By Dr. Hyun K. Lee
My last article discussed a condition known as hyperthyroidism or “overactive thyroid.” This article will discuss the opposite condition, hypothyroidism.
Hypothyroidism is a condition in which the thyroid gland is not producing enough thyroid hormones. Thyroid hormones are responsible for maintaining metabolism and the rate of energy throughout the body. The lack of energy creates a host of bothersome problems.
Common complaints and symptoms of hypothyroidism are: feeling tired, chronic fatigue syndrome, feeling cold easily, muscle spasms/shaking, weight increase, dry skin and hair, hair loss, husky or hoarse sounding voice, lower heartbeat, depression and other emotional complaints, facial edema, constipation, migraines, and menstruation pains for women. Typically, women seem to have more of a problem with hypothyroidism than men do.
The reason for this condition is the opposite reason we discussed in my last article. Instead of high yang energy throughout the organs in the body, high yin energy is responsible. Yin is the energy associated with inactivity. It needs to be in perfect balance with yang energy (which is associated with activity) to create a healthful atmosphere and proper circulation. When yin energy is too high and circulation is poor, toxins stay in the body which cause the symptoms mentioned and a variety of other diseases.
Korean Constitutional treatment of hypothyroidism concentrates on rebuilding the yang energy in each organ. For symptoms of constipation, the intestines need balancing. For coldness, the lung and heart energies need building. For muscle spasms/shaking, the liver energy needs to be balanced. For weight gain, we address the digestion energy. For dry skin, hair problems, and vocal issues, the lung energy needs balancing. For a slow heartbeat, we look towards the heart, and we also balance that area and the lung energy to assist with depression and emotional problems. All of these areas can be treated with acupuncture and herbs.
While seeking treatment, patients will need to remain on their hormone medication if they have begun taking it. Then, as treatment progresses, a tapering off is recommended. After that your hormone production should return to normal and there will be no further need to supplement your hormones.
In most cases, hypothyroidism is a lifetime condition. It is fortunate that through means of Korean Constitutional Medicine it can be corrected naturally so that you may live a freer, healthier, happier life.
Dr. Lee’s office is located in the Viborg Medical Center, 2030 Viborg Road, Solvang. The clinic is held every Wednesday only. Dr. Lee also has ofﬁces in Los Angeles, and Atascadero. To make an appointment in the Solvang office, call 805-693-5162.