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The Thyroid Solution: A Mind-Body Program for Beating Depression and Regaining Your Emotional and Phys ical Health Hardcover – June 15, 1999

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

One in ten Americans suffers from thyroid dysfunction, yet most don't realize the mental and emotional components of this condition. "This is the first book to explain the hidden suffering that many patients have difficulty expressing and the first book to provide new ways of helping address and heal this suffering," promises author Ridha Arem, M.D., associate professor of medicine at Baylor College of Medicine and chief of endocrinology and metabolism at Ben Taub General Hospital, both in Houston, Texas. This book explains the link between stress and thyroid imbalance; how thyroid imbalance affects your emotions, sex life, and relationships; and how to cope with the effects of this imbalance. Because thyroid problems primarily strike women, a whole section deals with women's health issues, such as infertility, miscarriage, postpartum depression, premenstrual syndrome, and menopause. Another section provides practical tools, such as evaluating lab tests and self-diagnosis techniques, dealing with treatment problems and side effects, and preventing memory lapses and depression. The book covers lifestyle choices that affect thyroid health, such as diet, supplementation, and exercise. Frequent case studies (usually told as first-person narratives), checklists, and questionnaires help to simplify the material and make it easier to check the medical information against your own situation. Each chapter ends with "valuable points to remember," making review easy. If you suffer from thyroid imbalance, or think you might, this book could be a valuable resource. --Joan Price

From Library Journal

Arem, a clinical endocrinologist and researcher, says that 20 million Americans (one in ten) have a thyroid disorder. He argues that millions more suffer from undiagnosed thyroid dysfunction and the resulting mental and physical symptoms. Arem clearly and extensively examines the fundamentals of thyroid disease, including diagnosis and therapy, although his focus is on the significance of the thyroid in cognition and emotionAthe mind/body connection. Arem's thesis, derived from mainstream medicine but illustrated throughout by anecdotal reports, is that abnormal thyroid hormone production and dispersal can lead to health problems that range from the psychiatric to ophthalmologic. However, he may be overstating the case when he suggests that thyroid disturbances can underlie depression, anxiety, decreased motivation, and sexual difficulties even in those with normal blood tests. Further, he asserts that thyroid hormone is a bona fide antidepressant. Although thyroid hormone regulation can be important, it isn't the answer to all problems. This book should be of interest to those with thyroid disease; for others, it provides appropriate encouragement to remind their physicians to consider thyroid issues. Recommended for libraries with large budgets.ALinda M.G. Katz, MCP Hahnemann Univ., Philadelphia
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Ballantine Books; 1 edition (June 15, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0345429192
  • ISBN-13: 978-0345429193
  • Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 1.3 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (106 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #759,214 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Dr. Ridha Arem is Associate Professor of Medicine in the Division of Endocrinology and Metabolism at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas. He is also Chief of Endocrinology and Metabolism at Ben Taub General Hospital in Houston. In addition to teaching medical students and physicians-in-training, he regularly speaks to primary-care physicians and specialists at various educational programs. Dr. Arem is a nationally recognized thyroid specialist. For the past ten years he has been the author and editor of Clinical Thyroidology, a well respected widely read periodical publication for physicians on thyroid disorders. He also contributes to Thyroid USA, the official newsletter of the American Foundation of Thyroid Patients, and participates in patient education programs.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

312 of 316 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 23, 1999
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
People with thyroid disease face several critical challenges:
1. Recognizing their own various and seemingly unrelated symptoms as a potential thyroid problem, and getting their doctor to recognize the symptoms as well
2. Having the thyroid tests interpreted liberally enough to catch many low-level cases of thyroid problems.
3. Getting the right dosage of the right medicine.
4. Convincing the doctor to even recognize the symptoms, and test for a thyroid problem.
5. Once diagnosed, treated, at optimal thyroid hormone blood levels, and on the right mix of thyroid drugs...figuring out what to do you do if you STILL don't feel well?
Ridha Arem's book does an excellent, fairly groundbreaking job on points 1 and 2. Unlike the other currently available patient-directed books on thyroid disease, Dr. Arem's book talks honestly and openly about symptoms such as brain fog, depression, loss of libido, weight gain, anxiety, and many others. These are symptoms that all too frequently, doctors either deny, ignore, don't recognize, or attribute to causes other than the thyroid. Arem has also researched and analyzed the relationship of thyroid disease to brain chemistry, and resulting depression, anxiety disorders, mood disorders and other mental and emotional effects -- in great depth. This is a subject simply not covered in any of the current thyroid-related books available to patients. It is to Dr. Arem's credit that he has greatly added to the scientific understanding of the mind-thyroid relationship.
Dr.
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137 of 138 people found the following review helpful By Kelly Berry on November 5, 2000
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I have been living with hashimotos thyroiditis for 18 years. I have been complaining to my Dr.'s off and on for years that I felt like I had symptoms of hypothyroidism, but they kept telling me that the blood tests were normal. After recently having a baby, my thyroid went crazy, and I basically had to tell my Dr. what I thought I needed. This book helped me understand that I was right! He goes into great detail about the fact that you can have a "normal" lab value and yet still suffer from low level hypo or hyper thyroidism!! I found a new Dr and have gotten myself at the other end of the "normal" range.
In addition, those of us with thyroid disease have never been told before that high cholesterol or mild depression can be symptoms of thyroid disease! This book describes all of the bodily functions effected by the thyroid AND what other diseases those of us with thyroid disease may be at higher risk for.
I can't stress enough how much this book described my life for the past 5+ years and how much better it had made me feel- I now understand so much better why I have felt the way I have and have a plan for working on the situation.
This is the best thyroid book I have ever purchased and strongly recommend it to anyone with thyroid disease!!
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125 of 130 people found the following review helpful By musicandrea on April 30, 2003
Format: Paperback
Buy this book as soon as you are diagnosed with a thyroid disorder and read it cover to cover while you are seeking treatment. Even if you are not sure whether you have the disease, it will explain the symptoms so that you can decide whether or not to seek medical diagnosis. Many doctors don't think to look for thyroid disorders, and so it is up to you, the patient, to suggest that they test you. Once they have diagnosed the disorder, they can give you medication, but may not tell you what to expect or how to deal with it.
When I was diagnosed with hypothyroidism, I could hardly function from day to day. The doctor convinced me that by taking a pill I would fully recover in 4-6 weeks. WRONG. The imbalance sent me into a spiral of health problems, anxiety, depression, weight loss, and appetite changes. I almost dropped out of school. I withdrew from friends and family. Even after my blood levels had returned to normal, I lived in a fog of pain and stress and confusion. I was too tired to turn pages in a book. I'm a PhD candidate and I couldn't even complete a sentence!
This book helped me take control of my life from diagnosis to recovery. It listed both the physical AND emotional symptoms that the doctors hadn't bothered to discuss. It told me which blood tests to request, and how to interpret the results. It suggested treatments and allowed me to understand my dosage scale. And MOST IMPORTANTLY it informed me of the complexity of recovery. No one had bothered to tell me that my symptoms might not resolve simultaneously with my blood levels. No one told me that the imbalance may have additional effects for which I may need supplemental medication (for instance, I required anti-depressants). Dr.
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66 of 68 people found the following review helpful By Vicky Johnson on May 26, 2001
Format: Paperback
I loved this book. I re-read it twice; made notes, and have informed many family members and friends with thyroid disease that this is a must read! As a patient, who had a hard time finding someone to diagnose my own hypothyroidism to begin with, it empowered me, to not give up. Even after my diagnosis fifteen years ago and subsequent Synthroid treatment, I have never felt "well". You start thinking that you must be crazy, if everyone says your hormone levels are fine...you must be fine! Finally, Dr. Arem explains why you may still not feel well after traditional Synthroid treatment, and he gives specific treatment options. Dr. Arem also addresses other diseases, that can occur in addition to thyroid disease, that are often overlooked by other physicians as "typical thyroid complaints". This book is good for people who have just been recently diagnosed with thyroid disease, as well as those of us who have been dealing with the disease for many years. And it will help to enlighten family members who live with thyroid patients.
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