Wednesday, March 2, 2011


It is very important to share medical information with one's children and family members. My nephew had a serious thyroid operation and when he first told me that he was going to have the operation he said they had found an "inward goiter". I asked if he had told the doctor that his grandfather, great-grandfather, and great aunt had goiters which required surgery. He asked, "I wonder why Dad never told me about that?" and I replied that he probably never thought that it might be important. When he told the doctor, the doctor said that he wished he'd known that fact because it would have helped him diagnose the ailment earlier.

Our management team was required to go to the Cleveland Clinic for our annual physicals for work. We would stay all day, have great number of tests and see five specialists. As I never had any childhood illnesses, no operations, and never had a serious illness, my personal history was rather spare, but the family history was quite extensive covering siblings, parents and grandparents. On one of the charts I checked that my father and grandfather had goiters. After my accident in 1995, I gained a great deal of weight and I checked "rapid weight gain" on my history.

When I met the internist he looked at my chart, saw that I had checked "goiter" and "rapid weight gain"; the doctor did a thorough examination and felt my neck and asked me numerous questions about my father's goiter. However, he didn't bother to ask WHY I'd had the "rapid weight gain" the previous year. Although I had never met him before, I sensed a great deal of excitement when he announced, "I'm going to have you tested for Hashimoto's Syndrome." I asked what it was and he said that with the thyroid and goiter in my family history, combined with the rapid weight gain, that those were symptoms of it!

I then explained to him why I had gained the weight: after my accident, I went from a great deal of daily activity to being on crutches for months and consuming more than 1,000 calories in Coca Cola per day just MIGHT have contributed to the weight gain. Nevertheless, he had all the tests performed but concluded that I did not have the syndrome.

I said, "Well, if I do have something wrong with me, I want it to have an interesting name!" He was not amused.

From the Mayo Clinic website:

By Mayo Clinic staff
Thyroid gland
Hashimoto's disease is a disorder that affects your thyroid, a small gland at the base of your neck, below your Adam's apple. The thyroid gland is part of your endocrine system, which produces hormones that coordinate many of your body's activities.

In Hashimoto's disease, also known as chronic lymphocytic thyroiditis, your immune system attacks your thyroid gland. The resulting inflammation often leads to an underactive thyroid gland (hypothyroidism). Hashimoto's disease is the most common cause of hypothyroidism in the United States. It primarily affects middle-aged women, but also can occur in men and women of any age and in children.

Doctors test your thyroid function to help detect Hashimoto's disease. Treatment of Hashimoto's disease with thyroid hormone replacement usually is simple and effective."


Mona Lisa said...

I know a person who has Munchhausen's!

alferdoz said...

I have been using bovine thyroid tablets for four years. It has made a definite improvement to my overall physical well-being.