10 Signs Your Thyroid Isn’t Working

The thyroid, a butterfly-shaped gland located at front of our neck below the Adam’s apple, is a small but very important gland that releases hormones that have a huge impact on metabolism, among other processes. According to the American Thyroid Association, about 20 million Americans suffer from some form of thyroid malfunction, yet 60 percent don’t realize that they even have a problem. This makes realizing that the thyroid is malfunctioning really important.

Bright Side brings to you 10 signs that indicate that your thyroid might be acting up and it’s time to pay the doctor a visit. Don’t miss our important bonus at the end.

 

Dry, scaly and thick skin

 

Hypothyroidism leads to the calcification of the skin, causing it to appear thick, very dry, and scaly in texture.

Hair loss/thinning hair

Hair growth depends on the proper functioning of the thyroid gland. Changes in the level of the hormone produced by the thyroid gland can lead to changes in hair growth. Excessive production of the hormone can cause the hair to become thin all over the scalp while underproduction of the hormone can lead to hair loss

 Unusual bowel activity

 

Thyroid hormones play a role in regulating the bowel movement. An underactive thyroid can cause constipation, while an overactive thyroid can result in frequent bowel movements.

Depression/sudden anxiety

If you have been feeling anxious or unsettled lately, there’s a chance that your thyroid gland has been acting up. Overproduction of thyroid hormones results in more brain stimulation causing patients to feel jittery or anxious. Underproduction of the hormone has the opposite effect, it makes the patient feel depressed and tired.

Feeling unusually cold/unusual sweating

 

The thyroid gland is like a thermostat for our body in the sense that it regulates body temperature. If the hormone production gets beefed up it unusually increases the body’s metabolism causing people to feel overly warm and sweaty. If there is a deficiency of the thyroid hormone in the body the patient might be prone to having low body temperatures and cold intolerance.

 

 

Thyroid hormones are responsible for regulating the body’s metabolism. Lower than normal production of the hormone can significantly decrease metabolism and calorie burning abilities of the body causing you to gain weight, while over secretion of it will make you lose weight abruptly.

Irregular periods

 

If you are experiencing period problems, improper thyroid functioning might be the culprit. A lack of enough hormones will make the periods heavier, longer, or cause them to occur closer together while an abundant production of the hormone might make your periods lighter or cause them to occur further apart.

Brain fogging/difficulty concentrating

If your thyroid isn’t working properly, neither is your brain. An underactive thyroid can cause subtle memory loss while an overactive thyroid can make it difficult to concentrate.

Neck discomfort or enlargement

 

Both overproduction and underproduction of the thyroid hormone can lead to the enlargement of the thyroid gland causing the neck to appear swollen.

Changes in heart rate

Under secretion of the thyroid hormone can cause the heart to beat slowly, whereas hyperthyroidism causes a fast heartbeat.

Bonus: Who is at a greater risk?

 

  • Women more than men
  • Women over 60 years of age
  • People with a family history of thyroid related problems

Neck check for thyroid disorder:

Tip your head back and swallow. Examine your neck around the Adam’s apple and the area above your collarbones. If you feel lumps or bulges, see a doctor.

 

Sources: https://brightside.me/inspiration-health/10-signs-your-thyroid-isnt-working-515510/

 

 

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What are the Differences between Crohn’s Disease, Ulcerative Colitis and IBD (Inflammatory Bowel Disease)

Article Source: http://managedigestion.com/what-are-the-differences-between-crohns-disease-uc-and-ibd/

 

Ulcerative Colitis and Crohn’s Disease

Ulcerative Colitis and Crohn’s disease are both Inflammatory Bowel Diseases affecting the bowel and colon. The common symptoms of these diseases are weight loss, severe abdominal pain, bloody diarrhea, and fatigue.

Crohn’s Disease and Ulcerative Colitis are found among many Americans. Symptoms of these conditions are abdominal pain, exhaustion, weight loss, and bloody diarrhea which can result in anemia. This has severe effects on the colon and bowel and can result in irritable bowel syndrome.

Ulcerative Colitis (UC) mostly attacks the mucosa and submucosa in the large intestine. It occurs normally in young adults starting from the age of 10 to 19 or 20 years old, irrespective of sex. Although the exact cause of this disease is not known, it is mostly attributed to infectious, immunological issues, nutritional and psychogenic related conditions, and both physical and emotional factors. Stress can be a major factor in the worsening of the illness. The presence of this disease may also be influenced by genes and environmental elements.

Ulcerative Colitis is usually indicated by frequent diarrhea. In acute cases, bloody diarrhea and severe pain and cramps in the abdominal region are major symptoms. This can also result in swelling of the abdomen. These conditions may result in anemia. The reduced intake of food and irritable bowel syndrome may bring down the water level and electrolytes in the body. Fever, weight loss, anorexia, and vomiting are the other features of this bowel disease.

Crohn’s Disease is more or less similar to UC. In fact, there are so many similarities between the two that sometimes it becomes difficult to differentiate between the two diseases. The main difference, however, is that Crohn’s does not attack the rectum, whereas Ulcerative Colitis does. Another major difference is that while UC affects only the mucosa and submucosa of the intestinal region, Crohn’s affects the muscularis propria in addition to the other two. Crohn’s Disease typically causes fistulas and strictures while UC results in deadly megacolon and if left untreated can even lead to colonic carcinoma. Due to constant inflammation and regeneration of the colonic wall, there appears a thickening of the bowel wall in Crohn’s Disease. In the case of UC however, the ulcerations made by the intestinal tract cause deep recesses or notches creating the appearance of pseudopolyps.

Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD)

However, an X-Ray can help differentiate between the two inflammatory bowel diseases. Although both classified as irritable bowel syndrome, the manner of treating ulcerative colitis is different from that of treating Crohn’s Disease even if some medications may be used for both. While diet plays a major role in Crohn’s, UC doesn’t seem to be affected much by diet.

 

Find out how you can help medical research and contribute to finding cures by contacting PlasmaMed through our website: www.plasmamedpatients.com/contact 

The A – Z of The Ultimate Cheat Sheet On Ulcerative Colitis

Article Source: http://managedigestion.com/z-ultimate-cheat-sheet-ulcerative-colitis/

 

What is it?

The word ulcerative colitis literary means inflammatory disease of the large intestine, characterized by the formation of the ulcers. Thus ulcerative colitis belongs to the group of disorders called Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBS).

 

 

What causes it?

Perhaps no one would be able to say the exact cause of the disease. Most probably it is a combination of three things: environmental factors, genetics, and autoimmunity. Genetics means that there could be family history, and the person may inherit the collection of weak genes that increase the risk of disease. However, the disease has to be triggered by some changes in environment like some stressful condition, infection, food poisoning. Genetics and environment triggers cause the immune system to behave in wrong way, leading to the disease. The local immune system in the intestine starts to overreact to the infections or microbes thus leading to severe local inflammation, that may further erode to give rise to ulcers.

 

What are the symptoms?

It would start with the symptoms related to the disease of the large intestine, that is chronic diarrhea that would last for weeks or even months, and most treatments would not help enough. Blood in stool is common due to ulceration of large intestine or area near the rectum. Other symptoms would be abdominal cramping, pain in the rectum (pain would come and go), weight loss, chills, abdominal bloating, dehydration. If left untreated, many other symptoms of malnutrition may occur.

The disease is characterized by the flares and remissions, that is times when you may feel utterly sick, followed by the intervals of relative calm.

 

What are the tests?

There is the whole array of tests available. The doctor would often start with stool and blood test, not only to diagnose ulcerative colitis, but also to rule out other similar diseases. Colonoscopy may help to visualize the colon, and if needed take samples of tissue for histological examination. Abdominal CT scan, MRI, X-ray.

What needs to be done?

It is a condition that must be treated under the supervision of a doctor as it needs more than symptomatic care. The doctor would often use anti-inflammatory therapy by using amino-salicylates, corticosteroids, or immunosuppressants. Some cases may require surgical treatment.

 

What should I eat?

When it comes to diet, avoid high-fat food. Drink lots of liquids including coconut water, have more of ripe banana, ripe papaya, boiled apple, cabbage, carrots, and curd. Avoid (during flares) dairy products, high fiber food, alcohol, cut down on caffeine and carbonated beverages.

What can prevent it?

Change lifestyle, make significant changes to diet, avoid stressful conditions.

What are the dangers?

It increases the risk of some health conditions. Bones become weaker due to osteoporosis, in teenagers it may decrease the growth and development, even adults may lose too much body weight. It may cause disease of bile duct called sclerosing cholangitis, rare but life-threatening complication like megacolon due to trapping of gasses (increased risk of rupture), and finally, it increases the risk of bowel cancer.

 

Find out how you can help medical research and contribute to finding cures by contacting PlasmaMed through our website: www.plasmamedpatients.com/contact 

Folate Deficiency: What You Should Know

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As cold temperatures coat the United States respectively, many are quick to jump to comfort foods and forget to incorporate important vitamins into their diet. January is acknowledged as the month for folic acid awareness.

What is Folate? How does Folate Deficiency develop? 

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Although diets low in fresh fruit, vegetables, and fortified cereals are the main reason for folate deficiencies, people diagnosed with gastrointestinal diseases that affect absorption may also experience folate deficiencies. Diseases such as Crohn’s, celiac, and certain cancers can predispose someone to a folate deficiency.

Excessive alcohol consumption may also cause folate deficiency by stimulating folate excretion through urine. Some medications such as phenytoin, tripmethoprim-sulfamethoxazole, methotrexate, and methotrexate have been noted to cause folate deficiency.

What can happen if I am folate deficient? 

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How can I know if I am folate deficient? 

While most people consume the suggested amount of folate through the food in their diet, it is always good to be familiar with the subtle signs of folate deficiency.

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How can I prevent becoming folate deficient? 

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Folate deficiency, for most people, can be prevented through eating a balanced, nutritious diet.

Foods that are high in folic acid are: 

  • leafy, green vegetables (ex: spinach)
  • Brussels sprouts
  • peas
  • citrus
  • lentils
  • fruits, such as bananas and melons
  • tomato juice
  • peanut butter
  • eggs
  • beans
  • legumes
  • mushrooms
  • asparagus
  • nuts
  • shellfish
  • wheat bran
  • fortified cereals

The recommended folate dose is 400 micrograms per day. Women who may become pregnant should take a folate supplement. Folate is critical for normal fetal growth.

People who take medications known to cause folate deficiency should take a supplement as well, but it’s always important to check with your doctor first.

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Find out how you can help medical research and contribute to finding cures by contacting PlasmaMed through our website: www.plasmamedpatients.com/contact 

Article resources:

  • https://www.healthline.com/health/folate-deficiency#complications
  • Bueno, O., Molloy, A. M., Fernandez-Ballart, J. D., Garcia-Minguillan, C. J., Ceruelo, S., Rios, L., . . . Murphy, M. M. (2015, November 11). Common polymorphisms that affect folate transport or metabolism modify the effect of the MTFHR 677C > T polymorphism on folate status. Journal of Nutrition, 146(1), 1-8ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26561410