Category: Thyroid Disease
Newly Diagnosed Thyroid Disorder Patients
For those of you that have been recently diagnosed with a thyroid disorder, you most likely have many questions that seem to have no answers. As you will learn, it is very difficult to get a definitive answer from your physician because thyroid balance is a matter of trial and error. If you have an overactive thyroid disorder, called hyperthyroidism, your treatment will be more definitive within a specific period of time. For patients who have an under active thyroid disorder, called hypothyroid, treatment will involve a thyroid supplement with the goal of correcting your thyroid imbalance. And to make this type of diagnosis even more complicating, the treatment for hyperthyroidism may ultimately lead to hypothyroidism. The questions get lengthier and the answers seem less obvious.
Thyroid disease is diagnosed in over thirteen million Americans each year making it one of the most prevalent health problems in the world. And because many thyroid disorder symptoms are vague, most newly diagnosed patients were caught by surprise when their diagnosis was made.
Allopathic Medicine refers to the type of health care that is most common in America. Doctors who practice allopathic medicine prescribe surgery, prescription drugs, and physician or hospital visits.
Alternative Medicine refers to medical treatment that is alternative. Some groups refer to this treatment model as complementary or natural. These are the treatment models that have lasted centuries in cultures within areas other than the United States, such as China and include therapies such as herbal remedies and acupuncture.
Integrative Medicine is a combination of both types of medical treatments and it incorporates allopathic standards and treatment with natural re balancing options or alternative approaches.
Traditional and Alternative Testing Methods
Tests that measure the thyroid function are the standard of care for a newly diagnosed thyroid disorder patient. Some doctors will order a TSH and Total T4 as a preliminary screening tool. Various factors such as birth control pills, hormone replacement therapy, and estrogen replacement therapy can influence these test results. For this reason it is imperative that the patient divulge a complete medical history profile to the physician or technician administering the tests.
Additional blood tests might be ordered by the physician to better determine the state of the thyroid disorder. Included in these tests are Free T4, Free T3 and Reverse T3. Also a thyroid-binding globulin test might be ordered to measure the amount of tyrosine-containing protein that binds to iodine from the thyroid hormones. The reason for these additional tests is because high or low levels of TGB, for example, may affect the traditional thyroid tests such that they lead to false hormone levels.
In some cases a thyroid ultrasound or scan will be ordered by the attending physician as a method of digging deeper into the thyroid and examining its function completely without surgical treatment.
As with any newly diagnosed thyroid patient, an endocrinologist of primary physician is the best person to determine which tests should be administered.
Which Treatment Option is Best for Me?
The decision as to which treatment option a patient should peruse is a difficult one to answer without a one-on-one consultation with a personal physician or endocrinologist. In most cases, a newly diagnosed thyroid disorder patient will want to meet with the physician in the privacy of his/her office to discuss medical history and treatment options that are best for the type of disorder of which the patient was diagnosed.
No one should ever assume that all people would be treated with the same treatment plan. All people are unalike with differing medical history as well as many other factors, which make the thyroid disorder treatment plan necessitate a carefully planned strategy.
Treatment Hopes: Iodine-Refractory Thyroid Cancer
For many people with an aggressive form of thyroid cancer, the recent news about Nexavar® comes as a welcome sign of hope. A recent study released by researchers who conducted a study at the University of Pennsylvania have published documentation showing that Nexavar® offers important success for the treatment of metastatic iodine-refractory thyroid cancer. The specific aspects of this study were released in a contemporary online writing in the Journal of Clinical Oncology on June 9, 2008.
What is Iodine-Refractory Thyroid Cancer?
Previously, there were no known treatments that were considered the standard of care of metastatic, iodine-refractory thyroid cancer. The most commonly chosen method of which to address thyroid carcinomas involves thyroidectomy, and post-surgery treatment of radioactive iodine in order to remove any thyroid residue in patients who are at a higher risk of developing a recurrence. Also, a thyroid hormone replacement is prescribed. Because several tumors will differentiate and develop into refractory to radioactive iodine. Subsequently, the prognosis for these patients is not good because there are no advantageous options for the patient's treatment.
What is Nexavar?
Nexavar® is an oral multiple kinase inhibitor for the management of patients with hepatocellular carcinoma, which is the most common form of liver cancer, and patients with advanced renal cell carcinoma, the most sweeping type of kidney cancer.
Nexavar® also provides cancer treatment for patients with thyroid cancer that has progressed subsequent standard therapy. These results were recently have taken the oncology world by storm and given great hope to patients who suffer from this type of thyroid disease.
The thyroid is a gland in the neck that produces hormones primarily connected to metabolic processes in the body. Nearly thirty-eight thousand new cases will be diagnosed in 2008 within the United States alone, according to the American Cancer Society.
Almost two-thirds of all thyroid cancers happen in people amid the ages of twenty and fifty-five years of age. Taking everything into account, thyroid cancer is regarded as a highly curable cancer because nearly ninety-seven percent of those with this disease are alive after five years subsequent the diagnosis. Not far from ninety-five percent of these cases are determined to be differentiated thyroid cancers; the distinction refers to the type and characteristics of the cancer cells.
Treatment for the Disease
Thyroid cancer is treated by surgery and iodine; however, there remain some patients who do not respond well to radiotherapy and chemotherapy. Therefore, novel treatments are necessary for patients who fail typical therapy.
In the existing Phase II clinical trial, over thirty patients who suffer from advanced iodine-refractory thyroid cancer were given Nexavar® for at least sixteen weeks. The certain response rate was over twenty percent, and the disease stabilization rate was over fifty percent. These statistics resulted in a disease control rate of over seventy percent.
These numbers give hope to patients who suffer from this disease as shown by the documented result of seventeen out of the nineteen patients evaluated showed rapid response in their thyroglobulin levels. It is important to point out, however, that one of the patients had liver failure, which could be due to Nexavar® toxicity. The co-authors of the study, therefore, concluded that the study results were more positive than would have been expected from chemotherapy treatment.
Consult a Professional
As with any health issue, the ultimate source of information should be your personal physician. There are many online journals and publications that provide interesting articles on the topic, but a personal consultation with your oncologist or personal physician is more informative.
If you or a loved one is suffering from this disease, it is recommended that you speak to your physician about Nexavar® and iodine-refractory thyroid cancer treatment options.
Even little amounts of fluoride, such as in toothpaste or in U.S. water supplies, may cause risks to the thyroid gland.
Fluoride and Thyroid Damage
Not often is there a publication released which shows an association with common items such as toothpaste and public water supplies to negative health consequences, but recent studies have revealed a link between fluoride and thyroid damage.
There is glaring evidence that shows even little amounts of fluoride, such as in toothpaste or in U.S. water supplies may deal out possible risks to the thyroid gland, according to the National Research Council's (NRC) introductory issue of the fluoride/thyroid literature.
Fluoride, in the configuration of silicofluorides, introduced into nearly seventy-five percent of U.S. public water reserves, apparently reduce tooth decay, however this practice was never fully tested, according to the Review of Toxicological Literature, October 2001 issue.
And many Americans are open to fluoride consumption without intentionally ingesting it, and at the same time may be affecting their thyroid's ability to function, particularly people that suffer from an iodine deficiency, according to Kathleen Thiessen, PhD, who is the co-author of the government-sponsored NRC study. Thiessen continues stating that the modern decline in iodine consumption within the United States could add to the toxicity of ingested fluoride for many people. And more alarming news comes from Thiessen. She states that low levels of thyroid hormone can raise the chances of many substantial health issues such as cardiac disease, depression, high cholesterol, and lower intelligence of offspring in pregnant women.
Symptoms of Thyroid Disease
Prevalent thyroid symptoms comprise of exhaustion, weight gain, constipation, clouded thought process, low blood pressure, fluid tenacity, melancholia, body pain, gradual reflexes, and much more. It is calculated that nearly fifty-nine million people in the United States suffer from some type of a thyroid disorder.
A leading environmental scientist who worked for over thirty years with the United States government with the responsibility of managing safety for highly dangerous chemicals, Robert Carton, PhD, said that it has serious effects on the thyroid gland of otherwise healthy males at 3.5 mg daily. For those with an iodine weakness, the consequence level reduces to 0.7 milligrams daily for a typical male and because it is in most water supplies, this data is alarming.
Scientists Probe Solutions
Dr. Richard and Kariless Shames state that people who have a thyroid disorder should avoid it. And John Doull who is professor of pharmacology and toxicology at the Medical Center of the University of Kansas sated that the thyroid effect is worrisome.
Hypothyroidism - Low Thyroid Production
Some experts believe that this is in part the reason for the upsurge of hypothyroid cases in the United States. The use of fluoride has been commonplace since the 1930's as an anti-thyroid treatment at levels below the current optimal approved levels of 1 mg daily. The reason for this is because of fluoride's capability to simulate the action of thyrotropin (TSH). It is theorized, therefore, that of the more than one hundred and fifty symptoms of hypothyroidism, many of them are also symptoms of excessive fluoride intake and poisoning.
Andreas Schuld, who is a leading scientist and advocate, has discovered that an overabundance of it is consistent with varied thyroid-related issues such as an iodine shortcoming. Therefore, fluoride and iodine, the two of them are members of the halogens body of atoms, have an antagonistic association. When there is maximum of fluoride in the body it can intrude with the ability of the thyroid's function. It is statistical that iodine deficiency, which is the most prevailing influence of brain damage and mental disablement in the world, could be lessened by merely reducing the intake of fluoride.
Iodine and the Thyroid
The disorder known as "goiter" which involves a profound swelling of the thyroid gland, which then produces increased swellings in the neck, is related to iodine deficiency. Yet, it has also been discovered to arise in areas that have inadequate iodine supplies plus an excess of fluoride in the water supply.
Research has shown that one of the effects of low iodine in mothers may lead to an increased occurrence of mental retardation in their offspring. Fortunately, however, since the arrival of iodized salt this is a less recurring event.
Consult a Professional
If you or a loved one has questions about fluoride and thyroid damage, it is recommended that you consult with a health care professional because ultimately, it is your physician who can give you the definitive answers to these types of health questions.
Exploring Undiagnosed Thyroid Problems
According to recent studies, people who have undiagnosed thyroid problems, such as under active or overactive thyroid, appear to have a modestly increased risk of heart disease than those that are treating their thyroid disease by following the advise of a health care professional. It is estimated that over 30,000 preventable deaths a year occur from heart attacks each year in the United States. Further, it is surmised that women with untreated hypothyroidism are more than twice as likely to have a heart attack.
What are the symptoms or warning signs of a thyroid problem?
Signs to watch out for include symptoms such as fatigue, anxiety, unexplained weight gain or loss, hair loss, depression, and palpitations. These symptoms may indicate that you possibly have an undiagnosed thyroid disease.
What causes thyroid problems?
Thyroid malfunction is more often than not due to an autoimmune response by the body. This is where the body's immune system produces antibodies which attack the gland and then cause hormone production to be disturbed. Generally the cause is due to intensified levels of dangerous toxins such as chlorinated substances, viruses, pathogens, infections, pesticides, altered enzymes or hormones, etc.
Patients diagnosed with hypothyroidism, a condition in which abnormally low activity of the thyroid gland is present, reported a greater percentage of symptoms than did those with no thyroid issues whatsoever. Hypothyroid patients reported more total symptoms than euthyroid individuals, or those with a normally functioning thyroid gland. But it is important to point out that no single symptom was an indicator of thyroid failure. While there was an increase in the likelihood of thyroid disease as the number of reported symptoms increased, these symptoms are most often inconsequential and develop after time so they go unnoticed.
What steps should be taken?
If you suspect that you may have an undiagnosed thyroid disease, it is highly recommended that you contact a trained health care professional. Testing for thyroid disease is easy to complete with a simple blood test and can help you get on the road towards feeling better.
Risk Factors of Thyroid Cancer
Papillary thyroid carcinoma (PTC) is the most sweeping form of thyroid cancer in the United States and statistics show that more than 80 percent of all thyroid cancers are this type. The disease is many times inherited, as first-degree relatives of PTC patients have a three to eight times higher chance of developing the disease. This extensive genetic element, however, has not led researchers to identify genetic factors that predispose people to the affliction. Researchers suggest that if a mutation within any of the genes were found, then perhaps the issue has to do with how the genes were being regulated, or turned off and on.
What are some of the risk factors for Thyroid Cancer?
Thyroid cancer is a medical condition of which the cause has yet to be determined, however some researchers have stated that there are known risk factors such as radiation exposure at a young age, smoking and drinking. The debate on this issue continues because several other researchers disagree with this theory and argue that smoking and drinking have not yet proven to be directly related to the disease. But, they also reveal that it is better to avoid them. And although there is no clear consensus as to whether smoking and drinking are linked as direct causes of thyroid gland malignancy, these researchers agree that it is better to give up smoking and drinking for general good health. Indeed, there may be no direct correlation between thyroid cancer and smoking/drinking, but there is a school of thought that believe these actions might possibly be risk factors for thyroid cancer, therefore if one is predisposed genetically to thyroid cancer, it is best to avoid smoking and drinking altogether.
What should I do if I notice a nodule in my neck?
People who notice unusual nodules in the neck should visit a doctor in a short time in order to find out if the nodules represents a malign or a benign tumor. Indeed, the doctor can examine the patient by a simple examination of the neck and also he can settle a proper diagnosis by performing certain laboratory tests which are intended to determine the function of the thyroid gland.
Are there any other risk factors for thyroid disease?
Accumulation of acids in your body due to insufficient digestion of food, food allergies and consumption of acid-forming substances can cause thyroid disorder. Acid-associated causes of thyroid disorder also include susceptibility to heavy metals and toxic chemicals in the water supply and in highly processed food. When the body's acid level increases to a high level, thyroid function will be depressed and metabolism will slow.
Insufficient levels of digestive enzymes, also caused by over-consumption of processed foods, can cause a thyroid disorder. The body's ability to neutralize acids is further reduced and as people age, the more toxins introduced into the human system, the higher the likelihood of developing a thyroid disorder.
Consult a professional
Therefore, it is surmised by researchers that to reduce the risk factors can result in a decreased chance of developing thyroid cancer.
Note: The contents of this blog are for informational purposes only and are not intended to be construed as medical advice or as a substitute for professional care. This site should not be used in place of professional medical advice. The author is not a physician. For medical emergencies, call 911!
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