STICKING OUT OUR NECKS -- January 2007
Thyroid News for People Who Want to Live Well -- "We're Patients...Not Lab Values!"
from Patient Advocate Mary J. Shomon
Author of "Thyroid Hormone Breakthrough: Overcoming Sexual and Hormonal Problems at Every Age," "Living Well With Hypothyroidism," "The Thyroid Diet: Manage Your Metabolism for Lasting Weight Loss," "Living Well With Autoimmune Disease," "Living Well with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Fibromyalgia," and "Living Well With Graves' Disease & Hyperthyroidism"
THE TEN NEW YEAR'S RESOLUTIONS YOUR DOCTOR SHOULD MAKE While everyone typically talks about making our own New Year's resolutions, it occurred to me that the doctors who take care of our thyroid conditions are also making their resolutions for the new year. And since I'm never shy about offering my opinions, as a thyroid patient advocate, I have a few suggestions in case any doctors out there are looking for some ideas when making their resolutions! (Patients: If you're especially brave, print these resolutions out and send them to your doctor....) The 10 Resolutions Your Doctor Should Make!
MEN! SHARE YOUR THYROID STORIES, CONCERNS AND ISSUES WITH ME! One of my resolutions in 2007 is to provide more information, advice and coverage for you men out there with thyroid conditions. But to make sure that I focus on the topics of greatest interest, I need your help. Please take a moment to share your questions, issues, concerns, and stories with me, as relate to men's thyroid issues. Your input will help me choose the practitioners to interview, the subjects to research more comprehensively, and the articles, features and services to provide in the coming year. You can use an easy online form to send in your thoughts.
HEADACHES AND MIGRAINES: THE THYROID CONNECTION
I've had a number of readers write to ask if there is a linkage between thyroid disease and headaches and migraines. Patient advocate and writer Teri Robert, who is also author of the excellent book Living Well With Migraine Disease and Headaches, has an excellent article on the issue.
And if you or someone you know suffers from headaches or migraines, check out Teri's wonderful book.
TOP TEN THYROID STORIES OF 2006 2006 was another busy year when it comes to thyroid news. If you're new to thyroid disease, or you haven't had as much time to stay up on all the news, here's a quick look back at the year's hottest thyroid-related stories, covering everything from TSH levels, to the doctor who thinks some thyroid patients are we're mental cases, to fears about generic thyroid medication, to Chernobyl's 20th anniversary, to the highly advertised supplement Alvidar, to ways to keep hypothyroid mothers and their babies safe.
After reading this helpful recap, you'll have a birds-eye view of the most important thyroid news of 2006 -- not to mention key information that can help you feel and live well!
Take a quick look back now.
TREATING MILD THYROID PROBLEMS IN SENIORS
A recent study explored whether people over 65 with borderline thyroid conditions are more likely to suffer depression, anxiety, and problems with memory or thinking, compared to those with normal thyroid function. The study results were surprising, and even more surprising is what our doctors are saying about the research.
FREE THYROID EBOOK -- THYROID AWARENESS MONTH FREE TOOL January marks Thyroid Awareness Month, and with as many as 36 million or more Americans suffering from undiagnosed, untreated thyroid disease, increased awareness on the part of the public -- and doctors -- is long overdue. I'm concerned about the lack of knowledge on the part of patients and our doctors. Symptoms are frequently being ignored, overlooked, misdiagnosed, mistreated, overmedicated, or blamed on lifestyle -- instead of being taken seriously.
To arm patients with the information and tools needed to take charge of thyroid health, I've put together the following Ten Take Charge Thyroid Tips, along with a free ebook and new website -- all to help educate and empower the more than 50 million Americans with thyroid conditions.
The free ebook, titled The Thyroid Awareness Month Guide to Thyroid Disease, is available for free download at my campaign's website -- and it's a great overview and introduction to thyroid disease.
TAKE CHARGE OF YOUR THYROID: TEN TIPS -- THYROID AWARENESS MONTH FREE RESOURCE As part of my campaign, I polled thyroid patients, and asked them their thoughts about the best themes for Thyroid Awareness Month. In the survey, which received more than 3,100 responses, almost a third of the responses said the theme should be that "doctors need to be more knowledgeable about thyroid disease." Working with that theme, I put together these "Ten Tips to Help Take Charge of your Thyroid." Any one of these ten tips might be the key to transform your health.
TOP TEN THINGS YOU SHOULD KNOW ABOUT YOUR THYROID: A THYROID AWARENESS MONTH SPECIAL REPORT
As I do every year, I've taken a look at what the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists (AACE) has come up with for their awareness campaign effort. Their Thyroid Awareness Month campaign this year -- called "How's Your Thyroid? Who Needs to Know?" -- is geared towards those who may not know they have a thyroid problem. AACE is sponsoring the campaign, along with the American Thyroid Association (ATA), and with funding from Synthroid drugmaker Abbott Labs. In past years, I've found the campaigns lacking -- they've been self-serving, or not much more than thinly veiled drug company advertising. But I have to say, this year's theme is an improvement, and does have more of a patient orientation.
BUT...part of the campaign is a list they've together titled the "Top Ten Things You Should Know About Your Thyroid." It's pretty telling to see what they've chosen as their top ten things. And truthfully, I'm not on board with some of their choices...and you may not be either. So, what are these ten things they think you should know? Are they really the most important things affecting your thyroid health? Find out now.
OPINION CORNER: A THYROID PATIENT FINDS HEALTH INSPIRATION IN "THE FELLOWSHIP OF THE RING" Thyroid patient, advocate and writer Kim Carmichael-Cox talks about drawing inspiration from one of her favorite stories: J. R. R. Tolkien's "The Fellowship of the Ring."
Kim feels that the message is clear: there is always hope...even in a world of uncertain times. Hear what Kim has to say.
THYROID RESEARCH RECAPS
Check out some of the latest published research on thyroid disease:
Link between premature birth and thyroid problems
Treating subclinical hyperthyroidism in seniors
Cigarettes and thyroid eye disease connection
Link between passive, second-hand smoking, and thyroid function/metabolism
MY FAVORITE WEIGHT LOSS SUPPLEMENTS Given that it's January, and many of us are turning our thoughts to weight loss for the new year, I thought I'd share some information on the weight loss and diet supplements I recommend -- because I use them myself. (My personal rule is that I never recommend anything that I don't personally believe in, read, take, use or love!
It's no secret that like many people with hypothyroidism, every day is a struggle to get off and keep off extra weight. So whenever I find something I feel is particularly helpful, I am very excited to let you know. I've tried many things in the past, sometimes they're a big bust. Like the "starch-blocker" pills (NOPE), and ephedra... (A BIG NO-NO, PLUS HEART PALPITATIONS!)
But ongoing efforts to continue to lose weight go best for me when I'm following my Thyroid Diet, doing more weight-bearing exercise, and using certain supplements.
First, let me tell you that I have mitral valve prolapse. And so FORGET ephedra, the supplements that have high doses of caffeine, or some of the other stimulating supplements -- they give me awful palpitations and I simply can't take them. But I'm better able to stay on track, reduce my appetite, feel less bloated using certain non-stimulating supplements.
(Keep in mind, I try to eat low-glycemic, low-sugar, try to avoid starchy carbs, focus on protein, veggies, some fruit, so when I'm able to lose weight, it's due to a combination of optimized thyroid, diet, exercise, and good supplements.)
In any case, if you're interested in trying out the products I like and regularly use, here's the info. I buy most of mine from Iherb.com. Those of you know have been reading me for a long time know that this is one of the few companies I always recommend -- they have the absolute best prices, great service -- a trustworthy, excellent online retailer. But you also can get these supplements from most health food stores or natural groceries as well.
TOP THYROID DOCTORS -- UPDATED
Over the holidays, I spent some time doing a major update on the Thyroid Top Doctors Directory. I added hundreds of new doctor listings, and while I was at it, cleaned out some doctors that had to go. If you haven't been to the directory, it's a state and country-specific listing of doctors -- recommended by patients -- for thyroid treatment around the world.
These are doctors that patients believe in so much that they are recommending them to other patients.
Check out the directory now, online, and see if your current doctor is listed, or find a new doctor today!
Many people write to me, with detailed questions about thyroid disease, weight loss, thyroid drugs, and such.
One of the first things I always suggest to people with questions is to start by reading my relevant book on the topic.
Most of my books are available at your favorite local bookstores. Or, if you'd like to order with just a point and click, you can get all of my books online -- some of them are even available at big discounts. Many of my books are also carried by your library, and if not, you can usually add a book to the request list for your library to acquire.
Thyroid Hormone Breakthrough: Overcoming Sexual and Hormonal Problems at Every Age -- specialized help for women who suffer from (but may not even realize it ) thyroid-related menstrual problems, low sex drive, infertility, pregnancy problems, postpartum depression, breastfeeding problems, and perimenopause/menopause symptoms. Order from Amazon
The Thyroid Diet: Manage Your Metabolism for Lasting Weight Loss -- the only book focused on helping thyroid patients determine the unique combination of diet, supplements and other factors that will help them finally start losing weight. Order from Iherb for $8 Order from Amazon for $10.17
Living Well With Hypothyroidism: What Your Doctor Doesn't Tell You...That You Need to Know -- Comprehensive guide to getting an underactive thyroid condition diagnosed,
properly treated, and dealing with related or persistent symptoms, including alternative
and holistic approaches. Order from Iherb for $8 Order from Amazon
Living Well With Graves' Disease and Hyperthyroidism: What Your Doctor Doesn't Tell
You...That You Need to Know -- A detailed guide to help get Graves' disease and an overactive thyroid diagnosis, determine the best treatments (and radioactive iodine is NOT the only treatment!), and deal with the after-effects of treatment. Includes holistic, alternative and integrative approaches. Order from Amazon
Living Well With Autoimmune Disease: What Your Doctor Doesn't Tell You...That You Need to Know -- Did you know that having one autoimmune disease -- like Hashimoto's or Graves' -- puts you and family members at risk of others? Are you struggling with autoimmune symptoms like dry eyes, joint pain, and fatigue, but having trouble getting a diagnosis? Living Well With Autoimmune Disease is a comprehensive approach to getting an autoimmune diagnosis (without help or knowledge, the typical patient sees 5 doctors over 5 years before getting diagnosed!), and then working with your practitioner for effective treatment. Order from Iherb for $8 Order from Amazon
Living Well With Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Fibromyalgia: What Your Doctor Doesn't Tell You...That You Need to Know -- Life-altering fatigue, chronic fever, debilitating joint and muscle aches, and exhausting sleep disturbances -- all can be signs of chronic fatigue syndrome or fibromyalgia. These difficult-to-diagnose, often-overlooked conditions are more common in thyroid patients as well. This guide helps you fast-forward through the volumes of approaches -- conventional and alternative -- to get to a multidisciplinary treatment that can help. Order from Iherb for $8 Order from Amazon
I've put my best knowledge and effort into my books, and hopefully, one of them has just the right information you need to answer your question and help you improve your health in 2007 and beyond!
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