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Exhausted? Gaining Weight? Symptoms of Thyroid Disease

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What to do to prevent and know about thyroid disease, which affects up to 27 million Americans, mostly women.

Signs of Thyroid Disorder

For most of her life, Marie Myung-Ok Lee, now 43, had been plagued by cold hands and feet and thinning hair. The symptoms were classic signs of a thyroid disorder, although Lee didn't know it. Then, when she was 34, she had a miscarriage at 12 weeks. "The doctors told me that many first pregnancies miscarry and not to be concerned," says Lee. "But I read a lot of books about miscarriage, and undetected thyroid disease kept coming up as a major cause."

Lee asked her doctor to give her the blood test that screens for thyroid disorders by measuring levels of TSH, or thyroid stimulating hormone; her TSH was 5.0. "The doctor, who'd been reluctant to order the test, said to me, 'See, I told you everything's fine. Your thyroid is normal.'"

Except that it wasn't. More than four years ago, the guidelines for what's considered a normal thyroid changed. Previously, experts flagged a TSH level of 5.0 or above as hypothyroidism, or an underactive thyroid; now, anything over 3.0 could indicate a problem. But not all doctors agree on this, and some are reluctant to screen patients, saying it's unwarranted. As a result, experts say that up to 27 million people, a majority of them women, may have thyroid disease, and about half of them are undiagnosed. "It's shocking how frequently hypothyroidism goes undiagnosed," says Robert McConnell, MD, codirector of the New York Thyroid Center at Columbia University Medical Center. "It's so common, and it's easily treated by taking thyroid replacement hormone in a pill."

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soil4life wrote:

Chlorine added to municipal water replaces iodine in the thyroid gland and the gland malfunctions and you gain weight and have no energy. Filter your water with the PureMaster V-700 whole house system. It takes care of chlorine and more at a reasonable price.

6/2/2013 01:06:35 PM Report Abuse
Karenstime2014 wrote:

This story was exactly what I needed to read! I have so many of the same symptoms as the women in the various stories as far as fatique and weight gain and I have been working so hard to lose weight! I am currently on a thyroid dose but I definitely want to get it checked to see if something has changed and my meds are not working properly. More women need to understand the symtoms of a whacky thyroid! :)

4/21/2012 11:14:43 PM Report Abuse

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