Monday, February 2, 2009

thyroid problems, continuing on with my regimen

A common health problem for women is some type of thyroid disorder. I happen to have a mild case of hypothyroid disorder, which is probably a result of an autoimmune disease. While my case is mild, it has caused problems that are both health related and, to a lesser degree, cosmetic in nature.

Here's a questionnaire to help you assess your risk factors for Hypothroidism. It is from a site called Thyroid-Info. Remember, it's dangerous to diagnose yourself from an internet site. There is even a new syndrome called "Internet Induced Hypochondria" or "Cyberchondria", in which people become fearful about their health after reading too much medically related information on the Internet. Also, remember that anyone with a computer can post something on the net, and people can present themselves as being "experts" when they may not really be so. There's some helpful information on the web, and there's a lot of misinformation, as well. It takes some discernment to filter the true from the false. While the Internet may help inform you, it's still always best to bounce thins off a qualified medical practitioner. I, myself, have been diagnosed by both an Internist and an endorcrinologist, so I do know that I have this problem. After reading the questionnaire below, don't jump to conclusions. If you do have some of the following symptoms, discuss them with a qualified medical practitioner, take sound medical advice, and refuse to worry about it. I have found through experience that worrying makes any number of health conditions worse.

Anyhow, here's the quiz:


___ My family (parent, sibling, child) has a history of thyroid disease
___ I've had a treated or untreated thyroid problem (i.e., hyperthyroidism, Graves' disease, Hashimoto's thyroiditis, post-partum thyroiditis, goiter, nodules, thyroid cancer) in the past
___ A member of my family or I have currently or in the past been diagnosed with an autoimmune disease
___ I am over 60
___ I am female
___ I am perimenopausal or menopausal
___ I have recently had a baby
___ I have a history of infertility or miscarriage
___ I am currently a smoker, or was a heavy smoker in the past
___ I am currently taking lithium, amiodarone (Cordarone), iodine, kelp, bladderwrack, bugleweed, or soy isoflavone supplements
___ I have had radiation treatment to my head, neck, chest, tonsil area, etc.
___ I had "Nasal Radium Therapy"
___ I consume substantial quantities of any of the following foods, frequently raw: brussels sprouts, rutabaga, turnips, kohlrabi, radishes, cauliflower, African cassava, millet, babassu, cabbage, kale, soy-protein supplements (i.e., protein powders)
___ I live, lived, work, worked or grew up near or at a nuclear plant
(My note: While it is true that certain foods in the broccoli family and also soy might have a harmful effect on the thyroid gland -- especially if consumed in large quantities -- they also have possible health benefits to the body. So, I wouldn't eliminate them from my diet without consulting a physician or a dietician. Let the physician help you weigh the risks/benefits of consuming these foods in your diet.)

___ I am gaining weight inappropriately or unable to lose weight
___ My "normal" body temperature is low, and/or I frequently feel cold
___ I feel fatigued, exhausted more than normal
___ I have a slow pulse, and/or low blood pressure
___ I have high cholesterol
___ My hair is rough, coarse dry, breaking, brittle, or falling out
___ My skin is rough, coarse, dry, scaly, itchy and thick
___ My nails have been dry, brittle, and break more easily
___ My voice has become hoarse, husky or gravelly
___ I have pains, aches, stiffness, tingling in joints, muscles, hands and/or feet
___ I have carpal tunnel syndrome, arm or leg tendonitis, or plantar's fascitis
___ I am having irregular menstrual cycles (longer, or heavier, or more frequent)
___ I am experiencing infertility, or have had one or more miscarriage
___ I feel depressed, restless, moody, sad
___ I have difficulty concentrating or remembering things
___ I have no or low sex drive
___ My eyes feel gritty, dry, light-sensitive
___ My neck or throat feels full, pressure, choking, lumpy, larger than usual, and/or I have difficulty swallowing
___ I have/may have sleep apnea
___ I have puffiness and swelling around the eyes, eyelids, face, feet, hands and feet

Hypothyrodism affects many hormonal and chemical processes within your body. It has been associated with unremitting fatigue, a tendency to gain weight, insulin problems, blood pressure problems, infertility and miscarriages, joint pain, and heart problems. It has also been linked to problems that are of a less serious nature, but that can be upsetting, nontheless: hair loss or thinnning hair, loss or thinning of outer eyelashes and eyebrows, and a puffy face. Hpothyroidism does not have a permanent cure as of date, but it is a highly treable condition. So, the good news is that if you have problems related to a failing thyroid, these can usually be reversed if you follow good medical care and take the right thyroid supplements for you. Internists and other physicians can treat you for this disease, but endrocrinologists usually have the most experience in treating a thyroid problem as it relates to your overall health.

The treatment of thyroid disease and any related complications is specific. However, it's also important to work on your general health. Improving factors such as diet, exercise, rest, and handling stress well gives your body a chance to function at its best, which can only help the treatments to be more effective.

What I've accomplished today;

Multi-vitamin and fish oil capsule.
ballet stretches, warm-up, plies, etc.

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