Millions of Americans have thyroid conditions from genetic predisposition, years of stress, and compounded by the toll of pollution in our air, food, and water.
If you suspect that your thyroid function is low, consider Acupuncture and custom Chinese herbal formulas to boost your energy, regulate sleep patterns, and restore hormonal balance.
The health of your thyroid gland truly makes or breaks your daily energy level, the ability to sustain a healthy weight for your frame, overall metabolic function, and can even affect your emotional life (if thyroid function is low, depression can result; if thyroid function is high, anxiety can result).
In Western medicine, it has two differentiations – primary and secondary, of which the former is the most common. Primary hypothyroidism is thought of as an autoimmune disease induced through chronic inflammation of the thyroid gland, also known as Hashimoto’s thyroiditis. This variety occurs most commonly in women. Secondary hypothyroidism is caused by failure of the hypothalamus to regulate the thyroid gland, or lack of secretion of thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) from the pituitary gland. Low levels of TSH exist in secondary hypothyroidism, whereas very high levels of TSH characterize primary hypothyroidism due to the fact that there is no feedback inhibition of the pituitary gland.
Common symptoms of low thyroid function
- Severe fatigue
- Weight gain
- Dry skin, brittle nails
- Brittle hair
- Itchy scalp
- Hair loss
- Sensitivity to cold
- Lower body temperature
- Low libido
- Puffiness in face and extremities
- Allergies that suddenly appear or get worse
- Persistent cold sores, boils or breakouts
- Tingling sensation in wrist/hands
- Memory loss
- Fuzzy thinking
- Slowness or slurring of speech
- Appearance of a goiter
Several things can cause your body to have too much thyroid hormone. Your thyroid gland may be producing too much. A virus can cause inflammation of the thyroid, which leads to a temporary increase in thyroid hormone levels. Taking too much thyroid medicine or getting too much iodine in your diet also can cause subclinical hyperthyroidism.
Common symptoms of high thyroid function
- Frequent bowel movements
- Fatigue or feeling tired
- Feeling nervous
- Unable to tolerate heat
- Increased sweating
- Increased appetite
- Racing or rapidly beating heart
- Losing weight without trying
- Hair loss or balding
- Hand tremor
- Lack of menstrual periods in women
- Sleep problems
If we utilize both Western and Eastern methods of healing there exist many options for treating and even curing hormone imbalances.
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.
Low thyroid function is one aspect, but adrenal function, reproductive hormones, the pituitary and hypothalamus, and so on, each play a critical role in proper metabolic rate and homeostasis.
The entire human system must be in balance for successful utilization of thyroid hormone. The key here is an integrative approach to balance and optimal wellness, for which ancient Chinese healing practices are world-renowned.