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Top PCOS and Thyroid Facts, Cure, Yoga Poses, More | Bodywise

Thyroid and PCOS are common lifestyle disorders in today’s world. But with proper diagnosis, PCOS thyroid and PCOD thyroid can be treated and controlled. Here's ana A to Z guide on pcos linked to thyroid.

10 min read
Top PCOS and Thyroid Facts, Cure, Yoga Poses, More | Bodywise

With the present environmental condition, pollution, stress, and unhealthy lifestyle, PCOS thyroid and PCOD thyroid have become common health problems in women.

PCOS or polycystic ovary syndrome is a hormonal disorder. PCOS causes the ovaries to become enlarged. A PCOS ovary contains small cysts on the outer edges. PCOS may be caused by genetic or environmental factors, but the causes are not correctly known. PCOS may lead to weight gain, irregular menstruation, infertility, dark patches on the skin, and unwanted hair. You can control PCOS with birth control pills, a medicine called metformin, and physical exercise. PCOS and hypothyroidism are, in many cases, interlinked as both are endocrine disorders.

What are Hypothyroidism & Hyperthyroidism?

Hypothyroidism or underactive thyroid is a disease that occurs when the thyroid gland cannot produce enough hormone. It is a deficiency of the thyroid hormone and can lead to fatigue, delay in menstruation, enlarged thyroid, sexual dysfunction, high cholesterol, weight gain, and sluggishness. Hyperthyroidism, on the other hand, is the overproduction of the thyroid hormone. Hyperthyroidism can lead to excessive weight loss, excessive sweating, mood swings, muscle weakness, irregular menstruation, and diarrhea.

How Thyroid Leads to PCOS?

Thyroid disorders can have various adverse effects on the ovaries. The thyroid-stimulating hormone or TSH and prolactin levels rise in women with hypothyroidism. Increased levels of prolactin raise luteinizing hormone levels, dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA), and the follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH). This leads to the formation of cysts in the ovaries. Therefore, in many cases, thyroid ovaries symptoms include PCOS. On the other hand, women with PCOS have been detected with hypothyroidism, autoimmune hypothyroidism, and goiters. Although doctors are not sure if PCOS leads to thyroid or vice versa, it can be assumed that they are linked.

Things You Should Know About PCOS and Thyroid

Fact #1 PCOS is associated with Hyperthyroidism

PCOS patients are more likely to suffer from hyperthyroidism, including Hashimoto's thyroiditis. A person with Hashimoto's disease develops an autoimmune disorder in which the body attacks itself.

The results of a study held in 2013 revealed 22.5% of women with PCOS had hypothyroidism compared to 8.75% who did not, and thyroid antibodies were found in 27% of PCOS patients compared to 8% who possibly did not. The results of a 2015 study revealed that PCOS patients are more likely to have Hashimoto's disease and elevated thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH), indicating hypothyroidism.

Fact # 2 There is a Connection between PCOS and Thyroid

PCOS and thyroid issues are some of the most overlooked endocrine disorders in women. Studies show that PCOS can be caused either genetically or due to potential environmental factors. Women who contract PCOS are under the threat of higher thyroid antibody levels (for instance, TPO antibodies). It can catalyse the likelihood of women having goitre (thyroid gland enlarged in size).

High thyroid antibody levels in PCOS patients are directly related to increased estrogen and estrogen/progesterone ratios. PCOS and insulin resistance worsens due to the presence of hypothyroidism. Studies suggested that 22.1% of women suffering from PCOS had developed Hashimoto's thyroiditis, opposed to the 5% who did not.

Fact #3 Your Thyroid navigates your Body

A butterfly-shaped gland in the base of your throat, the thyroid gland, regulates your body's metabolism and the rate at which you convert food for energy.

A rapid metabolism rate is associated with hyperthyroidism. When it works too slowly (hypothyroid), it slows down the metabolism, resulting in weight gain or difficulty losing weight.

The thyroid secretes hormones that regulate the function of all cells in your body. The thyroid hormones not only control how quickly your body converts carbohydrates, proteins, and fats into fuel, but they also control your heart rate, which can negatively affect your fertility.

Fact #4 TSH Testing on its Own is Insufficient

You cannot determine your thyroid function by testing TSH alone. TSH tells us how much thyroid hormone is being released. You may have hypothyroidism if you have an abnormally high TSH level.

The tests for thyroid hormones (free T4, free T4 index, total T4) help determine how much thyroid hormone you are producing. Using TSH alone is not enough to make an accurate diagnosis, which is why many people with hypothyroidism potentially remain undiagnosed. There are several other thyroid tests for the following purposes:

  • TSH: TSH, often otherwise called “Thyroid Stimulating Hormone”, measures the amount of thyroid you are producing through a blood test. It is the most appropriate measurement known for thyroid activities.
  • T3 and T4: The test of T3 and T4 helps measure different thyroid hormones. The T3 measures the level of triiodothyronine (T3) in your blood.
  • TSI: Thyroid-Stimulating Immunoglobulin (TSI) Level Test helps measure if you have an overactive thyroid (hyperthyroidism). If present in high levels, it can cause Graves' disease.
  • Antithyroid Antibody Test: This test helps measure the antibodies typically present in your blood.

Fact #5 Iodine is an essential nutrient

To make thyroid hormone, the thyroid needs iodine. Iodine is mostly found in dairy products, chicken, beef, pork, fish, and iodized salt.

Iodine is crucial for maintaining balanced thyroid hormone production. Hypothyroidism can be caused or worsened by too little or too much iodine.

Can Thyroid Patients get Pregnant?

There are a lot of myths surrounding thyroid and pregnancy. It is a common question, ‘can a woman with thyroid problems get pregnant?’ The thyroid gland indeed secretes hormones that help the body to work. It is also true that thyroid, if left untreated, can lead to miscarriage and stillbirth. But if your thyroid is treated properly, you can get pregnant and have a healthy baby.

Pregnancy and Hypothyroidism- Can I get pregnant with hypothyroidism and irregular periods?

Hypothyroidism and irregular periods can make your pregnancy difficult. Hypothyroidism and PCOS thyroid can increase the chances of infertility in women. With hypothyroidism, the thyroid gland cannot produce enough hormones which prevent the eggs to release from the ovaries. Hypothyroidism can also affect your periods making them irregular. As a result, ovulation becomes a problem. But this does not mean that women suffering from PCOS and hypothyroidism cannot become pregnant. With proper diagnosis and treatment, the chances of infertility become very less.

How to Cure PCOS and Thyroid Naturally

#1 Taking care of your Gut

The gut plays an important role in regulating sex hormones, particularly estrogen, the reduction of inflammation overall, and the growth of friendly bacteria. In treating PCOS and hypothyroidism, healing the gut is crucial.

The several things you can do at home to improve gut health include the following:

  • Fibre-rich foods, such as lentils and nuts should be eaten in moderation.
  • If tolerated, consume foods high in probiotics (example: Indian cheese, yoghurt, dhokla, idli, kombucha, raw sauerkraut, kimchi, etc.).
  • Foods high in added sugar should be limited.
  • Excessive caffeine and alcohol can irritate the gut.
  • Spend time amid nature, including plants.

In some cases, gut-healing requires more interventions in women.

#2 Balance your Blood Sugar

Having a balanced blood sugar level can benefit women with PCOS and hypothyroidism.

PCOS is characterised by insulin resistance. Following a meal, insulin lowers your blood sugar levels. People with insulin resistance have impaired responses to insulin. Having elevated blood sugar levels for a longer time than normal leads to inflammation and worsening symptoms of PCOS.

The relationship between insulin resistance and Hashimoto's thyroiditis has been found in some studies as well.

Eat protein, fat, and high-fibre food at every meal and snack to balance blood sugar and reduce insulin resistance. Make sure you avoid processed carbohydrates and foods with high sugar content (such as soda, sweets, and pastries) that cause your blood sugar levels to rise excessively.

#3 Live a Balanced Life

You can drastically affect your health through your lifestyle, especially if you have PCOS and thyroid conditions.

Rebalance your lifestyle with these tips:

  • Get at least 7-8 hours of sleep each night.
  • Meditation, yoga, therapy, and breathing exercises are all healthy ways to reduce stress.
  • Exercise in a way that you find most enjoyable. Keeping your body moving can be beneficial, but avoid exercising vigorously or under stressful conditions, as they can harm rather than help.

#4 Include a Diet that Helps for Low Inflammation

Chronic inflammation in the body creates havoc, as we all know. A healthy PCOS and hypothyroidism diet is crucial for preventing both, which are inflammatory conditions.

It is important to consume colourful, non-starchy vegetables, fish (like salmon), nuts, seeds, and colourful fruits in an anti-inflammatory diet. It is also beneficial to include extra virgin olive oil, avocados, and coconut oil when planning your diet.

Yoga for PCOS and Thyroid

Regular yoga practice has recently been shown to be a helpful tool for managing PCOS and thyroid symptoms.

Despite its inability to cure PCOS, yoga, especially the following poses, may be able to relieve some of its symptoms:

1. Viparita Karani (Inverted Pose)

This pose is also called the ‘legs up the wall’ pose. Various ailments, including hypothyroidism, can be relieved by this pose. The thyroid gland receives more blood and works more efficiently through this pose. It also revitalises the mind. It works for stress, insomnia and anxiety.

2. Sarvangasana (Shoulder Stand)

This pose helps support the endocrine system, which regulates the body's processes. Thyroid pressure is exerted in this pose. The thyroid gland gets the most blood supply. By squeezing stagnant secretions, Sarvangasana helps improve blood flow. It increases blood flow to the thyroid, helps nourish it, and reverses hypothyroidism.

3. Ustrasana (Camel Pose)

By stretching the neck and increasing blood circulation, this pose can also stimulate the thyroid gland. In addition to managing thyroid issues, this yoga pose can help reduce back pain. People with asthma can also benefit from it. If you have a hernia or ulcer, you should avoid this pose. People with arthritis, vertigo, or abdominal injuries should not perform the camel pose.

4. Setu Bandhasana (Bridge Pose)

Yoga poses like Setu bandhasana can reduce thyroid swelling, especially in people with hypothyroidism. Setu bandhasana improves blood flow to the thyroid gland and stretches the neck. It is also good for people with asthma. It strengthens the muscles and reduces headaches as well. However, performing the bridge pose in the final months of pregnancy is not recommended.

5. Halasana (Plow Pose)

In this pose, the neck is stretched, and the thyroid glands are stimulated. Along with strengthening abdominal and back muscles, this pose also relaxes the nervous system and strengthens abdominal and back muscles. Individuals with hyperthyroidism must avoid this pose as it allows thyroid hormones to be secreted.

6. Matsyasana (Fish Pose)

The fish pose (Matsyasana) increases blood flow in the thyroid gland by arching your back. The pose also stimulates the thyroid gland by stretching the neck and throat. It also relieves a great deal of stress and tension. It maintains the spinal column and abdominal muscles in good health.

7. Dhanurasana (Bow Pose)

By massaging the thyroid gland, this pose promotes the production of the necessary amount of thyroid hormone for metabolism regulation. This pose strengthens the back, reduces stress, and relieves menstrual pain.

8. Bhujangasana (Cobra Pose)

The Surya Namaskar includes this pose. Here, the thyroid function is increased by stretching the neck and throat regions of the body, making it beneficial for hypothyroid patients. Do not perform this pose if you have recently had abdominal surgery or have a hernia or ulcer.

Pregnancy and Hyperthyroidism

Many women are burdened with the question, ‘can I get pregnant with hyperthyroidism?’ Hyperthyroidism results in low levels of TSH hormones. Hyperthyroidism or overactive thyroid is not expected during pregnancy, and that is a blessing. Pregnant women with hyperthyroidism can suffer from high blood pressure. High blood pressure can lead to miscarriage or premature birth. Therefore, proper diagnosis of thyroid is very essential before and during pregnancy. With proper diagnosis and medication, it is possible to become pregnant with hyperthyroidism.

Ayurveda Remedies for Thyroid

Ayurveda is the safest and natural way of treating thyroid. According to Ayurveda, thyroid disorder is caused by an increase of the Vata dosha and Kapha dosha in the body. An imbalance in the two doshas or biological energies can lead to thyroid disorders. Here are some ayurvedic remedies for thyroid:

  • According to Ayurveda, avoid foods that increase Vata dosha in the body. You should avoid packaged food. You should never skip lunch and dinner and include fiber-rich foods like beans, legumes, and bananas in your diet.
  • Avoid foods that are rich in Kapha. The thyroid can lead to excessive weight gain. Therefore, consume more fruits and vegetables.
  • According to Ayurveda, pranayama can help treat thyroid. Pranayama helps regulate the Vata in the body, thereby controlling the thyroid hormone.
  • Ayurveda advises consuming methi, aloe vera, Triphala, and ginger to keep thyroid hormones in control.
  • Avoid tea and coffee and go for herbal tea if you are a thyroid patient. Soak coriander and cumin in water for a night. Strain and drink the water in the morning to treat thyroid disorder.

Thyroid and PCOS are common lifestyle disorders in today’s world. With the unhealthy lifestyle that we lead, such diseases are sure to engulf us. But with proper diagnosis, PCOS thyroid and PCOD thyroid can be treated and controlled. Along with treatments, a healthy lifestyle is a prerequisite to control thyroid and PCOS.

Summing Up on PCOS and Thyroid

PCOS and thyroid are difficult to treat. Despite the lack of a cure, both conventional and alternative treatments are available for managing the symptoms and any related complications.

Maintaining contact with your doctor for consultations is essential if you have PCOS and thyroid.


Can PCOS cause thyroid problems?

There is a bidirectional relationship between these two conditions, even though researchers aren't exactly sure how they are related. PCOS sufferers are three times more likely than the general population to have Hashimoto's thyroid disease as well.

Moreover, polycystic ovaries can indicate hypothyroidism. Therefore, hypothyroidism should be ruled out before PCOS can be diagnosed.

There are also common characteristics between PCOS and thyroid conditions, such as irregular periods, increased insulin resistance, and dysregulation of the immune system. As per a study, PCOS and subclinical hypothyroidism have both been shown to elevate LDL cholesterol levels.

According to BioMed Research International, PCOS is associated with a high incidence of subclinical hypothyroidism, goitres, and autoimmune thyroiditis. According to another study published in Endocrine Abstracts, of 107 women with PCOS, half had a thyroid-related disorder, such as positive thyroid antibodies, thyroid dysfunction, or nodules.

Can a person have both Thyroid and PCOS?

A quick answer can suggest yes, a person can have both Thyroid and PCOS. A person who has PCOS can also parallelly develop symptoms of thyroid disorders. Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) and autoimmune thyroid disease are increasingly found to share a relationship with one another, as part of growing endocrine disorders. Despite the uncertainty surrounding their causality, these two conditions have a bidirectional relationship.

Research has found evidence time and again about both disorders sharing similar risk factors, properties, and even pathophysiological abnormalities. These dysfunctions, however, can worsen when other abnormally developing factors surface. Hypothyroidism can cause polycystic ovaries, but it should be ruled out before diagnosing hypothyroidism and PCOS.

These factors, present in both conditions that seem to be related — adiposity, insulin resistance, high leptin levels, deranged autoimmunity — may establish a connection between them, resulting in women developing both of them together due to similar prevalent risks.

Does PCOS affect TSH Levels?

Yes, there is a high possibility of PCOS further affecting TSH levels. It has been found that women who suffer from PCOS have an increased prevalence of TSH, or thyroid-stimulating hormone.

The Indian Journal of Endocrinology and Metabolism reports that thyroid disorders can negatively affect the ovaries. An increase in the levels of thyroid-stimulating hormone and prolactin are common symptoms of hypothyroidism that often consequently catalyses the development of PCOS. As hormone levels fluctuate, ovarian function can be affected, resulting in the ovarian volume to increase, adversely contributing cysts to form. However, despite this, hypothyroidism is not a direct cause of polycystic ovary syndrome.






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