28. February 2015 · Comments Off on The Thyroid Gland, Acupuncture and Infertility · Categories: Acupuncture · Tags:

Being a major component of the endocrine system, the thyroid gland is responsible for the metabolic function of the cells in the human body. Infertility can occur if a woman suffers from an underactive thyroid gland (hypothyroidism). Women with this condition may experience prolonged and severe menstrual bleeding as well as ovulation problems due to irregular menstrual cycles. If she does attain pregnancy, the likelihood for her pregnancy to end in stillbirth, premature labor or miscarriage will be very high.

Hypothyroid symptoms are caused by the body’s weakened ability to use carbohydrates, proteins and fats. Cold feet and hands, sensitivity to cold and increase in weight are common. Hypothyroidism can also increase triglycerides and cholesterol causing blood vessels to become leaky leading to edema or tissue swelling. The nails can turn brittle and thin, the hair brittle and dry and the skin can become rough and dry.

In terms of psychological impact, hypothyroidism can initially result in fatigue, weakness and depression. Eventually the affected person may become very forgetful and have problems concentrating. Women with fertility issues, mood and energy problems, and difficulty concentrating need to find out if they are suffering from hypothyroidism.

High levels of prolactin can also be seen in some hypothyroid women. This can have an inhibiting effect on ovulation. Ovarian cysts and hypothyroidism are also tied together as well as polycystic ovarian disease.

Women are quite susceptible to hypothyroidism and so they need to have their TSH levels checked.

Pharmacological modalities abound for hypothyroidism but naturopathic medicine can also be a very effective approach in dealing with hypothyroidism. The type of medicine can help restore a woman’s energy and health and help regulate her fertility as well.


If you are suffering from hypothyroidism, goitrogenic foods are types of food you should definitely avoid. This is because they can cause iodine deficiency. These foods combine with iodine and prevent it to be used by the thyroid. Iodine is essential for the production of thyroid hormones and without enough of it the thyroid gland cannot function normally. Goitrogenic foods include foods such as radishes, rutabagas, cabbage and turnips, all brassica family foods, as well as millet, pine nuts, peanuts, soybeans and cassava root. Cooking these foods is advised since doing so can break down their goitrogenic components.

Eating foods rich in iodine is highly recommended. These include konbu, nori, dulse, kelp, arame and other types of sea vegetables as well as iodized salt and sea fish. Zinc which can also be found in seafoods and seeds, nuts, spinach, liver, chicken, oatmeal, beef and seafood needs to be taken by hypothyroid women. Normal thyroid function can also be attained by eating B vitamin-rich foods such as liver, whole grains and yeast. If you can buy organic types of food, then so much the better since they tend to be rich in trace minerals vital for a normal functioning thyroid.

These trace minerals include selenium, copper and zinc. They are needed by the body to transform T4 (inactive thyroid hormone) to the active T3 thyroid hormone. B8, B2 and B3 B vitamins are important to produce thyroid hormones. Kelp tablets that are rich in zinc and iodine are also highly recommended. You can talk to your nutritionist or naturopathic doctor to know the right dosages for you.

Herbs That Help Support the Thyroid

The list furnished in this article is in no way an exhaustive list of herbs recommended to help with hypothyroidism. If you want an herbal treatment for your condition, you need to talk to an herbalist naturopathic doctor. It is highly advised to not take any fertility drugs while you’re using any type of herb due to its potential interaction to the drug.

Mullein – This is an herb with anti-inflammatory characteristics. It is believed to protect the thyroid gland and is noted to help decrease thyroid swelling.

Bayberry – This herb can help stimulate the function of the thyroid and is believed to boost blood flow as well as help balance the hormones.

Kelp – This is a type of seaweed that makes the thyroid function healthily. Kelp contains iodine which is very essential in the resolution of an underactive thyroid.

Black Walnut – High in organic manganese and iodine, this herb helps fortify and nourish the thyroid gland enabling it to boost a slow metabolism.

Cayenne – This type of pepper helps enhance energy and blood flow. It also helps balance the body’s metabolic rate.

Ginger – A very common herb that, as with cayenne, can boost the thyroid gland’s metabolism, increase energy and enhance blood flow.

Motherwort – This herb is commonly used to treat menopause symptoms but it can help reduce a swollen thyroid and normalize the function of the thyroid gland.

Bladderwrack – This herb is loaded with iodine, and is usually used to treat goiter (swollen thyroid) and underactive thyroid gland as well as regulate food lipids and enhance metabolism.


Acupuncture has known to be practiced for as long 2,500 years. This treatment was introduced In the United States Canada relatively recently (44 years ago). If you are considering getting acupuncture for treatment of whatever ails you, it is very important that you find a naturopath physician trained in acupuncture or a licensed, experienced and acupuncturist in Edina, or a doctor trained in Traditional Chinese medicine (L.Ac), or a doctor of Oriental Medicine (D.O.M.). Acupuncture is a mode of treatment aimed at balancing yin and yang energy and moving blood and energy (qi). In the treatment of hypothyroidism, the acupuncturist needs to examine your pulse and tongue and ask questions that will help identify the specific syndrome or pattern causing your hypothyroidism. In a pulse and tongue diagnosis, certain possible patterns or syndromes may manifest and treatment will be based on the specific syndrome manifested by the patient.

Receiving regular acupuncture treatment is highly recommended to help balance the entire systems of your body. Regular acupuncture treatment may involve weekly acupuncture sessions of at least 2 months. Initially, twice or thrice a week visits will be recommended by acupuncturists. If you desire really good results, you need to religiously commit to your regular therapies. A lot of individuals who have tried acupuncture have experienced its power to enhance their well being, increase their energy and help them to truly relax and calm their mind.

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