see also Goitre
Under- or over-production of thyroid hormone (thyroxine) can slow down or speed up all chemical processes in the body.
Also referred to as hyperthyroidism, toxic goitre, or Graves' disease: occurs when the whole thyroid gland is overactive, usually because the pituitary gland is producing too much thyroid stimulating hormone, or because there is a ‘nodule' (a fluid-filled cyst, a small haemorrhage, or a benign or malignant growth) in part of it; a nodule may be visible as a lump at front of neck, general enlargement as a sizeable swelling. Large amounts of thyroxine are continuously produced and released into the bloodstream, causing a wide variety of symptoms: restlessness, a high level of Anxiety, inability to relax or sleep properly (see Sleep Problems), shakiness and poor control of fine hand movements, sweating, feeling hot even on cold days, rapid heart rate, Palpitations, breathlessness, Weight Loss despite a ravenous appetite, Diarrhoea, bulging eyes (exopthalmos), etc. Accelerated metabolism places extra strain on heart, especially if person already has High Blood Pressure or Atherosclerosis and increases risk of Angina and Heart Failure.
Orthodox treatment consists of anti-thyroid drugs, destruction of part of thyroid gland with radioactive iodine, or surgical removal of nodule or large part of gland; blood thyroxine levels must also be checked regularly to ensure that hypothyroidism (see below) does not set in. The homeopathic remedies below may help to bring acute symptoms under control; however, if condition dramatically worsens, consult your doctor if there is no improvement in 12 hours.
Underactivity of the thyroid gland, due in some cases to lack of iodine in the diet or lack of thyroid stimulating hormone from the pituitary; in other cases thyroid defect may be congenital or gland may be missing altogether; in Hashimoto's disease, an autoimmune response develops which destroys thyroid tissue. In adults, the symptoms of low thyroxine production are tiredness, abnormal sleepiness or drowsiness, aches and pains, slow heart rate, Constipation, feeling cold most of the time, Weight Gain despite poor appetite, myxoedema (thick, dry, swollen skin), lifeless hair, deep or hoarse voice, loss of hearing, numbness and tingling in hands, and Lack of Desire for Sex; women tend to have heavy periods (see Menstrual Problems). Babies who are hypothyroid are very torpid, uninterested in food, and may develop Jaundice shortly after birth; since thyroxine is essential for growth and mental development, lack of it at this young age can cause cretinism and stunted grow.
Both adults and babies are treated with thyroxine tablets; most babies develop normally if treatment is started before age of three months. However, if hypothyroidism is mild, thyroid gland extract (which contains all the constituents of thyroid tissue, including thyroxine) may be preferable to thyroxine itself; if thyroid gland recovers, thyroid gland extract is more easily discontinued than thyroxine. Constitutional homeopathic treatment is recommended in addition to orthodox treatment.
Specific remedies to be taken every hour for up to 10 doses
- Someone who is obsessive, feels very hot, can't stop hurrying, especially if he or she is dark-haired and dark-eyed Iodum 30c
- Constipation, palpitations, earthy complexion Natrum mur. 30c
- Flushed face and staring eyes Belladonna 30c
- Heart pounding and racing, exopthalmos Lycopus 30c
Specific remedies to be taken every 12 hours for up to 5 days while constitutional treatment is being sought