The Most Comprehensive Resource Available. on the Diagnosis and Treatment of Hypothyroidism. For millions of Americans, hypothyroidism often goes untreated...or is treated improperly. This book, thoroughly researched by the nation's top thyroid patient advocate--a hypothyroidism patient herself--provides you with answers to all your questions, including: What is hypothyroidism What are the warning signs, symptoms, and risk factors Why is getting diagnosed often a challenge, and how can you overcome the obstacles What treatments are available (including those your doctor hasn't told you about) Which alternative and holistic therapies, nutritional changes, and supplements may help treat hypothyroidism
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William Morrow Paperbacks
February 14, 2005
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Excerpt from Living Well with Hypothyroidism by Mary J. Shomon
What is Hypothyroidism
They do certainly give very strange, and newfangled,
names to diseases.
The thyroid is not a particularly well-known or well-understood organ in the body. Some people have a vague idea of the thyroid as something in the neck that, when malfunctioning, makes you gain weight or develop a goiter. That's about all the information marry people can muster.
The thyroid gland, however, is an essential organ, governing basic aspects of nearly every facet of your health. In the long term, you can't live without the hormones produced by your thyroid. Those hormones regulate the body's use of energy, an essential function to life and health.
What Is The Thyroid
The thyroid gland is shaped a little like a butterfly, and is located in the lower part of your neck, in front of your windpipe. You'll know generally where the thyroid is located if you think of it as sitting behind the Adam's apple, which usually sticks out farther from a man's neck than from a woman's.
The name "thyroid" comes from the Greek word, thyreoeides, meaning "shield-shaped." The two "wings" of the butterfly are known as the lobes of the thyroid, and the area connecting the two lobes is known as the isthmus. It's a small gland, and normally weighs only about an ounce.
Roughly speaking, a gland is a discrete and separate soft body made up of a large number of vessels that produce, store, and release-or secrete-some substance. Your thyroid is one of these glands.