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Is hypothyroidism your problem?
For millions of Americans, fatigue, weight gain, hair loss, depression, and other symptoms often go undiagnosed and untreated. Endured by weary patients and ignored by doctors, common warning signs of hypothyroidism are often attributed to depression, stress, age, or simply dismissed as "all in the patient's head." Even diagnosed, hypothyroidism is frequently treated improperly, preventing countless numbers of people from feeling and living well.
This book, exhaustively researched by a professional writer and hypothyroidism patient, is written for patients, their families, their doctors, and the countless number of people with undiagnosed or undertreated symptoms of the disease---frustrated, as the author was, by the lack of information on the subject.
Living Well With Hypothyroidism includes dozens of compelling, first-person accounts from people who have learned to triumph over the disease and thoroughly answers such questions as:
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As many as one in eight women have a thyroid condition. In Living Well with Hypothyroidism, Mary Shomon outlines the most common of these--too little thyroid hormones in the body. Weight gain, depression, fatigue, and what patients call "brain fog, Brillo hair, and prune skin" result. Because the symptoms of hypothyroidism mimic so many other conditions--chronic fatigue, PMS, clinical depression--it can be very tricky to diagnose, especially since patients with HMOs may not get the thorough testing they need.
Shomon knows of what she speaks: she's a health writer and thyroid patient herself. She also manages a thyroid Web site and writes a newsletter on hypothyroidism. In Living Well, she offers an extensively researched guide to this complex condition. She covers conventional, alternative, and late-breaking approaches to treatment--such as challenging the gold standard of Synthroid as the thyroid replacement therapy of choice. (Synthroid replaces T4, the less active of the two thyroid hormones, and Shomon features new research on adding T3--the more potent thyroid hormone--to treatment.)
With her down-to-earth, patient-centered approach, Shomon explains everything from how to choose a thyroid specialist to how calcium, antidepressants, and a high-fiber diet affect thyroid hormone absorption. The book includes a chapter on depression, which is a typical misdiagnosis of hypothyroidism--as well as a symptom that often persists even after treatment. She also covers infertility (women who are hypothyroid don't ovulate as regularly and miscarry more frequently) and thyroid cancer, one of the less common causes of hypothyroidism. She explains how to spot hypothyroidism in kids, and ends with a glossary, international resources, and journal references.
Shomon creates a sense of community by excerpting e-mails from her vast network of patients--voices that bring a sense of humor so often missing from health books. One quibble: she could have avoided the antidoctor stance in the beginning of her book, where she blames physicians, rather than incomplete science, for the misdiagnosis and treatment of hypothyroidism. --Rebecca TaylorFrom the Publisher:
Thirteen million Americans alone have some form of thyroid disease. And almost all forms of thyroid disease lead to a single outcome: the condition of hypothyroidism -- an underactive, underfunctioning, non-functioning, partially-removed, or fully-removed thyroid. Whether you have Graves' disease, hyperthyroidism, nodules, a goiter, Hashimoto's autoimmune thyroid disease, or even thyroid cancer -- the end result for most of you is hypothyroidism. This book is for you if: *
You strongly suspect you have thyroid disease but are having difficulty getting a diagnosis by conventional means. *
You aren't sure if your various symptoms point to hypothyroidism, but you're trying to find out more. *
You've been diagnosed with hypothyroidism, told to take this pill and come back in a year, and want more information about how to live as well as possible with your hypothyroidism. *
You are receiving what your doctor feels is sufficient treatment for your hypothyroidism and you still don't feel well. *
You're an open-minded health practitioner who wants to discover what other innovative practitioners are doing to help patients, and get a better understanding of the patient's perspective on this common but often overlooked disease. Above all, this book is for you if you want to learn about living well with hypothyroidism, from the perspective of empowered patients and caring practitioners. Living Well with Hypothyroidism is different. This is your book, written by a thyroid patient, for other patients . . . people like the author, Mary Shomon, who are going through the familiar ups and downs of diagnosis and treatment. Living Well with Hypothyroidism provides the information about hypothyroidism you probably won't find out from your doctor, the pharmaceutical companies, the patient organizations, or in other books about thyroid disease. Mary Shomon talks honestly, and without allegiance to any pharmaceutical companies or medical organizations, about the risks and symptoms of hypothyroidism, how to truly get a diagnosis, and the many treatments -- conventional and alternative -- to treat the condition and its unresolved symptoms. Ultimately, the book is about living well with hypothyroidism, having the knowledge, tools, and team of health practitioners who can ensure that you feel the best you possibly can. In this book, you'll find out what your doctor won't tell you about risks, diagnosis, drugs, and alternative and conventional things that work -- and don't work -- to treat hypothyroidism and its symptoms. You'll also hear the voices of patients, real people who have struggled for diagnosis, tried to deal with their doctors, tried different medicines, suffered setbacks, enjoyed successes. Each person quoted in this book was determined to share his or her own story, ideas, humor, sympathy, hope, ideas, and pain with you. You will recognize your own experiences, fears and emotions, and be touched and moved by the incredibly honest and poignant quotes and stories from patients throughout the U.S. and the world. Above all, you'll know you are not alone.
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