Thursday, 22 November 2012

Hypothyroidism Explained - Here are the Answers you always Wanted

Hypothyroidism is a disorder wherein the thyroid gland is not able to secrete sufficient quantities of the hormones that are required for the body to function properly. Insufficient hormonal secretions tend to disrupt almost all the chemical reactions inside the body.

If hypothyroidism is not treated, it could cause problems like obesity, infertility, heart disorders and joint problems, besides worsening any already existing health conditions.

Hypothyroidism Causes:

•    Pituitary Disease: The pituitary gland is responsible for the thyroid functioning properly. When this gland does not function appropriately, a person could either suffer from an underactive or overactive thyroid gland.

•    Hashimoto's Thyroiditis: This condition is amongst the most common causes of hypothyroidism. This disorder causes the immune system to see the thyroid gland as a foreign, harmful object. This causes the immune system to attack thyroid gland tissues, thereby leading to inflammation of the thyroid as well as a considerable decrease in the production of thyroid hormones.

•    Iodine Deficiency: A deficiency of iodine within the body can lead to hypothyroidism. A sufficient amount of iodine is extremely important for normal thyroid activity. A lack of iodine can make it difficult for the thyroid glands to produce the required hormones.

•    Damaged Thyroid Gland: A damaged thyroid gland is one more cause of hypothyroidism. A patient taking treatment for hyperthyroidism over a period of time is at risk of developing a damaged thyroid gland. Long-term usage of anti-thyroid medicine could suppress the thyroid glands to a point where it may cause hypothyroidism.

•    Cancer Treatment: Cancer treatment requires radiation therapy to eradicate cancer cells. Nevertheless, in case the target site of treatment is in the neck region, then it may interfere with the thyroid gland, thereby leading to hypothyroidism.

Hypothyroidism Symptoms:

The initial signs of hypothyroidism are:

•    Fatigue
•    Constipation
•    Loss of appetite
•    Muscle and joint pain
•    Inability to withstand cold
•    Irregular menstrual cycle
•    Reasonable increase in weight

Advanced Hypothyroidism symptoms are:

•    Hair loss
•    Weakness
•    Sleepiness
•    Weak memory
•    Change in the voice
•    Thinning eyebrows
•    Puffiness of the face
•    Lack of concentration
•    Lack of sensation in arms and legs

If hypothyroidism is not provided timely treatment, it could worsen and might cause an enlargement of the thyroid gland, also known as goiter. It may even lead to more serious complications, such as myxedema.

Once it is diagnosed, the doctor will prescribe suitable medicine to treat this condition. Medications like Levothroid are amongst the drugs most commonly prescribed to help in overcoming a thyroid hormone deficiency. Levothroid is a synthetic form of the thyroid hormone that is manufactured and released by the thyroid gland.

Levothroid has been approved to treat hypothyroidism and goiter growths. However, it is important that you utilize Generic Levothroid only when it has been prescribed by the healthcare professional.

These were a few causes, symptoms and treatments for hypothyroidism. Though this problem is extremely common amongst individuals, there are appropriate treatments, including treatment with Levothroid, available to help one overcome this condition.

Tuesday, 20 November 2012

7 Foods that can Trigger Acid Reflux

Gastro Esophageal Reflux Disease (GERD), also known as acid reflux, is a very common disorder worldwide. It is a digestive disorder which affects the normal functions of the LES (lower esophageal sphincter).

In this condition, the muscles of the lower esophageal sphincter weaken. As a result, stomach acids flow back up into the esophagus, damaging the lining in the esophagus. This causes symptoms such as nausea and heartburn. One of the primary reasons that cause GERD is eating the wrong types of food. Mentioned below are certain foods which must be avoided.

Foods to Avoid:

•    Dairy Products: Dairy products are known to increase acid secretions in the stomach. Therefore, to prevent excessive secretion of stomach acids, it is preferable to restrict the consumption of milk, cheese, etc. especially on a full stomach.

•    Acidic Foods: Some foods are acidic by nature and act like triggers for acid reflux. Grapefruits, pineapples and tomatoes are a few examples of acidic foods. Eating foods with a high acidic content will often cause acid reflux and hence they must be restricted or avoided.

•    Fried and Spicy Food: Fried foods have high amounts of trans-fats and hence cause acid reflux. Similarly, extremely hot or spicy foods irritate the stomach lining and trigger acid reflux. These foods also slow down the digestion process and cause the stomach acids to flow up into the esophagus. Therefore, it is important to curb or avoid spicy and fried foods.

•    Citrus Fruits: Some fruits are very acidic in nature and this could lead to heartburn in GERD patients. Therefore, limit or avoid the intake of fruits like grapefruits, lemons, oranges, etc.

•    Caffeine: Caffeine is known to increase stomach acid secretions and serves as an active muscle relaxing agent. As a result, it has been suggested that the intake of beverages containing caffeine must be limited to avoid acid reflux.

•    Garlic and Onions: Onions and garlic provide important health benefits. But, GERD patients must restrict or refrain from eating extra garlic and onions as they contain some compounds which can lead to acid reflux.

•    Carbonated Drinks: Avoiding carbonated or aerated beverages is recommended as they build up pressure inside the stomach. This triggers an increased production of stomach acids.

GERD Treatment:

There are many treatments available for acid reflux. Some common medications are H2 Blockers, proton pump inhibitors and antacids. Antacids are used for relieving minor symptoms like heartburn. Serious acid reflux cases are treated with proton pump inhibitor drugs and H2 blockers. Both these medications help lessen the quantities of acid produced within the stomach.

Medications like Generic Nexium are amongst the commonly prescribed drugs to treat acid reflux. Nexium is a proton pump inhibitor drug and decreases stomach acid production. This enables the esophagus and stomach to heal. But, you must use Nexium only when prescribed by the doctor.

These are some of the foods which cause acid reflux. If GERD symptoms persist, they could cause other health problems. Though avoiding such foods will help to deal with acid reflux, it is essential to consult a healthcare professional for diagnosis and proper treatment.