2 posts tagged “thyroid problems”

What Do You Know About Thyroid Disease?

Posted January 11th, 2012 by

Let’s start with the basics:  do you even know where your thyroid is?

A small, butterfly-shaped gland located at the base of the neck (just below the Adam’s apple), the thyroid influences the function of the heart, brain, liver, kidneys and skin.  That’s why it’s so important to know if you have a thyroid problem – especially if you’re a woman.  Women are five times more likely than men to suffer from hypothyroidism, which occurs when the gland does not produce enough thyroid hormone for the body to function properly.  Hypothyroidism can cause weight gain, miscarriages, forgetfulness, irregular menstrual periods and numerous other symptoms.

"I Am the Face of Thyroid Disease" Is the Theme of a Campaign Launched to Support Thyroid Awareness Month (Click Through to See Patient Videos and Stories)

January is Thyroid Awareness Month, which means it’s a good time to “check your neck.”  As many as 30 million Americans may have thyroid problems, but more than half of them remain undiagnosed.  To help combat this lack of awareness, two thyroid disease patient advocates – Mary Shomon and Katie Schwartz – have created a new campaign called “I Am the Face of Thyroid Disease.”  It features video messages and photos from around the world to “shine a spotlight on the diversity of thyroid patients and their practitioners, and help overcome the stigma and silence surrounding thyroid disease.”

This diversity can also be seen in PatientsLikeMe’s hypothyroidism community, where more than 2,200 patients (8% of whom are male) report the disease.  Some of the most commonly reported symptoms in our community include cold intolerance, dry skin and lethargy, while one of the top reported treatments is Levothyroxine (branded as Synthroid, Levoxyl, Levothroid and more), a synthetic form of the human hormone thyroxine.  190 patients with hypothyroidism have shared in-depth treatment evaluations of Levothyroxine, detailing their experiences with effectiveness, side effects, cost and more.  These evaluations also contain a wealth of tips and advice.

Some of the Commonly Reported Treatments for Hypothyroidism at PatientsLikeMe

Here’s what one long-time Levothyroxine user writes on her evaluation:

“I have taken this for 31 years now. If you do need to take this, please pay attention how you feel. If you have symptoms such as dry skin and feeling tired all the time, it might be that you’re not getting enough of it. You might need to up the dosage.  If you have heart racing and you’re losing lots of weight, etc., it might be you’re getting too much. Don’t forget to get a yearly blood test to make sure your dosage level is correct.”

We also have a little over 100 patients (12% of whom are male) reporting hyperthyroidism, a less common form of thyroid disease that occurs when the thyroid gland produces too much thyroid hormone.   Some of the most commonly reported symptoms include heat intolerance, excessive sweating and palpitations.  Along with those who have other forms of thyroid disease – including Hashimoto Thyroiditis – more than 8,000 members belong to the Endocrine, Metabolism and Nutrition Forum, where they can discuss their thyroid experiences with others like them.

Think you might have a thyroid problem?  Perform your own “neck check” at home (to detect any bulges or enlargement in your thyroid gland) and/or see your doctor for a thyroid evaluation today.  A simple blood test called the TSH test can tell you whether your thyroid gland is functioning normally.  If you’ve already been diagnosed, gain wisdom from connecting with thousands of others like you at PatientsLikeMe.


Are You Taking Cataplex F for Hypothyroidism?

Posted May 14th, 2011 by

Introduced in 1934 by Standard Process, Cataplex F is a whole food dietary supplement designed to support the thyroid as well as the body’s natural response to inflammation.  Containing iodine for thyroid support, Cataplex F promotes healthy skin and hair, the metabolism of fats and the formation of eicosanoids (signaling molecules that play a role in inflammation, immune responses and the central nervous system).  This supplement also contains flaxseed, a natural source of Omega-3 fatty acid precursors.

At PatientsLikeMe, where more than 125,000 patients are sharing their experiences with all types of treatments including prescription drugs, over-the-counter drugs and supplements, two patients report taking Cataplex F for hypothyroidism.  Both report taking this supplement for 1-2 years or more. What can we learn from these patients’ experiences?  According to the one treatment evaluation submitted for Cataplex F, there were no reported side effects, but the effectiveness was unclear, as the patient selected the option, “Can’t tell.”  Cost was reported as $25 or less per month for a daily dosage.

This patient even goes on to share her doctor’s take:  “dubious.”  But what about you?  How would you evaluate your experience with Cataplex F?  Has it helped you or seemingly had no effect?  Help others decide whether to start – or continue – taking this supplement by sharing your experiences at PatientsLikeMe, where more than 2,300 patients with hypothyroidism (92% female; 8% male) would love to hear your thoughts.

JOIN PATIENTSLIKEME TODAY

Have you taken Cataplex F or another over-the-counter supplement for hypothyroidism?  Join PatientsLikeMe and add your experiences to our growing body of knowledge.  Then, stay to exchange advice and support, research common treatments and learn from other patients like you.

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