce the anxiety, and insomnia.
- Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia): A cup of warm lavender tea before bed is a great way to promotes relaxation which can help in anxiety, depression, stress, and insomnia.
- Chamomile (Matricaria recutita): For hundreds of years this flower has been used to make a calming and soothing tea.
- Hops (Humulus lupulus): Hopes is a fast-acting nervine and sedative, good for anxiety and stress-related illness.
Turmeric (Curcuma longa – the name of the genus, Curcuma, is derived from the Sanskrit kuṅkuma, referring to both turmeric and saffron used in India since ancient times), is a rhizomatous herbaceous perennial plant of the ginger family, Zingiberaceae. It is native to the Indian Subcontinent and Southeast Asia; Turmeric has been used in Asia for thousands of years and is a major part of Ayurveda, and other traditional medicine.
Turmeric was first used as a dye, and then later for its medicinal properties. Turmeric can be used fresh, like ginger. It has numerous uses in East Asian recipes, such as pickle that contains large chunks of soft fresh turmeric or dry powder as a spice in recipe.
Turmeric powder contains approximately 60–70% carbohydrates, 6–13% water, 6–8% protein, 5–10% fat, 3–7% dietary minerals, 3–7% essential oils, 2–7% dietary fiber and 1–6% curcuminoids. On average turmeric powder contains 3.14% of Curcumin and 34 essential oils like turmerone, germacrone, atlantone, and zingiberene are major constituents. Phytochemical components of turmeric include diarylheptanoids, such as curcumin, desmethoxycurcumin, and bisdemethoxycurcumin.
Turmeric’s anti-inflammatory and antioxidant benefits make it the natural remedy of the century. Curcumin has the ability to block an enzyme that causes inflammation, while combatting free radical damage to highly sensitive vital organs like brain and heart. Many experts now believe that “silent inflammation” is the root cause of many of the common signs of aging, from diminished brain and heart function to painful joints, low energy levels and more.
In Ayurvedic and Siddha practices, turmeric has been used as time tested treatment for the variety of internal disorders, such as indigestion, throat infections, common colds, or liver ailments, joint pain as well as topically, to cleanse wounds or treat skin sores.Read More
What is Frostbite?
Frostbite is an injury caused by freezing of the skin and underlying tissues of any part of the body resulting after excessive exposure to extreme cold temperature. It most often affects the nose, ears, cheeks, chin, fingers, or toes. Frostbite can permanently damage the body and in severe cases can lead to amputation of affected part.
Who’s Most at Risk?
You may have a greater risk of developing frostbite if you:
- Have poor blood circulation.
- Are not properly dressed for extremely cold temperatures.
- Staying out in the cold and wind too long. Risk increases as air temperature falls below 5 F (minus 15 C), even with low wind speeds. In wind chill of minus 16.6 F (minus 27 C), frostbite can occur on exposed skin in less than 30 minutes.
- Touching materials such as ice, cold packs or frozen metal.
Sign and Symptoms of Frostbite:
Because of cold the blood vessels contracts, which leads to reducing blood and oxygen supply to the affected parts.
Any of the following signs may indicate frostbite:
- At first, cold skin and a prickling feeling.
- A white or grayish-yellow skin area.
- skin that feels unusually firm or waxy.
- Clumsiness due to joint and muscle stiffness.
- In severe cases blistering after rewarming.
Stages of Frostbite:
There are three degrees of cold injury: Frostnip, superficial frostbite, and Deep frostbite.
- Frostnip: this is the first stage of frostbite. Skin turn pales or red and feels very cold. Continued exposure leads to pricking and numbness in the affected area. Frostnip doesn’t permanently damage the skin.
- Superficial frostbite: in this stage redness of skin turns white or pale.
- Deep frostbite: In this stage, all layers of the skin and the tissues are affected. Loss of sensation in the affected area. 24 to 48 hours after rewarming large blisters form, the area turns black and hard as the tissue dies (gangrene).
What to Do?
If you detect symptoms of frostbite, seek medical care. First determine whether the victim also shows signs of hypothermia. Hypothermia may be a more serious medical condition and requires emergency medical assistance.
(1) If there is frostbite but no sign of hypothermia.
(2) If immediate medical care is not available.
Proceed as follows:
- Get into a warm room as soon as possible.
- Unless absolutely necessary, do not walk on frostbitten feet or toes—this increases the damage.
- Immerse the affected area in warm—not hot—water (the temperature should be comfortable to the touch for unaffected parts of the body).
- Or, warm the affected area using body heat. For example, the heat of an armpit can be used to warm frostbitten fingers.
- Do not rub the frostbitten area with snow or massage it at all. This can cause more damage.
- Don’t use a heating pad, heat lamp, or the heat of a stove, fireplace, or radiator for warming. Affected areas are numb and can be easily burned.
These procedures are not substitutes for proper medical care. Hypothermia is a medical emergency and frostbite should be evaluated by a health care provider.
Frostbite can be prevented. Taking preventive action is your best defense against having to deal with extreme cold-weather conditions. By preparing home and car in advance for winter emergencies, and by observing safety precautions during times of extremely cold weather, one can reduce the risk of weather-related health problems.
Stay Safe Prevent Frostbite:
- Limit time you’re outdoors in cold, wet or windy weather. Pay attention to weather forecasts and wind chill readings. In very cold, windy weather, exposed skin can develop frostbite in a matter of minutes.
- Dress in several layers of loose, warm clothing. Air trapped between the layers of clothing acts as insulation against the cold. Wear windproof and waterproof outer garments to protect against wind, snow, and rain. Choose undergarments that wick moisture away from your skin. Change out of wet clothing — particularly gloves, hats, and socks — as soon as possible.
- Wear a hat or headband that fully covers your ears. Heavy woolen or windproof materials make the best headwear for cold protection.
- Wear socks and sock liners that fit well, wick moisture and provide insulation. You might also try hand and foot warmers. Be sure the foot warmers don’t make your boots too tight, restricting blood flow.
- Watch for signs of frostbite. Early signs of frostbite include red or pale skin, prickling, and numbness.
- Plan to protect yourself. When traveling in cold weather, carry emergency supplies and warm clothing in case you become stranded. If you’ll be in remote territory, tell others your route and expected return date.
- Don’t drink alcohol if you plan to be outdoors in cold weather. Alcoholic beverages cause your body to lose heat faster.
- Eat well-balanced meals and stay hydrated. Doing this even before you go out in the cold will help you stay warm. And if you do become cold, drinking warm, sweet beverages, such as hot chocolate, will help you warm up.
- Keep moving. Exercise can get the blood flowing and help you stay warm, but don’t do it to the point of exhaustion.
http://www.CDC, www.mayoclinic.org, www.webmd.comRead More