4
Apr

50 Shades of Grey: Chronic Disease Style

Sharon Coyle-Saeed’s monthly blog post is ready for your to read!

Make sure you check back in with our blog in May for her next post!

50 Shades of Grey: Chronic Disease Style

By Sharon Coyle-Saeed

This week, I ventured into New York City for my preoperational testing in preparation for surgery which will take place on April 11. Yikes, that just got real…real fast.  As we learned last month, I have a strong double D coping strategy, denial and dissociation with my disease.  This month, we were going to explore the next step in the Kubler Ross model of loss, anger. However, sometimes, life situations come about that bring lessons that may be beneficial to share, ah, the life of a blogger.  Therefore, the month of April gives birth to 50 shades of grey…..chronic disease style.  Is there any other way?

Here was the scenario. I went into the pre-surgical unit after traveling into the city alone (I am woman hear me roar), and surviving an unmarked taxi…go Uber!  Feeling already like I won, I waited on a lengthy line just to register for the registration.  When it came to my turn in line, I handed the woman my orders from two doctors, and then, “the look” happened. Oh, come on! You know that look!!!! It is the look of pity. It can cut through me like no other look I know. The look, and well-meaning receptionist said, “Wow, these are the two chief doctors here. Your case must be very serious.”  I actually looked behind me, because I thought she may be referring to someone else.  It was followed up with, “I don’t want you waiting here a long time.”  And so it began.  Special treatment, the untouchable, the pariah, the tough case,  the one who makes the doctors work hard for their money, and perhaps even makes them feel like failures. Yes, I have heard it all.

On to registration. “Sweetie…”(I will let you in on a tiny secret of mine.  If you want to stay on my good side, I seriously despise any pet names of this nature. Moving on. I digress.), she continues, “I am so sorry. I can’t imagine going through what you have gone through. You must be very sick, but you don’t look it,” as she snapped my hospital ID around my wrist. Dorothy, we are not in Kansas anymore. ET, phone home.FullSizeRender

Next, came the dehumanizing hospital gown. This seriously dampens my mood, and puts me in a place I don’t like to visit. I only wear the gown during surgery, or the initial few hours in the emergency room. I change back into my regular clothing during stays, and let’s face it, blue is just not my color. Ok fine, I don’t do color. Wednesday Addams is my hero.  On this stop, came the x-rays. The technician read my report, and said, “Incredible. You have so many staples inside holding everything together.”  Yeap, yeap, and don’t forget the titanium, too. I can sing the David Guetta and Sia song if need be. Humor is one of my coping mechanisms….although, most of the time, I only crack myself up.

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Blood work and urinalysis followed suit. I pre-warned her. “If nothing comes out, and you do not get me on the first try, it is me, not you.”  With confidence she retorted, “I have been working here for 22 years, and I always get it on the first try.” Mmmmmmmmm.  First try, nothing.  Second try, nothing….three blood techs and 7 pokes later, blood finally flowed.  “I am shocked. Never in my 22 years.  You are really sick aren’t you? Well, sick or not sick, you look 10 years younger than you are,” she offered to my bruised hands, arms and shattered ego.  Unfortunately, I wasn’t biting.

Last stop, the EKG.  As the nurse had to gain access to certain areas on my body, my hidden self was revealed. “You are getting more surgery?  That is some set of scars. Is that an ileostomy scar?  How much more can they take?” she asked with a concerned look.  She looked at my orders. “You are not a candidate for a laproscopic surgery. You must be high risk.”  That is when my head started to spin.  I really didn’t know whether it was from the vials of blood taken, or the fact that my inner soul wanted to scream out, “There is more to me than this. Who is this you speak of?”

While studying in social work school, Karl Jung and his dualistic theory is mentioned quite a bit. Good or Bad. Right or Wrong. Persona and Shadow.   Sick and Healthy. Mild or Severe. Black or White. Problem is, I am not black OR white. I am 50 shades of grey.  In fact, I am 50 “shapes” of grey, as my disease and its manifestations have shaped me, yet, it does not define me.

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I wanted to cry out. I am a mother, I am a correspondent for a New Jersey newspaper, I am a blogger for WEGO Health, I run a support group, I am a Reiki Master, a singer, a graduate school student, and so much more. I am more than my disease.  Much, much more.  I am grateful for the disease for all that it has given me, and the lessons it has taught me with all it has taken from me, but, I will NEVER play the victim to this abuser, and I am my own rescuer , thank you very much.

I do realize that this IS happening. I am not delusional.  I will be going under the knife in 10 days. It is a major surgery. However, it is just one of the many greys in my life. I am not a sweetie, a look of pity, a serious case, a pariah or an untouchable. I am not my IBD or its manifestations. I am a person. To quote the Elephant Man, I am not an animal (nor am I the animal of this disease), I am a human being. My name is Sharon, and I actually have never watched 50 shades of grey.

Looking forward to hearing all the wonderful things that make up YOU!  We are MORE than our diseases.  So, so, so much more! 

 

Author Bio: Sharon Coyle- Saeed: Health Activist, CEO/Founder of ibdjourneys:

 

Sharon CoyIMG_9124le-Saeed was diagnosed with ulcerative colitis in 1990. She has three Associate degrees in Psychology, World Language, and Theater.  Sharon’s Bachelors is in Journalism & Mass Media with a Middle Eastern Studies minor from  Rutgers University. She is currently a graduate student of Clinical Social Work at Rutgers University with a focus on Aging and Health. Sharon just completed an internship at Robert Wood Johnson/The Steeplechase Cancer Center. She is a Reiki Master Practitioner, a freelance reporter for Gannett NJ, an IET Intermediate practitioner and holds certifications in EFT (Level One), Angel Card Reading, Angel Realm Reader and Aromatherapy (Stress Management, Essentials and First Aid). To help others is her sole and soul’s desire. 

23
Mar

ICYMI: #HAChat Hosted by Marla Murasko

In honor of #WorldDownSyndromeDay on March 21st, WEGO Health had Marla Murasko, a very dedicated Down Syndrome Health Activist, host a second #HAChat in March! Keep reading to view the recap of the event below. Please note that our next #HAChat will be May 3rd, so make sure to check out our Twitter then. Thanks for supporting WEGO Health!

1
Mar

Sharon Coyle-Saeed Discusses DABDA

Sharon Coyle-Saeed’s March guest blog post is ready for you to read! Make sure to check back in April for her next post.

Happy reading :)

 

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As my social work internship for the coming year is working with hospice patients, I am re-reading the DABDA theory which Elisabeth Kubler-Ross coined. It is a processing of emotions upon hearing one has to face mortality quite sooner than they thought. They are steps one goes through when dealing with loss. I believe a more common term is, “the grieving process.”

DABDA is an acronym for the following emotions. The first D is for Denial, the A is for Anger, the B is the bargaining which occurs, the next D is Depression and the final A is for Acceptance. DABDA.  As I read through the chapters on the steps, I felt that this theory can be applied to losing one’s past life from a chronic disease. The loss that happens of our former self  and hope that this resonates with some of you as well.

The first emotion, which I would like to explore in this blog is the feeling of denial. The initial shock!

This can NOT  be happening to me and in some cases, thinking this is NOT happening to me. I was stuck in this one for awhile….and to some extent, still am (gosh, after all these years).

When I first learned about my diagnosis of ulcerative colitis in 1990, I thought that it was clearly a wrong diagnosis. I truly believed that it was because of drinking “tap” water.  I switched to Evian and did not see a difference. So, I moved on to flat out denial. I am not sick so therefore, I do not need treatment. I would  go for some periods of not taking my medicine(which I am not recommending. Just pointing out this is also an extreme effect of denial). I clearly recall auditioning and appearing in a community theater show, The Cradle Will Rock, and being so very ill and not even telling a single soul. It was a horrible isolation. Isolation, is also mentioned by Kubler-Ross, as a denial reaction.

I think I came to the realization that I was “not well”, when my local gastroenterologist said I needed to see an IBD specialist at Mount Sinai who sent me to a surgeon that same day. I had my first part of the J-Pouch surgery the next day. Clearly, this was a lot to digest(No pun intended). When faced with this extreme, I had to own to the seriousness that my condition had taken.

My next “shock” came when I started to have more frequent hospital visits in 2011 as a result of small bowel obstructions. I clearly remember my best friend, Theresa, after calling her for the umpteenth time and letting her know I was sick again, “I think it is a stomach virus or something I ate.”  She replied with, “It is not that. It is an obstruction.”  I was in TRUE shock. I truly believed with my whole heart that this was not chronic, and that I was just reacting to something outside of me and not something that was happening inside.

Is this healthy? Is this normal? It is not only the former two things, it is also a coping mechanism to deal with the stress of loss. In this case, our “healthy self.”  “I regard it a healthy way of dealing with the uncomfortable and painful situation with which some of these patients have to live for a long time” (Kubler-Ross, 1969, p. 52).

My feelings are we all can relate to some extent  to this state of denial and it is a normal feeling and okay to go through as long as it does not become so radical that we do not take our medications or deny our body’s limitations. This I still find challenging.

I have this inner core that says, “Tell me I can’t, and I will show you that I can”. Some say it is resilience. I say it is an inherited stubbornness(thank you Daddy). This worked to my benefit when I was told that it was highly unlikely to conceive due to the J-Pouch surgery and having a belly that is prone to concrete adhesions. That was all I needed to hear. I am happy to report I have two happy and healthy sons!

It also works against me many days when I do not pace and set limits to what my mind wants to do and when my body screams, “Stop! Enough! I need a break!”  Having any chronic disease or health condition, it is important to honor our body even more so and not see it as a weakness or a limitation.

I run myself to sheer exhaustion more than I would like to admit. I recall just last week when I visited my wellness doctor and told him, “I am hungry and tired.”  I thought to myself, you do not get any clear of a  message than that.  EAT AND NAP! EAT AND NAP! Which I am happy to say, I did both(fell asleep on one of the treatment machines after eating a baggie of gluten free Cheerios).  When I woke up,  I felt….refreshed!  Imagine that!

Perhaps “balanced” denial can be beneficial when it does not become too extreme. In the meantime, I am in the process of meeting different specialists, trying to listen to my body, but, also, push the limits on many days and admittedly, I still get very shocked when the pain of the obstruction comes. Is this really happening to me? Maybe it is just a stomach bug…..a 26 year long  stomach bug.

Hoping that you will leave a comment below to share how you feel denial resonates with your experience with your condition.  Join me next month to explore the next step of…………ANGER when we transition from, “This can not be happening to me!” to “Why the *#@# is this happening to me?”

Book Reference:

Kubler-Ross, E. (1969). On Death and Dying. New York, NY: Touchstone.

 

Author Bio: Sharon Coyle- Saeed: Health Activist, CEO/Founder of ibdjourneys:

 

Sharon CoyIMG_9124le-Saeed was diagnosed with ulcerative colitis in 1990. She has three Associate degrees in Psychology, World Language, and Theater.  Sharon’s Bachelors is in Journalism & Mass Media with a Middle Eastern Studies minor from  Rutgers University. She is currently a graduate student of Clinical Social Work at Rutgers University with a focus on Aging and Health. Sharon just completed an internship at Robert Wood Johnson/The Steeplechase Cancer Center. She is a Reiki Master Practitioner, a freelance reporter for Gannett NJ, an IET Intermediate practitioner and holds certifications in EFT (Level One), Angel Card Reading, Angel Realm Reader and Aromatherapy (Stress Management, Essentials and First Aid). To help others is her sole and soul’s desire. 

1
Mar

#ePharma16 Self-attestation for #PatientsIncluded

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  1. Patients or caregivers with experience relevant to the conference’s central theme actively participate in the design and planning of the event, including the selection of themes, topics and speakers.

- Casey Quinlan (@MightyCasey), Matthew Zachary (@StupidCancer + @MatthewZachary), Randi Oster (@HelpMe_Health), Julie Cerrone (@justagoodlife),  were part of co-creation team, representing the patient voice both in development and on the platform.

  1. Patients or caregivers with experience of the issues addressed by the event participate[3] in its delivery, and appear in its physical audience.

Julie Cerrone (@justagoodlife), Tiffany Marie (@TiffanyandLupus), Cindy Chmielewski (@MyelomaTeacher), AnneMarie Ciccarella (@ChemoBrainfog), MarlaJan DeFusco (@MarlaJan), Dee Sparacio (@WomenofTeal), Alicia Staley (@Stales), Casey Quinlan (@MightyCasey), Todd Bello (@bello_todd), Shakir Cannon (@bl00db0rn) – all in audience, many on platform.

  1. Travel and accommodation expenses for patients or carers participating in the advertised programme are paid in full, in advance. Scholarships[4] are provided by the conference organisers to allow patients or carers affected by the relevant issues to attend as delegates.

Scholarships awarded to: AnneMarie Ciccarella Cindy Chmielewski Shakir Cannon Tiffany Peterson Todd Bello MarlaJan DeFusco

  1. The disability requirements of participants are accommodated[5]. All applicable sessions, breakouts, ancillary meetings, and other programme elements are open to patient delegates.

Conference venue, and conference, fully ADA compliant; rest areas easily accessible; dietary options offered for those with food/immune sensitivities.

  1. Access for virtual participants is facilitated,[6] with free streaming video provided online wherever possible.

Conference live-tweeted by all mentioned above; sessions Periscoped by MarlaJan DeFusco (compensated in addition to scholarship as onsite e-patient journalist)

22
Feb

Learn More About Bladder Cancer

Joyce

Diagnosis and Treatment Options for Bladder Cancer

By Joyce Paul

Bladder cancer affects a lot of us. I personally know at least a couple of people who have had the misfortune of developing this malady. When caught early, it is supposed to be highly treatable, but sadly, many people don’t discover that they have the disease until well after it has progressed to the point that available therapies can no longer help much. Sometimes, the oversight happens because of obliviousness to the symptoms or the changes occurring in one’s body; other times, it’s because even doctors themselves misdiagnose the cancer, initially believing that it’s some sort of infection or something else. A lot of us are very much aware of the symptoms and treatment options for other types of cancer like breast cancer, thanks in no small measure to the fact that it benefits from a highly developed advocacy network that holds marathon events for fundraising and encourages high-profile celebrities to join in promoting people’s awareness of it. Bladder cancer doesn’t get that much attention, and that’s why I’m doing my part in helping people become more knowledgeable about it. I’ve written this rather academic article about the disease, where I share some important details that could just help save lives. I hope that you’re able to share this with your family and friends, too. What is bladder cancer? Bladder cancer is the fifth most common cancer in the United States and the ninth most common cancer worldwide. While commonly seen as an ailment afflicting men, bladder cancer can be also found in women, with women having a worse prognosis than men. Hence, it’s important that more people are made aware of the disease. A good start is by learning more about the diagnosis and treatment options currently available. Diagnosis With an 88% percent survival rate if bladder cancer is diagnosed by Stage I, compared to 15% percent when detected by Stage IV, the early detection of this cancer is crucial. However, screening is not advised by major medical organizations when there are no symptoms present. These symptoms include hematuria (bleeding in the urine), urinary frequency (urinating every hour or two), and dysuria (pain while urinating). Since bladder cancer’s symptoms are very similar to other ailments such as urinary tract infections (UTI), a battery of studies are often prescribed once one manifests symptoms. These include the following:

  1. Urinalysis with microscopy, a required urine test that detects high-grade tumors yet may miss low-grade tumors
  2. Urinary cytology, a urine test that looks for abnormal cells
  3. Urinary tract imaging with intravenous contrast for patients with hematuria, often performed prior to cystoscopy
  4. Cytoscopy, which is a must when the patient’s symptoms include hematuria and no other causative factors are identified
  5. Transurethral resection of the bladder tumor (TURBT), which is basically an “incision-less” examination and surgical removal of the tumor itself

A recent study has also found that those who frequently exhibit UTI symptoms, and do not improve over the course of time or treatment, have a high chance of having bladder cancer. Hence, it is recommended that a detailed medical history and physical exam be performed once symptoms are exhibited. Treatment Like other kinds of cancer, treatment options for bladder cancer is based on the severity of the disease. For patients whose tumors are classified as non-muscle invasive (Stage I), or those whose tumors have not broken into the muscle layer of the bladder, the National Cancer Institute (NCI) recommends TURBT. Based on several factors (depth of tumor invasion, tumor grade, likelihood of recurrence, etc.), the treatments below are implemented after TURBT:

  1. Immediate intravesical instillation chemotherapy
  2. Immunotherapy, which triggers and boosts the immune system’s own defenses to fight cancer. Bladder cancer makes use of Bacillus Calmette-Guérin (BCG), a vaccine that’s also used to fight tuberculosis

Meanwhile, for those whose cancer is already classified as muscle-invasive disease (Stage II to Stage IV), the NCI recommends two options after TURBT:

  1. Neoadjuvant multi-agent cisplatin-based chemotherapy, followed by radical cystectomy (bladder removal). This is then followed urinary diversion, or reconstructing a pathway for the flow of urine outside the body.
  2. Radiation therapy with chemotherapy.

With the choice of treatment based on the severity of the disease, comprehensive testing is essential. Hence, those experiencing symptoms are advised to seek professional help immediately, as early detection is key to survival.   Author Bio:  Joyce Paul is a marketing professional from Genemedics Health Institute. Her interests lie in health and nutrition. She writes about these topics and contributes to different health and wellness blogs in her free time. She also participates in awareness campaigns for HIV and Cancer in her community. Her advocacy is to help people know more about fighting these diseases. Loves to cook, bake and take long walks with her 4 dogs (two Belgian Malinois, a Golden Retriever and a Shih Tzu).

17
Feb

Check Out a New Resource!

Interested in learning about a product for dietary management of IBS? Our sharing hub is full of information about IBgard, a medical food. There are testimonials from doctors who have seen it work as well as from patients who have experienced it. A printable coupon to try IBgard yourself is also available! Check it out today. This message is sponsored by the makers of IBgard.


3
Feb

ICYMI: February #HAChat

Hi everyone! February 2nd was our #HAChat ! It was a fantastic success. Shout out to our host Jen Thorson who lead an incredible discussion all about heart health.

Below is a recap of the #HAChat so keep reading and remember to join in on our next #HAChat in March!

 

 

1
Feb

Parenting Consistently with an Inconsistent Disease

Hi everyone! Sharon Coyle-Saeed is back with her monthly blog post! Keep reading below, and look for her posts at the beginning of each month!

Parenting Consistently with an Inconsistent Disease

By Sharon Coyle-Saeed

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Prior to my health taking a turn in 2011 with more bumps than a rollercoaster ride, I was a proud , regal, and ready to pounce,  “tigermom”  with a tendency to hover in my side role as  a “helicopter parent” to my 6 and 9 year old sons.  Upon decluttering my closet this past month, I found a calendar from 2010 which had no less than five of their activities jammed into each day. A typical day would have a check list like this. Library Story time, check. Volunteer at the elementary school, check. Make interesting and balanced fresh meals daily, check. Laundry, iron and hang clothes by color and fan out the arms, check. Art lessons, check. Piano lessons, check. Magic lessons, check and karate (both at different times for each child as they were at different belt levels), check.

Also, both of my children were signed with a New York City modeling agency.  Which meant, at a moment’s notice, I switched my hat off from Treasurer of the PTA to stage mom. I still recall the days of picking them both up from school, and plopping them into a double sit and stand stroller while buying train tickets for NJ Transit, getting out at Pennsylvania station, and walking several blocks to their modeling shoots while making sure they were fed snacks, water and utilized their down time reading books that challenged their Lexile range.

I supplemented their studies at home with Kumon workbooks and any homeschooling activities I could get my hands on. Every moment was a teaching moment. The walls of our kitchen and living room were filled with addition and multiplication posters and maps of the world.  We even had a title for our home school and a theme song, “Elder Elementary,” named after the street where we resided.

Until one day, I had a pain which kept gnawing at my insides. I was diagnosed with peritoneal inclusion cysts. They were the size of two grapefruits resistant to aspiration, surgery was strongly suggested.  “It will be an in and out surgery,” they said. “You will be in for only 24 hours,” they said.  On June 6, 2011(my personal doomsday), I had a surgery which ended up in another surgery and a whole summer spent at Mount Sinai Hospital. I was released with a PICC line, TPN and a life that has never been the same since.  From 2011 till today, I have spent 50% or more time in the hospital. 2016 was supposed to break this trend. I hate to admit, but I am typing this blog piece from the hospital.

What was this tigermom who could out tiger the fiercest amongst them to do? Slowly but surely, I had to give up control. Unfortunately, activity after activity was dropped for no one was able to take them to and fro.  My sons primary after school activity became visiting me in the hospital, learning where the cafeteria was and eating way too much candy from the gift shops.

I had to let go of being the strict “overscheduler” and transitioned into the “lenient parent”, “the good cop” or “the all you need is love” mom. I did not have the heart for the short amount of time I was around them to bark out orders. So, I didn’t. Bedtimes that were a strict 8pm turned into a cuddle fest to whenever the heck they fell asleep. You don’t want meatloaf for dinner and rather have pancakes and fries? Why not? I think you are getting the picture.

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Zip forward to 2016. My sons are now 13 and 10. A few weeks ago, I had to step back to assess what is really going on here.   It could very well be the age, although I think there is more to it than that. Dare I say, they both have a tendency to sass back a bit? My husband and I tried to overcompensate for what we both felt was a very unfair and unfortunate web they got tangled up in. This led to the start of our sons developing some traits of Willy Wonka’s character, Veruca Salt and we all know she turned out to be a bad egg. I say the start of because I felt that all was still not lost. These are good kids who were craving consistency, discipline and some bad cops.

Last week I called a family meeting. I took the lead in the conversation and like parched nomads sipping water in a hot desert, I could see my sons eyes looking at me with a sense of relief.  I almost heard their souls call out softly, she is back and it was then I realized, they didn’t need less consistency when inconsistency came flooding in, they actually need more. We spoke about what extra activities they will pick up, the expectations on their classwork, the chores around the home they will do and most importantly, showing respect to their parents, each other, and elders.

Today, when my eldest son came to visit, I was curled up in a ball of pain. I did catch out of the corner of my eye him giving up his seat to make room for my mother to sit down. He listened to my words the other night and was putting them into action. I said to him, “I really like the way you just gave your seat up for your grandmother.”  It was then I knew that it is not too late and the kids will be okay. Just because I am inpatient, doesn’t mean I only need to be the cuddle and snuggle parent. I can also step up to the plate and take some of the bad cop away from their father who really kicked it into high gear a few years ago.

On the positive, my children have gained a lot from this experience of having a chronically ill parent. They have greater empathy. They also are extremely independent. They both wake up in the morning on their own, shower, brush their teeth, get dressed, make their own breakfast and walk out to the bus stop. I think my favorite story to share is from Christmas of 2011. I was hospitalized from right before the holidays up until the first week of March. They both insisted on not opening their gifts till I was home. A beautiful lesson of delaying their own gratification. Very tough for adults and proud that they both grew in this self-actualizing moment as children.

I don’t think I will ever go back to the fierce tigermom. I have changed my stripes. Nor will I go back to let them do what they want mom. Children need direction, support and guidance.  A balance between the two in this imbalanced unpredictable world of chronic disease seems to fit just right.

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Author Bio:

Sharon Coyle- Saeed: Health Activist, CEO/Founder of ibdjourneys:

Sharon Coyle-Saeed was diagnosed with ulcerative colitis in 1990. She has three Associate degrees in Psychology, World Language, and Theater.  Sharon’s Bachelors is in Journalism & Mass Media with a Middle Eastern Studies minor from  Rutgers University. She is currently a graduate student of Clinical Social Work at Rutgers University with a focus on Aging and Health. Sharon just completed an internship at Robert Wood Johnson/The Steeplechase Cancer Center. She is a Reiki Master Practitioner, a freelance reporter for Gannett NJ, an IET Intermediate practitioner and holds certifications in EFT (Level One), Angel Card Reading, Angel Realm Reader and Aromatherapy (Stress Management, Essentials and First Aid). To help others is her sole and soul’s desire. 

 

28
Jan

Thyroid Awareness Month: Learn More from Joyce Paul

Common Thyroid Disorders and Their Treatments

By Joyce Paul

Joyce

 

The thyroid and the hormones it produces play an important role in regulating the body’s metabolic rate and the formation of bones. Disorders of the thyroid can have drastic effects on a person’s health and physical appearance.

In general, thyroid disorders may be grouped into 3 types. These are:

 

Hyperthyroidism

The first type of thyroid disorder is hyperthyroidism or the overactivity of the thyroid. This condition affects about 1% of the total US population. The disease is characterized by the overproduction of thyroid hormones T3 and T4, causing the processes affected by these hormones to speed up. Among its symptoms are fatigue, the presence of goiter, heat intolerance, irregular and rapid heartbeat, mood swings, and weight loss. Depending on a number of factors, such as the patient’s age, thyroid hormone levels, and the cause of hyperthyroidism, a patient may be recommended by the doctor to undergo any of the following treatments:

  1. Medication – To combat the effects of excess thyroid hormones in the body, the patient may be recommended to take anti-thyroid medicine. It usually takes about 12 weeks for the medication to make a noticeable difference. The treatment typically lasts for a year.
  2. Radioactive Iodine Treatment – Radioactive iodine is used to permanently destroy the overactive thyroid. The treatment renders the body unable to produce its own thyroid hormones, a condition called hypothyroidism.
  3. Thyroid Surgery – Thyroidectomy or thyroid surgery refers to the partial or full removal of the thyroid gland. Just like radioactive iodine treatment, thyroidectomy leads to hypothyroidism.

 

Hypothyroidism

The second type of thyroid disorder is hypothyroidism or the inactivity of the thyroid and the lack of T3 and T4 hormones in the body. Compared to hyperthyroidism, hypothyroidism is easier to manage and has an opposite effect on the body. Slowed down metabolic functions may manifest in symptoms like fatigue, shortness of breath, and weight gain; the patient may also have poor appetite, hearing, and concentration. Long-term thyroid hormone replacement therapy is needed to treat the symptoms of hypothyroidism. Some thyroid hormone replacement programs also include exercise and nutrition regimens to help curb the physical changes caused by the disease.

 

Growths and Cysts

The third and final group of common thyroid disorders is made up of growths such as goiters, nodules, cysts, and cancers.  A vast majority of the diseases under this category do not cause signs or symptoms until the growth is big enough to impede breathing and swallowing. Still, people at risk for these conditions must remain vigilant so the condition can be detected and treated at the earliest time possible. Common treatments for diseases under this group include:

  1. Radiation Therapy – Typically used to treat thyroid cancers, radiation therapy may come in the form of external beam radiation, radioactive iodine treatment, and internal radiation where a radioactive seed is planted inside the tumor.
  2. Surgery – Thyroidectomy can be used to treat obstructive thyroid growths, cancers still contained within the thyroid, and hyperthyroidism. It is also a viable treatment for pregnant women who have thyroid growths.
  3. Hormone replacement therapy – Treatment for thyroid growths and nodules typically render the body unable to independently produce thyroid hormones. Hormone replacement therapy is used to address hypothyroidism. It may also prevent cancer cells from returning, and slow the growth of cancer cells still in the body.

 

 

Author Bio:

Joyce Paul is a marketing professional from Genemedics Health Institute. Her interests lie in health and nutrition. She writes about these topics and contributes to different health and wellness blogs in her free time. She also participates in awareness campaigns for HIV and Cancer in her community. Her advocacy is to help people know more about fighting these diseases. Loves to cook, bake and take long walks with her 4 dogs (two Belgian Malinois, a Golden Retriever and a Shih Tzu).