It is estimated that one in twenty people have a thyroid problem, with the majority of sufferers being women. To make matters worse, many who are affected by thyroid dysfunction are unaware that they have a problem, and typically, they go undiagnosed for years. In the meantime, they experience a variety of symptoms, including fatigue and weight gain or loss, forgetfulness, sleepless nights, irritability, and more. But it doesn’t have to be that way. Written by best-selling author Dr. Pamela Wartian Smith, What You Must Know About Thyroid Disorders and What to Do About Them enables readers to identify common thyroid problems and seek the treatment that they need. Written in easy-to-understand language, the book begins by explaining how important the thyroid is in regulating the body’s metabolism, which, in turn, plays a vital role in controlling the functions of the heart, brain, liver, lungs, kidneys, and intestines. It then goes on to discuss the most common thyroidrelated disorders and symptoms, including hypothyroidism, hyperthyroidism, autoimmune dysfunction, celiac disease, thyroid cancer, mood swings, and excess weight gain. Each discussion starts with a simple self-quiz that helps readers determine if they may be suffering from the problem. Dr. Smith then explains the disorder’s cause and common symptoms; diagnostic tests; and both conventional and alternative treatment approaches. Included is a handy resource section that points the way to further information and support. So many health problems are related to thyroid dysfunction, and so many individuals suffer needlessly—even though help is available. What You Must Know About Thyroid Disorders allows readers to take the first important step on the road to diagnosis, effective treatment, and wellness.
Pamela Wartian Smith, MD, MPH, is a diplomate of the American Academy of Anti-Aging Physicians and director of the Master's Program in Medical Sciences, with a concentration in Metabolic and Nutritional Medicine, at the University of South Florida College of Medicine. An authority on the subjects of wellness and anti-aging, Dr. Smith is also director of the Fellowship in Anti-Aging, Regenerative, and Functional Medicine. Currently, she is the owner and director of the Center for Healthy Living, with locations in Michigan and Florida. Dr. Smith is also the best-selling author of What You Must Know About Vitamins, Minerals, Herbs & More; What You Must Know About Women’s Hormones; What you Must Know About Memory Loss; and Why You Can’t Lose Weight.
All the hormones in the body are a symphony. Much like an orchestra, required to play in tune, our hormonal symphony must be in tune throughout your life in order for you to have optimal health. Your thyroid gland is more important than you might think. You are aware that we have a thyroid gland, but chances are that you are not aware of the major role it plays in the complex workings of your body. The thyroid gland regulates most everything that occurs in your system. It is, in fact, the conductor of the wonderful symphony that occurs daily in your body. Commonly, it is not until you experience a thyroid dysfunction that you become aware of how much your thyroid affects your well-being.
The fact that you are reading this book indicates that you may suspect that you or a loved one has a thyroid problem or that a specific thyroid issue has already been identified. If that is the case, I think you’ve come to the right place. My goal in writing this book is to provide you with an overall understanding of the function of the thyroid gland, the important role the thyroid hormones plays in keeping your body functions in tune, and the influence the thyroid gland has on your other body systems. And just as important, it will offer a closer look at the various problems that arise when the thyroid malfunctions.
The book is divided into ten chapters. Chapter 1 looks at the role the thyroid gland plays as part of the endocrine system---that is, the group of organs and glands responsible for the production of your body’s hormones. The text then focuses on the many functions carried on by thyroid hormones and what may occur if they are not at optimal levels. Furthermore, just as important is information on how to maintain a healthy thyroid.
In the following four chapters we examine the specific thyroid disorders. Chapter 2 discusses hypothyroidism, the condition that occurs when the thyroid is underperforming. In Chapter 3, hyperthyroidism, a condition created when the thyroid produces elevated levels of thyroid hormones, is examined. In Chapter 4, Graves’ disease, the most common form of hyperthyroidism, is explored. Likewise, in Chapter 5, provided is information on the lesser known forms of hyperthyroidism as well as the various disorders caused by or associated with hyperthyroidism. Within each of these chapters you will learn about their risk factors, their causes, and their signs and symptoms. You will see how a diagnosis for each is derived, and the treatments used for these thyroid disorders. Whenever possible, a prognosis will be provided, in other words, what the likely outcome will be.
The next four chapters will deal with the most common and serious health disorders created as a result of a thyroid problem. Chapter 6 covers thyroid hormones and your memory; Chapter 7, thyroid hormones and your mood; Chapter 8, thyroid hormones and your heart; and Chapter 9, thyroid hormones and digestive health. As you will discover, the role played by thyroid hormones interacting with the heart, brain, and digestive system is critical to your well being.
In Chapter 10, thyroid cancer will be discussed by first explaining what thyroid cancer is. Its risk factors and symptoms will also be elucidated. Because I have found patients can be overwhelmed by not only the situation, but the medical jargon thrown at them, I will explain the terms commonly used to describe the test, characteristics of the cells, the stages, and the treatments provided. I will then discuss each of the most common thyroid cancers. For each I will include risk factors, causes, and signs and symptoms. In addition, I will describe how each is diagnosed, its standard treatments, and its prognosis.
By the end of this book, as you will come to see, although relatively small, the thyroid gland plays a vital role in the human body. Through its release of hormones, it helps regulate heart rate, breathing, digestion, body temperature, weight, mood, memory, and so much more. It is my hope that the information in this book will provide you with all the important facts you may be looking for.