Objectives: To investigate the possible effects of wet-cupping therapy on autoimmune activity and thyroid hormonal profiles of Hashimoto’s disease patients.
Methods: A prospective pilot controlled trial was carried out among adult females following Hashimoto’s disease at the Endocrinology Clinic of King Abdulaziz University Hospital, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, from February 2014 until March 2017. A total of 13 patients (intervention group) underwent 3 wet-cupping therapy sessions at 3-week interval with a 6-month follow-up.
Blood tests were carried out for both pre- and post-wet-cupping therapy, including: thyroid peroxidase antibody (TPO), thyroglobulin antibody (TG), thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH), thyroxine-4 (T4), and prolactin. Control group included 13 randomly selected Hashimoto’s disease patients following usual care with 2 consecutive measurements of TPO and TG at 2-3 months interval.
Results: Changes in anti-TPO and anti-TG showed a decrease in wet-cupping therapy group versus an increase in control group, and intervention group comparison was statistically significant. On a fixed thyroxine supplement for each patient, significant decrease in levels of anti-TPO, anti-TG, TSH, prolactin, and erythrocyte sedi-mentation rate (ESR) occurred.
Conclusion: These findings are presumptive to the efficacy of wet-cupping therapy on the pathogenesis of Hashimoto’s disease in modulating the immune inflammatory process demonstrated by the reduction in ESR, TPO, and TSH levels on a fixed thyroxin supplementation dose, along with patient-reported clinical improvement and positive changes in ultrasound including regaining of gland physiological size, echogenicity, and vascularity.