PatientsEngage – Graves Disease


PatientsEngage – Graves Disease
https://www.patientsengage.com/conditions-list/graves-disease
Graves’ disease is an autoimmune disorder that causes the thyroid gland to become overactive. It is also known as:
Autoimmune hyperthyroidism
Basedow disease
Exophthalmic goiter
Toxic diffuse goiter

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Tips for a Healthy Summer for People with Chronic Conditions
https://www.patientsengage.com/conditions/tips-healthy-summer-people-chronic-conditions

With summer upon us, our body systems can go through various changes just like the outside temperature. With certain chronic conditions like diabetes, skin allergies, thyroid problems, the weather change can be even more bothersome with unwanted symptoms. Here are a few tips to best cope with the sizzling hot season.

Food tips for summer:

  • Eat smaller meals through the day instead of fewer, heavy meals.
  • Stay hydrated! Keep a bottle of water handy at all times and sip it through the day.
  • To make water more interesting, add a slice of lemon, orange, or mint to it.
  • Avoid sugary drinks and instead go for lemony drinks like fresh lemonade, lemon barley, etc.
  • Opt for foods that keep your digestive system cool & hydrated such as yogurt, cucumbers, melons, lettuce, celery etc. This is the best season to indulge in various fruits and salads.
  • Gazpacho or cold soups made with colourful vegetables & herbs are wonderful lunch ideas.
  • Wash, pre-soak & chill your mango in the fridge before consumption; this aids in easy digestion.
  • Avoid fatty, fried and calorific foods that will make you feel bloated, gassy and lethargic.
  • Store perishable foods like vegetables, fruits, baked goods, eggs etc. in the refrigerator as they are likely to spoil faster in the heat outside.
  • Choose green tea instead of masala chai as it helps improve metabolism.
  • If you like your caffeine, then try cooler variations such as iced tea and cold coffee. Watch the sugar though.

Body and SkinTips:

  • To prevent skin damage and burn, apply sunscreen with significant SPF when stepping out in the sun!
  • Use an umbrella or a hat when walking out in the sun.
  • Summer is the best time to get wet and burn calories while swimming.
  • Wear sunglasses when out to avoid sun damage and dry eyes.
  • To prevent heat rash, wear loose cotton clothing, shower often and apply talcum powder.
  • If you go for a run or walk, try to go early morning or later in the evenings. If possible, workout indoors in a gym.
  • Get a good night’s sleep because your body will get more fatigued due to the heat.
  • Dandruff is usually more aggravated in the heat, so use an anti-dandruff shampoo and keep hair clean.
  • Heat and sun can lead to hair damage, so avoid use of hairdryers and straighteners.
  • Excessive sweating can cause bad body odor, so use talcum powder or anti-perspirants.

For people with diabetes:

  • Dehydration is a common side-effect of heat and high glucose levels. This is because increased blood sugar can cause more urine output. So remember to drink lots of water.
  • Avoid caffeinated drinks because they are diuretics (substances that promote urine formation). Try sugar-free fluids like lemonade and iced tea.
  • Avoid alcohol as it is a diuretic and interferes with the body’s mechanism to regulate temperature.
  • Check your blood sugar levels more often during hot summer days or if you have been out in the heat.
  • Overheating is a serious condition. Also applicable for those with chronic heart condition. Look out for dizziness, fainting, headaches, profuse sweating, fast heartbeats, nausea and cold/clammy skin with goose bumps. If you experience any of these symptoms, go to a cool/shady place, drink fluids like water or lemonade and call your doctor.
  • If you do gardening or exercise outdoors, plan such activities either early morning or later in the evenings.
  • Store your insulin in a refrigerator at 3-8oC. Insulin is very sensitive and should not be used if it has been exposed to direct sunlight, extreme hot or cold temperatures.
  • If you are on an insulin pump, sweating can cause the pump adhesive on your skin to become loose. Use anti-perspirants, benzoin tincture, adhesive barrier prep wipes like Skin Tac-H or a medical liquid adhesive on the skin.

For thyroid patients:

  • One of the symptoms of thyroid disease is heat intolerance because your body in unable to adjust the internal thermostat. So stay cool and indoors during those hot summer days.
  • If you experience symptoms of feeling flushed, hot, anxiousness, or uneasiness, make sure to get your thyroid levels tested so as to check for any fluctuations in your thyroid panel. If so, your doctor can adjust your medication dose accordingly.
  • Sleeplessness and anxiety can affect the functioning of the thyroid gland. To ensure a good night’s sleep during summer, keep your bedroom cool (invest in an air cooler or air conditioner), use cotton bed sheets, have a cold shower before bedtime, keep bed sheets in the refrigerator for a few minutes to cool them, or invest in a cooling pad.
  • Vitamin D deficiency has recently been shown to contribute autoimmune thyroid conditions. Summer is the best time to soak up some Vitamin from direct sunlight. The optimal time for this is sunlight between 11am to 2pm for 20-30 minutes, three times a week. Those with darker skin require more time, while those with fair skin only need 20 minutes.
  • Skin and scalp can get itchy and dry during summer. So remember to stay hydrated, avoid too much sunlight and use a mild moisturizer or use oil to massage the scalp and body. Also applicable if you have a Skin Condition

Community: 

  • Auto Immune conditions
  • Dermatological (Skin) and Opthalmology (Eyes) conditions
  • Diabetes

Condition: 

  • Diabetes
  • Graves Disease
  • Hashimoto's Thyroiditis

Category: 

  • Tips
Image: A young lady in a summery white crop top, a cool drink with a straw in hand, dark glasses in the other hand

keywords: 

  • Summer Tips for Diabetes
  • Summer Tips for Thyroid
  • Summer Skin Tips
  • Dehydration
  • diabetes
  • Itchy Skin

Mon, 23 Apr 2018 14:16:17 +0000
Dr S. Patel
5966 at https://www.patientsengage.com
https://www.patientsengage.com/conditions/tips-healthy-summer-people-chronic-conditions#comments

Don’t Let Thyroid Throw You off Balance
https://www.patientsengage.com/news-and-views/dont-let-thyroid-throw-you-balance

Nearly 42 million people in India suffer from thyroid diseases. Thyroid dysfunction can play havoc with your life and normal functioning, if left uncontrolled. Dr. Manoj Chadha, Consultant Endocrinologist at Hinduja Healthcare Surgical, helps us understand the various complications of thyroid disorder and the importance of early detection and management.

What are the 5 common thyroid problems and disorders?

  1. Hypothyroidism [Decreased function of thyroid gland]
  2. Hyperthyroidism [Overfunction of thyroid gland]
  3. Thyroiditis [Inflammation of thyroid gland]
  4. Goitre [Swelling / Enlargement of thyroid gland]
  5. Thyroid malignancy [Thyroid cancer]

What are the symptoms of hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism?

  • Hypothyoidism:

Fatigue, lethargy or Excessive weakness; Cold intolerance; Constipation; Unexplained weight gain; Body swelling or puffiness; Dry skin, Aches pain or stiffness in muscle or joints; Menstrual disturbances [Heavy or irregular bleeding]

  • Hyperthyroidism:

Palpitations; Tremor/shakiness; Increased sweating [Heat intolerance]; Increased frequency of bowel movements, Weight loss despite increased appetite, Nervousness, sleep disturbances and irritability; muscle weakness and exhaustion.

What is Hashimoto’s thyroiditis?

Hashimoto’s thyroiditis is an autoimmune condition in which the immune system turns against the body’s own tissues. Patient’s thyroid gland is attacked / destroyed by their own immune system. It tends to run in families. Over time production of thyroid hormone from thyroid gland decreases leading to hypothyroidism. Worldwide, it is most common cause of hypothyroidism. It is a chronic lifelong disease.

Why are there so many thyroid problems in women today?

Both Hashimoto’s thyroiditis and Graves’ disease [Most common cause of hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism respectively] are autoimmune diseases. Autoimmune diseases are more common in females, exact reason is not known. However, it is possibly due to stronger immune system in females, role of female sex hormones, presence of two X chromosomes and effect of past pregnancy.

Pregnancy leads to increased demand on maternal thyroid and in females with mild thyroid dysfunction leads to hypothyroidism during pregnancy. Also during postpartum period thyroid is susceptible to inflammation [Postpartum thyroiditis].

Does chronic stress exacerbate an underlying thyroid condition?

Acute stress can precipitate Graves’ disease [Most common cause of hyperthyroidism], however chronic stress doesn’t. Stress is not associated with exacerbation of any other thyroid illness.

However people with chronic stress can have variety of symptoms such as low energy, diarrhea / constipation, muscles aches or pains, palpitation, sleep disturbances etc many of which mimic symptoms of thyroid illness.

What is the correlation between thyroid function and weight loss/gain?

Hypothyroidism [hypo-function] leads to weight gain. Bodyweight increases on an average 10% due to fat accumulation and water retention.

Hyperthyroidism [over-function] leads to significant weight loss despite increased appetite.

What is the association between thyroid hormone levels and insulin resistance?

Thyroid hormone promotes insulin sensitive glucose transport in muscle and also promotes fat burning. These effects help to sensitize muscle to insulin, thereby decreasing insulin resistance.

However, in both Hypothyroidism and Hyperthyroidism insulin resistance is increased due to complex mechanism.

Can hypothyroidism cause PCOS or increase symptoms and complications of menopause?

Symptoms of hypothyroidism can mimic those of PCOS [Delayed or absent menses, obesity etc] and hence it is essential to check thyroid hormone levels of every patient presenting with symptoms suggestive of PCOS. Diagnosis of PCOS after ruling out thyroid dysfunction.

Symptoms such as fatigue, sleep disturbances, irregular menses, depression and mood swings are common to both hypothyroidism and menopause. Coexisting hypothyroidism in menopausal women can increase these symptoms. Hence checking for thyroid function is essential in every female with menopausal symptoms.

Are most thyroid problems caused by autoimmune disorders?

Yes. Autoimmune thyroid disorders are probably the commonest cause of thyroid disorders. Other causes of thyroid disorders are goitre, thyroid malignancy, iodine deficiency disorder etc.

Why are thyroid conditions misdiagnosed or undiagnosed so often?

Symptoms due to thyroid disorder may absent or too mild in early stages and hence patient may not seek consultation. Many of serious thyroid illness such as congenital hypothyroidism, thyroid dysfunction in pregnancy or thyroid malignancy may be totally asymptomatic and hence may not be screened and treated. Also when present thyroid symptoms [eg Fatigue, lethargy Constipation; Weight gain; Body swelling or body ache; Menstrual disturbances] are too non specific and are common in general population hence thyroid illness may not be suspected. Also these symptoms may be attributed to ageing, menopause, obesity, drug side effect etc and thyroid function may not be checked. Also in-depth knowledge of different types of thyroid function test and their variation with age, illness and type of thyroid dysfunction is necessary for doctor prior to treatment; errors in interpretation may lead to misdiagnosis.

What are risk factors that may increase your chance of developing thyroid cancer?

Risk factors for thyroid cancer are history of external irradiation during childhood, familial history of thyroid cancer.

How is a thyroid disease treated?

Treatment is cause specific. Hypothyroidism is treated by replacing levothyroxine [Thyroid hormone] orally. Hyperthyroidism is treated either by drugs blocking production of thyroid hormone or radioiodine administration to ablate thyroid gland or surgical removal of thyroid. Thyroiditis mostly needs symptomatic treatment [anti-inflammatory]. Goitre if big or compressing on trachea or vocal cord is treated by surgical removal. Thyroid cancers are surgically removed; in case of spread to other areas large dose radioiodine ablation of thyroid cancer is done.

The incidence of thyroid diseases is growing alarmingly in India. Why is it so?

This increase in incidence of thyroid disorder is both apparent and true. The apparent increase is due to increase awareness in both doctors and patients regarding thyroid dysfunction and there is increase availability and affordability of thyroid function test in entire country. The ageing population is also prone to thyroid disease resulting in a true increase in numbers. Screening for congenital hypothyroidism is routine in some Indian states leading to increased pickup of this disorder.

And are there any statistics available for prevalence of thyroid disorders in India?

It has been estimated that about 42 million people in India suffer from thyroid diseases. Mumbai based study has shown that congenital hypothyroidism is commoner in India occurring in 1 out of 2640 neonates. [Worldwide average value of 1 in 3800 subjects].

From various studies prevalence of hypothyroidism in adults is estimated to be 2-4%, while subclinical hypothyroidism is about 10%. Prevalence of hyperthyroidism is estimated to be around 1-2%.

Studies have shown that around 12% of Indians have palpable goiter. Thyroid cancer accounts for about 0.1%–0.2% of all cancer. The age-adjusted incidence rates of thyroid cancer per 100,000 are about 1 for males and 1.8 for females as per the Mumbai Cancer Registry.

Community: 

  • Auto Immune conditions
  • Kidney, Urinary, Gastro Intestinal, Liver
  • Women's Health and Pregnancy

Condition: 

  • Graves Disease
  • Hashimoto's Thyroiditis
  • Menopause
  • Polycystic Ovary Syndrome PCOS
  • Pregnancy

Category: 

  • Treatments and medicines
A stock image of a doctor examining the thyroid of a woman

keywords: 

  • Hashimoto's Thyroiditis
  • Thyroid Disorder
  • Graves Disease
  • Hypothyroidism
  • Hyperthyroidism
  • Women and Thyroid
  • Menopause and Thyroid
  • PCOS and Thyroid

Tue, 09 Jan 2018 16:04:53 +0000
PatientsEngage
5669 at https://www.patientsengage.com
https://www.patientsengage.com/news-and-views/dont-let-thyroid-throw-you-balance#comments

The Importance of Electrolyte Balance – Sodium
https://www.patientsengage.com/conditions/importance-electrolyte-balance-sodium

This time in our Health by Numbers/Medical Tests series, Dr Shital Raval takes a look at our electrolyte levels in our blood. An electrolyte imbalance, commonly caused by loss of body fluids through prolonged vomiting, diarrhoea, sweating or high fever, can result in various health disorders, like restlessness, anxiety, kidney diseases or even cardiac arrest.

An Electrolyte Panel is a blood test that measures the common minerals in the body such as sodium, calcium, chloride, magnesium, phosphorous, and potassium. This also includes bicarbonate or CO2 that takes the form of bicarbonate in blood. CO2 is the waste product of metabolism. Electrolytes are essential for the proper functioning of the heart, muscles and brain as they are needed to maintain balance in the body fluids.

An electrolyte panel blood test may be ordered as part of a regular health check or to check on any electrolyte changes.

SODIUM:
A sodium blood test, also called Serum sodium test allows a doctor to check on the sodium levels in the body. Sodium is an important mineral and electrolyte that is necessary for functioning of cells in the body and maintaining electrolyte balance. It is also called Na+.

Sodium is commonly found in foods that have them naturally or during cooking. It can be in the form of sodium chloride (salt) or as sodium bicarbonate (baking soda). It is also found in certain medications, such as paracetamol, aspirin, soluble ibuprofen, alka seltzer and laxatives and personal care products such as toothpaste, mouthwash, denture cleansers etc.

The blood, plasma and the lymph contain about 85% of the sodium in the body. A hormone called aldosterone which is produced by the adrenal gland is known to control some of the sodium levels via the kidneys. Apart from urine, sodium is also lost via stool and sweat. 

Normal results for sodium are 135 to 145 mEq/L (milliequivalents per liter), but these values may vary slightly from lab to lab.

High levels:
A high sodium level in the blood is also called Hypernatremia. This can be caused by several factors such as:

  • A high-sodium diet. (Learn about the DASH Diet) 
  • Dehydration or not drinking enough water. 
  • Water level imbalance due to certain medicines like diuretics, severe vomiting, diarrhea, Kidney disease, Cushing’s syndrome, diabetic ketoacidosis, diabetes insipidus, etc. 
  • High aldosterone levels or hyperaldosteronism.

Low levels:
A low sodium level in blood is termed Hyponatremia. Causes include:

  • Drinking too much water (psychogenic polydipsia). 
  • Poor nutrition.
  • Water loss from body due to excessive sweating, vomiting or diarrhea.
  • Underlying conditions such as underactive thyroid or adrenal glands, kidney disease, liver cirrhosis, heart failure, cystic fibrosis, SIADH (syndrome of inappropriate antidiuretic hormone secretion) etc.

Factors that may affect results:

  • Current medications such contraceptive pills, corticosteroids, antibiotics, antidepressants, heparin, estrogens, NSAIDs, lithium, hypertensive pills and diuretics.
  • Having high blood sugar levels
  • Recent saline IV fluid injection during a hospital stay.

Next in the series: Importance of Right Potassium Levels

 

Community: 

  • Diabetes
  • Kidney, Urinary, Gastro Intestinal, Liver
  • Women's Health and Pregnancy
  • PatientsEngage General Community

Condition: 

  • Chronic Kidney Disease
  • Diabetes
  • Graves Disease
  • Hashimoto's Thyroiditis
  • Hypertension

Category: 

  • Tips

keywords: 

  • Health by Numbers series
  • Medical Tests
  • High Sodium
  • low sodium
  • Hyponatremia
  • Hypernatremia
  • Normal Sodium Levels
  • Electrolyte Panel
  • Sodium Testing

Mon, 22 May 2017 13:42:18 +0000
Dr S. Patel
5269 at https://www.patientsengage.com
https://www.patientsengage.com/conditions/importance-electrolyte-balance-sodium#comments

What Does High or Low Platelet Count Mean?
https://www.patientsengage.com/conditions/what-does-high-or-low-platelet-count-mean

This time in our health by numbers/tests series, Dr Shital Raval takes a look at our platelet count that can be determined by a routine blood test. If the platelet count is high or low from the normal range, it can provide insight into various abnormalities and blood disorders including infections and cancer.

A platelet count test is conducted to check the number of platelets in the blood. This test is usually a part of the CBC or complete blood count. Here is a look at what platelet count means.

What are platelets?

Platelets are plate-shaped cells found circulating in the blood. They are the cells responsible for blood clotting and being the first responders to any broken blood vessel. A platelet count can provide insight into various conditions that may affect efficient clotting such as bleeding disorders, infections, blood cancers etc.

When is it ordered?

If a person presents with any of the following symptoms or signs, a CBC with platelet count is ordered.

  • Frequent nosebleeds
  • Prolonged bleeding from wounds, gums or GI tract
  • Unexplained or easy bruising
  • Heavy menstrual flow
  • Petechiae (tiny red spots on the skin)
  • Purpura (purple spots due to bleeding under the skin)

Normal range:

150,000 to 450,000 per microliter of blood

What do the test results mean?

A low platelet count is called thrombocytopenia which means the platelet count is less than 150,000. This may be due to:

  • Decreased platelet production
  • Destruction of platelets in the blood
  • Destruction of platelets in the spleen or liver

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/*–>*/

RESULTS POSSIBLE CAUSES

Low platelet count (< 150,000)

Idiopathic thrombocytopenia (ITP) or Immune thrombocytopenic purpura, are Autoimmune disorders where the immune system makes antibodies against platelets.
Chemotherapy or radiation therapy
Drug induced decrease may be due to aspirin and ibuprofen, some antibiotics (including those containing sulfa), colchicine and indomethacin, H2-blocking agents, hydralazine, isoniazid, quinidine, thiazide diuretics, and tolbutamide.
Heparin-induced thrombocytopenia (HIT) when a person who is on or received heparin therapy develops an antibody. 
Viral infections such as mononucleosishepatitisHIV or measles. Mosquito-borne diseases such as dengue, chhikungunya or malaria.
Leukaemialymphoma, or any cancer that may have spread (metastasized) to the bone marrow. Increased cancer cells in the bone marrow affect platelet production. 
Aplastic anemia—a blood disorder where the bone marrow does not make enough new blood cells.
GI bleeding due to chronic stomach ulcers, polyps etc.
Cirrhosis- scarring of the liver
Sepsis-life-threatening bacterial infection in the body.
Platelet destruction due to conditions like and hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), disseminated intravascular coagulation (DIC), or thrombocytopenic purpura (TTP).
Toxic chemical (arsenic, benzene, pesticides etc) exposure 
   

*If the platelet count drops below 20,000 per microliter the patient is at severe risk of spontaneous bleeding. At this point platelet transfusion may be required.

A high platelet count is called thrombocytosis or thrombocythemia which means the platelet count is above 450,000. This may be due to:

  1. Primary Thrombocythemia where too many or abnormal platelets are produced by the bone marrow. In the absence of any blood disorders, it is called Essential Thromocythemia. It can even be due to a genetic JAK2 mutation.
  2. Secondary Thrombocythemia is where an external factor causes high platelet production.

*/

RESULTS POSSIBLE CAUSES

Low platelet count (< 150,000)

Primary Thrombocythemia

Myeloproliferative disorder such as Polycthemia vera, Chronic Myeloid leukemia etc.

Von Willebrand disease
Secondary Thrombocythemia

Iron deficiency or Hemolytic anemia

Cancer of the lung, GI tract, ovary, breast or blood.

Absence of a spleen.

Inflammatory diseases such as IBS, or Rheumatoid arthritis.

Infectious diseases like Tuberculosis

Certain medications such as Oral contraceptives.
Transient Thrombocythemia ( lasting for only a short period)

Recovery after major blood loss

Alcohol binge

Vitamin B12 or folate deficiency

Strenuous exercise/activity

Recent acute infection
     

Mean Platelet Volume or MPV:

This is the measurement of the average size of platelets circulating in the blood. This result helps evaluate production or destruction of platelets if any in the blood. Young platelets produced by the bone marrow are larger in size then the older platelets.

Normal range of MVP is 7.5-11.5 femtoliter

 

*/

RESULTS WHAT IT MEANS POSSIBLE CAUSES
High MPV (larger size platelets) Body is making new platelets! This increases clotting tendencies and risk of stroke or thrombosis. Recent infection, surgery or blood loss.
Low MPV (smaller size platelets) Body is not making new platelets! This increases risk of bleeding. Bone marrow disorders like aplastic anemia, Chronic kidney failure, sepsis, enlarged spleen or toxic drugs.
       

**A result of normal platelet count with High MPV is a sign of Idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura, hyperthyroidism or chronic myeloid leukaemia! This indicates that the bone marrow is producing platelets but they are getting destroyed.

Community: 

  • Cancer
  • PatientsEngage General Community

Condition: 

  • Cancer
  • Graves Disease
  • Leukemia
  • Lymphoma

Category: 

  • Tips

keywords: 

  • Health by Numbers series
  • Medical Tests
  • Low Platelets
  • Platelet count
  • Low Platelet Count
  • High Platelet Count
  • Blood disorders
  • Anaemia

Sat, 06 May 2017 09:40:49 +0000
Dr S. Patel
5237 at https://www.patientsengage.com
https://www.patientsengage.com/conditions/what-does-high-or-low-platelet-count-mean#comments

Know About Thyroid at a Glance
https://www.patientsengage.com/conditions/know-about-thyroid-glance

The thyroid gland is fundamental to the functioning of several organs such as kidneys, liver, brain, heart and even skin.  Dr Shital Raval explains the common types and causes of thyroid disorders.

The thyroid is a butterfly-shaped gland at the lower-front part of the neck, just below the Adam’s apple. It is an endocrine gland made up of two lobes connected by a isthmus.

It is responsible for the secretion of thyroid hormones which regulates body processes such as respiration, body temperature, pulsation, digestion and almost all the metabolic processes in your body. 

Thyroid disorders can be due to goiters (enlarged bulge in the gland usually due to iodine deficiency or autoimmune disease) to chronic conditions like Graves’ to thyroid cancers!

The thyroid gland produces two major hormones: 
1)    Thyroxine (T4). It contains four atoms of iodine.
2)    Tri-iodothyronine (T3) It contains three atoms of iodine.

Thyroid function tests(TFT) are a series of blood tests used to measure how well your thyroid gland is working. Available tests include the T3, T4, TSH, TSI and TPO.

Thyroid Stimulating Hormone (TSH) – The amount of T4 produced by the thyroid gland is controlled by another hormone, which is made in the pituitary gland located at the base of the brain, called thyroid stimulating hormone.

T4 and TSH Tests 

The T4 test and the TSH test are the two most common thyroid function tests. They’re usually ordered together.

Hyperthyroidism – If the TSH level is low and the FT4 result is high this suggests an over-active thyroid (hyperthyroidism) that requires treatment.

Hypothyroidism – If the TSH level is high and the FT4 (free T4 in the blood) result is low this suggests an under-active thyroid (hypothyroidism) that requires treatment.

T3 Test

The T3 test checks for levels of the hormone tri-iodothyronine. It’s usually ordered if T4 tests and TSH tests suggest hyperthyroidism. The T3 test may also be ordered if you’re showing signs of an overactive thyroid gland.

TSI Test

TSI stands for thyroid stimulating immunoglobulin. TSIs are antibodies that tell the thyroid gland to become more active and release excess amounts of thyroid hormone into the blood. A TSI test measures the amount of thyroid stimulating immunoglobulin in your blood. Thyroid stimulating immunoglobulins are usually indicative of Grave’s disease. This is an essential test for all pregnant mothers to check for elevated levels.

TPO Test 

Testing for thyroid antibodies, such as thyroid peroxidase antibody (TPO), is primarily ordered to help diagnose an autoimmune thyroid disease like Hashimoto’s disease or thyroiditis (chronic inflammation of the thyroid) and to distinguish it from other forms of thyroid dysfunction. The thyroid peroxidase is the enzyme that helps convert T4 to T3.

Iodine Uptake Scan

A means of measuring thyroid function is to measure how much iodine is taken up by the thyroid gland. Cells of the thyroid normally absorb iodine from our blood stream (obtained from foods we eat) and use it to make thyroid hormone. Hypothyroid patients usually take up too little iodine and hyperthyroid patients take up too much iodine.

Thyroid Antibodies

 The body normally produces antibodies to foreign substances such as bacteria; however, some people are found to have antibodies against their own thyroid tissue. A condition known as Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis is associated with a high level of these thyroid antibodies in the blood.

Causes of Hyperthyroidism 

Hyperthyroidism means an overactive thyroid gland. When your thyroid gland is overactive it makes too much thyroxine. The extra thyroxine causes many of your body’s functions to speed up.

The three most common reasons for this are:

  • Graves’ disease: Graves’ disease is the most common cause of hyperthyroidism. 
  • Thyroid tumor: A noncancerous thyroid tumor may make and secrete increased amounts of thyroid hormones.
  • Toxic multinodular goiter: The thyroid gland is enlarged with many noncancerous thyroid tumors.

Other causes are 

  • Factitious hyperthyroidism (taking too much thyroid hormone medicine or supplements)
  • Iodine overload
  • Subacute thyroiditis (swelling or inflammation of the thyroid gland)
  • Silent (or painless) thyroiditis.
  • Amiodarone (medicine to treat some kinds of heart disease)

During Pregnancy

Gestational transient hyperthyroidism is often associated with hyperemesis gravidarum, which is a relatively uncommon condition in women during the first and second trimester of pregnancy. It is a transient phenomenon which resolves itself by the 20th gestational week.

Causes of Hypothyroidism

In contrast, if you have hypothyroidism, you make too little thyroxine; this causes many of the body’s functions to slow down. Hypothyroidism results when the thyroid gland fails to produce enough hormones. Those who suffer from hypothyroidism often feel tired, tend to sleep a lot, experience constipation and stubborn weight gain. Hypothyroidism may be due to a number of factors:

Most common cause:

Hashimoto’s thyroiditis –  This inflammatory disorder, which is an auto-immune condition is the most common cause of hypothyroidism

Other causes:

Congenital disease – Some babies are born with a defective thyroid gland or no thyroid gland. In most cases, the thyroid gland didn’t develop normally for unknown reasons, but some children have an inherited form of the disorder. Often, infants with congenital hypothyroidism appear normal at birth. That’s one reason why most states now require newborn thyroid screening.

Pituitary disorder – A relatively rare cause of hypothyroidism is the failure of the pituitary gland to produce enough thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) — usually because of a benign tumor of the pituitary gland.

Pregnancy – Some women develop hypothyroidism during or after pregnancy (postpartum hypothyroidism), often because they produce antibodies to their own thyroid gland. Left untreated, hypothyroidism increases the risk of miscarriage, premature delivery and preeclampsia — a condition that causes a significant rise in a woman’s blood pressure during the last three months of pregnancy. It can also seriously affect the developing foetus.

Iodine deficiency – The trace mineral iodine — found primarily in seafood, seaweed, plants grown in iodine-rich soil and iodized salt — is essential for the production of thyroid hormones. In some parts of the world, iodine deficiency is common, but the addition of iodine to table salt has virtually eliminated this problem in the United States. Conversely, taking in too much iodine can cause hypothyroidism.

Neonatal screening for congenital hypothyroidism

World wide data shows that around 1 out of 3000 newborns are affected with hypothyroidism, hence screening at birth is essential. Screening is performed between days 2 and 4 of birth. Babies who are born preterm or with low birth weight or under critical conditions are at a higher risk. Most countries around the world have a standard screening protocol for newborns with a heel prick blood sample. Screening strategies include measurements of TSH and T4 levels. Maternal tests are also done to confirm any placental transfer of auto-antibodies. 

Related reading: Very low rate of Thyroid Disorder screening during Pregnancy

Community: 

  • Auto Immune conditions
  • Women's Health and Pregnancy

Condition: 

  • Graves Disease
  • Hashimoto's Thyroiditis

Category: 

  • Treatments and medicines

keywords: 

  • Thyroid Disorder
  • Hypothyroid
  • Graves Disease
  • Hyperthyroid
  • Hashimoto's
  • Pregnancy thyroid screening

Fri, 24 Feb 2017 10:05:47 +0000
PatientsEngage
5088 at https://www.patientsengage.com
https://www.patientsengage.com/conditions/know-about-thyroid-glance#comments

Graves’ Disease
https://www.patientsengage.com/condition/graves-disease

What is Graves’ disease?

Graves’ disease is an autoimmune disorder that causes the thyroid gland to become overactive. This is one kind of hyperthyroidism.

An autoimmune disorder causes the body’s immune system to mistakenly attack the body’s own cells instead of protecting them from outside invaders.

In Graves’ disease, the body’s immune system secretes immunoglobulins (autoantibodies) against the thyroid gland. These immunoglobulins irritate the thyroid gland and make it produce more thyroid hormone, which causes the symptoms related to Graves’ disease. This overactive thyroid state is hyperthyroidism.

Graves’ disease is also known as:

  • Autoimmune hyperthyroidism
  • Basedow disease
  • Exophthalmic goiter
  • Toxic diffuse goiter

Though both men and women can get Graves’ disease, women are 10 times more likely to get it than men. It usually occurs in women in their 20s and 30s.

What is the thyroid gland?
The thyroid gland is a butterfly-shaped endocrine gland that is located in the lower front of the neck. The thyroid’s job is to make thyroid hormones, which are secreted into the blood and then carried to every tissue in the body. The thyroid hormone helps the body use energy, stay warm and keep the brain, heart, muscles, and other organs working as they should.

grevaes_desease

 

Community: 

  • Auto Immune conditions
  • Dermatological (Skin) and Opthalmology (Eyes) conditions

Condition: 

  • Graves Disease

Category: 

  • Treatments and medicines

Wed, 27 Jan 2016 01:10:46 +0000
PatientsEngage
1059 at https://www.patientsengage.com
https://www.patientsengage.com/condition/graves-disease#comments

Graves’ Disease Management
https://www.patientsengage.com/conditions/graves-disease/management

Managing Graves’ disease:
The most important thing is to receive the necessary medical care. After you and your doctor have decided on a course of action, there are some things you can do that will help you cope with the condition and support your body during its healing process.

Get regular exercise: Exercise in general will help you feel better and improve your muscle tone and cardiovascular system. Brittle bones can occur with Graves’ disease and weight-bearing exercises help maintain bone density. Exercise can also help reduce your appetite and increase your energy level.

Learn relaxation techniques: It is well documented that in Graves’ disease, stress is a risk factor, so learning to relax and achieve balance in your life can help maintain physical and mental well-being. Choose a calming activity, whether it is listening to music, taking a warm bath or walking.

Pay attention to your diet: Because your thyroid controls your metabolism, you may have a tendency to gain weight when the hyperthyroidism is corrected. Proper food and exercise is crucial.
Find the right doctor: Find the doctor you can trust and work with. Especially, if you have had radioactive iodine and surgery, you will require lifelong thyroid hormone replacement medication.

Management and Care for Graves’ ophthalmopathy:

  • Apply cool compresses to your eyes. The added moisture may soothe your eyes.
  • Wear sunglasses. When your eyes protrude, they’re more vulnerable to ultraviolet rays and more sensitive to bright light. Wearing sunglasses that wrap around the sides of your head will also lessen the irritation of your eyes from the wind.
  • Use lubricating eyedrops. Eyedrops may relieve the dry, scratchy sensation on the surface of your eyes. A paraffin-based gel, such as Lacri-Lube, can be applied at night.
  • Elevate the head of your bed. Keeping your head higher than the rest of your body lessens fluid accumulation in the head and may relieve the pressure on your eyes.
  • Don’t smoke. Smoking worsens Graves’ ophthalmopathy.

Management and Care for Graves’ dermopathy:

If the disease affects your skin (Graves’ dermopathy), use over-the-counter creams or ointments containing hydrocortisone to relieve swelling and reddening. In addition, using compression wraps on your legs may help.

Your support team: Whom to consult?

Your health care team may include:

Endocrinologists – doctors who treat problems related to the glands and hormones
Radiation oncologist
Clinical immunologists – doctors who treat immune system disorders
Ophthalmologist – for eye problems
Dermatologists – doctors who treat skin diseases
Cardiologists – doctors who treat heart and blood vessel problems
Nutritionist – Nutritionists are specially trained to help people maintain a healthy diet
Psychologists – for emotional support

 

Community: 

  • Auto Immune conditions
  • Dermatological (Skin) and Opthalmology (Eyes) conditions

Condition: 

  • Graves Disease

Category: 

  • Treatments and medicines

Sun, 24 Jan 2016 03:11:12 +0000
PatientsEngage
3000 at https://www.patientsengage.com
https://www.patientsengage.com/conditions/graves-disease/management#comments

Graves’ Disease Treatment
https://www.patientsengage.com/conditions/graves-disease/treatments

Treatment of Graves’ Disease is aimed at controlling your overactive thyroid. Medicines called beta-blockers are often used to treat symptoms of rapid heart rate, sweating, and anxiety until the hyperthyroidism is controlled.

Hyperthyroidism is treated with one or more of the following:

  • Anti-thyroid medications
  • Radioactive iodine
  • Surgery

If you have had radioactive iodine treatment or surgery, you will need to take replacement thyroid hormones for the rest of your life. This is because these treatments destroy or remove the gland.

Some of the eye problems related to Graves’ disease usually improve when hyperthyroidism is treated with medications, radiation or surgery. 
Radioactive iodine can sometimes make eye problems worse. Eye problems are worse in people who smoke, even after the hyperthyroidism is cured.
Sometimes prednisone (a steroid medication that suppresses the immune system) is needed to reduce eye irritation and swelling.

You may need to tape your eyes closed at night to prevent drying. Sunglasses and eye drops may reduce eye irritation. In rare cases, surgery or radiation therapy (different from radioactive iodine) may be needed to prevent further damage to the eye and loss of vision.

Although your condition may seem to go away entirely, you might still need drug therapy to keep your thyroid operating properly. Even if your case of Graves’ disease does go into remission and your doctor says it’s safe to stop taking medication, you will need to be evaluated every year or so to make sure hyperthyroidism has not returned, since relapse is common.

 

Community: 

  • Auto Immune conditions

Condition: 

  • Graves Disease

Category: 

  • Treatments and medicines

Sun, 24 Jan 2016 03:07:22 +0000
PatientsEngage
2999 at https://www.patientsengage.com
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Causes and Risk Factors of Graves’ Disease
https://www.patientsengage.com/conditions/graves-disease/causes-risk-factors

What causes Graves’ disease?

The precise cause of Grave’s disease is still unknown.

The following risk factors are linked to a higher probability of developing Graves’ disease:

  • Genetics (people with a family history of Graves’ disease are more likely to develop it).
  • Gender
  • Stress
  • Pregnancy
  • Infection (Bacterial or viral)

Community: 

  • Auto Immune conditions

Condition: 

  • Graves Disease

Category: 

  • Treatments and medicines

Sun, 24 Jan 2016 03:02:39 +0000
PatientsEngage
2992 at https://www.patientsengage.com
https://www.patientsengage.com/conditions/graves-disease/causes-risk-factors#comments

Graves’ Disease Signs and Symptoms
https://www.patientsengage.com/conditions/graves-disease/signs-symptoms

What are the symptoms of Graves’ disease?

The early symptoms of Graves’ disease include:

  • Weight loss (despite increased appetite)
  • Anxiety, irritability, difficulty sleeping (insomnia)
  • Heat intolerance, sweating
  • Shortness of breath, difficulty breathing
  • Increased stool frequency (with or without diarrhoea)
  • Irregular menstrual periods in women
  • Goiter
  • Prominent, bulging eyes

If Graves’ disease goes untreated, physical signs and symptoms may develop:

Goiter: A goiter is an enlarged thyroid gland. As the thyroid gets bigger, the patient’s neck may begin to look full or swollen. Sometimes a goiter makes swallowing difficult, causes coughing, and may disrupt sleep.

Eye Problems: Eye disease related to Graves’ disease is called Graves’ ophthalmopathy in which one or both eyes may protrude from the eye sockets (also called the orbits). The medical term for this is exophthalmos, and it can make you appear as though you are staring. If Graves’ disease is not treated properly, then eye symptoms begin within a duration of 6 months. Eye condition resolves with proper treatment.

Skin Thickening: Some patients with Graves’ disease may develop thickening of the skin over the front of the lower leg called the tibia. The disorder causes skin lesions that are patchy and pink. Rarely are other areas of skin affected. This skin problem is called pretibial myxedema. This is resolved with treatment.

Community: 

  • Auto Immune conditions

Condition: 

  • Graves Disease

Category: 

  • Treatments and medicines

Sun, 24 Jan 2016 03:02:09 +0000
PatientsEngage
2993 at https://www.patientsengage.com
https://www.patientsengage.com/conditions/graves-disease/signs-symptoms#comments

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