SAFE AND EFFECTIVE TREATMENTS FOR THYROID DISORDERS WITH CHINESE MEIDCINE
Thyroid disorders are becoming more common in recent years. There are two main thyroid disorders: hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism.
Hyperthyroidism is a condition in which the thyroid gland is overactive and produces too much thyroid hormone. Typical symptoms of hyperthyroidism include: high blood pressure; fast heartbeat; moist skin; increased sweating; tremor; nervousness; increased appetite with weight loss; diarrhea and/or frequent bowel movements; weakness; eyes that seem to bulge out of their sockets; and sensitivity of the eyes to light. According to Chinese Medicine, hyperthyroidism is due to Yin deficiency with empty heat. If it is focused on Kidney yin deficiency, patients may have more symptoms ; irregular period or amenorrhea (for women); impotence or low sex drive (for men); weakness of the knees and lower back; a red tongue body without coating, and a deep, thin, rapid pulse.
Three patterns of Yin Deficiency are differentiated for hyperthyroidism: Kidney Yin Deficiency with Excess Heat; Heart/Liver Yin Deficiency; and Heart/Kidney Yin Deficiency. In the pattern of Kidney Yin Deficiency with Excess Heat, typical symptoms are: enlarged, soft, smooth thyroid; anxiety; anger; aversion to heat; flushed, warm face; dry mouth with a bitter taste; increased appetite; bulging eyes; tremor; increased volume of bowel movements, a red tongue body with a dry, yellow coating; and a wiry, rapid pulse. In the pattern of Yin Deficiency with Heart and Liver Deficiency, the symptoms are: enlarged, swollen, soft, smooth thyroid; heart palpitations; anxiety; insomnia; increased appetite with weight loss; dry throat; a red tongue body with a yellow tongue coating or no coating; and a thin, rapid pulse. In the pattern of Yin Deficiency with Heart and Kidney Deficiency, common symptoms are: enlarged, swollen thyroid; hand tremors; dry mouth and eyes; heart palpitations; increased appetite; irregular period or amenorrhea (for women); impotence or low sex drive (for men); weakness of the knees and lower back; a red tongue body without coating, and a deep, thin, rapid pulse. Rehmannia (shu di huang), dioscorea (shan yao), and cornus (shan zhu yu) are leading herbs for treating Yin Deficiency. Kidney Yin Tonic (Liu Wei Di Huang Wan) is the herbal formula most commonly used for the symptoms of hyperthyroidism. Other herbal formulas, such as Liver Cleansing (Zhi Zi Qing Gan Tang) and Heart Yin Tonic (Tian Wang Bu Xin Dan) are also used, depending on the specific pattern. A traditional recipe for dietary therapy of Yin Deficiency is as follows: to three cups of water, add tremella (silver ear fungus), 10g; black fungus (black ear mushroom), 10g; and rock-type sugar, 30g. Cook for one hour. Eat one serving a day.
Hypothyroidism is a condition in which the thyroid gland is under- active and produces too little thyroid hormone. Typical symptoms of hypothyroidism include: hoarse voice; slowed speech; puffy face; drooping eyelids; intolerance of cold conditions; constipation; weight gain; dry hair; dry skin; and depression. Two patterns of Yang Deficiency are differentiated for hypothyroidism: Spleen/Kidney Deficiency, and Heart/Kidney Deficiency. In the pattern of Yang Deficiency with Spleen and Kidney Deficiency, the key symptoms are: lassitude; sleepiness; poor memory; dizziness; ringing in the ears (tinnitus); weakness of the lower back and knees; aversion to cold; dry skin; dry hair; constipation; edema; impotence (men); irregular periods (women); pale, puffy tongue body with tooth marks along the edge; white, sticky tongue coating; and a pulse that is deep and thin or deep and slow. In the pattern of Yang Deficiency with Heart and Kidney Deficiency, the characteristic symptoms are: heart palpitations; chest congestion and pain; sleepiness; feeling cold; pale, tender tongue body with a white, slippery coating; and a deep, slow pulse.
Cinnamon (rou gui) and aconite (fu zi) are very useful herbs for treating Yang Deficiency. Kidney Yang Tonic (Jin Gui Shen Qi Wan) is the leading herbal formula for treating the symptoms of hypothyroidism. Formulas such as Right Restoration Formula (You Gui Wan) are also widely used.
A classical recipe for Yang Deficiency is also very appropriate for hypothyroidism: add pepper, 3g; ginger, 20g; and tangerine peel, 10g to about half a pound of fresh carp. Cook with an appropriate amount of water, and simmer for one hour over a low flame. Eat three servings a week.