Monday, July 03, 2006

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

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