Q: Dear Dr. Mao,
This week I visited an endocrinologist who found that my thyroid was enlarged and also that I have a low thyroid function. He said that there was no natural cure and he recommended that I start taking medication. Is there a way hypothyroidism could be treated by traditional Chinese medicine?
A: I have to agree with your physician. Hypothyroidism causes reduction of the natural thyroid hormones that are essential for the body’s metabolism to function. In cases where the thyroid is no longer producing the hormone, the only alternative is to supplement with synthetic hormones.
However, having said that, I would suggest you obtain additional opinions. In some cases, the enlarged thyroid may be addressed in the early stages, and there are natural remedies at early stages that might help regulate the thyroid. Again, consult with physicians and check all of your options. Also, consult a licensed practitioner to see what complementary treatments may be available in conjunction with your conventional medications.