About 20 million Americans are diagnosed with a thyroid disease or disorder, affecting 1 in 8 women at some point in their lifetimes. So it’s easy to say we see a lot of patients here at Acubalance with imbalanced thyroid function. Chronic autoimmune thyroiditis is the most common cause of acquired hypothyroidism. Currently, no effective therapy is available for autoimmune thyroiditis besides lifelong T4 (levothyroxine) replacement hormone therapy.
However, there are currently studies with promising results using LLLT (low level laser therapy (also called cold laser, or photobiomodulation)) to treat chronic autoimmune thyroiditis. Low level laser therapy (LLLT) implements red and infrared light to decrease pro-inflammatory cytokines, promote blood circulation, and promote tissue regeneration by increasing mitochondrial ATP production through photobiomodulation.
In one study, 15 patients with hypothyroidism caused by chronic autoimmune thyroiditis received ten applications of LLLT (laser therapy) over a span of five weeks. Tests were done to measure thyroid levels 1, 2, 3, 6, and 9 months after treatment. 47% of the patients did not require the levothyroxine medication even after the 9 month follow up, and most required a lower dosage.
Another study, treated 43 patients who also received 10 sessions of low level laser therapy with a 9 month follow up. The results showed a significant difference in the amount of levothyroxine required to treat the patients’ hypothyroidism. In addition to improved thyroid function, there were reduced thyroid peroxidase antibodies (TPOAb) and thyroglobulin antibodies (TgAb).
Recently, a long term follow up study of these patients 6 years after the treatment showed that laser therapy for the treatment of their thyroiditis was safe in the long term and demonstrated long lasting benefits. Monthly monitoring of your thyroid antibodies as well as an appointments with our Naturopathic Doctors will be required for these particular treatments.