Postpartum thyroiditis (PPT) is an autoimmune thyroid dysfunction that can occur in the months after childbirth in women without a history of thyroid disease prior to pregnancy. In most cases, the condition is temporary and lasts for a few months.
However, in some cases, thyroid problems can last for up to a year or cause permanent hypothyroidism.
Postpartum thyroiditis is a treatable thyroid problem, and with proper treatment, you can balance your thyroid hormone and feel better. Ayurveda is a holistic system of medicine that focuses on restoring balance within the body.
Ayurvedic treatment for postpartum thyroiditis focuses on restoring normal thyroid function and balancing thyroid hormone level in the body. Ayurvedic medicine for thyroid balance involves herbal supplements, dietary changes and lifestyle modifications.
What is Postparturm Thyroiditis?
The thyroid gland is located in the neck and is responsible for producing hormones that regulate metabolism, growth, and development. During pregnancy, the thyroid gland enlarges to meet the increased demand for hormones. After delivery, the gland typically shrinks back to its normal size.
However, in some cases, the thyroid gland may continue to enlarged or become overactive, leading to symptoms such as weight loss, dry skin, and fatigue. In addition, some women may develop autoimmune thyroiditis, a condition in which the body produces antibodies that attack the thyroid gland.
Postpartum thyroiditis can happen in three ways:
- Transient Hyperthyroidism (overactive thyroid)observed in 32% of patients
- Transient Hypothyroidism (under active thyroid)observed in 43% of patients
- Hyperthyroidism followed by hypothyroidism and then recovery, observed in 25% of patients.
Postpartum Thyroiditis Symptoms
Postpartum thyroiditis symptoms may not appear until several months after childbirth. Also, the symptoms vary from woman to woman. Some experience painless thyroiditis, while others may experience more severe symptoms.
In addition, specific symptoms of postpartum thyroiditis can vary depending on which stage of the thyroid dysfunction you are in.
If you are in the hyperthyroidism phase, you essentially have an overactive thyroid gland, which leads to symptoms:
– Rapid heartbeat
– Frequent bowel movements
– Weight loss
If you are in the hypothyroid phase, you may have low thyroid hormone levels or subclinical hypothyroidism leading to:
– Dry skin
– Slow heart rate
If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, it is important to consult with an Ayurvedic doctor to get your thyroid levels checked. By keeping your thyroid in balance, you can help ensure a healthy postpartum recovery.
Causes of Postpartum Thyroiditis
Postpartum thyroiditis arises due to immune dysfunction similar to Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis. This means that the body’s immune system attacks the thyroid gland, resulting in inflammation and damage.
Postpartum thyroiditis is also associated with high levels of certain antibodies (TPO antibody), which are believed to play a role in the development of the condition.
There are a number of factors that may increase your risk of developing postpartum thyroid dysfunction, including:
– A history of autoimmune disease
– Having high levels of thyroid peroxidase (TPO antibody) during pregnancy
– Giving birth to a baby who is large for gestational age
– Having a preterm delivery
– Having a cesarean section
Conventional Treatments for Postpartum thyroiditis
The most common treatment in modern medicine for postpartum thyroiditis is thyroid hormone replacement. This involves taking synthetic thyroid hormones to replace the ones that your body is not producing enough of. In most cases, thyroid hormone replacement is only needed for a few months.
Other conventional treatments for autoimmune thyroiditis include:
– Thyroid medication: This can be used to help control the symptoms of hyperthyroidism.
– Surgery: In rare cases, surgery may be necessary to remove part or all of the thyroid gland.
– Radioactive iodine: This treatment can be used to destroy the thyroid gland and is usually only recommended for women who cannot take hormone replacement therapy.
Health Complications of postpartum Thyroiditis
If left untreated, postpartum thyroiditis can lead to a number of health complications, including:
– Difficulty becoming pregnant again: Postpartum thyroiditis can make it difficult to become pregnant again. This is because the condition can cause damage to the ovaries and uterine lining.
– Autoimmune disorders: Postpartum thyroiditis is an autoimmune disease. This means that it can cause damage to other parts of the body, such as the joints, skin, and nervous system.
– Thyroid cancer: In rare cases, postpartum thyroiditis can lead to thyroid cancer.
If you have postpartum thyroiditis, it is important to talk to your doctor about the potential risks and complications. Treatment can help reduce the risk of these complications.
Postpartum thyroiditis Diagnosis
Postpartum thyroid dysfunction is typically diagnosed with a blood test. This test measures the levels of thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) in the blood. TSH level are usually high in women with postpartum thyroiditis.
Other tests that may be used to diagnose postpartum thyroiditis include:
– Thyroid function tests: These tests measure the thyroid hormone level in the blood.
– Ultrasound: This test can be used to look for enlargement or abnormalities in the thyroid gland.
– Biopsy: In rare cases, a biopsy may be needed to confirm the diagnosis.
If you think you may have postpartum thyroiditis, it is important to talk to your doctor. Treatment can help minimize the symptoms and prevent complications.
Ayurvedic Perspective of Thyroiditis in New Mothers
According to Ayurveda, the thyroid should be checked after pregnancy because thyroiditis is considered to be vata dosha imbalance. Vata dosha is responsible for the movement of energy in the body and is often out of balance after childbirth.
Vata imbalance poorly affects circulation, metabolism and functioning of endocrine glands. Also, the thyroid gland function is closely tied to your physical and mental health. That’s why it often gets disturbed due to multiple hormonal changes that affect your body and mind right after the delivery of the baby.
There are many symptoms of an out-of-balance thyroid, such as fatigue, anxiety, and weight gain. So, it is important to check your thyroid levels and make sure that you are giving the right support to your thyroid function with herbal supplements, diet and lifestyle practices.
Ayurvedic Medicines for treatment of postpartum thyroiditis
Ayurveda is a holistic system of medicine that originated in India. It is based on the principle of restoring balance within the body. Ayurvedic medicine is a safe and effective way to treat postpartum thyroiditis and prevent thyroid disease in recurrence.
There are a number of herbal remedies that can be used to treat postpartum thyroiditis. Some of these herbs include:
Ashwagandha: It is traditionally used to treat thyroid conditions. It helps to regulate the production of thyroid hormones and can also help to reduce inflammation.
Guggul: This herb has been shown to be effective in reducing inflammation and balance hormones. It helps to regulate the immune system and can also reduce thyroid symptoms.
Shankhapushpi: It is traditionally used as an adaptogen to balance the immune system, reduce stress and promote mental relaxation.
Brahmi: This herb is traditionally used to treat sleep disorders and reduce stress. It helps to balance the immune system and can also reduce inflammation.
Trikatu: It is a blend of three spices that help to improve digestion and stimulate the appetite. It helps to reduce inflammation and can also help to regulate the thyroid gland.
Shatavari: It helps to balance reproductive system hormones in women. It can also help to reduce inflammation and promote lactation.
There are a number of other herbs that can be used to treat postpartum thyroiditis. If you are interested in trying Ayurveda for your condition, it is important to consult with an experienced practitioner who can tailor a treatment plan specifically for you.
Healthy Dietary for Treatment of Postpartum Thyroiditis
There are a number of dietary changes that can help to treat postpartum thyroiditis. Some of these dietary tips include:
– Eat plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables. These foods are packed with nutrients that can help to boost the immune system and reduce inflammation.
– Include healthy fats in your diet. Healthy fats can help to reduce inflammation and balance hormones. Good sources of healthy fats include avocados, olive oil, fish, and nuts.
– Avoid processed foods and sugar. These foods can trigger inflammation and worsen thyroid symptoms.
– Eat plenty of fiber. Fiber helps to regulate the digestive system and can also reduce inflammation. Good sources of fiber include fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and legumes.
– Drink plenty of water. Water helps to flush out toxins from the body and can also reduce inflammation.
Making these dietary changes can help to treat postpartum thyroiditis and prevent thyroid disease in recurrence. If you are interested in trying a dietary approach to treatment, do check out this post on thyroid diet guidelines. Here you can also download thyroid diet chart in pdf format.
Ayurvedic Lifestyle Tips for Postpartum Thyroiditis Treatment
There are a few lifestyle recommendations that can help women with postpartum thyroiditis. These include:
– Get enough rest: It is important to get plenty of rest when you are dealing with postpartum thyroiditis. Fatigue can worsen thyroid symptoms, so make sure to get enough sleep every night.
– Exercise regularly: Exercise can help to reduce stress and improve overall health. however, it is important not to overdo it. If you are feeling exhausted, take a break from exercise until you have more energy.
– Avoid stressful situations: Stress can trigger flares in postpartum thyroiditis. If possible, avoid stressful situations or learn how to manage stress in a healthy way.
Making these lifestyle changes can help to improve your thyroid condition and prevent disease recurrence.
Helpful Yoga Asana for Treatment of Postpartum Thyroiditis
Yoga can be helpful in the treatment of postpartum thyroiditis. Yoga helps to reduce stress, which can help to balance the hormones and module the autoimmune response. Yoga also helps to improve circulation and reduce inflammation.
Some helpful yoga asanas for the treatment of postpartum thyroiditis include:
– Surya namaskar: This is a basic yoga sequence that helps to improve circulation, support mental wellness, thyroid function and hormone balance in the body.
– Halasana: This yoga pose helps to improve digestion, reduce inflammation and stimulate healthy thyroid function.
– Matsyasana: This yoga pose helps to improve circulation, reduce stress, and improve thyroid function.
– Paschimottanasana: This yoga pose helps to improve liver function and immune system function. It also helps to reduce stress and promote mental wellness.
Practicing these yoga asanas can help to improve your thyroid condition and prevent disease recurrence. If you are interested in trying yoga for your condition, it is important to consult with a qualified instructor who can tailor a practice specifically for you.
While postpartum thyroiditis is usually temporary and will resolve on its own, there are highly effective Ayurvedic treatments available to help ease the symptoms. If you’re struggling with postpartum thyroiditis, consider talking to an Ayurvedic practitioner about how they can help you find relief.
Consult with Medhya’s Ayurvedic Doctor to get your personalised health plan involving prescription for Ayurvedic medicine, diet, yoga and lifestyle guidelines.
How long does postpartum thyroiditis last?
Postpartum thyroiditis is a condition that can occur after pregnancy. It is thought to be caused by the changes in hormones that occur during pregnancy. The symptoms of postpartum thyroiditis are similar to those of hyperthyroidism, including anxiety, irritability, and difficulty sleeping. However, the symptoms usually last for only a few weeks or months and generally do not require treatment. In some cases, postpartum thyroiditis can lead to hypothyroidism, which is a more serious condition that requires medical treatment. However, this is rare and most women who experience postpartum thyroiditis make a full recovery without any lasting effects.