Monday, June 9, 2008

Hypothyroidism Linked to Fatal Heart Disease & Tomato Warning

Increased Risk of Coronary Heart disease in Women with Subclinical Hypothyroidism

A study was released this May which found an association between hypothyroidism and the number of women with fatal heart disease. This study, which was performed at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology, based its conclusions on findings from over 25,000 men and women. The researchers measured levels of the hormone thyrotropin (aka TSH) and correlated this with the number of participants who suffered from a fatal heart attack. They found that women who had intermediate or high levels of TSH had a 1.4 and 1.69 greater chance of having coronary heart disease over women with normal levels. The problem is that the TSH measured as being intermediate or high, was actually within the “normal” range. So, many women may be being told that their thyroid is fine, when in fact it may not be.

This association with fatal heart disease was not found in men. However, there was roughly twice the number of women in the study when compared to men.

The authors of the study make it clear that they are not suggesting that every woman with subclinical hypothyroidism receive drug therapy as a preventative measure, but simply that there is an association between the two conditions.
At Naturopathic Family Care we have been pioneers in the area of subclinical hypothyroidism analysis. We were one of the first clinics in the US to use the results of reflex testing as a marker for subclinical hypothyroid conditions. By measuring and analyzing both the speed and the duration of the brachioradial reflex, this testing can provide very useful information for assessing thyroid health.

It is important to know that TSH levels can fluctuate for many different reasons. Other hormonal imbalances, stress, poor nutrition, dietary changes, and other medications or supplements can all influence TSH levels. For example, many women who are being treated for hypothyroid also use calcium supplements. Calcium supplements have been shown to interfere with hormone medications- causing lower absorption rates. For this reason it is a good idea to take thyroid medication in the morning, and away from calcium supplements. It’s a good idea to make sure that you tell your naturopathic doctor about all of your medications or supplements when having your thyroid assessed.

Reflex testing for thyroid analysis is a simple, painless procedure that takes about 10 minutes. This test is commonly referred to as Thyroflex testing, and is used by all the physicians at NFC. Thyroflex testing is covered by some insurance companies.
If you take thyroid medication, or suffer from a thyroid-related problem, Thyroflex testing can be used as a way to determine the effectiveness of your treatments. This testing may also help to reduce your risk of serious conditions such as heart disease. Call our office today to learn more about Thyroflex testing.

Tomato Warning

On June 3rd the Food and Drug Administration issued a warning about tomatoes in New Mexico and Texas. The tomatoes were contaminated with a rare strain of the salmonella bacteria. By last Sunday up to 150 people in 16 different states had been hospitalized after eating tomatoes. In adults salmonella causes flu-like symptoms such as fever, diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, and stomach pain. Adults rarely need antibiotics to control the infection, which “runs its course” in a couple of days. In kids and the elderly the infection can be more serious, with dehydration being the biggest concern.
Arizona has been added to the list of States where the warning is in effect. The other states include: California, Colorado, Connecticut, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Oregon, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Washington, and Wisconsin.

The FDA believes that raw red plum, red Roma, or round red tomatoes are the contaminated types. Cherry tomatoes, grape tomatoes, and those sold on-the-vine are thought to be free of the bacteria.
So, after reading this story I thought it would be a good idea to share my thoughts about the best way to wash your veggies (tomatoes included). It’s a good idea to always wash all your vegetables. You never know who has picked ‘em, packed ‘em, sprayed, or in some way handled your produce.

The Best Vegetable Wash
1. Fill the sink with cool or tepid water
2. Add one cup hydrogen peroxide
3. Add your produce (fruits and veggies)
4. Let soak for 15 minutes
5. Rinse with clean water then eat or put in the fridge.

By using this method you’ll remove any contaminants such as waxes, polishes, pesticides, hericides, bacteria, fungi, or viruses. The hydrogen peroxide is totally harmless and will leave no funky tastes or odors.

Jake Psenka, ND

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