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Journal of Integrative Medicine ›› 2018, Vol. 16 ›› Issue (6): 375-383.doi: 10.1016/j.joim.2018.09.002

• Review • Previous Articles     Next Articles

An overview of the contribution of acupuncture to thyroid disorders

Fung-Kei Cheng   

  1. Hong Kong, China
  • Received:2018-04-23 Accepted:2018-07-27 Online:2018-11-08 Published:2019-05-18
  • Contact: Fung-Kei Cheng; E-mail:

Thyroid dysfunction, affecting people of all ages, not only damages human growth and energy metabolism but is also comorbid with other illnesses such as cardiovascular disease, kidney disease and gastrointestinal disorders. With the increasing acceptance of alternative and complementary therapies, acupuncture, a traditional Chinese medical practice, has also been employed to address this problem. Analysing 29 clinical projects that were retrieved from 29 major digital databases and include 1757 patients aged 7–79?years from China, Italy, Korea, Macedonia and Russia, this narrative review offers an overview of the efficacy, and evaluated the safe and cost-effective use of acupuncture against hyperthyroidism, hypothyroidism and thyroid-relevant illnesses. Findings indicated reductions in patient symptoms and improvements in biomarkers where acupuncture was used alone or in combination therapy. In addition to showing the role of acupuncture as an alternative and complementary medicine or as an adjunctive therapy for curative and rehabilitative purposes, more well-designed researches are needed to achieve reliable data.

Key words: Acupuncture, Alternative and complementary medicine, Endocrine system, Integrative medicine, Traditional Chinese medicine, Thyroidism

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