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.