OPRAH SHINES A LIGHT ON THYROID DISEASE: After Oprah shared last week her recent diagnosis of a “burned out thyroid” after suffering months of undiagnosed low fatigue and energy, I have heard from so many women complaining that they too have been misdiagnosed before finally learning what was wrong with them. I plan to write much more about thyroid disease in the future, what causes it, how to diagnose it, how to best treat it. But for now I think the most important message we can take away from Oprah’s revelation is that if we feel something is just not right – believe it – and act on it to get the most accurate diagnosis possible and the best treatment possible. Find a doctor or practitioner who takes your concerns seriously and be sure that you get the necessary tests to get to the bottom of what is going on. Don’t just assume stress is the cause of your symptoms without first exploring the possibility that an underlying medical condition that requires specific treatment exists - such as Oprah Winfrey’s hypoactive thyroid or Leslie Stahl’s iron deficiency. Read my interview “Women Must Take Charge of Their Own Thyroid Health” with thyroid expert and patient advocate Mary Shomon at About.com to learn more about thyroid disease and how to work with your doctor.
Archive for October, 2007
A recent issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine described three new interesting and important studies linking what we eat, our body shapes and how we live to our health. I thought I would share with you a few hightlights:
Eating Whole-Grain Breakfast Cereals May Be Associated With a Lower Risk of Heart Failure for Men
Men who consume a higher amount of whole grain breakfast cereals may have a reduced risk of heart failure (weakness of the heart muscle). One in five (20 percent) men and women will develop heart failure at some point. The most common causes are hypertension or untreated or poorly treated high blood pressure, coronary heart disease (blocked heart arteries) and hypercholesterolemia (high blood cholesterol).
Many scientists believe that omega-3 fatty acids, found mostly in fish, can prevent heart disease, so it’s no wonder these fats are being added to all kinds of products. But before you buy the latest omega-3 wonder food, check the label. Some contain a version of the nutrient that may not do you much good at all.
Everyone’s talking about the hospital employees that allegedly accessed information from George Clooney’s medical records after his recent motorcycle accident and shared it with the media. This has led to endless talk in the media about the security and privacy of our medical records and stories of identity fraud as well. One safeguard recommended was to ask for a copy of your medical records to assure their accuracy!
Who would ever suspect a common link between panic attacks and heart disease risk – and even risk of death??? Well it turns out, research has now shown what I long suspected and talked about in my book, The Body Shape Solution to Weight Loss and Wellness. Women who have panic attacks appear to be at much higher risk for cardiovascular disease and even death.
A recent article in the British Medical Journal, LANCET, found that there may be a smarter way to check for abnormal cell changes and cervical cancer than getting just a PAP TEST. The researchers found that testing women ages 30 and over with the DNA HPV test (the test which checks for the virus, HPV, that causes cervical cancer) was actually better than testing with the Pap test. The DNA HPV test led to the discovery of more women with abnormal cells needing treatment and provided greater peace of mind. The DNA HPV test was so good that the authors suggested the possibility that women could be tested less often as a result. That sounds like great news to me!