Thyroid UK
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Acupuncture and thyroid?

Has anyone had experience of alternative treatments for thyroid problems, such as acupuncture?. I am borderline hypothyroid and have been prescribed a low dose of levothyroxine which I have not yet started. Mainly because I am scared about this medication as I have had breast cancer in the past. Also from what I have been reading, the side effects can be unpleasant. Would be interested to hear. Thank you.

7 Replies

i tried acupuncture but it hasn't helped me


Thank you for a quick response Missymystique.Did you try it before medication or afterwards and how long for?


i tried it before and during for a couple of months but didnt help my main symptoms. Maybe it can help you. It didnt help my body aches, night sweats and hair loss but it helps a bit with anxiety and sleeping problems


Misamura, Please don't let the difficulties of members on this forum put you off trying Levothyroxine. 80% of people do very well on Levothyroxine but you won't find them on a support forum saying how well it worked for them because they are well. Those who don't thrive on Levothyroxine are often undermedicated and may also have vitamin and mineral deficiencies which need correcting. A few people do have intolerance to synthetic Levothyroxine and Liothyronine (T3) and may do better on NDT but are unlikely to get it prescribed on the NHS and will need to buy it on the internet and self medicate. A few are unable to tolerate thyroxine in Levothyroxine and NDT and will need T3 only.

The longer you delay starting Levothyroxine the more hypothyroid you will become and the longer it will take to resolve symptoms.

Acupuncture may help relieve some symptoms but it won't repair a damaged thyroid gland which can't produce sufficient hormone. Hormone replacement is the only therapy for low thyroid hormone.


Do you Hashimotos ? Clutter is right in her comments above. However my anti-bodies have remained stubbornly high - and a course of Acupuncture twice weekly for a month reduced them by 25%. This was given to me FOC - as my Physio also has Hashimotos and he was interested to see.....

Always good to have natural therapies - but you do need medication with the appropriate supplements to help you on your way....

Personally I have little faith in the borderline thyroid diagnosis as the tests can vary from day to day and during any one 24 hour period. A bit like being a teeny bit pregnant - not possible - sorry !

The T4 medication you have been prescribed contains 4 atoms of iodine. Sometimes breast cancer can be linked to low iodine.....

Wishing you well....

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I tried acupuncture for my hormonal migraines (one of the symptoms of my hypo) before I was diagnosed; I did around 10 sessions. It didn't help and hurt a lot.

I did a year on levo; didn't have any adverse reaction to it but is only alleviated symptoms didn't cure. I graduated to NDT after a year. It sorted out the majority of the residual symptoms. I'd recommend trying the levo, getting to the right dose and staying there for six months or so then seeing how you feel.

Hope that helps. Don't refuse the meds it's the only way you will get better!

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Thank you all for your comments. After four days of thinking about it, I have now taken the plunge and started on a low dose of levothyroxine. I'll wait and see how things go over the next few weeks. Slightly apprehensive I have to admit. Have also noticed my blood pressure decreasing, I expect this is due to the slowing down of the metabolism.


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