Treating Thyroid Problems with Natural Medicine
Thyroid problems are very common in the United States. The thyroid hormone influences almost all of the metabolic processes in your body. This is why symptoms from thyroid problems can be confusing to diagnose. A patient may have symptoms, which vary with the severity of the thyroid hormone deficiency and the length of time the body has been deprived of the proper amount of the hormone. Some patients will have one of these symptoms as their main complaint, while another will not have that problem and will be suffering from a different symptom. Most will have a combination of a number of these symptoms. Occasionally, some patients with hypothyroidism have no symptoms at all, or the symptoms are just too subtle and go unnoticed.
Hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism symptoms
Common thyroid problems involve abnormal production of thyroid hormones. Either too much of this thyroid hormone (hyperthyroidism) cause symptoms related to high metabolism in the body, or insufficient hormone production (hypothyroidism) leads to opposite symptoms, low body metabolism.
The symptoms caused from hyperthyroidism are palpitation, heat intolerance, nervousness, insomnia, shortness of breath, weight loss, or weight gain depends on individual, fatigue, over eating, irregular menses, irregular bowel movement, excessive sweating, tremors, even bulging eye and more.
But the most common thyroid problem is hypothyroidism, which causes some of these symptoms including lethargy, low temperature, slow heart rate, slower mental processes, depressed mood, increased sensitivity to cold, tingling or numbness in the hands, constipation, heavy menstrual periods, or irregular menses, muscle ache or cramps, libido, or dry skin and hair, and more.
The causes of hypothyroidism can be varying. From a Western medicine point of view, it can be from inflammation of the thyroid gland (may be virus or bacterial infection, but mostly virus), or autoimmune disease, called Hashimoto’s disease. In some cases, hypothyroidism can be caused by over treated hyperthyroidism. This is why natural medicine should be the first choice before going to conventional medicine. The majority of patients after diagnosed with hypothyroidism take medication prescribed by their doctors. This means they will be taking thyroid medication for their life time. The disadvantage of this treatment is that they need to be monitored periodically in order to get the right level of thyroid hormone in the blood. If the level is too high or too low, the body metabolism can be affected.
Deficiency of Yang energy
From an Eastern medical explanation, low thyroid function is caused by a deficiency of Yang energy of the kidney and spleen. By supporting the kidney and spleen Yang, and balancing all organ team work, patients can have dramatic improvement and live a long time. Many of them can be completely cured. This can be achieved from acupuncture treatment, or combined with Chinese herbal medicine, or combined with Medical Tui Na therapy, or combined with exercise and change of diet. The outcome varies from patient to patient, some respond quicker than others; it depends on how long, how severe, or if there are other complications.
From years of clinical experience, I discovered that some people who have hypothyroidism also had a previous car accident or other injuries. Most doctors don’t make the connection between an accident and illness. But these injuries can cause blockage in the energy pathway; this energy pathway has a close relationship with the nervous system, lymphatic system, blood system, which are keys to our health and disease. For example, if there is blockage from a whiplash, the cervical area blockage affects the nerve impulse, which can affect the thyroid gland. The thyroid gland experiences poor energy and poor blood circulation, which decreases the function. I call this “lazy thyroid”.
When I perform treatments, my focus is to unblock these pathways, improve the circulation in the cervical and other related areas, so the thyroid function can be fully restored. Not only does the thyroid gland become normal, all other symptoms become normal after the treatment. People who get treatments with natural medicine can avoid a life time of using thyroid medication. Unfortunately, many people are not aware that natural therapy is available, even the medical professional is not aware.
Using Chinese herbal medicine
Do not take Chinese herbal medicine unless you have the expertise of an experienced traditional Chinese medicine practitioner who can evaluate your condition. Chinese herbal medicine is not that simple; it needs to be crafted to individual use.
Some people worry that they might develop thyroid cancer if they don’t take thyroid medication. This worry is unnecessary; it is just wasting your energy. If you do preventive work to keep the energy channel open, keep your organ harmony, your chance of cancer is very small. Regarding cancer prevention and healing, please refer to my book Simple Chinese Medicine—A Beginner’s Guide to Natural Healing & Well Being, published by YMAA, 2009