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Treating Thyroid Problems with Acupuncture

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Over 20 million Americans have some sort of thyroid disease. Acupuncture can help!

Suffering on the inside and looking “fine” on the outside is frequently the case with a chronic illness. We've heard so many stories of patients who were once healthy and happy...until they started feeling unwell. Some have spent months or years going to doctors and hospitals and being misdiagnosed before the problem of Adrenal Insufficiency or Hypothyroidism was finally diagnosed. Even after diagnosis, patients may find they have to closely monitor their health as getting sick, suffering great stress, or even going to the dentist can have an impact on their condition and medication.

When functioning properly, the thyroid gland secretes just the right amount of thyroid hormone to regulate almost all the metabolic processes in your body. Too much or too little of these vital body chemicals can drastically influence energy levels, body weight, and mental health. With over 20 million Americans living with some form of thyroid disease, much attention has been given to the many ways that Acupuncture and Chinese medicine can treat thyroid problems.

What is the Thyroid?

The thyroid is a butterfly-shaped gland that sits in the front of the neck. It is responsible for energy, metabolism, hormone regulation, body weight, and blood calcium levels. Thyroid disorders stem from either an overproduction (hyperthyroidism) or underproduction (hypothyroidism) of thyroid hormones. When your thyroid is not functioning properly, your body can experience a variety of symptoms:

Hyperthyroidism: 

  • Weight loss despite increased appetite
  • Increased heart rate, heart palpitations, higher blood pressure, nervousness, and excessive perspiration
  • More frequent bowel movements, sometimes with diarrhea
  • Muscle weakness, trembling hands
  • Development of a goiter (an enlargement in your neck)
  • Lighter or shorter menstrual periods

Hypothyroidism: 

  • Lethargy, slower mental processes, or depression
  • Reduced heart rate
  • Increased sensitivity to cold
  • Tingling or numbness in the hands
  • Development of a goiter (an enlargement in your neck)
  • Constipation, heavy menstrual periods, or dry skin and hair

Hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism can be diagnosed by testing the levels of thyroid hormones in your blood. Thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH), a chemical released by the pituitary gland that triggers hormone production in the thyroid can be measured. Some milder forms of hypothyroidism can also be detected by a consistently low basal body temperature.

How Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine Treat Thyroid Problems

Both Western and Eastern medicine offer various methods to restore thyroid hormone levels. Western treatments rely mainly on drugs and surgery while Eastern treatments aim to restore immune function as well as balance the production and release of thyroid hormones through a variety of approaches ranging from acupuncture and herbal remedies to lifestyle changes and special exercises.

In the treatment of thyroid problems, acupuncture can be used to restore hormonal balance, regulate energy levels, smooth emotions and help manage sleep, emotions, and menstrual problems. There are several powerful acupuncture points on the ear and the body that can be used to regulate the production of thyroid hormones. Treatments take all of your symptoms into account and are aimed at balancing the energy within the body to optimize health.

When it comes to lifestyle changes, a diet rich in protein, calcium, magnesium, and iodine helps support thyroid function while certain foods known as goitrogens may interfere with thyroid hormone production and should be limited. These include cruciferous vegetables (such as cauliflower, cabbage, and Brussels sprouts), peanuts, and soy. Stress-reducing exercises such as yoga or tai chi can also be beneficial.

Getting Started

If you have a thyroid problem, make an appointment today. A custom-tailored treatment plan will be created to suit your individual needs so that you can feel better quickly and safely!

Schedule Now!