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Thyroid disease


Thyroid disease consists of hypothyroidism, a clinical consequence of deficient secretion by the thyroid gland, as well as hyperthyroidism, where an overproduction of thyroid hormone causes a state of thyrotoxicosis. The most common symptoms include tiredness, weight gain, constipation, aches, dry skin, lifeless hair and feeling cold. The symptoms of thyrotoxicosis include breathlessness, hyperactivity, palpitations, insomnia, emotional lability, nervousness, anxiety, irritability, fatigue, muscle weakness, exercise intolerance, diarrhoea, increased sweating, polyuria, thirst, generalised itch, increased appetite with weight loss or gain, infertility, and reduced libido and gynaecomastia in men. Complications include Graves’ ophthalmopathy; atrial fibrillation; congestive cardiac failure; thyrotoxic crisis; eclampsia, premature labour, and increased risk of miscarriage, low birth weight and neonatal thyrotoxicosis when it is untreated during pregnancy.


Acupuncture may help the thyroid disease in both hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism. The use of moxibustion disconnected from the skin by a layer of aconite herbal ‘cake’, together with levothyroxine, can probably improve the clinical symptoms and thyroid function in patients with Hashimoto’s thyroiditis. Also, acupuncture may be an alternative way to treat levothyroxine for subclinical hypothyroidism. Besides, acupuncture combined with acupressure may be effective for treating infiltrative exophthalmos. The addition of acupuncture to medication for hyperthyroid exophthalmos may not only enhance the therapeutic effects of medication but also reduce the side effects.







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