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Hypothyroid - Where to start?


I’m a 40yr old male.

I’m pretty sure I’ve been hypothyroid since I was a kid but was only diagnosed about 3 years ago after I really started started struggling with fatigue after I started eating paleo. I guess I wasn’t getting enough carbohydrates.

I’m on 100mcg of levothyroxine and although it has helped some I feel like I could be much better.

I’ve tried just about every vitamin and mineral imaginable without much results.

Additionally it’s probably important to note that I’m also a firefighter. Really the only stress involved with the job is when we have to get up in the middle of the night to go on a call. Sometimes it’s a couple times a night, sometimes it’s none at all.

My biggest struggles as far as symptoms go are fatigue, not being able to sleep through the night, forgetfulness cold hands and feet low and mid back pain and I don’t handle stress very well. Also I have had the white coating on my tongue for a couple years.

My appetite used to be really great but in the past year it’s totally tanked.

I plan to setup an appt with a local acupuncture guy on Tuesday.

I’m pretty discouraged to be honest.

I’m totally open to any and all suggestions

Thanks so much


This is where you start:

These conditions are very well treated with Chinese Medicine. So long as your acupuncturist is reasonably skilled and a fully licensed acupuncturist, who, ideally, also practices Chinese herbal medicine - give him 3-5 months and you should be on a very good path.


Thank you for that input Chad. The guy I was thinking about was neither.

I just made an appt with a lady who is both.

Thanks again


Glad you found a skilled practitioner - it will make positive outcomes from your treatments far more likely. Hope everything goes well!



I had my first appt yesterday with the acupuncturist.

It seemed to go well. We talked for about an hour before the actual acupuncture.

But her “diagnosis” has me a little concerned.

She said she believes I have a yin deficiency.

She also gave me some granules for yin deficiency to make into a tea.

The thing that really got me interested was your article I read at

The Yang deficiency symptoms pretty much fit me exactly, apart from the edema. But I also have trouble staying asleep all night.

Obviously there is much more to TCM than I realize and she’s the trained practitioner.

I emailed her my concerns and linked to your article. When I met with her I mentioned Yin Yang House and she seemed familiar with you guys.

This was her response to my email:


Good morning John

So, the short answer is you can’t have Yin without yang or yang without yin, there are many rules on that. Those lists(articles) while helpful are simplified and often there are many diagnoses tied together I used Yin as an example because there are a few very clear examples of sensations that you have that are explained in yin terms. Things like Insomnia or ED may only show up online as 1 diagnosis online but in reality, fit into many diagnosis terms hence the reason you need a trained provider to treat you😊 and the reason we do pulse and tongue diagnosis.

Most likely Nitric Oxide supplements help you as they would almost anyone is that increase circulation puts the energy in the place that it belongs in, for example your pulses show us you have excess and deficiency in different locations so basically the NO supplements are moving the excess to the deficiency areas, however over time you will wear down your deepest fluids (yin) over time even more. Long story short you don’t treat yin without yang etc but we also have to clear some heat and damp etc, in the process of nourishing hence the reason you have a modified formula ( since I am assuming you googled that as well😊) and the reason that TCM providers rarely just script a single herb ( for example when people just take Turmeric for inflammation) everything has to balance and harmonize as we go, another reason I generally will only script a weeks’ worth of herbs at a time and we do treatments closer together, as the body shifts with our treatments our treatments will shift .

Hope this helps!


Do you have any thoughts on this?

I don’t want to waste my money with a practitioner that takes a route that doesn’t help or makes things worse - obviously.


That’s a pretty good explanation and you are more than likely in good hands. A couple things - yes, the article you referenced is purposely simplistic as it is intended for the general public - the reality of kidney system issues in Chinese Medicine is anything but simplistic.

Even within western medicine, with regards to the thyroid, you rarely have cookie cutter cases - many westerners will go hyperthryoid before they go hypo (not necessarily measurably so, but symptoms wise - often for decades). Even in seemingly clear cut cases (again from a western medicine perspective) you have people who measure clinically hypo or hyper very clearly but their response to the western medicine seems to do the opposite of what their blood work might indicate.

Dealing with the complexities of this yin/yang or hypo/hyper relationship is part of why Chinese Medicine is “good” at treating these conditions - it’s more adaptable and tailorable to each individual. Herbally in particularly, it can get fairly complicated from the practitioners perspective and this can be hard to explain to patients. I always try, but I’m sure at times I confuse them more myself - at least when they send me an article about what they think is going on, it’s often mine :wink:


Thanks so much for your perspective Chad

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