According to the Thyroid Foundation of Canada, over 200 million people around the world suffer from a thyroid disorder. The thyroid gland is a small butterfly-shaped gland at the base of the neck which releases hormones that control the metabolism. They regulate important body functions such as breathing, heart rate, the central and peripheral systems, body weight, muscle strength, menstrual cycles, body temperature, cholesterol levels, and so many other functions.
There are two types of thyroid disorders, known as hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism. People with hyperthyroidism have an overactive thyroid gland that produces too much thyroid hormone. The side effects of this include high blood pressure, rapid heartbeat, increased sweating, nervousness, weight loss, diarrhea and/or frequent bowl movements. In contrast, hypothyroidism is caused by an under-active thyroid gland, and side effects can include a hoarse voice, puffy face, drooping eyelids, sensitivity to cold, weight gain, depression, constipation, and dry hair or skin.
The Pacific College of Oriental Medicine states that, “Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) regards both hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism as a Yin/Yang imbalance. When treating either condition, TCM will typically employ acupuncture, herbal medicine, and dietary therapy to rebalance an individual’s Yin and Yang.”
The Pacific College of Oriental Medicine also provides information from, “several studies [suggesting] that acupuncture and TCM can be beneficial in treating hypothyroidism. In one study at the Shanghai Medical University in China, 32 patients with hypothyroidism were treated for one year with a Chinese herbal preparation to stimulate the kidney meridian (energy channel). The results were compared with a control group of 34 people. The study found that the clinical symptoms of hypothyroidism were markedly improved, which confirmed that hypothyroidism is closely related to a deficiency in kidney energy.”
With all of the new research being done to look into different thyroid issues, it is important to recognize the symptoms and seek help if you believe you need it. Acupuncture and herbal medicine is a wonderful approach to reaching every symptom of these disorders, so call or stop by to see what we can do to help you!
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