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Treating Thyroid Problems with TCM

The thyroid gland is little but powerful. It is located in the neck, wrapped approximately the trachea, and has great impact on the well-being of the entire person. The thyroid gland secretes thyroid hormone which regulates human enlargement, maturation and the rate of metabolism. Adequate functioning of the thyroid gland is dependent on more than a few factors: right function of the hypothalamus and pituitary gland, a proper deliver of iodine and conversion of thyroxin to triiodothyronine. When one of these factors is out of balance, the affected someone might begin to experience any hyperthyroidism or hypothyroidism.

Hyperthyroidism is the body's answer to the presence of an overload of thyroid hormone. It is more ordinary in young adults between the ages of 20 and 40, and is establish more often in women than in men. Clinically, the patient will demonstrate symptoms such as an increased heart rate, moist skin, perspiration, enlarged blood pressure, nervousness, increased hunger, weight loss, insomnia, diarrhea, weakness, thickened skin, bulging eyes and perplexity. Hyperthyroidism should be treated as speedily as possible to avoid over-stimulation to a variety of systems of the body. The two main conventional treatments of hyperthyroidism are prescription drugs and surgery. Even if you are presently using either of these modalities, Traditional Chinese drug could be of use to you.
According to Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) hyperthyroidism is a grouping of liver fire rising, Qi and Yin deficiencies and phlegm stagnation. Liver fire increasing corresponds to the nonstop stimulation resulting from excess thyroid hormone. Qi and Yin deficiencies often react to the patient’s weakness at fatigue that results from over stimulation. Phlegm stagnation is represented by the improvement of the thyroid gland. These new terminologies are what constitute "patterns" in Chinese medicine. "Patterns" are the group of various signs and symptoms under a diagnostic umbrella. As a practitioner of TCM, I comfort patterns, not diseases. This allows for better flexibility and the acknowledgement that not each case of hyperthyroidism is the same. Treatment addresses both the cause and symptoms simultaneously.

The three methods of treatment I use for hyperthyroidism in my hospital are acupuncture, herbs and lifestyle changes. I typically recommend that the patient informs his or her physician of their alternative treatment. I do not advocate that patients simply stop taking their thyroid medications, as this could be unsafe or even life-threatening. Requesting a test from your doctor to check thyroid hormone levels after six to ten acupuncture treatments is significant. Often a patient will have to decrease thyroid medications after six weekly acupunctures treatments. Some patients only need to receive acupuncture and institute some lifestyle changes--herbs are not always necessary. After a patient has stabilized, they may utilize acupuncture once per month or as needed. Or, they may take herbs with a monthly appointment to reevaluate. Many of the Chinese patent medicines used for thyroid imbalance are obtainable commercially.

Hyperthyroid patients are confident to do the following: avoid over-strenuous train, saunas or hot tubs; remove all stimulants such as caffeine and cigarette smoking; and consume cooked foods such as broccoli, cauliflower, kale, cabbage, greens, peaches, pears, soybeans, spinach and turnips. Patients will also advantage from engaging in at least one hour of rest and relaxation per day.

Hypothyroidism is caused by an under active thyroid gland, and by a lack of thyroid hormone. Patients with hypothyroidism often show the following symptoms: fatigue, a dull facial expression, droopy eyelids, puffy and swollen eyes and face, hoarse voice, weight gain, constipation, aversion to cold temperatures, dry hair and skin, decreased heart rate and blood pressure and low down body temperature.

According to TCM, hyperthyroidism characterized by Yang shortage of Kidney, Speed and Heart. Kidney Yang is considered a deep warm power in the body, sort of a battery for the other organs. The lack of thyroid hormone production is straight associated with this lack of Kidney Yang. Thyroid hormone stimulates the body's metabolism much the way Kidney Yang provides heat in all organs. Thus, action for hypothyroidism aims at supporting the Kidney energy.

I typically use a combination of body acupuncture with moxibustion and ear acupuncture to address hypothyroidism. Moxibustion is the method of burning mugwort on the acupuncture needles over a variety of points on the body. This does not burn your skin, but creates only an agreeable warming effect. Kidney tonics may also be agreed in the form of Chinese patent medicines or teas.

Again, hypothyroid patients should set up a thyroid check, as their need for medication may reduce after six treatments. In addition, the patients should keep away from fluorine and chlorine. These two chemicals may chunk iodine receptors in the thyroid gland, potentially causing reduced hormone production. Patients should also reduce their intake of foods that suppress thyroid hormone production such as peaches, brussel sprouts, pears, and spinach, turnips, and cabbage, kale, broccoli and mustard greens. Instead, they should drink plenty of foods rich in vitamin B complex for generation and use of energy. Several examples would be meats, dairy products, legumes, brewer's yeast, whole grains, eggs, nuts and some herbs.

One potential outcome of straight treatments for thyroid dysfunction is the rebound effect, where the patient experiences hypothyroidism as a result of treatment for hyperthyroidism. In addition, many patients are scared of the toxicity of certain thyroid medications. While Traditional Chinese Medicine treatments may take longer to be effectual that conventional therapies such as instruction drugs and surgery, the results are consistent once the patient is stabilized. Acupuncture can also help with troublesome side effects caused by some thyroid medications. Whatever respite you are seeking from your acupuncture treatments, in any grouping with conventional treatments, it's a custom fit.


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