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What is Thyroid Disease?

The thyroid is our "Gland Central". . .its function is critical to many life functions. Yet thyroid disease affects nearly 13 million Americans!--and women are affected up to eight times more often than men. The good news about thyroid disease is that's relatively easy to diagnose and treat successfully. The bad news about thyroid disease is that nearly half of affected adults remain undiagnosed despite having fairly typical symptoms. If untreated, thyroid disorders may cause heart problems, infertility, osteoporosis, and damage to major organs.

According to Dr. Beatrice Olson, a thyroid expert from Yale University,

"I think the most misunderstood problem with thyroid disease occurs when there are subtle changes in thyroid hormones, such as sub clinical hyper or hypothyroidism".

Hypothyroidism in pregnancy may also be a bigger problem than we previously recognized.

"The most exciting change I see in the last few years in thyroid disease is the identification of the understanding that women after pregnancy are at risk of thyroid dysfunction. Two to sixteen percent of women have this problem and now they can be identified".

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Created: 11/28/2000  -  Donnica Moore, M.D.

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