Grab Bag Thyroid Check:
It’s estimated that 59 million Americans have a thyroid problem, but the majority don’t even know it yet.
Thyroid disfunction (hypo or hyper) is more common in women over 50, and is also occurring more often in the general population around the world. Why? “They” don’t know.
Until “they” do know, I’m in the camp of those that try to avoid as much chemical exposure as possible… no non-stick cookware (you may want to explore some new products that claim to be safer), I ask questions about flame retardants on fabrics and furnishings, and I use the most natural cosmetics I can find.
Here are 10 signs to watch for possible thyroid problems reviewed by the Medical Review Board at About.com (mind you… many, if not most, of these symptoms can also be some of the joys of menopause, and would not necessarily condemn your thyroid as a trouble maker):
10. Muscle and Joint Pains, Carpal Tunnel/Tendonitis Problems
Aches and pains in your muscles and joints, weakness in the arms and a tendency to develop carpal tunnel in the arms/hands and tarsal tunnel in the legs, can all be symptoms of undiagnosed thyroid problems.
9. Neck Discomfort/Enlargement.
A feeling of swelling in the neck, discomfort with turtlenecks or neckties, a hoarse voice or a visibly enlarged thyroid can all be symptoms of thyroid disease.
To help find out if your thyroid may be enlarged, try a simple “Thyroid Neck Check” test at home.
8. Hair/Skin Changes.
Hair and skin are particularly vulnerable to thyroid conditions, and in particular, hair loss is frequently associated with thyroid problems. With hypothyroidism, hair frequently becomes brittle, coarse and dry, while breaking off and falling out easily. Skin can become coarse, thick, dry,and scaly.
In hypothyroidism, there is often an unusual loss of hair in the outer edge of the eyebrow. With hyperthyroidism, severe hair loss can also occur, and skin can become fragile and thin.
7. Bowel Problems.
Severe or long-term constipation is frequently associated with hypothyroidism, while diarrhea or irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is associated with hyperthyroidism.
6. Menstrual Irregularities and Fertility Problems.
Heavier, more frequent and more painful periods are frequently associated with hypothyroidism, and shorter, lighter or infrequent menstruation can be associated with hyperthyroidism. Infertility can also be associated with undiagnosed thyroid conditions.
5. Family History.If you have a family history of thyroid problems, you are at a higher risk of having a thyroid condition yourself. You may not always be aware of thyroid problems in your family, though, because among older people, it is often referred to as “gland trouble” or “goiter.” So pay attention to any discussions of glandular conditions or goiter or weight gain due to “a glandular problem,” as these may be indirect ways of referring to thyroid conditions.
4. Cholesterol Issues
High cholesterol, especially when it is not responsive to diet, exercise or cholesterol-lowering medication, can be a sign of undiagnosed hypothyroidism. Unusually low cholesterol levels may be a sign of hyperthyroidism.
3. Depression and Anxiety.
Depression or anxiety — including sudden onset of panic disorder — can be symptoms of thyroid disease. Hypothyroidism is most typically associated with depression, while hyperthyroidism is more commonly associated with anxiety or panic attacks. Depression that does not respond to antidepressants may also be a sign of an undiagnosed thyroid disorder.
2. Weight Changes.
You may be on a low-fat, low-calorie diet with a rigorous exercise program, but are failing to lose or gain any weight. Or you may have joined a diet program or support group, such as Weight Watchers, and you are the only one who isn’t losing any weight. Difficulty losing weight can be a sign of hypothyroidism. You may be losing weight while eating the same amount of food as usual — or even losing while eating more than normal. Unexplained weight changes and issues can be signs of both hypothyroidism or hyperthyroidism.
Feeling exhausted when you wake up, feeling as if 8 or 10 hours of sleep a night is insufficient or being unable to function all day without a nap can all be signs of thyroid problems. (With hyperthyroidism, you may also have nighttime insomnia that leaves you exhausted during the day.)
If you want further information, read this article.
Grab Bag Hair Color Commentary:
A few times I have SUGGESTED to all kind readers here that IF you use chemical hair color, please consider using something more natural. The only really viable alternative is good quality henna.
I will reiterate here and now that henna has CHANGED THE QUALITY AND CONDITION OF MY HAIR to something FAR better, and I didn’t even use permanent color, just semi-permanent, “wash-out” color.
BUT, I do understand that the thought of taking this task into your own hands may feel daunting.
Lo and behold, I have discovered a series of videos by Morrocco Method on the art and science of henna mixing and application, and they are very good. I haven’t been using Morrocco Method’s henna, but I’m thinking I might try it, and I like a few of their tips that I had not seen or read before.
Sooooo…. if you are game to have a healthy, luxurious head of moisturized, shiny hair, check out these videos:
(They can also be found permanently linked under Information in the right column here on this page)
Grab Bag Breast Cancer Future:
October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and it’s cool to be aware that there are advances that may hold promise of radically better and earlier detection on the horizon.
One such development is the use of nanotechnology… nanoparticles are introduced into the patient, and only bind to known cancer cells. A detection device similar to MRI, using no radiation, picks up the location of the bonded nanoparticles, showing an early and accurate location of cancer cells. Edward Flynn, PhD (a nuclear physicist who worked 38 years at Los Alamos brfore his wife was diagnosed with breast cancer), the developer of the technology, says he believes it may have the ability to detect breast cancer 2.5-3 years earlier than mammograms.
The testing is currently being studied at a number of research hospitals and, if all goes well, may be available in 3-5 years.
Grab Bag Wow Moment:
LG’s 3D projection technology showcased on a building facade in Berlin.
Achtung, mein kinder…. this is a jaw-dropper.
Grab Bag Brain Game:
The classic word search game…. but with a timer:
Grab Bag Funny Stuff:
From this month’s The Atlantic magazine:
What’s Your Problem?
By Jeffrey Goldberg
I am a single woman in my 30’s, and I would like to have a baby on my own. I don’t want to go to a sperm bank —too anonymous—and I’m lucky because I have four very acceptable guy friends, any of whom I think would be a willing donor if I choose to go that route. I’ve made lists of their various attributes, and they all basically even out in the end. The only place where they really differ is in their level of academic achievement, specifically where they went to college. Two went to Ivy League schools (Harvard, Columbia), one went to Duke, and one went to a second-tier state school, the University of Kansas. I assume their undergraduate choices had to do with their SAT scores (I don’t know how they did on standardized testing, and I think it might be rude to ask), so those choices do seem pertinent.
How much should I weigh this in making my decision?
D.S., New York, N.Y.
To avoid making such a difficult decision, I suggest you collect sperm from all four men, combine the donations in a test tube, and inject this potent mixture using the traditional turkey-baster method. Whichever sperm outswims, outfights, or outfoxes the others will fertilize your egg, which is as it should be, because I think the most ruthless and mercenary sperm is axiomatically the best sperm for you. I suspect that the University of Kansas sperm will win this competition. Just look at the school’s football program: while not on a par with Auburn or LSU, it could crush Columbia or Harvard. As for Duke, I would guess that the sperm will be too drunk to compete.