Monday, July 31, 2006

symptom thyroid : Thyroid

The thyroid is a small, butterfly shaped gland located at the front of the neck. The thyroid produces the thyroid hormones, including the two major ones, namely the tri-iodothyronine (T3) and thyroxine (T4), which are essential for regulating the metabolic activities, growth, and several other body functions.

The thyroid gland is divided into two halves or lobes, and is connected by a thin ‘bridge’ of thyroid tissue known as the isthmus. The thyroid is usually larger in women in comparison to men.

The pituitary gland, which is situated at the bottom of the brain, and produces the thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH), controls the functioning of the thyroid. TSH activates the thyroid to produce more thyroid hormones. Noted among the most widespread medical conditions, diseases of the thyroid gland are very common and affect millions of Americans. Thyroid disease occurs when the thyroid doesn't supply sufficient hormones required by the body to carry out its various functions properly. As the symptoms of thyroid are often noticed over a period of time, they are usually misdiagnosed.

The three most common thyroid problems are the underactive thyroid, the overactive thyroid, and thyroid nodules. Overactive thyroid releases excessive thyroid hormone into the bloodstream, resulting in hyperthyroidism. Hyperthyroidism causes the body to use up energy more rapidly than it should, and chemical activities in the cells such as metabolism speeds up. In the case of underactive thyroid, the thyroid gland is attacked by the body's immune system. Thyroid Nodules is a condition that begins as a small swelling or lumps in the thyroid gland. Other thyroid problems include inflammation of the thyroid gland, enlargement of the thyroid gland, and thyroid cancer.

In recent years, thyroid function tests have progressed significantly, allowing for diagnosis at an early stage, and better recovery rates than in the past.

Thyroid provides detailed information on Thyroid, Thyroid Cancer, Thyroid Disease, Thyroid Problems and more. Thyroid is affiliated with Cause Of Hypothyroidism.

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symptom thyroid : Postpartum Depression

Postpartum depression or peripartum depression occurs after a woman gives birth. Within a few hours of giving birth the amount of the two female hormones, estrogen and progesterone, return to their pre pregnancy levels. Many researchers feel that this drop in hormone levels, much like the smaller changes in hormone levels can affect a womans mood just before her menstrual cycle, is one of the causes of postpartum depression.

In some women the levels of thyroid hormones decrease as well. This decrease in these hormones can lead to symptoms of depression too. Some of these symptoms include a depressed mood, a loss of interest in daily things, problems sleeping and fatigue, irritability and weight gain.

Another factor that can lead to postpartum depression is genetics. This type of depression can be passed down from mother to daughter. There is also a correlation between postpartum depression and women who suffer from severe premenstrual syndrome.

Postpartum depression is also known as the baby blues and one in ten new mothers suffer from this to one degree or another. In addition to the drastic changes in hormone levels, the presence of a new baby in the house is also a major factor in postpartum depression. A new baby can be a major stress on a new mom and this can factor into becoming depressed. Some of these factors include:

Having less free time then before the baby was born and an inability to control the time needed to get things done. The baby demands all the mothers’ attention, leaving little time for herself.

Going through labor is extremely stressful and tiring for a new mom. A new mom does not have time to regain her strength post delivery because of the demands and needs of the new baby. Just getting a good nights sleep is nearly impossible with late night feedings and diaper changes.

Many new mothers question their own ability to be a good mom. They become overwhelmed with the care the new baby needs and start to worry that they aren't providing the care their baby needs.

For new moms, postpartum depression can occur with a feeling that they are no longer who they used to be. Their old schedule and ways of doing things have been replaced by the needs of their new baby. They can also feel like they have to do it all and try to take care of the new baby while doing all the things they used to do. This can be very overwhelming because chances are the care of the new baby will not allow them to accomplish all that they think they should.

New moms can also become disconnected from their partner and family. They find that their time is limited and they just don't have time to spend with the rest of their family.

For most women the "baby blues" will usually go away as their hormone levels get back to normal. But for some women the depression associated with a new baby does not go away and can steadily get worse. It is very important that women who experience any kind of depression after child birth talk to their doctor right away. Most cases of postpartum depression can be dealt with medication and some counseling.

Andrew Bicknell is a writer and owner of Visit his website for more information about postpartum depression and depression disorders.

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Saturday, July 29, 2006

symptom thyroid : Stomach Cancer is more closely linked to Stomach Ulcers than you think!

Interestingly enough, both the causes and the signs and symptoms of stomach cancer (also called gastic cancer) are almost identical to those of peptic ulcers. It is important to note that you are more likely to have a peptic ulcer if you are showing any of these symptoms, so do not be too alarmed! Of course if your ulcers are already at an advanced stage, then you need to read on to see if you are at risk and what to do about it. Eradicating the H Pylori bacterium is a good way to avoid stomach cancer.

Cancer of the stomach is twice as common in men as it is in women, and most people who develop this type of cancer are over the age of 50 years. Stomach cancer is very rare in people under 40. Even so, get yourself checked out by a doctor who will be able to give you a proper diagnosis.

Stomach cancer can be caused by a number of factors that damage the DNA in your stomach cells. When the DNA is damaged, healthy cells can grow out of control and form a tumor (a mass of malignant cells).

These factors include:

H Pylori infection - 75% of the world's population is infected with a bacterium called Helicobacter pylori (H Pylori) that lives deep in the mucous layer which coats the lining of your stomach. It is the primary cause of stomach ulcers, accounting for at least 80 percent of all cases. Also, the World Health Organization have indicated that close to 50% of the annual new cases of stomach cancer can be attributed to H Pylori infection.

If 75% of the world's population is infected with the Helicobacter Pylori bacterium, that means that right now 4.6 billion people are infected across the world. Having ulcers doesn't necessarily put you at higher risk of stomach cancer, but having H Pylori infection does.

Statistics show that 816 million of those infected with H Pylori bacterium right now will develop a stomach ulcer in their lifetime.

That means that 1 in every 7 people (or 17.7% of the current population) are at high risk, and 1 in every 14 people will get stomach cancer from H Pylori. That is an astounding 408 million people.

Nitrates and nitrites - these chemicals are added to certain foods, such as processed or cured meats such as ham and bacon, sausages and other cold meats you normally find down at the deli. Nitrates and nitrites combine with other substances in your stomach to form carcinogens, which are known to cause stomach cancer.

Salted, smoked or pickled foods and red meat - in countries where consumption of salted meat and fish and pickled vegetables is high, the corresponding rates of stomach cancer are also high. Consuming high levels of red meat, especially when the meat is barbecued or well done, has also been linked to stomach cancer.

Tobacco and alcohol use - Both can irritate the stomach lining and are especially likely to cause cancer in the upper stomach area.

Low income groups - children and adults from low income groups are more likely to develop stomach cancer than are those in higher income groups. This is due to a number of reasons. The main problem is in poor countries with poor sanitation and unhygienic living conditions where H Pylori spreads quite quickly.

From the above it is clear that the easiest way to prevent stomach cancer is to know the causes. Eradicating the H Pylori bacterium is the going to take most of the risk away but then you will also need to adjust your diet and general hygiene.


The most common symptom is a gnawing or burning pain in your stomach just below your sternum
Stomach pains are triggered by hunger and occur between meals and in the early hours of the morning
Pains can be sharp or dull
Bloating of the stomach
Pain can come and go over long periods of time
The passing of foul smelling black, tarry stools could be one of the first symptoms of a gastric ulcer or a duodenal ulcer that has started bleeding
dark red blood in your stools
If your ulcer is already at an advanced stage then repeated and different signs of bleeding can be identified.
Vomiting of new blood which is bright red in color – this indicates that a gastric ulcer has started bleeding. This will be accompanied by repeated episodes of nausea.
Vomiting dark and grainy blood that looks like instant coffee granules. The dark color indicates that this is old blood.
unplanned weight loss
faintness and dizziness when standing up - this is due to loss of blood. Over a long period of time, you may become anemic and feel weak, dizzy, or tired all the time. This is typical of a slow bleed left untreated.

Most stomach cancers start in the glandular cells in the mucous layer which coats the lining of your stomach, and are called adenocarcinomas.

Although most stomach cancers are adenocarcinomas, there are other forms of the disease, including: Lymphomas, Carcinoid tumors, and GIST’s (or gastrointestinal stromal tumors)

The primary goal of any effective treatment is to remove the cancer. Choosing a treatment plan is a major decision, and it's important spend some time researching all the options to make sure the treatment you select is right for you. It is always worthwhile getting a second opinion if you are unsure.

Treatment options include Surgery, Chemotherapy, Radiation therapy, and Clinical trials.

If you are at an advanced stage, you may be offered participation in a clinical trial. Beware! You may be used as a guinea-pig to test new new drugs, surgery or radiation. You must remember that the treatments used in clinical trials are experimental and have no recorded success rates. You could experience unexpected side effects, and there will be no guarantees offered.
symptom thyroid
Author Bio
My name is Gavin. My passion is to help others avoid the pitfalls and side effects of conventional medicines. I enjoy writing specifically for you, the patient, without all the medical jargon that only doctors can understand. My aim is to help you easily find a cure that works best for you. Please feel free to browse my website for more information.

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symptom thyroid : Thyroid Cancer

Thyroid cancer develops as a result of the uncontrolled growth of abnormal cells in the thyroid gland, resulting in a tumor. Some of these tumors are benign or non cancerous while some are malignant or cancerous. The malignant tumors spread to the nearby tissues and other parts of the body causing severe complications. Since the thyroid gland is close to the skin, tumors often appear as lumps called thyroid nodules in the neck. Thyroid cancer is more widespread among women than men; however, the reason for this is not clear. About 20,000 cases of thyroid cancer are reported each year in the United States.

The precise causes of thyroid cancer remain vague. Some studies reveal that people who are exposed to large amounts of radiation or those who have undergone radiation treatments for medical purposes, especially on the head and neck, face an increased risk of developing thyroid cancer. The occurrence of thyroid cancer is high in countries where people follow a low iodine diet. People with certain medical conditions or a family history of thyroid disease have a higher risk of developing thyroid cancer. Incidents of thyroid cancer arise mainly in the age group of 25 to 65 years.

Thyroid cancer may be papillary, follicular, medullary, or anaplastic. A fine needle aspiration (FNA) test is an ideal test for thyroid cancer. Papillary is the most usual type, while Follicular is a less common one usually found in older people. Medullary and anaplastic are rare types, the former often hereditary and the latter fast-growing one seen more among older people. The anaplastic type is difficult to treat. Thyroid cancers tend to develop at a slow pace, and it may take some time before any symptoms appear. Most types of thyroid cancer can be treated successfully with early detection and appropriate surgical procedures.

Thyroid provides detailed information on Thyroid, Thyroid Cancer, Thyroid Disease, Thyroid Problems and more. Thyroid is affiliated with Cause Of Hypothyroidism.

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Thursday, July 27, 2006

symptom thyroid : Thyroid Problems

Thyroid problems are one of the most common ailments that can affect the human body. Thyroid is an endocrine gland and produces essential hormones like thyroxin. Hormones produced by thyroid gland are very crucial for the metabolism of the body. Hypothyroidism, hyperthyroidism, and tumors are the most common thyroid problems. Symptoms associated with thyroid problems appear slowly and is therefore often misdiagnosed.

Under active thyroid or hypothyroidism is mainly caused due to Hashimoto's thyroiditis. This thyroid problem is found commonly in women. The cause of it is mistaken identity. In it, the antibodies attack the thyroid gland. Obesity, lack of interest, sensitivity to heat and cold, and memory loss are some of the common symptoms associated with hypothyroidism. Those diagnosed with hypothyroidism have low level of thyroxine. Treatment is mainly in the form of thyroid hormone pill. The medication is often a life- long commitment, with varying doses.

In hyperthyroidism, the level of thyroxine is very high and is caused mainly due to Grave’s disease. Middle-aged women are more prone to this thyroid problem. Weight loss, abnormal heartbeat, fatigue, unusual bowel movements, nervousness, and irritability are the common symptoms. Since the symptoms appear late, it is often misdiagnosed. Bulging of eyes and double vision are symptoms found in some patients. Radioactive iodine is the main treatment given for hyperthyroidism. In this treatment, a part of thyroid gland is destroyed to reduce the amount of thyroxine produced. An under active thyroid is the main side effect caused by this treatment. Medications used to treat thyroid problems mainly slow down the activity of the thyroid gland. Drugs for hyperthyroidism often have serious side effects.

Lumps or thyroid nodules are mostly harmless. However, certain lumps are cancerous. A ‘fine needle aspiration biopsy’ done in doctor’s office is the most common method used to detect whether a lump is cancerous or not. If the nodule is cancerous, then surgical removal is the only option.

Thyroid provides detailed information on Thyroid, Thyroid Cancer, Thyroid Disease, Thyroid Problems and more. Thyroid is affiliated with Cause Of Hypothyroidism.

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symptom thyroid : Infantile Seborrheic Eczema

This article will focus on the ailment known as seborrheic eczema. This is something that goes after infants that are less than a year old and though it is not harmful the parents usually freak out about it. Scientists are not really sure what causes infantile seborrheic eczema but the bright spot is that it usually goes away on its own. The initial signs of seborrheic eczema show up on the scalp most of the time and tend to spread very quickly.

Seborrheic eczema looks terrible but is not uncomfortable at all. There are creams and oils on the market that can help to get rid of seborrheic eczema faster than it will eliminate itself, which is usually in a few months. Though not considered harmful, if your child displays signs of seborrheic eczema you should contact your pediatrician or dermatologist for a true diagnosis.

I can only imagine the awful feeling of seeing your child deal with what appears to be a very painful and debilitating ailment but according to all of our research the seborrheic eczema is not painful and as hard as it may be a parent should stay calm and rational and not worry the child. Though the children are usually extremely young we feel that the baby can detect the heightened stress levels in their parents. Contact the doctor and do the right thing but do not worry unless a doctor gives you a reason to be concerned. All will be fine with your child.

Seborrheic eczema is not so bad when compared to some of the other types of eczema since it is not uncomfortable and does not stay permanently.

For more information about Infantile Seborrheic Eczema or Eczema in general, check out our Excema resources.
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Monday, July 24, 2006

symptom thyroid : Understanding Hypothyroidism Symptoms

Thyroid disease symptoms and hypothyroidism symptoms afflict millions of adults in the USA alone. Thyroid disease symptoms are frequently misdiagnosed or undiagnosed. Approximately 10-20% of women and 1-2% of men have symptoms of thyroid problems. The most common type of thyroid dysfunction is the condition hypothyroidism, also called low thyroid or underactive thyroid.

When thyroid function slows too much, one of the consequences is that metabolism in the body slows down more than it should. When the body's metabolism slows down due to underactive thyroid function, the result can be hypothyroidism symptoms such as fatigue, weight gain and depression. And other thyroid symptoms may be experienced as well, and these other symptoms may appear to be unrelated.

The most common thyroid disease symptoms and hypothyroidism symptoms include:

• Cold intolerance, cold hands and feet
• Constipation
• Depression
• Dry and coarse skin
• Fatigue and weakness
• Forgetfulness, dementia
• Hair loss
• Heavy menstrual periods
• High cholesterol
• Immune system problems
• Nervousness, tremors
• Sleep difficulties
• Weight gain

Having hypothyroidism symptoms is related to hormone imbalance. For a woman, three of the critical hormones are estrogen, thyroid hormone and progesterone. Understanding how these hormones work together helps one better understand how to approach treating thyroid disease symptoms.

Harvard-trained Dr. John R. Lee, women's physician Dr. Jesse Hanley and Virginia Hopkins are co-authors of the best-seller What Your Doctor May NOT Tell You About Premenopause. Dr. Lee explains his observations over a twenty-year period when treating women having thyroid disease symptoms. Dr. Lee believed that elevated levels of estrogen interfere with normal thyroid function, while progesterone facilitates healthy thyroid function. As excess estrogen interferes with normal thyroid hormone function, progesterone helps the thyroid gland function more as it is supposed to.

He noticed that women who tested normal for thyroid function were often progesterone deficient. Dr. Lee found a clear pattern in his patients with a progesterone deficiency which was this -- their thyroid disease symptoms lessened when natural progesterone supplementation was done and hormone balance was achieved.

Read more about hormone imbalance, how progesterone deficiency happens and how to have balanced hormones for better health. There is a free online womens hormone health test you can take to find out more about your health and symptoms you may be experiencing. After the test, you will receive physician-based recommendations based on your answers. If you feel you may have thyroid disease symptoms, learn more about the natural approaches recommended by naturopathic physicians for treating hypothyroidism symptoms.

Copyright 2005 InfoSearch Publishing

Read more on thyroid disease symptoms and treatment, and take the online womens hormone health test. Olinda Rola is President of InfoSearch Publishing and webmaster of - visit the website to learn more about hormone balance, estrogen dominance symptoms, natural progesterone and related women's health issues.

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symptom thyroid : Do You Have Symptoms of Thyroid Problems?

Thyroid symptoms afflict at least 10 million persons in the USA alone. Symptoms of thyroid problems often go undiagnosed, making it difficult to really know how many people are suffering from thyroid symptoms. Thyroid gland functions include the vital role of regulating the body's rate of metabolism.

Women are much more likely than men to have thyroid dysfunction -- as many as 10-20% of women and 1-2% of men may have symptoms of thyroid problems. One type of thyroid dysfunction is the condition called hypothyroidism, also referred to as low thyroid or underactive thyroid. When thyroid function is too sluggish, one effect is that the body's metabolism slows down more than it should. Much less common are thyroid symptoms caused by hyperthyroidism or an overactive thyroid.

When the metabolism slows down due to underactive thyroid function, the result can be symptoms such as fatigue, weight gain and depression. And other symptoms may be experienced, often seemingly unrelated. Hypothyroidism or low thyroid symptoms of thyroid problems include:

• Fatigue and weakness
• Depression
• Weight gain
• Low basal temperature, cold intolerance, cold hands and feet
• Dry and coarse skin
• Heavy menstrual periods
• Insomnia
• High cholesterol
• Sluggish bowels, constipation
• Poor memory, forgetfulness, dementia
• Nervousness and tremors
• Immune system problems
• Hair loss

Having thyroid symptoms is related to hormone levels and hormone imbalance. Three related hormones for a woman are estrogen, thyroid hormone and progesterone. Understanding the interplay between these three hormones helps one better understand how to approach treating thyroid symptoms.

In the best-seller What Your Doctor May NOT Tell You About Menopause, Harvard-trained family physician Dr. John R. Lee explains his results in treating women having symptoms of thyroid problems. In a broad sense, estrogen makes calories from food to be stored as fat. Thyroid hormone makes calories from food to be converted into energy. Excess estrogen interferes with normal thyroid hormone function. Progesterone helps "oppose" and keep undesirable side effects of excess estrogen from happening. Progesterone helps the body use fat for energy, and when progesterone is present in healthy levels, the thyroid functions more as it is supposed to. Dr. Lee found a clear pattern in his patients with a progesterone deficiency -- their underactive thyroid symptoms lessened when natural progesterone supplementation was done and hormone balance was achieved.

Read more about hormone imbalance, how progesterone deficiency happens and how to have balanced hormones for better health. There is an online women's hormone health test you can take to find out more about your health, with physician-based recommendations based on your answers. If you have thyroid symptoms, learn more about the natural approaches recommended by naturopathic physicians for treating symptoms of thyroid problems.

Copyright 2005 InfoSearch Publishing

Read more on thyroid symptoms and treatment, and take the online womens hormone health test. Olinda Rola is President of InfoSearch Publishing and webmaster of - visit the website and learn more about hormone imbalance and excess estrogen symptoms, natural progesterone benefits and related women's health issues.

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Tuesday, July 18, 2006

symptom thyroid : Thyroid Patient Advocacy Group Warns Thyroid Patients of Potential Problems With Thyroid Drug

(FALLS CHURCH, VA) – The ATA Alliance for Thyroid Patient Education, an organization of leading patient education and advocacy groups, recommends that patients being treated with levothyroxine — a drug used to treat hypothyroidism, or an underactive thyroid — not make any changes in their brand of medication without first discussing the benefits, risks, and outcomes with their doctors.

This recommendation follows a recent decision by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to approve generic levothyroxine preparations as equivalent to branded preparations. The FDA ruling means that generic levothyroxine products are now deemed to be equivalent in treatment outcome and safety profile as the branded product. When drugs are considered therapeutic equivalents, pharmacists can change a prescription from one brand to another, often without the patient or physician being aware of the change.

Levothyroxine is a drug recognized to have a narrow toxic to therapeutic ratio with significant clinical consequences of excessive or inadequate treatment. There are 12 tablet strengths of levothyroxine available that vary by as little as 9 percent in drug content, reflecting the close titration that is required for optimal patient management. Thirteen million Americans are on levothyroxine products and those especially susceptible to incorrect titration include the elderly, pregnant women and their developing fetuses, and those with thyroid cancer.

“Even though having access to generic drugs can result in lower drug costs for patients, ensuring safety and effectiveness should always be the number one priority when providing generic alternatives,” said Alan P. Farwell, MD, Alliance Chair, Associate Professor of Medicine at the University of Massachusetts Medical School, and a staff physician at UMassMemorial Health Care. “In this case, serious questions have repeatedly been raised about the methodology used by the FDA to determine bioequivalence between branded and generic levothyroxine preparations, which can result in dangerous health problems in some individuals.”

Despite assurances to the endocrinology medical community that the concerns regarding the limitations in current levothyroxine bioequivalence standards would be addressed before ruling on generic levothyroxine approval, the FDA made its decision without input from clinical endocrinologists, the recognized experts in this area and those who care for thyroid patients.

As a result of the FDA decision, the ATA Alliance is providing guidance for patients through a statement posted on the ATA web site,, including recommendations that patients to take charge of their health by:

Knowing which brand of levothyroxine that their doctor prescribes and asking to stay that brand;
Being aware that pharmacists may change their brand when a prescription is filled and, therefore, checking prescription before leaving the pharmacy;
Asking their doctors to check their thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) levels in four to six weeks to determine if dose retitration is needed, in the case of a change in the brand of levothyroxine.
“We cannot emphasize enough the importance of staying on the medication that is specifically prescribed for Graves’ Disease patients,” said Nancy Patterson, of The National Graves’ Disease Foundation. “To change medications, especially without medical supervision, can be dangerous. The careful monitoring of one’s thyroid status is vital to maintaining optimal health.”

Joan Shey, President and Founder of the Light of Life Foundation, a group that focuses on thyroid cancer, also commented that “Thyroid health is a partnership between the patient and doctor. Patients should always check their prescription to be sure that it is filled by the pharmacy as the doctor wrote it. The bioequivalency level has to be exactly the same from prescription to prescription because the synthetic hormone is used to suppress any residual microscopic tumor that may be left behind.” She added, “TSH levels are maintained at a level optimal for controlling the cancer, balanced with the need for thyroid hormone due to surgical removal of the thyroid gland.”

The ATA Alliance for Thyroid Patient Education, an organization supported by the American Thyroid Association, is composed of the following thyroid patient education and advocacy groups: Thyroid Foundation of America, ThyCa: Thyroid Cancer Survivors Association, National Graves’ Disease Foundation, and the Light of Life Foundation. The mission of the ATA Alliance is to standardize and validate information provided to patients about the diagnosis, evaluation and treatment of thyroid diseases, based upon evidence-based, unbiased, non-anecdotal, accurate data and provided for the patient’s best interest. The ATA Alliance supports patient education and public awareness of thyroid disease.

©2004 Thyroid Foundation Of America. All Rights Reserved.

symptom thyroid : Changing Thyroid Medications

9/21/2004 to 4/30/2005 (PDF File, 251KB)

The physician was noted as the person advocating the change in prescription less than half the time.

Even more important and of real concern is the fact that follow-up TSH tests were abnormal in 85 of the 121 patients reporting. A higher TSH would mean inadequate thyroid suppression in anyone who has thyroid cancer and needs suppression of TSH to help prevent recurrence or spread of the cancer. A lower TSH could mean hyperthyroidism and an increased risk of serious heart arrhythmias, especially in individuals over the age of 50 and those with underlying heart disease. Finally, it is noteworthy that 62% of the patients reporting felt worse on the new medication, and nearly 60% expressed dissatisfaction with the result.

Lawrence C. Wood,
MD Medical Director
Thyroid Foundation of America.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

symptom thyroid : Hyperthyroidism and Pregnancy

Hyperthyroidism refers to the signs and symptoms which are due to the production of too much thyroid hormone. [Hyperthyroidism is covered in great deal on other pages on this site (about 8 in all), so only that part of hyperthyroidism which pertains to the pregnant mother will be discussed here]. An overactive thyroid gland (hyperthyroidism) often has its onset in younger women. Because a woman may think that feeling warm, having a hard or fast heartbeats, nervousness, trouble sleeping, or nausea with weight loss are just parts of being pregnant, the symptoms and signs of this condition may be overlooked during pregnancy.

In women who are not pregnant, hyperthyroidism can affect menstrual periods, making them irregular, lighter, or disappear altogether. It may be harder for hyperthyroid women to become pregnant, and they are more likely to have miscarriages. If a woman with infertility or repeated miscarriages has symptoms of hyperthyroidism, it is important to rule out this condition with thyroid blood tests. It is very important that hyperthyroidism be controlled in pregnant women since the risks of miscarriage or birth defects are much higher without therapy. Fortunately, there are effective treatments available. Antithyroid medications cut down the thyroid gland's overproduction of hormones and are reviewed on another page on this site. When taken faithfully, they control hyperthyroidism within a few weeks. In pregnant women thyroid experts consider propylthiouracil (PTU) the safest drug. Because PTU can also affect the baby's thyroid gland, it is very important that pregnant women be monitored closely with examinations and blood tests so that the PTU dose can be adjusted. In rare cases when a pregnant woman cannot take PTU for some reason (allergy or other side effects), surgery to remove the thyroid gland is the only alternative and should be undertaken prior to or even during the pregnancy if necessary. Although radioactive iodine is a very effective treatment for other patients with hyperthyroidism, it should never be given during pregnancy because the baby's thyroid gland could be damaged.

Because treating hyperthyroidism during pregnancy can be a bit tricky, it is usually best for women who plan to have children in the near future to have their thyroid condition permanently cured. Antithyroid medications alone may not be the best approach in these cases because hyperthyroidism often returns when medications is stopped. Radioactive iodine is the most widely recommended permanent treatment with surgical removal being the second (but widely used) choice. It is concentrated by thyroid cells and damages them with little radiation to the rest of the body. This is why it cannot be given to a pregnant woman, since the radioactive iodine could cross the placenta and destroy normal thyroid cells in the baby. The only common side effect of radioactive iodine treatment is underactivity of the thyroid gland, which occurs because too many thyroid cells were destroyed. This can be easily and safely treated with levothyroxine. There is no evidence that radioactive iodine treatment of hyperthyroidism interferes with a woman's future chances of becoming pregnant and delivering a healthy baby. For more information on the treatment options of hyperthyroidism see our page on this topic.

Copyright © 1997-2005. Endocrine Web and the Norman Endocrine Surgery Clinic. All rights reserved.

symptom thyroid : Thyroid Problems & Pregnancy

The most common thyroid disorder occurring around or during pregnancy is thyroid hormone deficiency, or hypothyroidism. The details of hypothyroidism are covered on several other pages on our site, so only those factors pertaining to pregnancy are discussed here. Hypothyroidism can cause a variety of changes in a woman's menstrual periods: irregularity, heavy periods, or loss of periods. When hypothyroidism is severe, it can reduce a woman's chances of becoming pregnant. Checking thyroid gland function with a simple blood test is an important part of evaluating a woman who has trouble becoming pregnant. If detected, an underactive thyroid gland can be easily treated with thyroid hormone replacement therapy. If thyroid blood tests are normal, however, treating an infertile woman with thyroid hormones will not help at all, and may cause other problems.

Because some of the symptoms of hypothyroidism such as tiredness and weight gain are already quite common in pregnant women, it is often overlooked and not considered as a possible cause of these symptoms. Blood tests, particularly measuring the TSH level, can determine whether a pregnant woman's problems are due to hypothyroidism or not.

Since thyroid medications (particularly Levothyroxine) are essentially identical to the thyroid hormone made by the normal thyroid gland, a woman with an underactive thyroid gland can feel confident that it is perfectly safe to take thyroid hormone medication during pregnancy. There are no side effects for the mother or the baby as long as the proper dose is used. In the case where hypothyroidism in the mother is NOT detected, the thyroid will still develop normally in the baby.

Women with previously treated hypothyroidism should be aware that their dose of medication may have to be increased during pregnancy. They should contact their doctor, who should check their blood level of TSH periodically throughout pregnancy to see if their medication dose needs adjustment. Thyroid function tests should continue to be reviewed every 2-3 months throughout the pregnancy. After delivery, the thyroxine dose should be returned to the pre-pregnancy dose and thyroid function tests reviewed two months later.

Copyright © 1997-2005. Endocrine Web and the Norman Endocrine Surgery Clinic. All rights reserved.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

symptom thyroid : Other Less Common Causes of Hyperthyroidism

Hyperthyroidism can also be caused by a single nodule within the thyroid instead of the entire thyroid. As outlined in detail on our nodules page, thyroid nodules usually represent benign (non-cancerous) lumps or tumors in the gland. These nodules sometimes produce excessive amounts of thyroid hormones. This condition is called "toxic nodular goiter". The picture on the right is an iodine scan (also simply called a thyroid scan) which shows a normal sized thyroid gland (shaped like a butterfly). This scan is abnormal because a solitary "hot" nodule is located in the right lower lobe. This single nodule is comprised of thyroid cells which have lost their regulatory mechanism which dictates how much hormone to produce. Without this regulatory control, the cells in this nodule produce thyroid hormone at a dramatically increased rate causing the symptoms of hyperthyroidism. [As a point of reference, some nodules are "cold" since they don't produce any hormone at all. There is a picture of a cold nodule on the nodule page.]

Inflammation of the thyroid gland, called thyroiditis, can lead to the release of excess amounts of thyroid hormones that are normally stored in the gland. In subacute thyroiditis, the painful inflammation of the gland is believed to be caused by a virus, and the hyperthyroidism lasts a few weeks. A more common painless form of thyroiditis occurs in one out of 20 women, a few months after delivering a baby and is, therefore, known as postpartum thyroiditis. Although hyperthyroidism caused by thyroiditis causes the typical symptoms listed on our introduction to hyperthyroidism page, they generally last only a few weeks until the thyroid hormone stored in the gland has been exhausted. For more about thyroiditis see our page on this topic.

Hyperthyroidism can also occur in patients who take excessive doses of any of the available forms of thyroid hormone. This is a particular problem in patients who take forms of thyroid medication that contains T3, which is normally produced in relatively small amounts by the human thyroid gland. Other forms of hyperthyroidism are even rarer. It is important for your doctor to determine which form of hyperthyroidism you may have since the best treatment options will change depending on the underlying cause.

Copyright © 1997-2005. Endocrine Web and the Norman Endocrine Surgery Clinic. All rights reserved.


There are several causes of hyperthyroidism. Most often, the entire gland is overproducing thyroid hormone This is called Graves Disease. Less commonly, a single nodule is responsible for the excess hormone secretion. We call this a "hot" nodule.

The most common underlying cause of hyperthyroidism is Graves' disease, a condition named for an Irish doctor who first described the condition. This condition can be summarized by noting that an enlarged thyroid (enlarged thyroids are called goiters) is producing way too much thyroid hormone. [Remember that only a small percentage of goiters produce too much thyroid hormone, the majority of thyroid goiters actually become large because they are not producing enough thyroid hormone]. Graves' disease is classified as an autoimmune disease, a condition caused by the patient's own immune system turning against the patient's own thyroid gland. The hyperthyroidism of Graves' disease, therefore, is caused by antibodies that the patient's immune system makes which attach to specific activating sites on thyroid gland which in turn cause the thyroid to make more hormone. There are actually three distinct parts of Graves' disease: [1] overactivity of the thyroid gland (hyperthyroidism), [2] inflammation of the tissues around the eyes causing swelling, and [3] thickening of the skin over the lower legs (pretibial myxedema). Most patients with Graves' disease, however, have no obvious eye involvement. Their eyes may feel irritated or they may look like they are staring. About one out of 20 people with Graves' disease will suffer more severe eye problems, which can include bulging of the eyes, severe inflammation, double vision, or blurred vision. If these serious problems are not recognized and treated, they can permanently damage the eyes and even cause blindness. Thyroid and eye involvement in Graves' disease generally run a parallel course, with eye problems resolving slowly after hyperthyroidism is controlled.

Characteristics of Graves Disease

Graves Disease effects women much more often than men (about 8:1 ratio, thus 8 women get Graves Disease for every man that gets it.

Graves Disease is often called diffuse toxic goiter because the entire thyroid gland is enlarged, usually moderately enlarged, sometimes quite big.

Graves disease is uncommon over the age of 50 (more common in the 30's and 40's)

Graves Disease tends to run in families (not known why)

Copyright © 1997-2005. Endocrine Web and the Norman Endocrine Surgery Clinic. All rights reserved.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

symptom thyroid : SONGS ABOUT CANCER?!

"In the fifth week of hypo hell
my symptoms gave to me --
four bouts of weeping,
three seafood cravings,
two migraine headaches,
and the need for a really
great nap!"

Take me to the songs!

Here's the story behind the songs...

When I was diagnosed with papillary thyroid cancer in 1997 at the age of 35, my life was changed forever. Now, 7years later, I am still going strong and fighting this rare disease, finding strength and courage by looking for whatever good I can find in the bad.

One of the amazing things that has happened to me as a result of the cancer is that when I went "hypothyroid" (off my thyroid hormone for several weeks) for a scan, I discovered I could rewrite the lyrics to songs and make them relate to thyroid cancer. Suddenly I was able to rhyme and find humor in a very black situation.

I shared my first song with the members of an on-line thyroid cancer support group, and the response was great. We had a good laugh, and talked about how important a positive attitude is in fighting cancer.

I wrote more songs and shared them with my on-line "thyca" friends. They started sharing the songs with their loved ones, and they began to tell me what a difference the songs had made in their lives:

"Thanks for the first laugh I have had since I was diagnosed."

"Your songs are hilarious!"

"My husband and I read your songs on the computer and laughed until we cried. Now he understands a little better what I am going through. Thank you."

Most of the songs are just plain funny. Some of them are powerful, intense, and could be called "black humor". But whatever category they fit in, all of my songs are written from my own experiences, and the stories of my on-line cancer survivor friends.

This site is dedicated to my beloved grandmother, Joan Farrell, who bought me the computer that helped change my life. She loved to hear how the Internet brought me information, friends, and a place to share my experiences and songs with others.

I'd also like to send my sincere thanks to my employer, the web site design and hosting company, ComSite International, Inc., for sponsoring this site.

And to all thyroid cancer survivors who thought they were the only ones out there, you are not alone. Welcome.

-Megan Stendebach

symptom thyroid : How to Have a Healthy Thyroid

You can take several steps to help ensure thyroid health.

Have your thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) levels checked once a year if:
you have a family history of thyroid disease
you have been exposed to x-ray therapy or radiation
you are planning a pregnancy
you have given birth in the last 6 months
you are a woman over 50.
Do a neck check, or what I call a thyroid self-exam (TSE). Every couple of months, visually inspect your neck area for signs of a goiter or unusual lumps and bumps. You can do this in front of a mirror for best results. Tilt your head back to get a better look at the thyroid area. Starting with the nape, feel your way around the entire neck area. Hard lumps are especially suspicious, particularly if they are under your ear lobe or further around your neck area. If you do find a lump, request that a fine needle aspiration be done to rule out cancer.
If you experience any thyroid disease symptoms, request a thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) test, which will tell you whether your thyroid gland is functioning normally. Thyroid disease is often misdiagnosed, especially in women, because some of its symptoms mimic various forms of biological depression. Seniors are also a hugely misdiagnosed group.
If you are diagnosed with thyroid disease ask to be treated by a doctor knowledgeable about the subject. If you are on thyroid medication, carefully watch your bodily functions for signs of too high or too low medication dosages.
Finding the Right Doctor
Here are some guidelines for selecting a doctor for diagnosis or treatment of thyroid disease:

Ensure your primary care doctor knows what is involved in testing for thyroid disease and is willing to do it regularly, if appropriate.
If your primary care doctor avoids thyroid testing by telling you your symptoms are related to stress, menopause, chronic fatigue syndrome or depression, or even PMS, look for another doctor, or request a referral to an endocrinologist.
If you have been diagnosed with Graves' disease or Hashimoto's disease ask to be referred to an endocrinologist who specializes in thyroid disease as well as ophthalmologist who can monitor any eye changes.

Copyright ©2004 by

Monday, July 03, 2006

symptom thyroid : Important Information for Thyroid Patients

Since thyroid hormones affect every cell in your body, an overactive or underactive thyroid can produce a wide variety of symptoms.

Your thyroid gland is located in the front of your neck below your Adam's apple. It plays an important role in regulating your body's metabolism.

HYPOTHYROIDISM (underactive thyroid)

Hypothyroidism may occur at any age but is especially common in older individuals. It affects 17% of women and 9% of men by age 60.

Do you have Hypothyroidism?

Check out these Possible Signs and Symptoms:

Skin, Hair, Nails: Is your skin: cold, thick, dry with little or no sweating, waxy, flaky, itchy, pale ivory or jaundiced? Do you bruise easily, do wounds heal slowly, are you always feeling cold?

Is your body temperature below normal? Have you noticed puffiness of hands and face-especially of the eyelids and under the eyes ?

Do you get "Pins and Needles"? Do you have Carpal Tunnel Syndrome? Have you noticed hair loss of scalp, groin, outer half of eyebrows? -are you constantly cleaning out the sink and tub drains after each shampoo? Is your scalp dry? Does your hair feel like straw? Is it starting to "frizzle"?

Are your nails brittle and thick and always breaking, splitting, layering?

Digestive system: Are you always constipated? Have you gained weight and feel "bloated?"

Is your cholesterol high?

Reproductive system: Do you have heavy menstruation(clotting is common),a tendency for low birth weight babies and early delivery? Did you miscarry your last pregnancy? Have you recently given birth? Post Partum Thyroiditis occurs in approx 8% of women after delivery and involves a hypothyroid stage 12-14 weeks after delivery.

Cardiac System: Is your pulse slower than normal? Do you experience skipped beats followed by a "boom", chest pain, shortness of breath? Are you sleeping excessively yet still feel totally "drained and lifeless"?, Do you "sigh" a lot? Is everything an extreme effort? Have you lost your "get up and go?". Do your family and co-workers (if you're still able to work) think of you as lazy?. Do you feel "100 years old" ? Do you take iron medication for chronic anemia?

Has your blood pressure changed -gone either up or down?

The Mind and Emotions: Does your mind feel "foggy?" Does your mental process seem slower than usual making thinking and decision making more difficult? Is your memory poor? Do you feel depressed, sad, and cry easily for no reason? Do you see "something" in your peripheral vision when nothing is there?

Musculator System: Is it hard to keep your arms up when curling your hair? Do you get muscle cramps, lose your balance and have a sluggish tendon reflex?

Eye, Ear, Nose and Throat: Although Thyroid Eye Disease is more commonly associated with Graves' Disease (Hyperthyroidism), it can also be associated with Hypothyroidism.

Do you find you have to listen harder to hear conversations and need the radio etc.turned up? Does your voice seem deeper and hoarse? Is your speech slurred at times? Do you notice swelling at the front of your neck and feel pressure on your throat which is making swallowing more difficult ?

Do you suffer from frequent chest colds and other infections?

Have you been treated for hyperthyroidism? ( hypothyroidism often develops after treatment ). Do you have a family history of thyroid disease and/or diabetes?

A TSH test is the most important test for detecting primary hypothyroidism.

Note: If you have had X-ray therapy as a child for enlarged adenoids or tonsils, enlargements of the thymus gland as a newborn, birthmarks, whooping cough, acne, or ringworm of the scalp, your physician should palpate your neck carefully to check for thyroid nodules as in almost every instance the thyroid function test will be normal, even in patients who have a proven carcinoma. The T4 ( a thyroid hormone) and TSH (thyroid stimulating hormone) value can be misleading in this case, as they reflect the state of the total thyroid function, rather than the presence or significance of a thyroid nodule.

HYPERTHYROIDISM (overactive thyroid)

Hyperthyroidism is most common between the ages of 20-40 but may occur at any age.

Copyright © 1998-2003 Thyroid Federation International

symptom thyroid : Could you be hyperthyroid?

Check out these possible signs and symptoms:

Skin, Hair, Nails: Do you always feel hot and can't stand the heat? Is your skin warm and velvety to touch? Is your face flushed ? Do you have increased sweating and frequent hives/itching? Have you noticed increased pigmentation of palms/soles? Do you have orange skin like lumps on the skin of the shins? Is your hair very soft, hard to curl and diffusely thinning?Are your nails soft, grow quickly and "lift" allowing dirt to get trapped underneath which is hard to get out?. Have you noticed your fingers taking on the shape of a "club?"-fingertips widen at sides of nail (rare).

Digestive System: Are you "shoveling food" into your system because of an excessive appetite but losing weight? Do you have frequent bowel movements/diarrhea?

Reproductive System: Is your period now scant or stopped altogether? Have you been told you are experiencing early menopause? Are you having difficulty to conceive? Decreased sex drive due to total exhaustion of constantly being "driven" is common. Have you recently given birth? Post partum thyroiditis involves a hyperthyroid stage 6-12 weeks after delivery followed by a hypothyroid stage 12-14 weeks post partum.

Cardiac System: Is your pulse faster than normal with times when it goes so fast(tachycardia) you become very weak? Are you short of breath? Do you have swelling of your ankles; Do you get chest pain and palpitations but a cardiac checkup reveals "nothing wrong?" When your doctor checks your blood pressure is your systolic blood pressure reading( top number) elevated with diastolic reading (bottom number) normal? This is known as wide pulse pressure.

The Mind and Emotions: Do you feel as if you"re in "overdrive and "out of control"? Are you restless, nervous, impatient, irritable, unable to stop cleaning house etc.? Do you feel "ready to explode", have mood swings, panic attacks, headaches, difficulty sleeping you're so wound up?

Muscular System: Do you find yourself pulling on the bannister with your arms to help you climb stairs due to weak thigh muscles? Have you noticed a fine tremor (you can check this by placing a sheet of paper on the back of your hand) or obvious shakiness of your hands? Is your knee jerk response exaggerated ? Are your ankles swollen?

Eye, Ear, Nose and Throat: Do you"stare" a lot without blinking? Have you noticed changes in your eyes such as eye lid elevation, a feeling of "sand in eyes", pain, watering, redness, possible protrusion. If you have thyroid eye disease symptoms, you should be seen by a specialist. Do not hesitate to ask for a second opinion on treatment options.

According to Dr. Robert Volpe, FRCP, FACP, Toronto, Canada, "the general view is that if patients do have eye signs to begin with and yet radioactive iodine is the treatment of choice, then Prednisone given concurrently with the radioactive iodine and for 6-8 weeks tends to prevent the aggravation of the eye signs. There is some suggested evidence that patients should not be allowed to become hypothyroid after treatment and possibly throxine should be given after the radioactive iodine so as to prevent hypothyroidism. However this is somewhat controversial, and most endocrinologists would wait until the TSH begins to rise before prescribing thyroxine."

Are you very sensitive to noise now ? Have you noticed a lump or swelling on the front of your neck?

Do you have a family history of thyroid disease and/or diabetes?

Please note the above symptoms are extensive in order to present the "whole picture". You probably won't have all of these symptoms. Seniors usually present atypically so TSH testing is very important. Early diagnosis with a simple TSH blood test followed by correct treatment will prevent serious complications.

It is extremely important for you to tell your doctor all of your symptoms-simply "highlight" or circle them above and take this article with you. Also write down any questions you may have and give a copy to your doctor.

We urge all doctors to take time to listen to your patients.. don't "isolate" symptoms but look at the whole spectrum. If a patient tells you s/he feels as if s/he's falling apart and "nothing seems to be working properly", chances are s/he's right!

Copyright © 1998-2003 Thyroid Federation International

Saturday, July 01, 2006


Despite the sensitivity of all the tests the doctors
can give a patient today, a mildly low thyroid person
can still appear normal on paper.

I cannot tell you how many people who write to me and
tell me of all their symptoms that are clearly hypothyroid.
They complain that no doctors will help them, that all the
tests they take come up "normal", but still they suffer
tremendously with symptoms daily.

Why is it that so many people who need some thyroid
hormone simply cannot get it from their doctor?

Dr. Richard Shames of "Thyroid Power" believes one reason
so "many people cannot get thyroid therapy is because many physicians are not aware of the excessive prevalence of low thyroid in the population, or of its collective toll on the
nation's health". The Mayo Clinic has determined that as much as 10 percent of the population suffer from thyroid problems and it appears to be on the increase.

Every thyroid patient has a list of symptoms and complaints that may seem unrelated and even excessive to their doctor.
For example, my symptoms included severe fatigue, ovarian cysts and endometriosis, occasional anxiety, being cold all
the time, some brain fog and other minor symptoms, but nothing was life threatening really, so it didn't grab my gyno's attention.

When I was being diagnosed with endometriosis, the only answer they had for me was "We don't know what
causes this. All we can do is cut it out and give you
Lupron to stop the bleeding". The mentality was and still is, "Just cut that out and things will get better." Got a tumor?
Poison it or cut it out. Feeling some anxiety and a little depression? Here, take this anti-depressant!

Many doctors respond only to tests that reveal evidence of life threatening diseases like cancer, diabetes, heart attacks and the like. When your symptoms are mild and not going to kill you quickly, your doctor may not respond. Many people have told me that their doctors just think they are nuts and they themselves started to believe it. How tragic!

The truth of the matter is that thyroid disease does kill, but very slowly. There were days back a few months ago that I was so tired, that I did feel like I was dying. Those of you who suffer from fatigue know what I mean. Thyroid disease does kill, and if you are hypothyroid, you may develop all sorts of diseases like heart disease, cancer, diabetes if you do not receive treatment. It does not happen overnight, but it does happen.

Thyroid disease can be treated. First you need to stop stressing your body, and start eating healthy foods. Diet, exercise and reducing your stress level will start your recovery. Some people have stressed their body for too long and require a thyroid hormone. There are synthetic hormones and natural hormones. Natural is always better. In fact, synthetic hormones can cause more problems than they solve.

Without treatment, you are setting yourself up for cancer, heart disease, diabetes, and a list of other symptoms like Carpal tunnel syndrome, tendonitis, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, PMS, infertility, dangerously high cholesterol, severe depression (including suicidal thoughts), obesity, heart failure, stroke, and death. This is about the health of every tissue and organ in your body. Every cell in your body is dependent upon your thyroid.

And if you are of child bearing years, it is very important to
be healthy before you conceive! If you aren't healthy you are
also setting your child up for health problems down the road.

by Victoria

symptom thyroid : MAKE SURE YOU HAVE A THYROID


While to some of you, this tip might be very basic (the
powerful info comes in tips five through seven), it is absolutely essential that you make sure your diagnosis is correct before you begin wasting time and money on treatments that are not designed to help your specific situation.

Do you really suffer from Hypothyroidism? That question needs an answer before you embark on a course of treating it.

Getting an accurate test from a physician to diagnose hypothyroidism can be difficult. The truth is, most medical doctors, and conventional medicine as a whole, have failed miserably to truly help the public with thyroid disorders, which is well supported by testimony from thousands of unhappy patients.

You may have been to your doctor and had a test, and the doctor tells you that you are in the "normal range". But you are still dealing with symptoms and know something is very wrong in your body.

Hypothyroidism is the root cause of many symptoms of disease. Because your doctor has given you one test that determines you to be normal does not mean you are in fact normal and not dealing with hypothyroidism.


The Living Well Plan

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