Graves’ Disease: A Hyperthyroid Condition – The Western & Ayurvedic Perspective

Written by: Riim Lagerwerf

“Doctors of the future will finally bow to the stampede of patients seeking holistic care and recognize the value of Ayurveda and how it fills gaps in modern medicine. They will know just enough about Ayurveda to feel comfortable referring patients to us and, more important, when a referral is
necessary.” – Marianne Teitelbaum, D.C., Healing the thyroid with Ayurveda.

Thyroid gland disorders are a growing worldwide health issue. Thyroid hormone regulates metabolic rate of the body. Failure of thyroid hormone to maintain metabolic rate mainly produces hyperthyroidism or hypothyroidism. Thyroid disorders are characterized by physical and mental abnormality. 1Hyperthyroidism is one of the six major diseases of the thyroid. The six major diseases of the thyroid are as follows:

1. euthyroid goiter;
2. euthyroid sick syndrome;
3. hyperthyroidism;
4. thyroiditis;
5. hypothyroidism;
6. thyroid cancer. 2

The most common form of hyperthyroidism is Graves’ disease. 3 This research paper reviews Graves’ disease from a Western and Ayurvedic perspective. In order to understand what Graves’ disease is, this paper will first review the function and physiology of the thyroid gland as part of the
endocrine system. A review is then presented of what hyperthyroid disease is, followed by reviewing diagnosis and management of Graves’ disease according to Western medicine. The Ayurvedic interpretation, classification is then presented through review of classical texts, articles and textbooks. It includes a review of the pathology according to Ayurveda. The paper concludes with brief overview of the management of the disease from the Ayurvedic perspective.

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