mon in the United States. The VVMC
Endocrinology staff recommend that
individuals aim for the Recommend-
ed Daily Allowance of iodine, perhaps
slightly more for pregnant women.
Another natural substance, a
trace mineral called selenium
helps with thyroid health, but as
far as treatment for thyroid disor-
ders, there are no natural cures.
The only way to treat thyroid
hormone deficiency is to replace it
with a daily thyroid hormone pill.
Hypothyroidism can be diagnosed by
a physical exam, which may include
an enlarged thyroid gland or goiter,
in addition to a simple blood test. It
may take a little time to find the right
dose for the patient, but patients
do start to feel significantly better.
Treating hyperthyroidism can
be a little more difficult because
the hormones that have already
been over-produced cannot be
removed. However, there are pills
that can block future production
of thyroid hormone or a one-time
dose of radioactive iodine, which
essentially destroys the thyroid
gland. Surgery is sometimes used
to treat it in rare situations.
If left untreated, hypothyroid pa-
tients will progressively feel more fa-
tigued, may continue to gain weight
and generally “feel lousy.” It takes a
long time for the thyroid hormone
levels to become dangerously low.
Consequences can be much more
serious if hyperthyroidism goes
untreated. “Untreated hyperthyroid-
ism can progress rapidly to a toxic
state with complications that can
lead to cardiac arrhythmias, shock
or rarely death." Manganelli says.
No doctor is ever going to discour-
age a healthy diet and an active
lifestyle, especially for patients with
hypothyroid issues. As far as exercise
for hyperthyroid patients, especially
in a place like Vail where people
have a tendency to be overactive,
doctors have specific guidelines to
make sure they’re not overdoing it.
For patients with hypothyroidism,
the team at VVMC Endocrinology
advise a healthy, calorie-controlled
diet and exercise to maintain
metabolism. With hyperthyroid
patients, the body is already working
out without them knowing. Once
they have their thyroid under control
they can work out, preferably with
a trainer to establish a safe exercise
program, to start to increase the
muscle mass that may have been lost
during their hyperthyroid state.
Learn more by calling VVMC
Endocrinology at (970) 477-5160
or visit vvmc.com/endo
There is an excess of thyroid hormone in the body.
Women are five times more likely than men to develop it.
Thyroids under-produce, making bodily systems slow down.
Women are eight times more likely than men to develop it.
According to the National
Endocrine Information Service …
4.6 percent of Americans
have hypothyroidism and 1
percent has hyperthyroidism.
Different thyroid diseases
occur at different ages.
Women are much more likely
than men to develop hypo or
hyperthyroidism and women 60
and older are at the most risk.
They are not caused (or
cured) by diet or lifestyle.
Causes are often hard to
identify but can be genetic,
by surgery, radiation, exposure
to iodine, pregnancy or
certain types of medication.
Hypothyroidism is cured
by a daily dose of thyroid
hormone medication while
hyperthyroidism is cured
by daily thyroid hormone
blocking medication, one-
time radioactive iodine
treatment or surgery.
If untreated, hypothyroidism
can cause obesity, joint pain,
infertility and hyperthyroidism
can cause heart issues,
strokes and even death.
If untreated during
pregnancy, thyroid disorders
increase the risk of miscarriage,
pre-term delivery and may
affect the baby’s growth
and brain development.