Archive for June, 2012

Fatal Cases of Steroid Treatment for TED, Unnecessary Thyroidectomies…….

I was blamed many times that my writings and articles are not supported by purely scientific research. To some extend this is true- I am writing mostly based on my own experience and the experience of all my subscribers in the past 7 years and their feedback on many questions.

It happens  what we have found on a “try and see” basis is supported by scientists as well. Below I’ll share a few researches, related to either Graves’ Disease, Thyroid Eye Disease or Hyperthyroidism and mostly providing evidence behind the pure human experience.

1. As we know, one of the medical methods for treating Thyroid Eye Disease is the steroid treatment. I honestly never liked the idea and preferred instead more natural methods like Flax seed oil, Chamomile, eye exercises. Here is what happens:

A few scholars, Marcolli and colleagues examined the fatal and non fatal of streroid therapy on Graves’ Disease patients by a questionnaire survey, the results of which were published in Eur J Endocrinol 2012;166:247-53. Epub November 4, 2011.

This survey was mailed to 128 members of European Thyroid Associations, you should read here “endocrinologist treating patients with TED”. The doctors were asked about side effects when treating patients with oral and IV steroids. The side effects were more severe, it happens, when taking oral streroids. However, more death cases were reported with patients using IV steroids. (Yes, you read that right- people were actually dying). 7 patients died: 4 of liver failure, 2 of stroke and 1 of pulmonary embolism.

Conclusion: Steroids should be used only with patients with severe Thyroid Eye Disease. Who decides how severe is your TED, and should you or should you not get steroid treatment is whole another story.

2. As you know me, I am totally against thyroidectomy (complete removal of the thyroid), which causes by the way permanent hypothyroidism. Do you really need a total thyroidectomy when you are diagnosed with noncancerous thyroid disorder?

Noncancerous thyroid disorder in this particular case is referred to goiters and nodules, which do not have cancer cells. Nodules are usually abnormal growth of thyroid cells, while goiter is generally enlarged thyroid, caused by overactive, underactive or even normal thyroid. Both, goiters and nodules in this research are non cancerous. But why then the thyroidectomy rates increased from 17.6% to 39.4% in USA only? Why doctors are prescribing thyroidiectomies, when they are not necessarily needed?

That question was researched by Ho TW and colleagues, in a 15 year population based study reported in Am J Surg 2011;201:570-4. The administered cases of total thyroidectomy, they found in the past 15 years in USA especially, dramatically increased. They also found that the time spend in hospitals by the patients, as well as the hospital charges were significantly higher. The rate of post operative complications were also higher, compared to partial thyroidectomy cases for example. Patients in urban hospitals were prescribed more surgeries, compared to patients in rural hospitals.

Bottom line: in many cases with noncancerous goiters and nodules, doctors  prescribe unnecessary total thyroidectomies, compared to the rates some 15 years ago. Do you still wonder why?

Reference: American  Thyroid Association

http://thyroid.org/patients/ct/volume5/issue1/ct_patients_v51_8.html

More to come……

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