Problems with the thyroid can be put into two categories. Hyperthyroidism is a result of an overactive thyroid gland that produces too much thyroid hormone. Symptoms of images.jpghyperthyroidism can include rapid heartbeat, high blood pressure, increased sweating, nervousness, increased appetite with weight loss, and frequent bowel movements. Hypothyroidism is the opposite and is due to an under-active thyroid gland. Symptoms of hypothyroidism can include slowed speech, puffy face, drooping eyelids, sensitivity to cold, constipation, weight gain, dry hair and skin, and depression.

Traditional Chinese Medicine regards both hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism as a Yin/Yang imbalance.

Hyperthyroidism can be seen as an excess of Yang energy and/or a deficiency in Yin energy, while hypothyroidism is usually due to a deficiency in Yang energy. Acupuncture, herbal medicine, and dietary therapy can all be used to re-balance an individual’s Yin and Yang.

The World Health Organisation lists acupuncture as a possible method of treatment for thyroid diseases. The Shanghai Medical University in China did a study of 32 patients with hypothyroidism*. In the study, the patients were treated for a year with a Chinese herbal preparation to stimulate the Kidney meridian. The results were compared with a control group of 34 people. The study found that the clinical symptoms of hypothyroidism improved substantially, which confirmed that the disease is closely related to a deficiency in Kidney energy. Acupuncture as well has a tremendous capacity to help boost naturally the Kidney energy in the body.

*Relation of hypothyroidism and deficiency of kidney yang. Zha LL, Inst. of the Integr. of TCM-WM med., Shanghai Med. Univ. Chung Kuo Chung Hsi I Chieh Ho Tsa Chih (China) Apr 1993, 13 (4) p202-4

Dietary recommendations for Hypothyroidism

  • Include in the diet molasses, egg yolks, parsley, apricots, dates, and prunes. Eat fish and chicken and raw milk and cheeses.
  • Eat these foods in moderation: Brussels sprouts, peaches, pears, spinach, turnips, cabbage, broccoli, kale, and mustard greens. If symptoms are severe, omit these foods entirely as they may further suppress thyroid function.
  • Avoid processed and refined foods, including white sugar and flour.
  • Avoid fluoride and chlorine as they can block iodine receptors in the thyroid gland, resulting in reduced iodine-containing hormone production and finally in hypothyroidism.

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