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Wednesday, 17 July 2013

The Growing Epidemic of Thyroid Disease and What To Do About It: here it comes, the inevitable.

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July 8, 2013 | By  3 Replies
Dr. Zoltan P. Rona, Prevent Disease
Waking Times
It is estimated that over 200 million people globally (about 35 million people in North America) suffer from at least one of the many forms of thyroid disease. In fact, thyroid problems are increasing so much in frequency that scientists are calling it an epidemic. The incidence of thyroid illness occurs about seven times more frequently in women than men, and it is thought that at least 50% of the cases are undiagnosed or misdiagnosed.
It was recently reported that the radioactive fallout in Japan during 2011 has now caused thyroid disease in the farthest corners of the world. Children born in Alaska, California, Hawaii, Oregon, and Washing-ton within one to sixteen weeks after the nuclear accident in Japan were 28% more likely to suffer from congenital hypothyroidism than in the preceding year.
There is also a dramatic increase in the rates of thyroid cancer, which is the fastest growing cancer in North America today. In 2010, the American Cancer Society reported 45,000 new cases. They now predict that in 2013 there will be about 60,220 new cases of thyroid cancer, and this number is expected to grow rapidly in the next decade.
According to Dr. Bruce Davidson, MD, chair of the Department of Head and Neck Surgery at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C.: “We’ve seen thyroid cancer double in the last 10 years, but the general sense in the past was that there was a big pool of undiscovered thyroid cancer, and more intense diagnostics, including greater use of ultrasounds and biopsies, were resulting in better detection. Now, we know that better detection is not the only factor, and we need to investigate other factors that may be causing the increased rate of thyroid cancer.”
Chief among these other factors is the increased exposure we all have to different forms of radiation (nuclear accidents, greater use of CAT scans and other high radiation diagnostic tests, jet travel, etc.). Some experts like Davidson believe that the increased use of CAT scans in the past 20 years directly parallels the increasing incidence of thyroid cancers during the same period of time.
The Normal Thyroid
The thyroid gland is a butterfly-shaped gland situated in the neck and wrapped around the windpipe located just below the Adam’s apple. It controls metabolism and virtually every aspect of health including weight, mood, energy, and circulation. Damage to the thyroid can lead to underactivity (hypothyroidism), overactivity (hyperthyroidism), thyroid inflammation (thyroiditis), and thyroid cancer.
The thyroid uses iodine and the amino acid tyrosine to manufacture the thyroid hormones T3 (triiodotyrosine) and T4 (thyroxine). About 80% of the hormones made are T4 while 20% are T3. It is T3 that is the more biologically active form of thyroid hormone. In order to have adequate amounts of T3 there has to be some conversion of T4 into T3. This is something that can occur both inside and outside of the thyroid. The thyroid gland also makes a T1 and T2, which are thought to be precursors of T3 and T4 and are not thought to have any clinical significance. There is also another hormone called Reverse T3, something that causes a form of underactive thyroid disease that is frequently overlooked and undiagnosed through conventional medical testing.
The thyroid is controlled by a rather complex feedback mechanism. When the hypothalamus in the brain senses there is an inadequate amount of thyroid hormones present, it releases a hormone known as TRH (thyrotropin-releasing hormone) which in turn tells the pituitary gland to release TSH which then stimulates the thyroid gland to synthesize and release more thyroid hormone (T3 and T4) into the circulation. Thus, the level of TSH goes higher in order to help the thyroid manufacture more of the hormones. The reverse occurs when there is an excess of thyroid hormone, a condition referred to as hyperthyroidism.
Causes of Thyroid Gland Damage

1) Radiation exposure – Think of the radiation catastrophe that has just occurred due to the earthquake of March 2011 in Japan. The thyroid is quite vulnerable to radiation. You do not have to be a victim of any radiation disaster to get thyroid damage. CT scans, x-rays, and nuclear medical tests are more common ways people damage their thyroids. .....

....Hyperthyroidism (Overactive Thyroid Disease)Hyperthyroidism (a.k.a. thyrotoxicosis or Grave’s disease) is a condition whereby the thyroid gland produces too much hormone. It is most commonly seen in women between the ages of 20 and 40. The cause is unknown but often associated with severe stress. It produces a hyper metabolic state, which may be associated with a few or more of the following signs and symptoms:
- Goiter (enlargement of the thyroid gland); a goiter may also be associated with iodine deficiency and a low thyroid condition. Lab tests can help to sort this out.
- Rapid heart rate (tachycardia) and palpitations.
- Warm, fine, moist skin; nail problems; thinning hair.
- Heart beat irregularities and high blood pressure.
- Nervousness, tremors, and hyperactivity.
- Increased perspiration; heat intolerance.
- Weight loss often similar to that occurring in systemic cancer
- Diarrhea and increased appetite.
- Insomnia; fatigue; weakness.
- Increased bowel movements.
- Exophthalmos (protruding eyeballs); blurred and double vision.
- Myopathy (muscle pain and weakness).
.....Treating HypothyroidismThere are various levels of treatment for an underactive thyroid gland. It all depends on severity of symptoms, the blood levels of TSH, T3, T4, reverse T3, and thyroid antibodies. Body temperatures are also a crucial factor in the treatment protocol. Sorting all this out is a fairly complex issue and is best addressed with the help of a natural health care professional.
For Mild Cases of HypothyroidismThese are cases where the TSH is greater than 2.0, underarm body temperatures are on average below 97.4F and where there are one or more of the signs and symptoms of an underactive thyroid present (e.g. fatigue, weight gain, high cholesterol, etc.). For these mild cases, a combination of the following supplements will often help return the thyroid function to a more optimal level:
  • L-Tyrosine – 1000-3000 mg daily. The body will use this amino acid to manufacture more thyroid hormone. Often, this amino acid is used as a treatment for fatigue or mild depression.
  • Zinc citrate or picolinate – 50 mg daily. Zinc and copper are both needed in the control of thyroid hormone production.
  • Copper citrate – 4 mg daily. The ideal zinc to copper ratio in the body is approximately 8:1 (zinc:copper).
  • Selenium – 200 mcg daily is required to help convert T4 (inactive) to T3 (active) thyroid hormone. Selenium is also important to prevent the formation of abnormal antibodies that can attack the thyroid leading to disease.
  • Vitamin D – 10,000 IU daily. Vitamin D deficiency has been linked to both hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism. Blood levels of 25-hydroxy vitamin D should be evaluated prior to supplementation.
  • Iodine as potassium iodide – 1-10 mg daily. Iodine is part of active thyroid hormone. The use of iodine is often criticized by endocrinologists as potentially dangerous. Studies, however, have indicated that most people can easily tolerate doses as high as 1000 mg a day without any harm.
  • Homeopathic thyroid – 5-10 drops twice daily. There are reports that homeopathic thyroid can be effective at reversing many of the signs and symptoms of an underactive thyroid. It may be a worthwhile product to try for those homeopathically inclined. (Check with a licensed homeopath for a personal evaluation and dosage recommendations.)
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Thankyou to Alfred for the link:

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