Thyroid disease is defined as a condition of malfunction of thyroid. Hyperthyroidism is a condition in which the thyroid gland is over active and produces too much thyroid hormones. Hypothyroidism is a condition in which the thyroid gland is under active and produces very little thyroid hormones. Thyroid cancer is defined as condition in which the cells in the thyroid gland have become cancerous.
Hashimoto’s thyroiditis (chronic lymphocytic thyroiditis)
Hashimoto’s thyroiditis is an autoimmune disease in which the immune system attacks the thyroid gland of that mostly often leads an underactive thyroid gland (hypothyroidism). According to the study by the University of Pisa, Women with Hashimoto’s thyroiditis (HT) suffer from a high symptom load independently from hypothyroidism, which results just a contributing factor to the development of the clinical syndrome. In agreement with these results, we recently reported on the presence of symptoms and signs consistent with fibromyalgia (FM) in patients with HT regardless thyroid dysfunction, focusing to the weight of anti-thyroid autoimmunity in the HT-associated clinical syndrome(a).
B.2. In traditional Chinese Medicine
1. Aconite cake-separated moxibustion and option the better therapeutic program
In the study to explore the effects on thyroid function in patients of Hashimoto’s thyroiditis treated with aconite cake-separated moxibustion and option the better therapeutic program with eighty-five cases randomly divided into a moxibustion group (42 cases) and a western medication group (43 cases). The moxibustion group was treated by aconite cake-separated moxibustion therapy with acupoints of two groups [(1) Danzhong (CV 17), Zhongwan (CV 12), Guanyuan (CV 4); (2) Dazhui (GV 14), Shenshu (BL 23), Mingmen (GV 4)] alternatively and oral administration of 25 microg Euthyrox everyday. The western medication group was oral administration of 25 microg Euthyrox everyday, showed that aconite cake-separated moxibustion at Guanyuan (CV 4) and Mingmen (GV 4) combined with oral administration of Euthyrox can improve clinical symptoms and thyroid function in patients of Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, which is better than simple oral administration of Euthyrox (levothyroxine)(35).
2. Brown seaweed Sargassum
For nearly 2000 years Sargassum spp., a brown seaweed, has been used in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) to treat a variety of diseases including thyroid disease (e.g. goitre). In the study to assess the scientific evidence for therapeutic claims made for Sargassum spp. in TCM and to identify future research needs, showed that the bioactive compounds in Sargassum spp. appear to play a role as immunomodulators and could be useful in the treatment of thyroid related diseases such as Hashimoto’s thyroiditis. Further research is required to determine both the preventative and therapeutic role of Sargassum spp. in thyroid health(36).
3. Syndromes of TCM
In the study to analyse the thyroid and immune functions of the patients, and their relationship with the syndromes of TCM. The results showed that, in the patients with Yin deficiency syndrome, the contents of total T4, T3 were higher than normal and TSH lower than normal, while in Yang deficient patients, the contents of total T4, T3 were lower than normal and TSH higher than normal. This results suggested that the states of thyroid functions were closely related to the TCM syndromes. It was also found that the percentage of OKT 4+ cells and the self-recognizing ability of lymphocytes were lower than normal in patients with hyperthyroidism and Yin deficiency. While in patients with hypothyroidism and Yang deficiency, they were higher than normal. These meant that the abilities of lymphocyte autoreaction in Yin deficient patients were in contrary tendency with those in Yang deficient patients. The former had the manifestation of over-inhibition while the latter, hyperaction. Besides, the contents of auto-antibodies were higher than normal in both the patients with hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism, which manifested itself as a common character of autoimmune thyroid diseases. The results indicated that there were common characters as well as individual characters of thyroid and immune functions between hyperthyroid patients and hypothyroid patients, and these characters might well be the material bases of various syndromes in TCM(37).
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