Thyroid Basics

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jujub
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Date Joined Mar 2003
Total Posts : 10405
   Posted 6/17/2009 7:42 AM (GMT -7)   
This is information compiled from a variety of sources.
 
The thyroid gland produces thyroid hormone, which controls the metabolic rate. Thyroid disorders are very common in the United States with over 20 million people under treatment.  Women are more commonly affected, and if they have a personal or family history of autoimmune disease, there is a greater risk of thyroid malfunction (25%).

Hyperthyroidism (overactive thyroid) may cause nervousness, palpitations, heat intolerance and weight loss. It is estimated that there are approximately 1 million patients in the United States suffering from Graves' disease, the most common form of hyperthyroidism. Fifteen percent of these cases are seen in the general population over the age of sixty.

Hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid) is due to an insufficient amount of thyroid hormone. Hashimoto's thyroiditis is the most common cause of an underactive thyroid; symptoms include fatigue, weight gain, difficulty concentrating and depression. At least 10% of women in the United States will have signs of a failing thyroid by the age of fifty. At age 60, 17% of women and 8% of men have signs of a failing thyroid.

Thyroid disease is up to eight times more common in women than in men. At least 8% of women will have thyroid dysfunction following pregnancy. Thyroid dysfunction in the post partum period may play a role in some cases of postpartum depression. Additionally, thyroid disease may contribute to infertility if it is not recognized and treated.

Approximately 5% of the population worldwide have goiter or benign thyroid enlargement. Patients who have had x-ray treatment to the head and neck regions for conditions such as acne, thymus enlargement, recurrent tonsillitis, chronic ear infections and birthmarks are at a greater risk for thyroid nodules and thyroid cancer. Most thyroid nodules are harmless, but some may produce excess thyroid hormone, and others may be cancerous. The incidence of thyroid cancer is increasing faster than any other cancer in the United States. The usual treatment is surgery to remove all or part of the thyroid. 


Judy
 
Moderate to severe left-sided UC diagnosed 2001.
Flared for 5 years, finally in remission with Remicade since March 2006.
Avascular necrosis in both shoulders is my "forever" gift from steroids.
Colazal,  Remicade, Nature's Way Primadophilus Reuteri. 
"My life is an ongoing medical adventure"
 
.


jujub
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Mar 2003
Total Posts : 10405
   Posted 6/17/2009 7:54 AM (GMT -7)   

Additional information from the Mayo clinic, which has a great informative website:

http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/hyperthyroidism/DS00344

http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/hypothyroidism/DS00353

http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/thyroid-cancer/DS00492


Judy
 
Moderate to severe left-sided UC diagnosed 2001.
Flared for 5 years, finally in remission with Remicade since March 2006.
Avascular necrosis in both shoulders is my "forever" gift from steroids.
Colazal,  Remicade, Nature's Way Primadophilus Reuteri. 
"My life is an ongoing medical adventure"
 
.


jujub
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Mar 2003
Total Posts : 10405
   Posted 11/13/2009 7:16 AM (GMT -7)   
Hashimoto's Thyroiditis is an autoimmune condition in which the body's immune system begins to destroy the thyroid gland, impairing its ability to make hormone. The thyroid helps to regulate how much energy is used by the body, so Hashi's can produce symptoms in diverse parts of the body. Generally the symptoms are those of hypothyroidism. Hashimoto's thyroiditis is the most common type of thyroid disease in the United States.


Did you know that people who have an autoimmune disease have an increased chance of developing one or more other AI diseases? While we all have our specialists, it's important to also have a good primary care doctor to look at us as a whole.



More information:



http://www.womenshealth.gov/faq/hashimoto-thyroiditis.cfm

http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/hashimotos-disease/DS00567

http://www.labtestsonline.org/understanding/conditions/hashimoto.html



This one is written in medical jargon, so be warned, lol:



http://www.thyroidmanager.org/Chapter8/8-contents.htm

jujub
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Mar 2003
Total Posts : 10405
   Posted 11/13/2009 8:43 AM (GMT -7)   
Graves Disease of the thyroid is another autoimmune disorder which attacks the thyroid gland. In this disease, the thyroid is provoked to produce more and more hormone, leading to symptoms of hyperthyroidism. This is the most common cause of hyperthyroidism. Treatment begins with convincing the thyroid to produce less hormone. There are some medications that can help with this, however they tend not to be a good long-term solution because of the difficulty in regulating them and the possibility of unpleasant side effects. (PTU, for example, can cause a complete loss of taste.) In most cases, surgical removal of the thyroid or partial to total destruction of the gland is the treatment of choice. This produces hypothyroidism which then can easily be managed with hormone replacement.


More information:



http://www.womenshealth.gov/faq/graves-disease.cfm

http://endocrine.niddk.nih.gov/pubs/graves/

http://www.labtestsonline.org/understanding/conditions/graves.html



and again, for those who speak medicalese:

http://www.thyroidmanager.org/Chapter10/10-frame.htm

jujub
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Mar 2003
Total Posts : 10405
   Posted 11/14/2009 3:13 PM (GMT -7)   
Thyroidectomy is the surgical removal of all or part of the thyroid. Partial thyroidectomy is the removal of a portion, hemithyroidectomy is the removal of one side, or "wing" of the thyroid and total thyroidectomy is the removal of the entire gland. This link provides information on surgery and recovery from the patient's point of view.


http://thyroid.about.com/od/thyroiddrugstreatments/a/thyroidsurgery.htm

jujub
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Mar 2003
Total Posts : 10405
   Posted 12/1/2009 9:52 AM (GMT -7)   
Thyroid nodules are solid or fluid-filled lumps that form in the thyroid. Most thyroid nodules are noncancerous and don't cause symptoms, however a small percentage are cancerous.

Excellent information can be found here:

http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/thyroid-nodules/DS00491

Treatment of nodules depends on the cause, and can range from simple monitoring to surgery.

jujub
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Mar 2003
Total Posts : 10405
   Posted 12/1/2009 10:07 AM (GMT -7)   
So, this is the thyroid forum. What exactly is that thyroid, what is it for, and how can it cause us so much trouble?


How does your thyroid work?



http://www.endocrineweb.com/thyfunction.html

jujub
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Mar 2003
Total Posts : 10405
   Posted 12/15/2009 4:53 PM (GMT -7)   
Thyroid-Associated Ophthalmopathy (TAO), or Thyroid Eye Disease (TED)

Eye problems are common in people with Graves disease, but may also occur in those with hypothyroidism on occasion. The muscles and other tissues around the eye swell as a result of the autoimmune process. This can cause prominence of the eyes or even "bug" eyes.

Dryness of the eyeball occurs from too much exposure of the eye, and causes burning pain, excess tearing, and sensitivity to light. The cornea may be damaged in severe cases. The range of vision is often reduced because of scarring and swelling of the eye muscles, resulting in reduced mobility. Exposure of the eye may cause severe problems caused by dryness, including chemosis (swelling of the membrane covering the eye) and corneal ulcers.

Read the rest of this article here: http://home.rica.net/deecee/eyedisease.htm

If you notice your eyes seem to be more prominent, or are dry or light-sensitive, get them checked right away. It's generally a good idea to have an eye exam yearly to catch and treat any problems early.

jujub
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Mar 2003
Total Posts : 10405
   Posted 5/14/2014 7:08 AM (GMT -7)   
This site has a good explanation of what all those thyroid tests mean:

www.thyroid.org/blood-test-for-thyroid/

Please, if you're looking for advice concerning lab results, post your results and the lab's reference range. Without the reference range the results can't be accurately determined.
Thyroid forum moderator

Ulcerative colitis since 2001, starting 8th year of remission with Remicade.
Inflammatory osteoarthritis; osteonecrosis from steroids
Grave's disease treated with radioactive iodine and now on Levothyroxine.
Type II diabetes induced by steroids.
Charcot foot deformity
Eczema, darn it!

"It's always something." ~ Rosanne Rosannadanna
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