What Oprah Winfrey knows for sure
Thyroid diagnosis and treatment is difficult and expensive, therefore the need of awareness programs and fund raising campains to help those who lack proper assistance. Celebrities have no problem getting their needs and treatments taken care of with the best doctors, best treatments, but most people struggle with this disease, many of them getting deficient medical care.
Thyroid problems in third world countries cause grave morphological changes and death when not diagnosed and treated.
Magnetic resonance imaging can detect enlargement of the thyroid gland, Radioactive Iodine used to treat an overactive thyroid and different lab tests are some of the necessary medical procedures needed to control of this condition.
Ophah refered to her thyroid problem on September 10th.
On Good Morning America, talk show Oprah Winfrey told ABC's Robin Roberts that she "blew out her thyroid" at the end of last season, due to stress.
Oprah didn't elaborate further on her admission, but this revelation of a thyroid problem is major news for the thyroid patients of America, and frankly, the world.
In the following article oprah gives more details of her thyroid condition.
"My body was turning on me. First hyperthyroidism, which sped up my metabolism and left me unable to sleep for days. (Most people lose weight. I didn't.) Then hypothyroidism, which slowed down my metabolism and made me want to sleep all the time. (Most people gain weight. I did! Twenty pounds!)
The thyroid, one of many body parts I'd never given a thought to, is a small, butterfly-shaped gland located at the base of your neck, just below your Adam's apple. It influences everything from digestion to metabolism to reproduction.
When the thyroid is out of balance, so are you.
I craved balance. I was desperate to be somewhere in the middle of hyper and hypo—where, obviously, I'd been my whole life, taking it for granted because I didn't know any better. We
often need a malfunction to appreciate all the things that function.
I decided to give myself July. Yes, the whole month—dedicated to myself, for myself. To regroup. Rejuvenate. Restore my soul."
It has been a lifelong weight struggle for Oprah and many women around the world suffering from different thyroid conditions with their terrible symptoms. This month of September is thyroid cancer awareness month. January will be thyroid awareness month. Hopefully awareness of these situations can help people help eachother in their life long battles.
Oprah Winfrey can be the example, inspiration and help for millions of women that admire her. As she said:
Getting my lifelong weight struggle under control has come from a process of treating myself as well as I treat others in every way.
Oprah Winfrey, O Magazine, August 2004
October 21st 2007
New York Times speaks Thyroid, hopefully awareness of this serious condition will increase and help can be given to those that lack the proper treatment, around the whole world.
For years, a “thyroid” condition was widely viewed as a euphemism for being fat. But now, the ultimate celebrity endorsement from Oprah Winfrey may finally give thyroid problems the respect they deserve.
Earlier this week, Oprah spoke on her talk show about a recent bout with exhaustion and weight gain that was diagnosed as thyroid disease, an issue she also wrote about in her magazine.
Thyroid disorders, which are far more common in women than men, are said to be among the most undiagnosed and misdiagnosed health problems. Part of the problem is that the symptoms are ambiguous and likely to be written off as stress, menopause or normal aging. The most common thyroid problem is caused by an underactive thyroid (hypothyroidism), and symptoms include weight gain, fatigue, depression, high cholesterol, neck pain, hair loss, low sex drive and worsening menstrual symptoms. An overactive thyroid, or hyperthyroidism, can also cause neck pain, hair loss and menstrual and sex-drive problems, as well as insomnia, unexpected weight loss, chronic diarrhea, anxiety and panic attacks, heart palpitations, high blood pressure and bulging eyes.
The thyroid, a butterfly-shaped gland in the neck, has gotten celebrity attention in the past. Former president George Bush and his wife Barbara both suffered from thyroid problems, as did Olympic track stars Gail Devers and Carl Lewis. But the reality is that nothing compares to Oprah in terms of raising public awareness about anything, whether it’s a favorite book, a politician or a disease.