Hyperthyroidism

The term hyperthyroidism refers to any condition in which there is increased thyroid hormone produced in the body means the thyroid gland is overactive. Another term for this problem is thyrotoxicosis, which refers to high thyroid hormone levels in the blood stream, irrespective of their source.
Symptoms

  • Poor concentration
  • Fatigue/tiredness
  • Frequent bowel movements/Diarrhea
  • Goiter (enlarged thyroid gland) or thyroid nodules
  • Hair loss
  • Hand tremor
  • Heat intolerance
  • Increased appetite
  • Increased sweating
  • Irregular menstrual periods in women
  • Nervousness
  • Pounding or racing heart beat (palpitations)
  • Restlessness
  • Sleep problems
  • Weight loss despite a good appetite

Hyperthyroidism usually begins slowly but in some young patients these changes can be very abrupt. At first, the symptoms may be mistaken for simple nervousness due to stress.

Causes
The most common cause is overproduction of thyroid hormone by the entire thyroid gland. This condition is also known as Graves’ disease(autoimmune disorder). Graves’ disease is caused by antibodies in the blood that turn on the thyroid and cause it to grow and secrete too much thyroid hormone. This type of hyperthyroidism tends to run in families and it occurs more often in young women.
Other common causes include:

  • Thyroiditis-Inflammation of the thyroid due to viral infections, some medicines, or after pregnancy .
  • Taking too much thyroid hormone can cause thyrotoxicosis.
  • Nodules or lumps in the thyroid that may gradually grow and increase their activity so that the total output of thyroid hormone into the blood is greater than normal. This condition is known as toxic nodular or multinodular goiter.
  • Some tumors of the testes or ovaries (rare)
  • Getting medical imaging tests with contrast dye that has iodine (rare, and only if there is a problem with the thyroid).

Thyroid hormone regulation
The thyroid itself is regulated by another gland located in the brain, called the pituitary. In turn, the pituitary is regulated in part by thyroid hormone that is circulating in the blood (a “feedback” effect of thyroid hormone on the pituitary gland) and in part by another gland called the hypothalamus, also a part of the brain.The hypothalamus releases a hormone called thyrotropin releasing hormone (TRH), which sends a signal to the pituitary to release thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH). In turn, TSH sends a signal to the thyroid to release thyroid hormones. The rate of thyroid hormone production is controlled by the pituitary gland. If there is an insufficient amount of thyroid hormone circulating in the body to allow for normal functioning, the release of TSH is increased by the pituitary and TSH stimulates the thyroid to produce more thyroid hormone. In contrast, when there is an excessive amount of circulating thyroid hormone, the release of TSH is reduced as the pituitary attempts to decrease the production of thyroid hormone.

Diagnosis
Physician will ask questions about your symptoms, do a physical exam with reflexes, medical history, family history and order medical tests to diagnose hyperthyroidism.
Blood tests – to measure your thyroid hormones TSH, T3, and T4. A high level of thyroid hormone in the blood plus a low-level of TSH is common with an overactive thyroid gland.
Imaging tests of the thyroid-If blood tests show that your thyroid is overactive, your doctor may ask for
•   Radioactive iodine uptake and scan
•   Thyroid ultrasound

Treatment
No single treatment is best for all patients with hyperthyroidism. The appropriate choice of treatment will be influenced by your age, the type of hyperthyroidism that you have, the severity of your hyperthyroidism, other medical conditions that may be affecting your health and your own preference.

Antithyroid drugs
Methimazole , Propylthiouracil (PTU)
Methimazole is usually preferred one due to less severe side-effects. These drugs work well to control the overactive thyroid, bring quick control of hyperthyroidism and do not cause permanent damage to the thyroid gland.
Side effects – allergic reactions, red skin rashes, hives, fever and joint pain. Rare but serious condition called Agranulocytosis (decrease number of WBCs). If you are taking one of these drugs and get an infection such as a fever or sore throat, you should stop the drug immediately and check for a white blood cell count that day. Even if the drug has lowered your white blood cell count, the count will return to normal if the drug is stopped immediately. Liver damage is another very rare side effect. You should stop either methimazole or PTU and call your doctor if you develop yellow eyes, dark urine, severe fatigue, or abdominal pain.

Radioactive iodine
Another way to treat hyperthyroidism is to damage or destroy the thyroid cells that make thyroid hormone .The radioactive iodine taken just once by mouth in liquid or capsule form. Once swallowed, the radioactive iodine gets into your blood stream and quickly is taken up by the overactive thyroid cells. The response to treatment can take from 6 to 18 weeks, during which time drug treatment may be used to control hyperthyroid symptoms, radioactive iodine destroys the cells that have taken it up. The result is that the thyroid or thyroid nodules shrink in size, and the level of thyroid hormone in the blood returns to normal. Radioactive iodine is often recommended if you have Graves’ disease and are older than 50, or if you have thyroid nodules (toxic multinodular goiter) that are releasing too much thyroid hormone. Radioactive iodine is contraindicated if:
a. You are pregnant or you want to become pregnant within 6 months of treatment.
b. You are breast-feeding.
c. You have thyroiditis or another kind of hyperthyroidism that is often temporary.
Side effects – side effects of radioactive iodine treatment is for short-term, neck tenderness, swelling, nausea , vomiting, swelling and tenderness of the salivary glands, dry mouth, taste changes.

Beta-blockers
Beta-blocker drugs, such as atenolol or propranolol, do not block the production of thyroid hormone. Instead, they use for symptomatic control of hyperthyroidism, especially rapid heart rate, trembling, anxiety, and the high amount of heat the body produces.

Surgery
Removal of the thyroid gland is another permanent solution, but is often the last option. This procedure must be performed by a highly skilled and experienced thyroid surgeon because of complications include the risk of damage to nerves around the larynx (voice box) and to the nearby parathyroid glands, which control calcium metabolism in the body. Surgery is recommended when there is an enlarged thyroid gland that makes breathing difficult or when antithyroid drugs are not working, or when there are reasons not to take radioactive iodine. It may also be used in people who also have thyroid nodules, especially when the nodules may be cancerous.
Another important thing that after surgical removal of thyroid the source of your hyperthyroidism is gone and you will likely become hypothyroid. As with hypothyroidism that develops after radioiodine treatment, your thyroid hormone levels can be restored to normal by treatment once a day with a thyroid hormone supplement. So the patient will need to be monitored regularly for adequate thyroid hormone levels in the blood.

If left untreated, hyperthyroidism can lead to other health problems including congestive heart failure, abnormal heartbeat, and loss of bone mineral (osteoporosis).

Food to avoid
To increase the effectiveness of your radioactive iodine therapy, you may be prescribed a low iodine diet. The highest sources (and those to be avoided) are iodized salt, grains and cereals, some breads, fish from the sea, shellfish, beef, poultry, pudding mixes, milk and milk products.
Avoid restaurant foods
Consult your doctor before discontinuing or taking any medication.

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Hypothyroidism

Want To Know About Your Thyroid???

Hypothyroidism is a underactive thyroid gland means that the thyroid gland can’t make enough thyroid hormone to keep the body running normally. People are hypothyroid if they have too little thyroid hormone in the blood. Common causes are autoimmune disease, surgical removal of the thyroid, and radiation treatment.

Signs and symptoms of hypothyroidism

Symptoms of hypothyroidism develop slowly, often over several years. At first, you may feel tired and sluggish. Later, you may develop other signs and symptoms of a slowed-down metabolism, including:

  • Cold intolerance
  • Constipation
  • Muscle weakness
  • Weight gain despite of not eating more food
  • Joint or muscle pain
  • Feeling sad or depressed
  • Feeling very tired
  • Dry skin
  • Dry, thinning of hairs
  • Slow heart rate
  • Less sweating than usual
  • A puffy face
  • A hoarse voice
  • Heavy or irregular menstrual periods and fertility problems

Hypothyroidism poses a special danger to newborns and infants. A lack of thyroid hormones in the system at an early age can lead to the development of cretinism (mental retardation) and dwarfism (stunted growth),therefore most infants now have their thyroid levels checked routinely soon after birth. If they are hypothyroid, treatment begins immediately.

Diagnosis

To diagnose hypothyroidism, your doctor will look at your symptoms, physical exam and blood tests.Because the symptoms are so variable and non-specific, the only way to know for sure whether you have hypothyroidism is with a simple blood test for TSH and T4. An abnormally high TSH means hypothyroidism: the thyroid gland is being asked to make more T4 because there isn’t enough T4 in the blood.

Treatment

Hypothyroidism is a lifelong condition, but taking thyroid hormone pills every day can prevent related health problems. Synthetic T4 (Levothyroxine) is the best medicine for hypothyroidism because it works the same way as your own thyroid hormone. Finding the right dose of thyroid hormone may take time. Your starting dose depends upon your weight, age, and medical conditions. After 6 to 8 weeks, your doctor will check your blood hormone levels. If needed, the amount of hormone will be adjusted until tests show that you are taking the right amount. You should get a checkup at least once a year to make sure your dose of thyroid hormone is still right for you.

Follow-up

The goal of treatment is to get and keep your TSH in the normal range, so you’ll need to have your TSH checked about every 6 to 10 weeks after a thyroxine dose change. You may need tests more often if you’re pregnant or you’re taking a medicine that interferes with your body’s ability to use thyroxine. Babies with hypothyroidism must get all their daily treatments and have their TSH levels checked as they grow, to prevent mental retardation and stunted growth. Once you’ve settled into a thyroxine dose, you may need TSH tests about once a year.

See your doctor if you have these conditions 

  • Your symptoms not improving or getting worse.
  • You want to change your thyroxine dose or brand, or change taking your pills with or without food or want to stop the treatment if you think you are doing well. Rather than stopping your pills completely, you might ask your doctor to try lowering your dose. If your TSH goes up, you need to continue treatment.
  • You gain or lose a lot of weight (as little as a 10-pound difference for those who weren’t overweight to begin with).
  • You start or stop taking a drug or changing dose of the drug that can interfere with absorbing thyroxine (such as certain antacids, calcium supplements and iron tablets). Medications containing estrogen also impact thyroxine doses, so any change in such a medication should prompt a re-evaluation of your thyroxine dose.
  • You’re not taking all your thyroxine pills regular.

Foods should be avoided

Soy – The hormone estrogen can interfere with your body’s ability to use thyroid hormone, Soy is loaded with plant-based phytoestrogen, and some researchers believe too much soy may increase a person’s risk for hypothyroidism. However, because soy hasn’t been definitively linked to hypothyroidism, there are no specific dietary guidelines.
Vegetables (Broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, kale, turnips )can interfere with the production of thyroid hormone, particularly people who have an iodine deficiency. Cooking the vegetables can reduce the effect that cruciferous vegetables have on the thyroid gland. Limiting your intake to 5 ounces a day appears to have no adverse effect on thyroid function. Gluten, junk foods, coffee, alcohol also should be avoided.

Want To Know About Your Thyroid???

The thyroid gland is a butterfly shaped endocrine gland that is normally located in the lower front of the neck. The function of thyroid gland is to make thyroid hormones, which are secreted in to the blood and then carried to every tissue in the body. Thyroid hormone plays a very important role in the body as use energy, stay warm and keep the brain, heart, muscles, and other organs working as they should. They help in regulation of growth and metabolism in the body. Thyroid hormones also help children grow and develop.
The thyroid’s hormones regulate vital body functions, including: Continue reading

Obesity

obesity-420x222

What is obesity?

Obesity is medical condition caused by accumulation of too much body fat. It is different from overweight, which can be defined by BMI( body mass index).

Your body mass index is calculated by dividing your weight in kilograms (kg) by your height in meters (m) squared

BMI=body weight/square of height in meter.

Normal BMI=between 18.5 to 25

Overweight=25 to 29

Obese=more than 30

Moderately   obese (class 1)=between 30-35

Class 2= between 35-35.9

Extremely obese= more than 40

For most people, BMI provides a reasonable estimate of body fat.

Waist Circumference

This helps screen for the possible health risks related to overweight and obesity in adults.

If you have abdominal obesity and most of your fat is around your waist rather than at your hips, you’re at increased risk for coronary heart disease and type 2 Diabetes. The risk goes up with a waist size that’s greater than 35 inches for women or greater than 40 inches for men.

You also can measure your waist size. To do so correctly, stand and place a tape measure around your middle, just above your hipbones. Measure your waist just after you breathe out.

Obesity increases your risk of diseases and health problems, such as diabetes, heart disease and high blood pressure.

The best thing is that the modest weight loss can reduce the risk of diseases and can improve or prevent the health problems associated with obesity. Lifestyle changes including increase physical activity with yoga and meditation, dietary changes and behavioral changes can help you to lose weight. Continue reading

Trying to get pregnant

The most precious gift to women is that she can get pregnant and she can be a mother .Giving child birth is an amazing feeling of women.

Most of the women do not actually aware of the facts that how to get pregnant. If you are planning to get pregnant and have a baby, just go through these tips and knowledge about your menstrual cycles and ovulation periods.

Pregnancy

1.Menstrual  Cycle– first of all you have to know that your Menstrual cycles are regular or irregular.

On average, a woman’s cycle normally is between 28-32 days, but some women may have much shorter or much longer cycles. Work out the length of your average menstrual cycle.

Let me explain you…if you have 28 days cycle, it is easy to calculate ovulation periods. And if you know well about your menstrual cycle it would be easy to calculate ovulation period.

2. Ovulation period– Ovulation is when a mature egg is released from the ovary, moves down the Fallopian tube, and is available in the Fallopian tube to be fertilized.

Normally menstruation occurs 14th day after ovulation.

If you have 28 days cycle, ovulation period would be 14th day from the LMP (last menstrual period).

If you have 30 days cycle, ovulation period would be at 16th day from your LMP.

In 32 days cycle ovulation period would be 18th day from the LMP.

I want to clarify that after ovulation it takes 14 days to get period.

So if you want to calculate your ovulation period just go backward 14 counting from the next estimated date of menstrual period and that would be your ovulation period.

Simple formula

Days of menstrual cycle -14= ovulation period

Now you know about ovulation period.

Next is important to know that life span of egg is 24 hours and sperm is 4-5 days.

So Intercourse done during the fertile period would result in positive pregnancy, and chance of getting pregnant is 90 percent.

Conclusion is that Intercourse at 12th,13th, 14th,15th and 16th day would give you positive pregnancy.

3. Position during intercourse– male should be on the top.

Female should use a pillow under her waist making 45 degree angle for uterus so that path of sperm will be easy and directed towards uterus.

After release of semen (sperms) women should keep raise her legs for at least 20 minutes, it will help sperms movement directed towards uterus.

4. Abstinence – 5 days abstinence will help in collection of large amount of sperms and faster movement when they release after 5 days of abstinence.

5. Do not pass urine after intercourse at least 2 hrs.

6. Do not take hot water shower till 3 days after ovulation period.

7. Deep breathing exercises will help you stress free and blood purification, blood flow towards uterus and positivity in your thoughts.