The Problem of Hyperthyrodism
The thyroid is a small, butterfly-shaped gland found near the base of the neck. It is responsible for producing thyroid hormone, which regulates many important metabolic processes throughout the body. A deficiency in the production of thyroid hormone is known as hypothyroidism. Receptors for thyroid hormones are found throughout most of the cells throughout the body so low thyroid hormone affects multiple metabolic processes.The most common cause is an autoimmune disease induced through chronic inflammation of the thyroid gland, also known as Hashimoto’s thyroiditis. This occurs most commonly in women.
The Treatment of Hypothyroidism
In Chinese medicine low thyroid function is seen as kidney essence exhaustion. Menopause and/or chronic stress can use up the body’s hormone reserve leading to depletion of Jing or Kidney essence. Chinese herbal adaptogenic herbal tonics can help to nourish the kidney system and regulate the endocrine system without the harmful side effects of hormone replacement. Yin and Yang also needs to be balanced, stress levels reduced and this is where acupuncture plays an important role in resetting the yin and yang balance, parasympathetic and sympathetic relationship. Without a way to reset the automatic flight or flight response to chronic stress it is very difficult to make progress with hypothyroid conditions. A program of acupuncture, nourishing herbal tonics and nutritional therapies is recommended along with blood chemistry lab tests to track progress.
Symptoms of Hypothyroidism
Muscle or joint aches and sensitivity to cold
Depression or irritability
Constipation, hair loss, memory loss
Decreased sex drive