Weaning of L-thyroxine in Hypothyroid Patients Using Homoeopathic Medicines as an Add on Therapy: A Single Centred Retrospective Observational Study

Weaning of L-thyroxine in Hypothyroid Patients Using Homoeopathic Medicines as an Add on Therapy: A Single Centred Retrospective Observational Study

Dr. Tapas Kundu*,  Dr. Afroz Shaikh1, Dr. Omkar Kumat2, Dr. Rita Kundu3

1,2Private OPD setting.

3Motiwala Homoeopathic Medical College and Hospital. Nashik

Address for correspondence:

*Dr. Tapas K Kundu,

1-A, Sairaj Apartment, Behind Ichchamani Lawns, Upnagar, Nashik-422006, Maharashtra, India.

Mob:- +91-0-9373908112.

Email- dr_kundu2002@yahoo.co.in

Abstract

Background: Hypothyroidism, an endocrinal disorder which is conventionally treated by the long continued hormone replacement therapy, exhibits itself through various signs and symptoms pertaining to different systems of the body. Besides some adverse effects, the treatment cost of the therapy impels the patients to seek alternative therapy.

Objective: To investigate the role of homoeopathic medicines in neuro-endocrinal diseases like Hypothyroidism in reducing the dosage of hormone replacement therapy.

Material and Methods:108 patients diagnosed as Hypothyroid  categorized as Group A (receiving homoeopathic medicines along with hormone replacement therapy) and Group B (receiving only homoeopathic medicines) were evaluated with respect to BMI (Obesity), Depression, Thyroid assay and reduction in dosage of L-Thyroxine. The study was retrospectively analyzed at a single out patient department during the period between October 2009 and August 2014.

Results: Homoeopathic medicines control the depression (t= 0.75) and obesity (t=0.26), well in patients with hypothyroidism. Homoeopathic drug therapy in comparison to as adjunct with hormone replacement therapy works well in control of T3(t=0.36),T4 (t=1.51) and TSH (t=0.15).

Conclusion:Homoeopathic medicine employed as primary therapy or adjunct to the conventional medicines can reduce the drug dependency and reduce the dosage of L- thyroxine.

Key words:Depression, Hypothyroidism, Hormone replacement therapy, Obesity,Thyroid assay.

Introduction

Hypothyroidism is an endocrinal disorder characterized by low circulating thyroid hormones  i.e tri-iodothyronine (T3), thyroxine (T4)  and raised  thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) where women are affected approximately six times more frequently than men1. Primary hypothyroidism is characterized by decreased synthesis of thyroid hormones (T3 and T4) by the thyroid gland and elevated serum TSH level. Whereas secondary hypothyroidism results from diseases of pituitary or hypothalamus eg. Hypopitutarism, pituitary surgery or irradiation etc. The conventional management of the disease includes  supplementation of thyroid hormone with levothyroxine, synthetic free thyroxine (fT4).

Hypothyroidism is a symptom complex which may manifest with symptoms pertaining to any system of body eg. Vitiligo, obesity or impotence. Among the presenting complaints obesity or weight gain is the symptom observed  as reason of concern by the patients. Also obesity is considered as one of the risk factor for cardiovascular diseases.2 Hypothyroidism is one of the most frequent cause of infertility and repeated miscarriages in females of reproductive age group.3,4The symptoms observed as an involvement of cardiovascular system are Bradycardia, Angina, Cardiac failure. Besides the effects of thyroid hormone on physical level, the association between thyroid function and psychiatric disorders particularly depression has long been recognized.5 Depression remains a common neuropsychiatric manifestation in hypothyroidism.

Inappropriate usage of doses of thyroxine may have adverse effects.The adverse effects of levothyroxine are signs of thyrotoxicosis in case of overdose (tachycardia, tremor, sweating, etc.). Even a slight overdose carries a risk of osteoporotic fractures and atrial fibrillation, especially in the elderly.6

To avoid the possibility of adverse effects of hormone replacement therapy,its dependancy ( in terms of its usage for longer period of time) many patients opt complementary alternative medicines. 20% population in India prefer Homoeopathy in chronic ailments.7Therefore the study was undertaken to investigate the efficacy of Homoeopathic medicines in Hypothyroidism where long continued hormone replacement therapy is recommended.

The efficacy of homoeopathic medicines have been tested in various diseases likeNeuropathy8,Autism9, Rheumatoid arthritis10, Hemophilia11. Thalassemia21 etc. Homoeopathic medicines play an important role in immuno-modulation at cellular level and can cure cases of subclinical and mild hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism. Due to its infinitesimal light isotopic forms homoeopathic medicines are capable of penetrating the Hypothalamus- Pituitary Axis13. Therefore the  present retrospective study was undertaken to investigate the efficacy of Homoeopathic medicines in Hypothyroidism where long continued hormone replacement therapy is recommended.