Endocrine System

The endocrine is comprised of glands that regulate the secretion of hormones. Some of the primary endocrine glands include the hypothalamus, pineal gland, pituitary gland, thyroid pancreas, parathyroid, adrenal thymus, testicles, and ovaries. Disorders of the endocrine system typically occur due to unhealthy lifestyle choices. While there is no direct parallel of the endocrine system in Ayurveda, the ayurvedic theory of tri doshas can be utilized to explain many endocrine disorders. Ayurveda gives us apparatuses that can be utilized to build resistance to hormonal imbalance through holistic changes in diet, the inclusion of yoga and meditation, and targeted therapies such as abhyanga, and udvarthanam, tharpanam depending on the individual characteristics and requirements of the client.

Diabetes is referred to as madhumeha, this name is translated to sweet urine which alludes to one of the primary symptoms of diabetes. Diabetes mellitus in particular is a vata prameha because it is linked to an imbalance of Vata dosha while diabetes insipidus is a Kapha prameha. A holistic approach that includes yoga, dietary changes as well as lifestyle regulations are the standard protocol for the management of diabetes along with external therapies like panchkarma. If the disease has already impacted certain parts of the body, more focused therapies such as tharpanam, njavarakizhi,etc can be utilized.

Hyperthyroidism can be correlated to the bhasmaka rog mentioned in ayurvedic literature. It is described as a disease that burns away the food consumed instead of turning it into nutrients for the body, leading to malnutrition and insatiable hunger. This condition is explained as the hyperactivity of pitha doshas coupled with high-intensity Agni or digestive fire, sometimes the vata might also be agitated leading to symptoms like tissue wasting. The main focus of the treatment is restoring balance to the doshas through lifestyle changes like inculcating a healthy sleep cycle, yoga, and external therapies like abhyanga,  udvarthanam, etc.

Hypothyroidism occurs when the thyroid gland produces an inadequate amount of hormone, it is the most common form of endocrine disorder and women are more likely to be affected. It can be caused by multiple factors such as an iodine deficiency, radiation therapy, side effects from medication, etc. According to Ayurveda, dosha imbalance due to Kapha and pita doshas is the root cause of the condition. Meditation, yoga, and panchakarma therapies like vamana, virechana and nasyam along with udwarthanam, thalapothichil, takradhara are recommended.

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