There are two types of thyroid disease; hypothyroidism, a lack of thyroid hormone production and hyperthyroidism, an overproduction of thyroid hormone.
Blood tests are often taken to measure levels of thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH), free T4 and free triiodothyronine (T3) levels.
Acupuncture for Thyroid Diseases
Acupuncture and Chinese herbs can both be used to help relieve symtpoms of hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism in conjunction with biomedical medication.
Research has shown that acupuncture treatment may specifically help in thyroid disease by:
- Increasing free thyroxine (FT4) and free tri-iodothyronine (FT3) levels in hypothyroidism
- Decreasing serum tri-iodothyronine (TT3), total thyroxine (TT4), free T3 (FT3) and free T4 (FT4) levels and increasing supersensitive thyrotropin (S-TSH) levels in hyperthyroidism
- Acting on areas of the brain known to reduce sensitivity to pain and stress, as well as promoting relaxation and deactivating the 'analytical' brain, which is responsible for anxiety and worry
- Increasing the release of adenosine, which has antinociceptive properties
- Improving muscle stiffness and joint mobility by increasing local microcirculation, which aids dispersal of swelling
- Reducing inflammation, by promoting release of vascular and immunomodulatory factors