In recent years, there has been a concerning rise in the number of young women being diagnosed with hypothyroidism. Management of thyroid dysfunction has a direct effect on the quality of life. Although conventional medicine is widely used, its long-term side effects are elucidated. A study by SVYASA assessed the effectiveness of a “Scientific Yoga Module” as a telehealth concept for improving the quality of life in patients with hypothyroidism along with the management of other symptoms as compared to the standard of care.
What is hypothyroidism?
When the thyroid gland doesn’t produce enough thyroid hormones to meet your body’s needs, it is known as hypothyroidism, also known as underactive thyroid. The thyroid is a little gland located in the front of your neck that resembles a butterfly. Thyroid hormones influence almost every bodily organ, including the heartbeat, by regulating how your body uses energy. Insufficient thyroid hormones cause several bodily processes to slow down.
When the thyroid gland is unable to produce or secrete enough thyroxine, hypothyroidism results. A shortage of thyroxine in the cells could result in potentially fatal consequences because it is a hormone that is necessary for controlling heart rate, digestion, physical growth, brain development, and overall functioning.
How Yoga therapy is effective for hypothyroidism
As yoga therapy has been shown to have no negative side effects and to be beneficial in managing and preventing a variety of endocrine disorders, it is becoming more and more popular in clinical and experimental research. Stressful situations can release too much cortisol, which can change how the thyroid axis functions by impacting sympathetic activity and the immune system. On the other hand, yoga practices help the mind-body system relax.
TSH levels were shown to be moderately lowered in 22 female volunteers with hypothyroidism who participated in a pilot trial using “general yoga.” “Given the plausible role of stress physiology in hypothyroidism and the documented effectiveness of yoga in stress regulation, we hypothesized that developing a “Scientific Yoga Module” specific to hypothyroidism may bring significant symptomatic improvement in patients only on standard treatment with Levothyroxine in their quality of life as compared to “general yoga,” explained the researchers in the study which was published in Contemporary Clinical Trials Communications.
Telehealth yoga therapy practices are feasible and effective
The Ministry of Ayurveda, Yoga, Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha, and Homoeopathy has recognized “tele-yoga,” a virtual online style of yoga teaching and learning technique, as a replacement for in-person yoga during the COVID-19 epidemic and will continue to be beneficial even after the pandemic. A promising idea to improve access to healthcare globally is telehealth. It has been discovered that adult populations can benefit from moderate yoga therapy practices that are not only doable and efficient but also reasonably priced.
At least 120 primary hypothyroid individuals, both male and female, between the ages of 18 and 60, were to be recruited for the single-blinded, two-arm, parallel-group RCT from Swami Vivekananda Yoga Anusandhana Samsthana’s database (SVYASA). In accordance with the study’s inclusion and exclusion criteria, participants were randomized at random into two groups: a waiting control group (n = 60) and a yoga intervention group (n = 60). For six months, a tele-yoga intervention was conducted, and pre-interim-post data were collected for both groups.
Beneficial aspects of Yoga based intervention for hypothyroidism
The benefits of yoga-based intervention for treating hypothyroidism were demonstrated by the study’s findings, which also established the accepted standard of care. Additionally, this study showed that tele-yoga may be useful in managing hypothyroidism, especially in terms of quality-of-life results.
A yoga intervention may help reduce side effects associated with medication by allowing dose decreases of levothyroxine to maintain euthyroidism. Furthermore, compared to ordinary yoga practices, a particular yoga module intervention has a higher possibility of enhancing metabolic functions, according to a recent yoga study on obesity and metabolic comorbidities.
“Based on the evidence from this study we aim to establish that using a Scientific Yoga Module is a simple and effective adjunct treatment for hypothyroid patients. This tele-yoga program will set an example to bring together the general population from all over India and other nations suffering from hypothyroidism as a convenient and low-cost self-help tool for long-term practices to lead a healthy lifestyle,” said the authors of the study.
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