Q: Dear Dr. Mao,
Can acupuncture help my hypothyroid problem?
A: Hypothyroid conditions require thyroid hormone replacement therapies because the thyroid is unable to produce the essential hormones needed by the body. Acupuncture and traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) herbal formulations can be helpful in alleviating and addressing the various symptoms of hypothyroidism. In some cases, it can even help with the side effects of the thyroid medicine. However, these herbal treatments are not a replacement for the prescribed medications. Please do not stop taking any prescribed medications. I suggest you consult with your primary physician and then contact a licensed TCM practitioner to discuss your treatment options.