Know Your Thyroid
Thyroid disorders have become more and more prevalent over the years. Advancement in medicine and blood testing has helped diagnose and treat hyperthyroidism (overactive) and hypothyroidism (underactive) earlier and more efficiently. The use of alternative medicine has also shown to be very effective in conjunction with western medicine and by itself depending on the cause and severity of the disorder.
Hyperthyroidism occurs when the thyroid gland produces too much thyroxine. There are many conditions that cause hyperthyroidism. For example, Grave’s disease is an autoimmune disorder and also one of the most common, but can also be caused from non-cancerous lumps and inflammation of the thyroid.
Typical hyperthyroid symptoms include: high blood pressure, heart palpitations, excessive sweating, aversion to heat, increased appetite, weight loss, loose stools, muscle atrophy and exopthalmos (bulging eyes).
Hypothyroidism occurs when the thyroid gland doesn’t produce enough thyroid hormone. Causes range from Hashimoto’s thyroiditis which is also an autoimmune disorder, radiation, thyroid surgery, medications, heredity and iodine deficiency.
Typical hypothyroid symptoms include: puffy face, thinning hair, hoarse voice, slowed speech, drooping eyelids, weight gain, constipation, intolerance to cold, body aches, dry hair and skin and depression.
TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine) has treated thyroid disorders for thousands of years with herbs, diet and acupuncture. Chinese medical theory is based on balance between Yin and Yang and in the case of hyper and hypothyroidism there is a severe imbalance between the two. We know that overproduction or underproduction of the thyroid hormone changes the body’s chemistry causing one of the two thyroid conditions. This same concept can be described in TCM. When there is a deficiency of Yin then Yang will overact due to the weakened Yin unable to balance and ground Yang and in turn manifest hyperthyroid symptoms. When Yang is deficient the body is unable to create the vital energy needed to warm, nourish and keep the body moving freely causing one to manifest hypothyroid symptoms.
Chinese herbs and acupuncture can help with many of the symptoms that accompany thyroid conditions. If you or a loved one is experiencing these symptoms or would like to see what else can be offered, please do not hesitate to call. All of us at Arizona Natural Medicine® revere the opportunity to provide all the different medical avenues to treat you as an individual.