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Case Report: Acupuncture Treatment for Hypothyroidism

Authors:
  • Center for Traditional Chinese Medicine "Tong Da Tang" Skopje
  • Center for Traditional Chinese Medicine "Tong Da Tang" Skopje

Abstract and Figures

Background-Hypothyroidism is a condition in which the body lacks sufficient thyroid hormone. People with this condition have symptoms associated with a slow metabolism, tiredness, weight gain, constipation, dry skin, feeling cold and etc. [12] Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) regards hyperthyroidism and as Yin/Yang imbalances and often uses acupuncture, herbal medicine and dietary therapy to rebalance Yin and Yang. [8] Aim-The main purpose of doing this work is to show the most effective acupoints used in the acupuncture treatment of hypothyroidism in our practice and the results after the treatment. Methods-The patient is a 24 year old female diagnosed with Hashimoto hypothyroidism, an autoimmune thyroiditis. The treatments were done in the clinic for TCM and acupuncture in Skopje by a doctor specialist in acupuncture. The treatments were done every week for 3 years, when the TSH and T4 levels normalized. During the treatments she has done 7 analysis for thyroid. Results-From the first treatment made the levels of TSH. T4 and TPO hormones were gradually normalizing. The last results are from the analysis when she also made her last treatment-TSH=13.8 T4=2.8 TPO=<60. Conclusions-For condition such as hypothyroidism, acupuncture gives satisfying results and improves the condition significantly.
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From the first treatment made the levels of TSH and
T4 hormones were gradually normalizing.
Before the treatments, she was taking Eutirox 25mg
for four years until 13.12.2013. The doses were reduced
gradually until 29.04.2015 when she stopped taking the
Eutirox.
The last results are from analysis made on 14.11.2015
when she also made her last treatment - TSH=13.8
T4=2.8 TPO=<60
DU20 (BaiHui)
GB20 (FengChi)
DU14 (DaZhui)
ST9 (RenYing)
LI4 (HeGu)
BL15 (XinShu)
BL20 (PiShu)
BL23 (ShenShu),
DU4 (MingMen)
RN6 (QiHai)
RN4 (QuanYuan)
SP9 (YinLingQuan)
ST36 (ZuSanLi)
SP6 (SanYinJiao)
KI3 (TaiXi)
LR2 (TaiChong)
24 year old female diagnosed with Hashimoto
hypothyroidism
The first treatment was done on 10.03.2012 in the
clinic for Traditional Chinese Medicine and Acupuncture
in Skopje by specialist in acupuncture.
The treatments were done every week until
14.11.2015, when the TSH and T4 levels normalized
During the treatments she has done 7 analysis for
thyroid and the levels for TSH and T4 hormones were
normalizing, except the TPO levels were >1000.
Before the treatments, she was taking Eutirox 25mg
for four years. The doctors advised to increase the doses
of Eutirox, but she decided to stick to the acupuncture
and reduce the doses of Eutirox.
Hashimoto’s thyroiditis is characterized by the
production of immune cells and autoantibodies by the
body’s immune system, which can damage thyroid cells
and compromise their ability to make thyroid hormone.
In Chinese medicine, it is believed that this disease is
due to Qi stagnation, blood stasis and phlegm
accumulation in the neck.
Hypothyroidism is a condition in which the thyroid
gland does not produce enough hormones to help carry
out many bodily functions.
The thyroid produces two hormones, triiodothyronine
and thyroxine, which are carried through the
bloodstream and affect weight, metabolism, skin
moisture levels, breathing, brain development,
menstruation, cholesterol, muscle strength and other
essential functions.
The prevalence of overt hypothyroidism is 1.9% in
women and 0.1% in men.
Acupuncture as a treatment for hypothyroidism is an
effective method, although sometimes it takes more time
to feel the effect. For a serious condition such as
hypothyroidism, acupuncture treatment gives satisfying
results and can improve the condition significantly.
The main purpose of doing this work is to show the most
effective acupoints used in the acupuncture treatment of
hypothyroidism in our practice and the results after the
treatment.
PURPOSE
HASHIMOTO THYROIDITIS
BACKGROUND
CASE
CONCLUSION
1 Faculty of Medical Sciences, University Goce Delcev Shtip, Republic of Macedonia;
2 Institute of Biology, Faculty of Natural Sciences and Mathematics Skopje, Republic of Macedonia;
Blagica Arsovska², Jihe Zhu¹
CASE REPORT : ACUPUNCTURE TREATMENT FOR
HYPOTHYROIDISM
ACUPOINTS
The liver is responsible for detoxification and caused liver
Qi depression that leads to the creation of heat toxins in
the body. If the toxins are not eliminated properly, it can
make the immune system mistakenly recognize the
thyroid cells as foreign tissue. The immune system
produces the antibodies that may destroy the thyroid cells.
As a result, hypothyroidism occurs.
RESULTS
Table 1. Analysis and results for thyroid
hormones
Date T4 (9-21)
TSH (0,4
-
4,5)
TPO <60
30.08.2013 14,4 4,3 >1000
31.10.2013 16,5 2,85 >1000
13.12.2013 17,4 1,4 >1000
11.11.2014 14,4 3,51 >1000
19.02.2015 13,6 5,2 862
09.05.2015 (FT4) 1,2 4,2 (no record)
14.11.2015 13,8 2,8 <60
The tongue appears thick, pale and purple with a greasy
coating. These patients also have a deep and taut pulse
with a weakened kidney pulse. These conditions indicate
a disorder in the liver, spleen and kidney. The treatment
for these conditions is to detoxify the liver, strengthen the
kidney and spleen.
... Adding to its therapeutic effects, it has also been reported to be a credible preventative measure [7]. Delving in, according to TCM, hypothyroidism is classified into five typesheart Yang deficiency, kidney Qi deficiency, kidney Yang deficiency, spleen Qi deficiency and spleen Yang deficiency [8,9]. Although theoretical literature forms a solid ground of overwhelming evidence to support the use of acupuncture in hypothyroidism, the lack of clinical studies in this domain inhibits acupuncture from finding its footing here [10,11]. ...
... To the best of our knowledge, this is the first clinical study reporting the effect of Acupuncture and Fire Cupping on hypothyroidism with a follow-up period of 3 months. Arsovka et al. earlier reported reduction in the TSH, T4 and Thyroxine peroxidase (TO) levels in a case of Hashimoto hypothyroidism post-acupuncture [8]. However, our cases were not autoimmune as their TO levels were within normal limits which makes this case series as the first report on effects of acupuncture coupled with fire cupping in treating hypothyroidism. ...
Article
Hypothyroidism is one of the most common endocrine disorders linked to various systemic diseases ranging from obesity to cancers. The present line of management is insufficient as reports suggest that there is persistence of symptoms and poor adherence that makes the management of said disease challenging. Acupuncture and other Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) therapies are proven to alleviate endocrine dysfunctions. However, reports on acupuncture and cupping therapy on hypothyroidism are very scarce. Here, we report 5 cases of hypothyroid patients aged between 38-44 yrs who were treated with acupuncture and fire cupping for a period of three months. At the baseline, the patients presented with either a weak, wiry or vacuum pulse which represents spleen Qi deficiency. Further, they presented with elevated levels of Thyroid Stimulating Hormone (TSH), and higher Body Mass Index (BMI). Acupuncture treatment at ST36, LI4, SP6, and BL20 was given bilaterally whilst CV4, LR3, LR4, SP9, ST40, SP10, GV4, KI3, ST12, and SI17 were punctured unilaterally. At the end of the time period of three months, patients progressed to normal levels of TSH, reduction in BMI and had succeeded in tapering their medication doses. Supplementing this, the patients reported marked improvement in other symptoms like fatigue, hair loss, and cold feet post-treatment. The effects were consistent even during the three month follow-up period post-interventions. The results encourage the utilization of acupuncture and fire cupping in the management of hypothyroidism. However, large scale studies are warranted to strengthen this recommendation.
... [4] [5] The aim of the acupuncture treatment is to tonify the Qi and yang energy, manage the energy levels, reestablish the hormonal balance, reduce the TSH levels, regulate the immune system and resolve the external pathogens. [6] [7] METHODS Treated patient is a 29 year old woman diagnosed with hypothyroidism with TSH level 5,9 before the treatment. She has done 6 treatments with acupuncture, one treatment every week, except the third treatment was made after two weeks because of flu and high body temperature. ...
Article
Full-text available
Aim – The aim of this study is to show a case of a hypothyroidism, the results from the acupuncture treatment and the way it functions. Methods – Treated patient is a 29 year old woman diagnosed with hypothyroidism. She has done 6 treatments with acupuncture, one treatment every week, except the third treatment was made after two weeks because of flu and high body temperature. Treatments were done in a clinic for Traditional Chinese Medicine and acupuncture in Skopje, by a doctor specialist in acupuncture. The treated points are located on the meridians of Du mai, Ren mai, Liver, Large Intestine, Stomach, Spleen and Gall Bladder. Results – Before coming to the clinic the patients TSH level was 5,9 and after finishing the treatment the TSH level was returned to 4,6. The patient was experiencing extreme tiredness and low energy levels and after finishing the treatments her health was restored and all the associated symptoms were gone. We succeeded to get these positive results with only 6 treatments. Conclusion – The acupuncture treatment as part of the 5000 year old Traditional Chinese Medicine in this case of hypothyroidism is very successful treatment and gives very satisfying and positive results for a very short time.
Article
Focus Area: Integrative Approaches to Care Purpose: Subclinical hypothyroid disease (SHypo) is defined as having serum thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) concentration above the normal reference range while serum free thyroxine (FT4) and free triiodothyronine (FT3) are within reference range. It is estimated that 4% to 10% of the general population has subclinical hypothyroidism, increasing to 20% in women over 60 years of age. The current treatment recommendation for SHypo with TSH levels between 3 MIU/L and 5 mIU/L is to monitor levels every 6 to 12 months. Studies have shown that levothyroxine is not effective for this TSH group. Based on Hans Selye's general adaption theory (GAS), it is known that acute and chronic stress can affect thyroid function via the hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) and the hypothalamus-pituitary-thyroid (HPT) axes. Acupuncture can reduce the body's stress response and therefore should improve thyroid function. This research was conducted to determine if acupuncture is a viable treatment option for SHypo. Methods: Two cases were studied for replication. The female patients, aged 34 and 44 years, received 12 Japanese Meridian acupuncture constitutional treatments and moxibustion once per week. Serum TSH, FT4, FT3, salivary cortisol, Perceived Stress Scale–10 (PSS-10) were measured at pretreatment, mid-treatment, and posttreatment. Number of hypothyroid symptoms present (Zulewski index) were assessed prior to each treatment. All measurements were analyzed for changes over time and cross-case comparison. Results: Both patients had decreases in TSH and number of hypothyroid symptoms present and increases in total cortisol load and morning diurnal cortisol rhythm. Both patients reported improvements in bowel movements and menstruation. Conclusion: From this study, it can be theorized that acupuncture is a viable treatment option for SHypo; however, more rigorous larger-scale research studies need to be conducted to validate and extend these findings.
Article
This study included 27 female patients who applied for medical treatment of arthralgias and myalgias. They were found to have elevated levels of thyroid-stimulating hormone in conjunction with the normal concentrations of thyroid hormones. The therapeutic procedures included corporal and auricular acupuncture, introduction of needles into the reflexogenic scalp and wrist zones (depending on clinical symptoms) and into the thyroid gland projection zones on the skin, massage of paravertebral regions of the cervical and thoracic spine using a bone scraper (the Gua Sha healing technique). Twenty of the 27 patients completed two therapeutic courses with a 3-4 month interval between them. The treatment resulted in a significant decrease of the number and severity of the initial clinical symptoms; the levels of thyroid-stimulating hormone fell down to the physiological values, characteristics of the quality of life became comparable with those of healthy subjects. It is concluded that acupuncture may be regarded as an alternative to substitution therapy of subclinical hypothyroidism.
Thyroid disease; 2015; [www.acupuncture.org.uk] [3] British Acupuncture Council; Acupuncture and thyroid disease; Thyroid disease
  • British Acupuncture
  • Council
British Acupuncture Council; Thyroid disease; 2015; [www.acupuncture.org.uk] [3] British Acupuncture Council; Acupuncture and thyroid disease; Thyroid disease; March 2012/2013
Chinese Medicine - Hypothyroidism and Chinese Medicine
  • B Flaws
Flaws B.; Chinese Medicine - Hypothyroidism and Chinese Medicine; Townsend letter -December 2008