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Wednesday, September 19, 2012

[AlternativeAnswers] Alternative Answers for Hypothyroidism

 

Good Morning!

Alternative Answers for Hypothyroidism

Primary Hypothyroidism, or under active thyroid gland, may cause a variety of symptoms and may affect all body functions. The body's normal rate of functioning slows, causing mental and physical sluggishness. The symptoms may vary from mild to severe, with the most severe form called myxedema, which is a medical emergency. The secretion of T3 and T4 is controlled by the pituitary gland and the hypothalamus. Thyroid disorders may result not only from defects in the thyroid gland itself, but also from abnormalities of the pituitary or hypothalamus.

The most common cause of Hypothyroidism is Hashimoto's Thyroiditis, a disease of the thyroid gland where the body's immune system attacks the gland. Failure of the pituitary gland to secrete a hormone to stimulate the thyroid gland (secondary Hypothyroidism) is a less common cause of Hypothyroidism. Other causes include congenital defects, surgical removal of the thyroid gland, irradiation of the gland, or inflammatory conditions.

A physical examination reveals delayed relaxation of muscles during tests of reflexes. Pale, yellow skin; loss of the outer edge of the eyebrows; thin and brittle hair; coarse facial features; brittle nails; firm swelling of the arms and legs; and mental dullness may be present. Vital signs may reveal slow heart rate, low blood pressure, and low body temperature.

A chest X-ray may reveal an enlarged heart.
A complete blood count (CBC) that shows anemia.

Laboratory tests to determine thyroid function include:
T4 test (low)
serum TSH (high in primary Hypothyroidism, low or low-normal in secondary Hypothyroidism)

Additional laboratory abnormalities may include:
increased Cholesterol levels
increased liver enzymes
increased serum prolactin
low serum sodium

Causes

The most common cause is Hashimoto's Thyroiditis. The thyroid is gradually destroyed, Hypothyroidism develops.

Subacute painless Thyroiditis and subacute painful Thyroiditis can both cause transient Hypothyroidism. The Hypothyroidism is transient because the thyroid is not destroyed.

Hypothyroidism can develop from complete lack of thyroid hormone production because of radioactive iodine or surgical removal of the thyroid gland, both of which are used to treat Hyperthyroidism and thyroid cancer.

Some causes of Hypothyroidism include some inherited disorders in which an abnormality of the enzymes in thyroid cells prevents the gland from making or secreting enough thyroid hormones. In other rare disorders, either the hypothalamus or the pituitary gland fails to secrete enough thyroid-stimulating hormone, which is necessary for normal stimulation of the thyroid.

Symptoms

Insufficient thyroid hormone causes body functions to slow. Symptoms are subtle and develop gradually. They may be mistaken for depression, especially among older people. Facial expressions become dull, the voice is hoarse and speech is slow, eyelids droop, and the eyes and face become puffy. Many people with Hypothyroidism gain weight, become constipated, and are unable to tolerate cold. The hair becomes sparse, coarse, and dry, and the skin becomes coarse, dry, scaly, and thick. Some people develop carpal tunnel syndrome, which makes the hands tingle or hurt.

Diagnosis

Usually Hypothyroidism can be diagnosed with one simple blood test: the measurement of thyroid-stimulating hormone. Many experts suggest that the test be performed at least every other year in people older than 55, because Hypothyroidism is so common among older people yet so difficult, in its mild stages, for doctors to distinguish from other disorders that affect people in this age group.

In those rare cases of Hypothyroidism caused by inadequate secretion of thyroid-stimulating hormone, a second blood test is needed to measure the level of the thyroid hormone T4 that is not bound by protein (free). A low level confirms the diagnosis of Hypothyroidism. A total T4 and/or Free T4, and a Total T3 and/or Free T3 should be run in addition to a TSH. (Many doctors use the T3 uptake test, but it is not a direct test of T3 levels, and can be influenced by other hormones.

The T7 test or Free T4 Index is a calculated test and of little value. Then get the actual value of your blood tests and compare them with the lab reference ranges. The lab reference ranges are very wide, and you might not feel well with low normal results. Some doctors realize this, and you might be able to talk him/her into a trial of thyroid hormone with low normal lab values. Often, thyroid antibodies tests and TRH stimulation test are abnormal even when blood tests are within reference ranges.

A TRH stimulation test measures one form of secondary Hypothyroidism, originating in the pituitary gland.

Treatment

Treatment involves replacing thyroid hormone using one of several oral preparations. The preferred form of hormone replacement is synthetic T4. Another form, desiccated (dried) thyroid, is obtained from the thyroid glands of animals. In general, desiccated thyroid is less satisfactory than synthetic T4 because the content of thyroid hormones in the tablets may vary. In emergencies, such as myxedema coma, doctors may give synthetic T4, T3, or both intravenously. Treatment begins with small doses of thyroid hormone, because too large a dose can cause serious side effects, although large doses may be necessary. The starting dose and the rate of increase are especially small in older people, who are often most at risk of side effects. The dose is gradually increased until the levels of thyroid-stimulating hormone in the person's blood return to normal.

Homeopathy

Argentum nitricum is an excellent homeopathic remedy for people who are extremely anxious. They are usually open, outgoing, talkative, and very likeable. They sometimes have so much mental energy pouring out that they find it difficult to not say too much. They often have a very strong desire for sweets and can have a terrible aggravation after ingesting them. They can have considerable anticipatory anxiety, fears about their health, and often extreme claustrophobia, fear of elevators, bridges, high places, and corners.

Vitamin/Supplement Therapy

The first way to combat low thyroid hormones is by avoiding goitrogenic foods like soybeans, peanuts, millet, turnips, cabbage and mustard. These foods block the thyroid from using iodine, an element vital for thyroid hormone production.

Kelp, for the mineral content, is very beneficial, especially the iodine, and tyrosine, since T3 and T4 both are made from tyrosine.

Everyone should take a basic multivitamin, including C, E, Vitamin D, Zinc, all the B Vitamins and beta-carotene for Vitamin A. Balanced minerals are crucial for proper function of the whole body and are also central to thyroid hormone synthesis.

Thyrolar provides both T3 and T4 hormones. Once the body begins to get normal amounts of these hormones, symptoms will disappear. After that, periodic blood tests should be done to determine if the dosage is correct.

Fulvic Acid (not to be confused with folic acid - B vitamin) can prevent and treat thyroid disease including Hypothyroidism; Hyperthyroidism, Graves Diesease and Wilson�s Syndrome, plus many other conditions. Outpatient medical hospital studies on overactivethyroid had a 90.9% cure rate within a six month period when patients were treated with fulvic acid medication (Yan, Shenyan; Tongren Hospital, Beijing: Fulvic Acid, 4 (1988).

Thyroid malfunction, both overactive and underactive, is generally due to autoimmune response by the body generally caused by a build up of dangerous toxins, chlorinated substances, viruses, pathogens, infections, pesticides, altered enzymes or hormones in the tissues of the thyroid gland.

Stress Relief:

Journaling can be a wonderful release as well as reflection on the events and moments in our lives. I have found it to be great therapy and can lend itself to great expression without reservation. I suggested the patient start writing in a journal. This took him 4 weeks to buy and another three weeks to finally write in it.

Exercise: Regular exercise helps your body lower blood sugars, promotes weight loss, reduces stress and enhances overall fitness.

Meditation and visualization techniques are very helpful in order to see the big picture, work on reducing Stress levels and calming the mind.

Traditional Chinese Medicine

A chronic lack of iodine in the diet is the most common cause of Hypothyroidism in many developing countries. This is less evident in the United States because iodine is added to table salt; iodine is also present in dairy products. Some causes of Hypothyroidism include some inherited disorders or Kidney Jing deficiency in which essence from both parents is not strong during conception. Other patterns include Qi Stagnation which leads to Blood Stasis, Blood Deficiency or Phlegm patterns.

TCM Patterns

Kidney Jing Deficiency

Slow mental/physical development in children, late or incomplete fontanel closure in infants, poor skeletal development, brittle bones, soreness and weakness of the lumbar region and knees, mental retardation, poor memory, premature aging and senility, dizziness, deafness, tinnitus, low sex drive, infertility, premature graying and hair loss. Tongue varies (Deficient Yin or Yang) Usually yin is more deficient, and a red, peeled tongue is more evident.

Treatment principle: Tonify kd jing and essence.

Acupuncture treatment
Points: Kd 3, 6, Ren 3,4 7, Ub 23, Sp 6, Ht 6

Formula: Zuo Gui Yin

Qi Stagnation

distention, distending pain that moves from place to place, hypochondrium pain, epigastric pain, throat, abdomen discomfort, abdominal masses that appear and disappear, mental depression, irritability, frequent mood swings, frequent sighing, high Stress levels and emotional issues. The pulse is thready, slow and short, entering and exiting with difficulty, knotted rapid with irregular beats. Tongue: can be normal with thin white coat or slightly purple.

Treatment principle: tonify Qi

Acupuncture treatment
Points: Ren 2,3,4, 6, 17, Lv 2, 3, 13, 14, LI 4

Formula: Chai Hu Shu Gan San

Blood Stasis

Abdominal pain (fixed) with hardenings, hypochondriac pain (sharp, stabbing), irritable, Indigestion, Constipation. Pulse: wiry ortaut and hesitant; Tongue: purple with spots on the side.

Treatment principle: move blood

Acupuncture treatment
Points: SP 10, Ub 17, Ren 17, Lv 3, LI 4

Formula: Tao He Cheng Qi Tang

Blood Deficiency

Pale complexion, pale lips, thin skin, dry, pale cracked skin, palpitations and irritability, insomnia, poor memory, sensation in the chest, hiccups, sudden loss of voice, convulsions, frequent sorrow without any obvious causes, abnormal joy or rage, unreasonable suspicion or fear, thin white tongue or dry coating, wiry and thin pulse.

Treatment principle: tonify blood

Acupuncture treatment
Points: Sp 6, 8, 10, UB 17, ST 36, Ren 6

Formula: Si Wu Tang

Phlegm

Phlegm mainly arises from Spleen Deficiency as it fails to transform and transport body fluid. Lung and Kidney can also be involved if Lungs fail to disperse and lower fluids and if the kidneys fail to transform and excrete fluids, they can then accumulate into Phlegm. There are 2 types: substantial, which can be seen (phlegm), and non-substantial, which can't be seen (rheum). Excessive consumption of greasy foods and/or cold and raw foods can contribute to this condition.

Treatment principle: clear and resolve phlegm

Acupuncture treatment
Points: Ren 22, ST 40, LI 4

Formula: Ba Xin Tang

RESEARCH

Acupuncture & Hypothyroidism

Acupuncture has traditionally been successfully employed in China to treat most illnesses and there is little doubt that acupuncture is an excellent therapy for people suffering with this condition. There are several studies suggesting that acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine can be very helpful in the treatment of Hypothyroidism. For instance, in a study at the Shanghai Medical University in China, 32 patients with Hypothyroidism were treated over a period of one year with a Chinese herbal preparation to stimulate the kidney meridian (energy channel).

The results were compared with a control group of 34 people. At the end of the study, the clinical symptoms of Hypothyroidism were reported to be markedly improved confirming that Hypothyroidism is closely related to deficiency of kidney energy. (1)

(1) Relation of Hypothyroidism and deficiency of kidney yang Zha LL, Inst. of the Integr. of TCM-WM Med., Shanghai Med. Univ. Chung Kuo Chung Hsi I Chieh Ho Tsa Chih (CHINA) Apr 1993, 13 (4) p202-4,195

Traditional Chinese Medicine & Hypothyroidism

Traditional Chinese herbal medicine has been shown to offer an effective alternative treatment for people suffering from hypothyroidism (an under-functioning thyroid gland). In a study at the Shanghai Medical University in China, 66 patients with hypothyroidism were monitored over a period of one year.

32 patients were treated with a Chinese herbal preparation to stimulate the kidney meridian (energy channel) and their results were compared with a control group made up of the other 34 patients.At the end of the study, the clinical symptoms of hypothyroidism were reported to be markedly improved in the TCM group confirming that Traditional Chinese herbal medicine can offer real help in its treatment and suggesting that hypothyroidism is closely related to deficiency of kidney energy.

Relation of Hypothyroidism and deficiency of kidney yang Zha LL, Inst. of the Integr. Of TCM-WM Med., Shanghai Med. Univ. Chung Kuo Chung Hsi I Chieh Ho Tsa Chih (CHINA) Apr 1993, 13 (4) p202-4,195

Andrew Pacholyk, MS, L.Ac.
http://www.peacefulmind.com
Therapies for healing
mind, body, spirit

REFERENCES

1. Kuang Ankun, Din Tin, et al., Clinical observation of hypo- and hyper-thyroidism treated with traditional Chinese medicine and changes of plasma cyclonucleotides, Journal of Traditional Chinese Medicine 1980, 21 (11).
2. Li Changdu and Li Peili, Treatment of Hypothyroidism with Chinese Herbs, Journal of Guiyang Traditional Chinese Medicine College 1990, 1.
3. Kuang An-kun, et al., The relationship between the therapeutic effect of TCM on primary Hypothyroidism and nuclear T3 receptors in lymphocytes, Chinese Journal of Integrated Traditional and Western Medicine 1988, 8(11).
4. Chen MD, et al., Influence of Yang-restoring herb medicines upon metabolism of thyroid hormone in normal rats and a drug administration schedule, Chinese Journal of Integrated Traditional and Western Medicine, 9(2), 1989.
5. Golden, R, Clinical experience at Guangzhou Hospital for Traditional Chinese Medicine, Journal of the American College of Traditional Chinese Medicine. 1989, 7(1-2).
6. Guo Xiaozong, et al., Acupuncture treatment of benign thyroid nodules: clinical observation of 65 cases, Journal of Traditional Chinese Medicine [English] 1984, 4(4).
7. McCarty, M.F. Chromium and other Insulin sensitizers may enhance glucagon secretion: implications for Hypoglycemia and weight control. Med. Hypotheses 1996; 46(2): 77-80.
8. Mithieux, G. New data and concepts on glutamine and glucose metabolism in the gut. Curr. Opin. Clin. Nutr. Metab. Care 2001 Jul; 4(4): 267-71.
9. Croset, M., Rajas, F., Zitoun, C., Hurot, J.M., Montano, S., Mithieux, G. Rat small intestine is an Insulin-sensitive gluconeogenic organ. Diabetes 2001 Apr; 50(4): 740-6.
10. Geng, M.-Y. et al. Protective effects of pyridoxal phosphate against glucose deprivation- induced damage in cultured hippocampal neurons. J. Neurochem. 1997; 68(6): 2500-6.
11. Pearson, D., Shaw, S. Preventing Hypoglycemia. Anti-Aging News 1982 Jan; 2(1): 6-7. Ryder, J.W., Portocarrero, C.P., Song, X.M., Cui, L., Yu, M., Combatsiaris, T., Galuska, D., Bauman, D.E., Barbano, D.M., Charron, M.J., Zierath, J.R., Houseknecht, K.L.
12. Isomer-specific antidiabetic properties of conjugated linoleic acid. Improved glucose tolerance, skeletal muscle Insulin action, and UCP-2 gene expression. Diabetes 2001 May; 50(5): 1149-57.
13. Houseknecht, K.L., Vanden Heuvel, J.P., Moya-Camarena, S.Y., Portocarrero, C.P., Peck, L.W., Nickel, K.P., Belury, M.A. Dietary conjugated linoleic acid normalizes impaired glucose tolerance in the Zucker Diabetic fatty fa/fa rat. Biochem. Biophys. Res. Commun. 1998 Jun 29; 247(3): 911.
14. Stumvoll, M., Perriello, G., Meyer, C., Gerich, J. Role of glutamine in human carbohydrate metabolism in kidney and other tissues. Kidney Int. 1999 Mar; 55(3): 778-92.
15. Utiger RD (2001). Hypothyroidism section of The thyroid: Physiology, thyrotoxicosis, Hypothyroidism, and the painful thyroid chapter. In P Felig, L Frohman, eds., Endocrinology and Metabolism, 4th ed., pp.315�329. New York: McGraw-Hill.
16. Larsen PR, et al. (1998). The thyroid gland. In JD Wilson et al., eds., Williams Textbook of Endocrinology, 9th ed., pp. 389�515. Philadelphia: W.B. Saunders.Utiger RD (1999). Maternal Hypothyroidism and fetal development. New England Journal of Medicine, 341(8): 601�602
17. Hershman JM, Singh N (2002). Hypothyroidism. In RE Rakel, DT Bope, eds., Conn�s Current Therapy, pp. 646�648. Philadelphia: W.B. Saunders.
18. American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) (2001). Thyroid disease in Pregnancy (2001). ACOG Practice Bulletin No. 32, 98(5): 879�888.
19. Ladenson PW, et al. (2000). American Thyroid Association guidelines for detection of thyroid dysfunction. Archives of Internal Medicine, 160: 1573�1575.
20. Singh N, et al. (2000). Effects of calcium carbonate on the absorption of levothyroxine. JAMA, 283(21): 2822�2825.

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