7 posts tagged “weight gain”

Coping with Changes in Physical Appearance

Posted January 24th, 2013 by

When you are diagnosed with a life-changing illness, your doctor may prepare you for how the disease will affect your physical functions.  But as our members point out, patients also need to be prepared for the changes in physical appearance they may experience.  For example, how do you deal with hair loss, facial swelling, weight gain, blotchy skin or other unexpected changes?  Or get comfortable with the use of new equipment such as leg braces, walkers or wheelchairs that may attract attention?  Most importantly, what can you do to still feel beautiful?

A cute hat can help to cover thinning hair or bald spots.  Image courtesy of Stock Free Images.

Here are some suggestions from members of our PatientsLikeMe Forum, where patients with different conditions come together to discuss universal issues:

  • Using attractive scarves or hats to cover thinning hair or bald spots
  • Experimenting with different cosmetics to see what works best
  • Treating yourself to a spa manicure and pedicure as a pick-me-up
  • Trying out different explanations for your new brace/walker/wheelchair when asked to see what feels right and what produces the most acceptable responses
  • Soaking in a scented Epsom salt bath to ease pain and relax
  • Consulting with a hair stylist about better styles for thinning hair
  • Using gentle, non-drying facial cleansers and lotions
  • Switching to an electric razor to improve ease and safety
  • Donating your hair to Locks of Love to put a feel-good spin on it

Have you discovered other tricks to help you deal with a changing appearance?  Join this ongoing discussion in our forum or share your experiences in the comments section.

Write a Love/Hate Letter to Your Thyroid for Thyroid Awareness Month

Posted January 7th, 2013 by

Do you love your thyroid?  Do you hate it?  Or more importantly, do you even know where it 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.

Dear Thyroid

In honor of Thyroid Awareness Month this January, we wanted to spotlight Dear Thyroid, a website that encourages literary self-expression from thyroid patients, including patients with lesser known thyroid conditions such as thyroid cancer, Hashimoto’s thyroiditis and hyperthyroidism.  The slogan is “Healing Our Thyroids One Letter at a Time, As Many as It Takes,” and each love/hate letter is displayed with retro and pinup artwork as “subversive” yet “iconic images of perfect health and beauty.”  Got a few things you’d like to say to your thyroid?  Write them down today and experience how good it feels to let it all out!  (Read Dear Thyroid’s submission details.)

Another source of relief comes from finding people who truly understand what you’re going through – namely, other patients like you.  Connect with the more than 3,500 patients with hypothyroidism at PatientsLikeMe today and see how they are managing their condition.  How many of them are taking Levothyroxine (branded as Synthroid, Levoxyl, Levothroid and more), a synthetic form of the human hormone thyroxine?  And how do they rate the effectiveness, side effects, cost and more?  Dig into our in-depth treatment evaluations to learn from real-world patient experiences with this common hypothyroidism medication.