Posts Tagged ‘hyperthyroidism treatment’

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……

Graves’ Disease and Hyperthyroidism Treatment Options

  Graves’ Disease and Hyperthyroidism treatment options vary in their effectiveness, long term results and efficiency. So far, the medicine even after 100 years has not advanced a lot and acknowledges only 3 types of treatment. Please, consider the text below only as additional information.

   1. Medication: In the United States and many other countries two main brands of anti-thyroid medication are used: Methimazole and Propylthioyracil (PTU). The function of both antithyroid drugs is similar: to adjust the levels of the two hormones produced by the thyroid, free thyroxine (FT4) and free triiodothyronine (FT3), and to increase thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH), which is the third important thyroid hormone. For their  normal ranges, please, refer to Thyroid Test Results. The philosophy behind the antithyroid drug treatment is that when the organism gets adjusted to the correct thyroid levels with the help of medication, soon it can do it on its own and the medication can be gradually reduced until no longer needed.  Easy said than done. That’s why this is the slowest known therapy as in many cases the drug dosage should be constantly adjusted until the desired results are achieved. The antithyroid drug therapy is chosen by some doctors as a primary choice of treatment and some others consider it as preparation of the patient for a consequent RAI treatment.

Methimazole. It is used to manage hyperthyroidism associated with Graves’ disease. Methimazole is generally well-tolerated with side effects occurring in 3 out of every 100 patients. The most common side effects are related to the skin and include rash, itching, hives, abnormal hair loss, and skin pigmentation. If you experience any of these side effects, please, consult your physician immediately. They usually appear if the doze is not correct so this should be adjusted as soon as possible. While many people see improvement in their FT4 levels, TSH remains unchanged for a prolonged period of time.

Propylthyoracil (PTU) is the other antithyroid drug prescribed for Graves’ Disease and hyperthyroidism. It is considered safer and usually is better tolerated by people, to my personal observation. It is administered to pregnant women suffering from Graves’ Disease more often as it is considered harmless for the baby and causes minimum birth defects.

The main concern of the doctors here is that the patient may relapse later. Yes, I agree, however it may or may not happen.

2. Thyroidectomy is the second treatment option for hyperthyroidism. This is a surgical removal of the thyroid gland, and is the oldest known treatment option for Graves’ Disease and Hyperthyroidism. Surgery is also an option for people who have a very large goiter, and those who are allergic to, or who may develop severe side effects from the antithyroid drug used to treat hyperthyroidism. Thyroidectomy could be partial or total, depending on the portion of thyroid to be removed. Total thyroidectomy, along with many other side effects will result in permanent hypothyroidism, i.e the patients need to take thyroid medication for hypothyroidism for the rest of their lives.

3.  Radioactive Iodine Treatment (RAI). This is the option most doctors will recommend even though I consider it the most dangerous. It has many side effects as well, and similarly to thyroidectomy will result in permanent hypothyroidism. Thyroid Eye Disease in most of the cases will not improve, but will get worse, as noted in many researches on the subject. Why the doctors prefer to ignore that information or even not disclose it to the patients still remains a mystery to me.

 4. Alternative natural treatments or a combination of antithyroid drug therapy and holistic methods. This I consider the most effective and harmless, but probably is the longest therapy. The Natural treatment system for Graves’ Disease and Hyperthyroidism  will involve change of diet, supplements, herbs, physical exercises, yoga, meditation, to name a few. Life style changes and stress management are also necessary. It is a total makeover and works not only on the symptoms but on the causes of Graves ’ disease and Hyperthyroidism as well. It’s a life changing experience, not just masking the symptoms or destroying vital parts of the body system like the thyroid gland. Both, antithyroid drug therapy and holistic methods can work together for faster results and they can be seen literally in a few weeks.

 5. No treatment, left untreated. This should not happen ever. Graves’ disease and Hyperthyroidism are dangerous autoimmune diseases which, if left untreated may cause a Thyroid Storm, a condition that may lead to death.

The 10 Why’s of a Difficult Thyroid Patient…

Why #1:  If I wasn’t a difficult patient- I wouldn’t be talking to you right now, or you even be able to read this article. Many years ago when I got sick with hyperthyroidism I literally had to fight for my treatment options, even though I was told that only 2% of all the hyperthyroidism patients get healed with my chosen method of treatment (i.e medication). I took my chances, and as you see, I did a good job, I survived.

Why #2: Doctors, many of them, no matter how well they are trained, how well they excelled in their education, and how many straight A’s they got at the medical school- they still treat you as a  diagnose (which might be very wrong indeed), but not as a person itself. You are a person, not a diagnose, even not a symptom!

Why# 3: Regardless of the Hippocratic Oath all the doctors took when finishing the medical school, many of them have to be reminded constantly that to treat appropriately the patient is even more important than the commission % they’ll get from pharmaceutical companies for prescribing medications and procedures that are not the best for their patients. Sorry, not all, but many doctors do that!  Some years ago I worked as a psychotherapist in a medical office with some doctors, and while I was trying to take my patients off the drugs, my colleague next door was generously prescribing all kinds of them, because, I quote to the best I remember ”I get 4% for prescribing certain drugs”. Needless to say, I left soon this medical facility for good, and never went back.

Why# 4. For many medical procedures, including thyroid surgeries and Radioactive Iodine Treatments the hospitals, and respectively the medical offices get paid times more, compared to the traditional medication treatment. Check, if you don’t believe me.

Why not then, suggest, advise and push the hyperthyroidism patients to receive these expensive procedures, as they are believed to “remove the problem completely”, i.e the thyroid, faster and “safe”? The excuse here is: “Let’s completely destroy your thyroid, in case of possible remission in the future”??? Really? Doesn’t that sound like “Let’s cut your leg, in case you break it in the future….”? Same pertains to the numerous C- sections for pregnant women (to avoid possible complications they say. Yes, my grandmother is laughing right now), but that’s another story.

Why #5: For the past 60 years or even more the only treatment options for Graves’ Disease so far invented by the traditional Western Medicine are: 1. Medication (methimazole or propylthiouracil), 2. Radioactive Iodine Treatment and 3. Thyroid Surgery (subtotal or total). That’s it. No matter how much money are spent on researches every year, endocrinology doesn’t seem to advance a lot on this particular subject. And Graves’ disease patients don’t seem to get less in number, either, compared to the disease rates from some 50 years ago.

Why then just you do your own research and try alternative, complimentary, Eastern- Medicine based, supplemental, herbal or any other methods available as well? Be a difficult patient, and try to work this out with your doctor. And if he seems uninterested in cooperation- just fire him and get another one.

Why #6: This is your body that’s sick and affected. You are experiencing all these debilitating symptoms, not the person who treats you, no matter how qualified he is.  Stop shaking then when you have to defend your own health choices. Your body- your choice.

Why #7: Doctors are never 100% sure which is the best medical option for you, theoretically speaking, just because we are all different humans. They can only guess and do their best experiment on you. They don’t know if the side effects on any medication will manifest on you or not, they don’t know how your body will react. There is no way to know that information no matter how experienced the doctor is. So why don’t you participate actively in that body experiment of yours, share your opinion, fears and concerns? That’s called again- a difficult patient. Be difficult.

Why# 8: Isn’t that strange how many people can argue with their auto mechanic about expensive car repairs, or try to negotiate a better deal with car dealer, or endlessly argue with their wives/husbands regarding unimportant stuff, but when it comes to their own health, they become speechless, and deliver themselves to the mercy of their doctors to make the health decisions for them. Now, go back to the medical office and be that problematic, tough, person for the sake of your own health!

Why #9. There is this doctor, whom I respect very much, his name is Bernie Siegel, M.D, he is a very old doctor on cancers, who also wrote a lot of books about treating cancer patients with non- traditional methods (and traditional as well). What I vividly remember from his books and observations was that cancer patients, the ones who are difficult and actively participated in the treatment process, cured from their cancers quicker, and at higher rates, compared to the other patients, whom were not involved so much in the process and relied mostly on their doctors. If this works for cancer patients, why would not work for Hyperthyroidism/ Graves’ disease patients? It does, in fact.

Why #10. You are witty, clever, educated and intelligent human animal/ being. You have also access to all kinds of information, available in books and Internet, and in many other places. Step up on that rule and rule your own ship called “my health”. You have the absolute right to do so. Bon voyage!

 

P.s. If you want to know the stories of other people, who also were difficult patients, click here:

Graves’ Disease and Hyperthyroidism- incurable! Who said that?

The REAL LIFE STORIES of 32 REAL People will show the truth!


5 Myths about Graves’ Disease and Hyperthyroidism

Myth #1: If you don’t do anything, Graves’ Disease will go away.

Wrong: If you don’t do anything you may face a thyroid storm, which is a very dangerous, life threatening condition. Symptoms could be, but are not limited to:  high fever, severe palpitations, vomiting, delirium etc. – all of them are very serious complications that can lead even to a heart failure. Do not play with the fire!

Myth #2: There is a miracle pill, which if I take it I can get cured overnight from hyperthyroidism.

Wrong: There isn’t such a thing as a magical pill, that can cure any disease, not only Graves’ Disease and Hyperthyroidism overnight. Usually it takes the same amount of time for healing as for the physical manifestation of the disease. You disease didn’t show up overnight, it can’t go way overnight!

Myth #3: RAI (Radioactive Iodine Treatment) is a safe and fast way to resolve my hyperthyroidism issues.

Wrong: If you believe that swallowing radioactive iodine is that safe, what’s the big fuss about the earthquake in Japan? People wouldn’t be going around with masks and moving to different parts of the world, wouldn’t they? Hyperthyroid cats treated with that same pill wouldn’t be locked in metal containers for 2 weeks straight, right? But you believe that it is safe for people, for you?

Myth #4: Proper diet for Graves’ Disease and Hyperthyroidism is the only therapy that can fix my health problems.

Wrong: No matter what you eat, no matter how much broccoli and cabbage you consume overnight- that still will not cure you from Graves’ Disease. So said- keeping up with a good diet will definitely help, but it’s’ not the only pre-requisite remedial factor for Graves’ Disease. Certainly- there are foods that need to be avoided, like sea food and any other food with high iodine content, and of course foods called goitrogenous or cruciferous vegetables can help the inhibition of thyroid over production but if you do only the  diet approach that may not cure your Graves’ Disease.


Video: Hyperthyroidism Diet Secrets

Myth #5: I have to rely on my doctor/endocrinologist 100% for treating my Graves’ Disease and do whatever they say I should do.

Wrong: Doctors, at least most of them, do their best to treat properly their patients, to the best they have been taught. However, all humans are different and sometimes same medications and treatment options may have a completely dissimilar impact on different people. Do your own judgment, watch carefully how you feel and what reactions do you have, trust your intuition. In order to get cured you have to actively participate in the healing process and if your doctor is preventing you from doing so- don’t be afraid to fire him and get another one.

3 “Hyperthyroidism Herbs”- worth growing, owing and drinking!

I’m a lot into alternative and herbal medicine, just experimenting all the time. You probably know me by now.:). But that’s me- so, regarding the information below- use your own judgement, of course. 

There are in fact many herbs, that can positively influence hyperthyroidism and Graves’ Disease but there are 3 that are “must have” in your herbal kitchen and use them regularly, instead of all the sodas and artificial juices sold in the stores.

 Motherwort (Leonurus cardiac) – it is a member of the mint family. You can find this plant pretty much everywhere on the planet, in all continents. It can be also cultivated in your garden. Motherwort balances the hormones generally and helps palpitations; it strengthens the heart beat without increasing the pulse.

Motherwort helps bring on a delayed or suppressed menstrual flow, especially when someone is anxious and tense, it’s also used to improve fertility and anxiety, it helps also the hot flashes in menopause. You can use it as a tea, or a tincture, or even make your own.

It reduces blood pressure. Do not use if you are pregnant. Bitter taste. It also has sedative and antispasmodic properties.

Hawthorn (Crataegus species) has been used to treat heart disease as far back as the 1st century. By the early 1800s, American doctors were using it to treat circulatory disorders and respiratory illnesses. It’s a thorny three, which gives red berries in late summer, early fall. It contains compounds that support the heart and circulatory system. It’s found to be beneficial for heart muscle weakness, for pressure, tightness in the chest and for mild arrhythmia. In some scientific researches it’s found that hawthorn interact with key enzymes in the heart to increase pumping force of the heart muscle and it also works to dilate the blood vessels. Hawthorn also helps painful joints and stabilizes the collagen in the bone itself. It also helps bloods shot eyes, glaucoma, swollen ankles and varicose veins. It can be used as a substitute of a beta- blocker. 

It’s available in capsules, tablets and tinctures, but my favorite is Hawthorn tea, some of the capsules include not only the berries, but also leaves and flowers.

To make a tea from these berries, you generally use a teaspoon per cup. Let it brew for a few minutes before drinking.

Lemon Balm (Melissa officinalis) (The officinalis stands for “officially recognized as a medicinal herb”).

This is one of my favorite herbs and I already have written about it a lot. It’s an “easy herb”, you can grow it in a pot on your window, or in your garden. Lemon balm has been used for centuries to relieve anxiety and sleeplessness; it has mild sedative effect, relieves menstrual cramps, fights cold sores, relaxes nerves, and eases indigestion. Combined with Valerian roots it’s often used for insomnia treatment. It also helps hot flashes associated with menopause. 

The flavonoids and polyphenolics found in the Lemon balm have been identified as inhibiting the excessive thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH).  The TSH is blocked for further stimulating the excessively active thyroid gland. Generally it helps the action of the anti-thyroid drug, and acts like one in mild cases. I’ve been using that herb as “sleep helping tea” for many years and I also know that it’s gentle on children and even babies.

I would not suggest combining and drinking these herbs altogether for “faster results”. I would suggest  trying them on for a few days, i.e drink Hawthorn tea for a few days (only), Lemon Balm tea after that, Motherwort for the next 3 and see how you feel. We are all different as people, we feel differently. Try it cold, hot, as an infusion, or you can even steep it overnight.  

Happy “tea”ing! Happy drinking! See you soon…

Svetla

Click on the corresponding books to find out more. Or   get them all in a package deal (you save $40.00):


 

%d bloggers like this: