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Thyroid levels affect Alzheimer’s risk – study

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Women with low or high levels of a hormone that affects thyroid gland function and thyroid hormone levels may have a higher risk of Alzheimer’s disease, researchers reported Monday.

While it is not clear whether Alzheimer’s affects thyroid function or the other way around, the findings dovetail with long-standing knowledge that having an underactive or overactive thyroid can affect memory.

Dr. Zaldy Tan of Hebrew SeniorLife, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and Harvard Medical School in Boston and colleagues looked at measured levels of a thyroid-regulating hormone called thyrotropin in 1,864 healthy men and women with an average age of 71.

They had blood drawn as part of the larger Framingham Health Study in which practically everyone in a Massachusetts town has had their health scrutinized for decades.

Writing in the journal Archives of Internal Medicine, Tan and colleagues said 209 of the volunteers had developed Alzheimer’s disease after nearly 13 years.

Women with the lowest and highest levels of thyrotropin had more than double the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease. No such relationship was seen in men.

Changes in the brain caused by Alzheimer’s disease may reduce the amount of thyrotropin released, Tan’s team said. Alternately, low or high thyrotropin levels could damage brain cells or blood vessels.

They said the findings should be tested in a larger population. (Reporting by Maggie Fox; editing by Todd Eastham)

Source: Reuters North American News Service

Temperature Regulation for Thyroid Testing

One of the ladies here sent me a wonderful article on Basal Temperature taking… I found some more info and wanted to share it with you…

Do you ever experience fatigue, depression, difficulty concentrating, difficulty getting up in the morning, cold hands and feet or intolerance to cold, constipation, loss of hair, fluid retention, dry skin, poor resistance to infection, high cholesterol, psoriasis, eczema, acne, premenstrual syndrome, loss of menstrual periods, painful or irregular menstrual periods, excessive menstrual bleeding, infertility (male or female), fibrocystic breast disease, or ovarian cysts? If so, you may have an underactive thyroid. It is often seen in people who suffer from multiple allergies, immune disorders and chronic fatigue.

Normal temperature regulation in the body is essential for enzyme functions and preservation of health. Whenever our molecular and immune defenses are stressed, three body organs take the brunt of the injury; the thyroid, pancreas and adrenal glands. The evaluation of the functional status of the thyroid gland — hypothyroidism or under-active thyroid gland — requires blood tests as well as temperature records.

There is considerable evidence, however, that blood tests fail to detect many cases of hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid). It appears that many individuals have “tissue resistance” to thyroid hormone. Therefore, their body may need more thyroid hormone, even though the amount in their blood is normal (or even on the high side of normal). A low axillary temperature suggests (but does not prove) hypothyroidism. Optimal temperature regulation is an essential aspect of holistic therapy for these disorders.

There is a simple way to test this. Simply follow the instructions below and bring your results to your next visit with the doctor.

INSTRUCTIONS:

1. Use any digital or mercury thermometer. Shake it down before going to bed to 96 degrees or less and put it by your bedside.

2. In the morning, as soon as you wake up, put the thermometer deep in your armpit for ten minutes and record the temperature. Do this before you get out of bed, have anything to eat or drink, or engage in any activity. This will measure your lowest temperature of the day, which correlates with thyroid gland function. The normal underarm temperature averages 97.8-98.2 degrees F. We frequently recommend treatment if the temperature averages 97.4 or less. The temperature should be taken for four days.

3. Each time you are taking your temperature, it is imperative that you take both axillary (underarm) and oral (mouth) temperatures. Both temperatures need to be taken upon waking up as well as three hours later and then six hours after that. It is important to do this for four days and to follow these instructions carefully in order to get accurate results.

4. For women, the temperature should be taken starting the second day of menstruation. The reason is because a considerable temperature rise may occur around the time of ovulation and give incorrect results. If you miss a day, that is okay, but be sure to finish the testing before ovulation. For men, and for postmenopausal women, it makes no difference when the temperatures are taken. However, do not do the test when you have an infection or any other condition which would raise your temperature.

Basal Body Temperature: This is a test of your core body temperature and is a very useful test to determine if your thyroid hormonal system is underactive (ie hypothyroid).

What does being hypothyroid have to do with cardiovascular disease?

Hypothyroidism causes abnormal lipid metabolism which results in accelerated cardiovascular disease. Cholesterol and other lipids can become elevated due to diminished function of lipid metabolism enzymes caused by the lower body temperatures. Many body enzymes are highly temperature dependent, malfunctioning at abnormally low or high temperatures. The more abnormal the temperature, the more malfunctional the enzyme. On a molecular basis, this is why we become listless as our body temperatures go out of the normal range and we die at temperature extremes.

Although the frequency of hypothyroidism has been hotly debated for many decades, I am convinced that hypothyroidism is common and often unrecognized. The official normal range of thyroid blood tests are virtually useless except for obvious hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism. These blood tests are useful if much tighter normal ranges are used. Additionally, accurate assessments of thyroid function can be obtained with basal body temperatures.

Ideally body temperature is taken immediately upon awakening and while still in bed, but it can be taken during the day at least 15 minutes after eating or drinking and when you haven’t been exercising. Men and post-menopausal women can take their temperatures on any day but menstruating women have some restrictions. Their temperature fluctuates with their menstrual cycle, lowest at ovulation and highest just before menstrual flow. They can most accurately measure the temperature on the second and third day of the period after the flow begins. Normal temperatures are: Armpit 98.0 +/- 0.2, Oral 98.6 +/- 0.2, and Rectal 99.0 +/- 0.2 degrees Fahrenheit.

Another useful assessment is an exceedingly low-tech question, “Do you tend to be very hot or cold when most others are not”? Characteristically, hypothyroid patients are very “cold blooded” and are cold to their core even when wearing warm clothes. As a corollary, these patients rarely can create any significant sweat. As an aside, two other conditions that can cause low body temperature are adrenal exhaustion and profound hypoglycemia but these diagnoses are usually quite obvious.

melanie

TE vs. CTE

Just wanted to summarize some research I’ve done over the past couple of years… for the benefit of my fellow TE shedders… Here goes…

Classic TE lasts roughly 3-6 months and has a very specific and temporary trigger… e.g. childbirth, major surgery, illness

CTE is basically TE lasting longer than 6 months and the insult or trigger is sort of a mystery…

Based upon my research… CTE in women can usually be attributed to a hormonal imbalance (e.g. too much estrogen or not enough) or other metabolic disturbance (e.g. thyroid) and also iron deficiency…

now… hormonal imbalances / metabolic disorders are pretty common with us chicks in this day and age… and there’s many reasons for this… too many to enumerate… but this link should help explain part of the problem:
http://womenlivingnaturally.com/articlepage.php?id=73

As far as iron deficiency… if you are menstruating and don’t eat alot of red meat or tons of green leafy veggies… chances are you are iron deficient on some level… as iron is stored in the blood… and blood loss = iron loss.

Anyway… hope this helps!!!
~ venus71, HHLH Forum Member

Lists of Medication That Cause, Can Exacerbate, or Can Possibly Cause Hair Loss in Women

I’ve compiled a new listing of medications that are either known to cause hair loss OR attribute to the immature (anagen or telogen) loss of hair… the list is EXTENSIVE so I made it into a .pdf file for easier reading/printing. I was (once again) surprised by a few of the new additions.

I did NOT include BCPs or HRT on this listing because I’m actively working on a separate listing for these. I’m also planning on putting together another listing of ADs that are hair or “non”hair friendly since that comes up often as well…

Hope this helps!!
melanie

 

Click the image to view the full PDF file.

Click the image to view the full PDF file.

Birth Control / Contraceptives and Hair Loss

BCPs contain a combination of estrogen and progestin. All BCPs now have one main source of estrogen — ethinyl estradiol. Ethinyl estradiol is a constant in the BCP equation but the part that changes is the progestin level. There are a number of different types of progestin and some of them are higher in androgenic value than others. I’ve compiled data from a number of different sources and come up with a handy chart that helps you identify which BCPs are high in androgens and which ones are lower. Remember that the higher the androgens, the more likely it will cause excessive hair loss, acne and hirsutism.

Click the image to view the full PDF file.

Click the image to view the full PDF file.

Photo trichogram findings in women with AGA

Phototrichogram findings in women with androgenetic alopecia.
Department of Dermatology, Sisli Etfal Research and Training Hospital, Istanbul, Turkey.

Background/purpose: Androgenetic alopecia (AGA) in women is characterized by diffuse thinning in the frontal and parietal areas of the scalp; preservation of the frontal hairline is norm. Hair over the occipital scalp is preserved. The purpose of this work was to investigate the findings of phototrichogram (PTG) of the affected and the spared areas in women with AGA and to compare them with those of healthy subjects.

Methods: Twenty-two controls and 60 untreated women with AGA (32 with Ludwig I, 28 with Ludwig II) were included in this study. Hair density, percentages of thin hair, and non-growing hair were estimated both on the midscalp and on the occiput by using PTG with digital camera attached to a dermoscope.

Results: In the control group, hair density was higher on the midscalp than the occiput. In AGA groups, hair density was lower on the midscalp than the occiput and percentages of thin hair and non-growing hair were higher on the midscalp than the occiput. These findings were more prominent in Ludwig II group. In the occiput there were findings mimicking the changes seen on the midscalp. These were less striking than those seen on the midscalp yet the difference between the control and Ludwig II group was statistically significant.

Conclusion: We concluded that the hair is not equally distributed on the scalp, the occiput may be affected in females with AGA and further studies are necessary to support these findings.

PMID: 17026665 [PubMed – in process]

Ludwig Scale of Hair Loss for Women

courtesy of www.dermalogix.net

courtesy of www.dermalogix.net

Photo of AGA in younger woman

Photo image of young woman with diagnosis of androgenetic alopecia (female pattern baldness) courtesy of www.trichologists.org.uk

Photo image of young woman with diagnosis of androgenetic alopecia (female pattern baldness) courtesy of www.trichologists.org.uk

Photo image of middle aged woman with AGA

Photo image of middle aged woman with female pattern baldness.  Courtesy of www.trichologists.org.uk

Photo image of middle aged woman with female pattern baldness. Courtesy of www.trichologists.org.uk

Sharon Blynn: Beautiful Things {commercial}

Sharon Blynn of www.baldisbeautiful.org is a survivor of ovarian cancer. In this commercial for Bristol-Myers Squibb, she talks beautiful things. Sharon, you are beautiful!

melanie

HHLH Forum Member has head tattoed on Miami Ink

One of our beautiful forum members, JoyceStock recently had her head tattooed on Miami Ink. It’s a lovely butterfly! Thank you, Joyce, for being such an inspiration!

melanie

Can I Pass Alopecia on to My Children?

It is possible, but not likely, for alopecia universalis to be inherited. Most children with alopecia universalis do not have a parent with the disease, and the vast majority of parents with alopecia universalis do not pass it along to their children.

Alopecia universalis is not like some genetic diseases in which a child has a 50-50 chance of developing the disease if one parent has it. Scientists believe that there may be a number of genes that predispose certain people to the disease. It is highly unlikely that a child would inherit all of the genes needed to predispose him or her to the disease.

Even with the right (or wrong) combination of genes, alopecia universalis is not a certainty. In identical twins, who share all of the same genes, the concordance rate is only 55 percent. In other words, if one twin has the disease, there is only a 55 percent chance that the other twin will have it as well. This shows that other factors besides genetics are required to trigger the disease.

Who Is Most Likely To Get Alopecia Areata?

Alopecia areata affects an estimated four million Americans of both sexes and of all ages and ethnic backgrounds. It often begins in childhood.

If you have a close family member with the disease, your risk of developing it is slightly increased. If your family member lost his or her first patch of hair before age 30, the risk to other family members is greater. Overall, one in five people with the disease have a family member who has it as well.

What Causes Alopecia Universalis?

In alopecia universalis, immune system cells called white blood cells attack the rapidly growing cells in the hair follicles that make the hair. The affected hair follicles become small and drastically slow down hair production. Fortunately, the stem cells that continually supply the follicle with new cells do not seem to be targeted. So the follicle always has the potential to regrow hair.

Scientists do not know exactly why the hair follicles undergo these changes, but they suspect that a combination of genes may predispose some people to the disease. In those who are genetically predisposed, some type of trigger–perhaps a virus or something in the person’s environment–brings on the attack against the hair follicles.

There are, however, studies that have been done that show a genetic link for those people who are diagnosed as having Alopecia Universalis. According to MedicineNet.com, the “disorder is inherited as an autosomal recessive trait. It is caused by a mutation in a gene dubbed HR in chromosome band 8p21.2 that is the human homolog of the mouse “hairless” gene — the human version of the gene in the mouse that is responsible for hairless mice.” Huh?? Basically they are saying that a good majority of those who develop alopecia universalis have a hereditary gene that could be the possible cause of their hair loss. This is great news since pinpointing a gene may provide scientists a more targeted approach to treating hair growth disorders such as alopecia.

More information concerning studies such as this can be found at:

What Are the Different Types of Alopecia?

The word alopecia itself is a term specifically used for hair loss yet there are many subtypes of alopecia. These are the three primary subtypes of alopecia:

  • Alopecia Areata – Patchy loss of hair whether that means patches on your legs, arms, pubic region, scalp, lashes or brows.
  • Alopecia Totalis – Total (or near total) loss of facial hair and scalp hair (vellus or otherwise)
  • Alopecia Universalis – Total loss of all bodily and scalp hair (vellus or otherwise)

Each of the terms are for more descriptive purposes since the each of the types can sometimes be vague and symptoms may seem to “overlap” each other in places. For example, a person who is diagnosed as Alopecia Universalis may have hair growing on her left knee. Does this make the person Alopecia Totalis instead?