Thyroid Awareness Month

fullsizeoutput_2ae6January is Thyroid Awareness Month and I wanted to take a moment to share what this means and what thyroid disease entails. I also want to make y’all are fully aware that I am not a medical professional and this post is only meant to raise awareness of thyroid disease through the research I have done. Your thyroid is a butterfly-shaped gland that sits low on the front of your neck and has many functions I never really knew about, but I am going to share them with you.

Approximately 20 million Americans suffer from a thyroid disorder and millions more worldwide. A couple common issues include thyroid nodules and enlarged thyroid glands, which can have cancer within them. The thyroid gland produces hormones that regulate the body’s metabolic rate, heart rate, blood pressure, thyroid affectstemperature, heart and digestive function, muscle control, brain development, mood, and bone maintenance. I am going to tell you what hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism means.

Hypothyroidism is a condition when the body does not produce enough thyroid hormones. This condition affects 1-2% of people worldwide, but women are affected ten times more than men. Some common signs and symptoms include fatigue, increased sensitivity to cold, constipation, itchy and dry skin, weight gain, muscle weakness, puffy face, hoarseness, hair loss, depression, trouble concentrating and memory problems.

B8r-2xJCYAAfqOgThere are several ways a doctor can use to diagnose hypothyroidism. First, they are going to want to know about the following:

  • The general state of health and any changes that have been noticed.
  • Family medical history and if anyone in the family has been diagnosed with thyroid disease.
  • Your doctor will want to know if you have had any thyroid surgery or radiation to the neck because of cancer.
  • Your doctor will want to know any medications you are currently taking because some medications can trigger thyroid complications.

Second, you will need a physical examination searching for any signs of hypothyroidism including:

  • Evidence of dry skinThyroidAwarenessMonth
  • Swelling around the eyes and swelling in the legs
  • Slower reflexes
  • Slower heart rate

Third, your doctor will perform blood tests.

  • TSH stands for Thyroid-Stimulating Hormone. This test measures the amount of Thyroxine (T4) the thyroid is being signaled to make. Abnormally high levels can indicate hypothyroidism.
  • Free T4 test is used to find out how well your thyroid gland is working. This test can be used to test for hypothyroidism or hyperthyroidism.

90% of primary Hypothyroidism disease is caused by Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis, which is a disease when the immune system, attacks the thyroid. Other causes of Hypothyroidism are iodine deficiency, genetic disorder, certain medications and surgery that removed part of the thyroid.

Thyroid_Awareness_month There are foods that should be avoided or at least consumed in moderation if diagnosed with Hypothyroidism. Foods to avoid are all types of millet, highly processed foods, supplements containing too much selenium and iodine. The foods and beverages that should be consumed in moderation are soy-based foods, broccoli, kale, spinach, cabbage, peaches, pears, strawberries, and coffee, green tea, and alcohol because they can irritate your thyroid gland.

Hyperthyroidism, which is referred to as an overactive thyroid, is when the thyroid ogi12881gland produces too much of the thyroxine hormone. Hyperthyroidism can cause anxiety, nervousness, rapid heart rate, unexpected weight loss, and high blood pressure.

 Two causes of hyperthyroidism are Grave’s disease and toxic nodular goiter. Grave’s disease is an autoimmune disorder where the immune system attacks the thyroid causing it to make more thyroid hormone than the body needs. Toxic Nodular Goiter is a thyroid gland containing autonomously functioning thyroid nodules. Both of these issues can be treated with medications, radioactive iodine or thyroidectomy, which is the removal of all or part of the thyroid gland.

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There are foods that should be avoided and foods that are encouraged to eat with hyperthyroidism. The foods to be avoided in excessive amounts are:

  • Iodized salt
  • Fish and Shellfish
  • Egg yolks
  • Dairy products
  • Iodine supplements
  • Foods that contain red dye

 

The foods that are encouraged to eat are:

  • Non-iodized salt
  • Coffee or tea, without milk, Dairy or soy-based creamers
  • Egg whites
  • Fresh or canned fruits
  • Homemade bread or bread without salt, dairy and, eggsthyroid-awareness-month
  • Popcorn with non-iodized salt
  • Oats

 It is always very important to prepare and plan ahead with all doctor’s appointments. Most people will start out with their family physician but will end up being referred to a specialist. When dealing with hyperthyroidism or hypothyroidism, your referral will be with an endocrinologist that specializes in the body’s hormone-secreting glands.

 We only have a short amount of time with a specialist and need to make the most of that tips-for-communicating-well-with-your-doctor-1time. The following will help you prepare for your appointment and stay on track.

  1. When you are scheduling your appointment, ask if there is anything you need to do in advance to prepare. For instance, are there any restrictions on you for the appointment?
  2. Write down any and all symptoms you are experiencing. It does not matter how small they seem or how irrelevant you think they are, the doctor may think differently and it may help with options.
  3. Write down important personal information to share with your doctor. It may not seem important because they are things you are used to dealing with, but sharing any stressors or life changes may be more important than we think.
  4. Making a list of any medications you are currently taking, including vitamins and supplements to share with your doctor will be helpful for you and your doctor. This will be especially helpful if anything you are taking could cause your thyroid to become irritated.
  5. Having a family member or close friend come to appointments with you can have many benefits. The person that comes along with you can help you remember important things to discuss with your doctor and remember details of the appointment later on. Moral support is also very beneficial.download
  6. Before an appointment, we all think of many questions we want to be sure we ask the doctor, but once in the exam room, it is easy to forget the questions. Writing a list of questions and or concerns you want to discuss will keep you on point and not forget any of those important questions you had prior to the appointment.

 I am going to share a few basic ideas for questions to ask a physician during an appointment. Again, these are just ideas and you might have many others that concern you more.

images (1)

  • What’s the most likely cause of my symptoms?
  • What tests do I need?
  • What treatment options do you recommend?
  • Are there generic alternatives to the medication/medications you are prescribing?
  • Do you have brochures I can take home to read? What websites would you recommend?

You should always expect your doctor to have questions for you during an appointment as well. Some very common questions a doctor may ask are:

  • When did you begin having these symptoms?thyroid3
  • Are the symptoms you have continuous or occasional?
  • How severe have these symptoms been? On a scale of 1-10?
  • Does anything improve or worsen the symptoms you are dealing with?

  The most common symptom for Hypothyroidism is an unexpected weight gain. The additional weight gain is typically due to an excess of salt and water. Depending on the severity of Hypothyroidism, weight gain can be between 5 and 10 pounds. To help combat weight gain there are a few tips that can assist you in maintaining a healthy weight.

  1. Rest is vital! Getting any less than 7-8 hours of sleep nightly can contribute to weight gain, especially around the mid-section.
  2. HypothyroidismAndWeightGainMindful eating is important. This means you need to pay close attention to what you are eating, why you are eating, and how fast you eat.
  3. Practicing yoga and or meditation can help you to de-stress, which in turn can improve your overall health.
  4. A low to moderate carb diet can be helpful, but at the same time, too few carbs may lower your thyroid hormones. It might take time, but it is important to find the perfect balance.

 I know this post has been rather long and I will be wrapping it up soon, but I do want to quickly share treatment options for both hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism with y’all. When treating an overactive thyroid, hypothyroidism, you can use oral medication levothyroxine. Levothyroxine works to restore adequate hormone levels and even sms-surgeons-tretment-for-thyroid-diseasereverse the symptoms involved. The use of radioactive iodine can be used when treating hyperthyroidism. Radioactive iodine is taken orally and absorbed by the thyroid gland causing the gland to shrink. This can cause the thyroid activity to slow enough to change its status from overactive to under-active making it possible to need daily medication to replace the thyroxine.

First, thank you for visiting my site today. I hope this information was helpful to you or acupuncture-for-thyroid-problemshas provided you with information to help someone you know. Sometimes all it takes is having a little knowledge to understand what someone else might be dealing with. Second, I appreciate you taking the time to read one of my longest posts. I typically try keeping things short so you don’t feel like you are reading a short book. And last, I am looking forward to reading your thoughts about thyroid disorders. Y’all may have additional information that will help me or someone else in the blogging community to understand even more about this snowflaketopic.

I hope your weekend has started off great and you are feeling well. No matter what you are doing this weekend, I hope it is filling you with happiness. Please remember that I am always sending y’all LOTS of love ❤, comfort, and many positive vibes!

love-2-e1526867753936 

❤Always, Alyssa❤

 

What you need to know about dizziness!

Dizziness medical concept. Vector illustration.How many of you have experienced dizziness before? I have honestly been dealing with this for many years and know just how difficult it can be. It used to be difficult to explain to others because I didn’t completely understand why it was happening, so I didn’t feel I had a right to try explaining it. When I experience dizziness today, the best and most effective way to help someone understand is, to say it feels like I am trying to walk a straight line intoxicated and it isn’t working.

Over the past few days, I to have had these dizziness times more frequently. I am not sure if stop-dizziness-conceptual-illustration-open-hand-text-163893555it is stress, over-tired, the weather changing or all three of them combined. What I can say is it has been extremely frustrating and I just want it to STOP!

I think many people confuse dizziness and vertigo, whereas they are similar they are different at the same time. Dizziness is not simply a disease on its own, but a symptom of a disease. Dizziness is a feeling of being lightheaded, woozy and or unbalanced. These issues affect sensory organs, such as ears and eyes and can cause fainting. There are many causes for dizziness, which include dehydration, migraines, medications, alcohol or problem in the inner ear where balance is regulated.

download (5)Vertigo and disequilibrium both cause dizziness, but they have their differences. Vertigo is known as a spinning sensation and disequilibrium is the loss of balance. Beign Paroxymsmal Postional Vertigo (BPPV) is the most common cause of vertigo. BPPV occurs when changing positions too fast and is short-term dizziness.

Meniere’s Disease is a disease that affects the inner ear. This can cause fluid to build up in the inner ear with associated ear fullness, hearing loss, and tinnitus. This disease can trigger dizziness and vertigo.

POSSIBLE CAUSES OF DIZZINESS ARE:

  • A sudden drop in blood pressure
  • Heart muscle disease
  • The decrease in blood volume
  • Anxiety Disorders
  • Anemia ( low iron)dizziness-about.jpg
  • Hypoglycemia ( low blood sugar)
  • Ear infection
  • Dehydration
  • Heatstroke
  • Excessive exercising
  • Motion Sickness
  • Dizziness can also be caused by Multiple Sclerosis, stroke, malignant tumor or another brain disorder.

types-of-dizziness-hh19DIZZINESS CAN BE FELT IN A VARIETY OF DIFFERENT SENSATIONS INCLUDING:

  • A false sense of spinning
  • Lightheartedness or feeling faint
  • Unsteadiness
  • Loss of balance
  • Feeling like you are floating or swimming

If sudden dizziness occurs alongside any of the following, it becomes a lot more URGENT to notify your doctor IMMEDIATELY:dizziness looks like

  • Head injury
  • Headache
  • Neck ache
  • High fever
  • Difficulty speaking
  • Hearing loss
  • Blurred vision
  • Numbness or tingling
  • Droopiness of the eye or mouth
  • Chest Pain
  • Ongoing vomiting

feat-how-to-get-rid-of-dizziness12 STEPS TO HELP PREVENT DIZZINESS

  1. IMMEDIATELY sit or lie down when feeling dizzy and do not get up until the dizziness has stopped. This is easy and could save you from falling because of losing balance.
  2. Utilize a cane or walker to help you with stability.
  3. When walking up or down theavoid-vertical-trip-fall-sign-s-4394 stairs, ALWAYS use the HANDRAILS! Personally, this has helped me many times when I felt a little dizzy halfway down the stairs and knew I would not make it without falling if I wasn’t holding onto something. So handrails can be your best friend that will never let you fall!
  4. Try doing activities to help improve balance.
  5. Do your best to AVOID moving or changing positions suddenly.
  6. If you experience frequent dizziness without any warnings, it might be best to AVOID driving a car.
  7. Caffeine, alcohol, and tobacco can trigger dizziness and possibly even make things worse, so try AVOIDING these substances!
  8. At a minimum try drinking 8 cups of water daily, get 7 or more hours of sleep a night and AVOID stressful situations the best you can.
  9. Eat a HEALTHY diet consisting of fruits, vegetables, and lean proteins to help prevent emergencycaredizziness.
  10. If you feel a certain medication is contributing to your dizziness, talk to your doctor about changing the dosage or the medication altogether. REMEMBER, you know your body better than anyone else and should be heard by your doctor.
  11. Over the counter medications, such as Meclizine (Antivert) or an antihistamine as they both help with nausea and dizziness. These medications can cause additional drowsiness, so be sure you will not have to be active or productive after consuming these medications.
  12. Ensure to rest in a cool place and drink plenty of water if your dizziness is caused by being overheated and or dehydrated.

6 REMEDIES THAT MAY HELP WITH DIZZINESS

  1. Dehydration: Of course various things that can cause dizziness, but we need to 82a2e997ed79b4c2f819093416cbb364understand that dehydration is the most common contributor. If you are feeling tired, thirsty and urinate less while you are dizzy, you should try to drink more water and stay hydrated because it should help you!
  2. Ginger: It has been said that ginger helps relieve symptoms of motion sickness, nausea, and dizziness. There are numerous ways to consume ginger including adding to your diet, Ginger Tea or you can take ginger supplements.
  3. Vitamin C: The Meniere’s Society has suggested the consumption of Vitamin C can a1fe476a2524caab5984b0763be3bd66reduce vertigo. Just a few ideas for you regarding foods that are rich in Vitamin C: oranges, grapefruit, strawberries and bell peppers.
  4. Vitamin E: The supplements for Vitamin E may prevent coronary heart disease, support immune function, prevent inflammation, promote eye health and lower risks of cancer. Another important thing about Vitamin E is, by maintaining the elasticity in the blood vessels, it helps prevent circulation problems. A few foods that contain Vitamin D are wheat germ, seeds, nuts, kiwis and spinach.
  5. Vitamin D: I think it is pretty amazing how much Vitamin D helps us. It promotes healthy bones and teeth, supports immune, brain and nervous system health, regulates insulin levels, and supports lung function and cardiovascular health. Some foods that contain Vitamin D are fatty fish, beef liver, orange juice, cheese, and egg yolk.
  6. Iron: People that have anemia are encouraged to get more iron because their levels change. A few foods that contain iron are red meat, beans, poultry, and dark leafy greens.

I know this post is slightly longer than I normally do, especially now that I am back vertigoworking full-time, but this was important to me because of the insane dizzy spells I have been dealing with for the past few days. I would be lying to you if I said they didn’t scare the hell out of me because they do! On a plus side though, at least I haven’t fallen because my last fall was disastrous.

I hope you had a wonderful weekend and you are feeling well. I also really want to thank you for taking time to not only read this long post, but to also leave great comments. The weekend definitely flew by fast, but I guess that is just how life goes! No pressures to answer this question, but do any of you deal with dizzy spells and if so how to you manage them? Please never forget that I am always sending y’all LOTS of love ❤, comfort and many positive vibes!

love-2-e1526867753936

❤Always, Alyssa❤

Things I never wanted to know!

images (12)Sadly, struggles with healthcare in the United States are not only terrifying but also incredibly real. I am not trying to be negative but healthcare in the United States is a massive joke that is NOT at all funny! Recently I found out just how much insurance was going to cost me through my company and it is outrageous. This has caused my husband and I to start looking into buying our own insurance. This also raised my curiosity into what is really going on with health care within the country I am living in.

In 2018, the costs of health care in the United States skyrocketed drastically!  In an familynursing2018-1468analysis from the US Federal government, it was found that Americans would spend $3.65 trillion for health care. With this appalling amount for health care, it represents each person would spend $11,212. Breaking it down even further, 59% of the spending is going to hospitals, doctor’s appointments and clinical services. Even prescription costs have increased 3.3% over the years.  In my personal opinion, this is ridiculous and only shows sheer greed. According to data from the Organization for Economic Co-Operation and Development, spending on health care in the United States is by far the higher that any other developed country.

The GDP (Gross Domestic Products) in the United States is larger than countries like health costBrazil, the UK, Mexico, Spain, and Canada. Reports from the Journal Health Affairs have estimated an average annual growth rate of 5.5% just from 2018 to 2027. Now if things continue as they have been, health care will be 19.4% of the country’s entire GDP! Unfortunately, according to the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, wage growth remains below 4% and yet insurance prices will only increase! This is wrong on so many levels and yet there is no one trying to fix this issue! Actually, there are a few people fighting hard to correct the madness and they are Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren in the senate and a several other progressives in the house. 

Even Private Health Insurance is only going up in price! Spending per person rose 4.5% between 2017 and 2018, even though the individual was already in the exact same insurance policy.

To say this is ludicrous is a HUGE understatement! Health insurance should not be a CR-Money-Inlinehero-short-term-health-care-expense-0918privilege, but it should be a right! It is despicable the way this is being handled among pharmaceutical companies and our own government. There are so many people graphoid080818including myself that need insurance or we will never be able to afford the medications that the doctor prescribes for valid reasons. Many of the medications we get at the pharmacy are required so our illness does not progress at a rapid rate.

I think it is obvious I think it is a disgrace that all the pharmaceutical and insurance companies care about it how much money they can make and not about the well-being of others. What ever happened to humanity or did it ever really exist? Once upon a time, the United States was at the top for education and health care and now it is only at 27th in the entire world. It is pathetic that doctors do not care as much as they did years ago for their patients, but download (3)now it is all about their paycheck! They get patient after patient, rush them without listening to anything their patient is saying, which is terrible!  I am pretty sure that doctors completely forgot what the Hippocratic Oath says and might need a refresher!

I apologize that this post may have seemed negative, but I am very frustrated with how awful health care is in the country I live in. I am not sure if I was just extremely naive before best-health-insurance-in-usa-1and things have always been the way they are now or if something just went very wrong in the thinking of Americans! I guess I may never know.

Thank you so much for visiting my site today. I hope your weekend has been great and you are enjoying every moment of it. Even though this was kind of a rant of my feelings, I would love to read your thoughts on this topic. I promise to respond as quickly as I can! Please never forget that I am always sending y’all LOTS of love ❤, comfort and many positive vibes!

My signature heart

❤Always, Alyssa❤

Things I didn’t know about Gluten Intolerance!

good-evening-images-63Good evening y’all! I hope you are having a good week so far and hope it stays pleasant! Just think, we already made it through two days of the week, so we are almost half way there!

Y’all already know I have been battling with what I thought was a nasty stomach bug, but after doing a little research I do not think that is the case anymore. Of course I haven’t seen a doctor about it because I do not have insurance, but I think I figured it out on my own. I am about 99.9% sure I have developed Gluten Intolerance. I guess that is actually a good thing because understanding what is images (1)going on and understanding how to handle it will provide me with some relief or at least I hope it will! Obviously I am not a doctor, but I think I am familiar enough with the body I have lived in for almost 38 years. I am going to share with y’all what I have learned and please if you have any other helpful tips or ideas, please let me know!

Wheat-Gluten-IntoleranceI first want to clarify a few important details I have learned! Gluten Intolerance is often confused with other issues, like Celiac Disease or food allergies, but there are some differences and similarities. Gluten is a protein found mainly in wheat, barley and rye. This protein can cause digestive problems like gassiness, abdominal pain or diarrhea. With food allergies, the immune system overreacts to a particular food causing various reactions and levels of severity. Celiac Disease is an inherited autoimmune disorder that can damage the small intestines, but Gluten Intolerance almost mimics this.

Signs & Symptoms of Gluten Intolerance:10-Signs-Youre-Gluten-Intolerant-

  1. Bloating: This is when the belly is swollen or full of gas after eating. This is very common and does occur in 87% of individuals with Gluten Intolerance.
  2. Diarrhea, constipation and smelly feces: About 50% of individuals with gluten intolerance deal with diarrhea and 25% experience constipation. This is when you would experience inflammation in the gut after eating gluten. This damages gut lining, leading to poor nutrient absorption.
  3. Abdominal Pain: This is something else that is very common with Gluten Intolerance. 83% of individuals living with this intolerance experience abdominal pain.
  4. Headaches:  About 10-12% of the Western population experiences migraines. People with Gluten Intolerance are prone to migraines. 
  5. Feeling Tired: This is also being very common, leading to 60-82% of individuals with Gluten Intolerance experience this. People with this condition are prone to Gluten-Intolerance-Symptoms-Do-You-Have-Themfatigue and tiredness, having very low energy. Gluten Intolerance can cause iron-deficiency anemia. This is a condition in which blood lacks adequate healthy red blood cells. Red blood cells carry oxygen to the body’s tissues
  6. Skin Problems: There is a blistering skin condition called Dermatitis Herpetiformis, which is a manifestation of gluten-sensitive enteropathy, commonly known as celiac disease. This is not as common and can improve once on a Gluten-Free Diet!
  7. Depression:  Depression is not as common and only affects 6% of those living with11246-health-1-1 this intolerance. People with digestive issues seem more prone to both anxiety and depression.-Even though depression is not too common, there are a few theories for how Gluten Intolerance can lead to depression.*Abnormal  serotonin levels. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter allowing cells to communicate and is commonly referred to as “Happiness” hormones.

    *Gluten Exorphines, these peptides are formed during digestion of the gluten proteins. The gluten proteins may interfere with the Central Nervous System, which may raise the risk of depression.

    *Changes in gut microbiota. This is increased harmful bacteria and decrease beneficial bacteria increasing the risk of depression.

  8. Unexplained Weight Loss
  9. Iron-Deficiency Anemia: This causes symptoms such as low blood volume, fatigue, 6-signs-of-gluten-intolerance-300x165shortness of breath, dizziness, headaches, pale skin and weakness.
  10. Anxiety: This can affect anywhere from 3% to 30% of people worldwide. Involves feelings of worry, nervousness, unease and agitation. People with gluten intolerance are more prone to anxiety and panic disorders.
  11.  Autoimmune Disorders: Even though Gluten Intolerance is a separate issue from Celiac Disorder, I thought it would be good to share this as well. Celiac Disease is an autoimmune disorder causing your immune system to attach the digestive tract after consuming gluten. Typically people with gluten intolerance also have another autoimmune diseases to cope with.Gluten-Intolerance-Symptoms
  12. Joint and Muscle Pain: There is a  theory that people with Celiac Disease have a genetically determined over-sensitive or over-excitable nervous system. Gluten exposure may cause inflammation in gluten sensitive people. This inflammation may result in wide-spread pain, including joints and muscles.
  13. Leg or Arm Numbness:  Neuropathy symptoms involving numbness and tingling in the arms and legs.
  14. Brain Fog: This issue affects up to 40% of those with Gluten Intolerance. Forgetful, difficulty thinking, feeling cloudy and mental fatigue.

After learning more about this the things I deal with almost make more sense in  a way. Battling with stomach issues for over on month, numerous headaches/migraines, ud6zQ3sJTmewbULOd0n7_Beyond-Gluten-Free-Article-2018-1280x720-1constant feeling of fatigue, obnoxious levels of anxiety, nervousness, worrying and quick agitation, dizziness at random times, weakness, joint and muscle pain, numbness and cloudiness in my mind. I always blamed so many of these symptoms on Multiple Sclerosis and maybe that is still the case, but maybe it is a Gluten Intolerance causing more of it. 

I am doing my best right now to change my diet, but it really isn’t easy. I bought several gluten-free products at the grocery store, clementines and carrots, but honestly have not seen much of a change. Logically, I have only been trying this for a couple of days and I know it takes time for this type of change, but at least I am trying! Do y’all have any advice you would be willing to share? I know you always have great ideas and fantastic suggestions that I do appreciate!download

Thank y’all for stopping by my site today and I am sorry this was a little longer than most of my posts, but there was so much information to share. I hope you have a lovely and relaxing evening and of course I hope you are feeling well! I know it often takes me longer to respond to your comments, but I promise to respond as quickly as I can! Please never forget that I am always sending y’all LOTS of love ❤, comfort and many positive vibes!

My signature heart

❤Always, Alyssa❤