The 2 Biggest Causes of Ankylosing Spondylitis and Manage it Naturally

  • Learn what causes ankylosing spondylitis. If you have a risk of developing ankylosing spondylitis taking steps to manage the causes can help to prevent it from happening.
  • Instead of using potentially harmful conventional medicines that often only treat the symptoms, reverse ankylosing spondylitis using natural treatments. Learn which treatments are effective and safe.

Because it is an autoimmune disease, for the longest time doctors didn’t know what causes ankylosing spondylitis. Now research has shown that there are things that can, in fact, cause an autoimmune response in the body.

Conventional mainstream medicine addresses a disease by curing the symptoms and not the cause. If you have pain they will give you pain reliever without digging deeper for the cause of the pain. If you want to live a healthier and disease-free life, you have to understand the cause and then remove the cause. It is as simple as that.

Possible Causes of Ankylosing Spondylitis

Ankylosing Spondylitis (AS) is an inflammatory and autoimmune disease and is a type of arthritis. While a cause is not able to be determined in all cases, most cases will be caused by the following:

  • Genetics: This is the gene HLA-B27. But remember not everyone with this gene develops AS. We will take a look at why this happens to us shortly. Also if you are HLA-B27 negative, you can still have AS.
  • Injury: Injury can be physical or emotional trauma. If you have been in an accident, illness, or perhaps lost someone, it can all impact your immune system. The good news is that this can be managed by exercise and other helpful techniques.
  • Prolonged Immobility: We can reverse AS by slowly increasing your activity level. Read this article for safe and effective exercises to reverse AS
  • Infection: Klebsiella is a type of bacteria that in people with the HLA-B27 gene can cause AS. We can kill it naturally without the use of harmful antibiotics.

We have to lower the inflammation and stop the immune system from attacking our body. Actually inflammation and the immune system are both our body´s friend. Inflammation is actually a result of the body healing itself, it is just that when inflammation becomes chronic that it can also cause disease in the body as well as pain. Your immune system is responsible for preventing pathogens from making you ill.

The two biggest causes of ankylosing spondylitis arthritis are bad digestion/infection and constant anxiety and stress. How can we fix this?

Ankylosing Spondylitis Natural Treatment

1. Bad Digestion and Infection

The number one cause of AS is infection by the Klebsiella bacteria. Klebsiella will usually infect you when you struggle with poor digestion or your immune system is low. Unfortunately, it is true that many who suffer from AS or develop a risk of AS have poor digestion.

95% of people who have AS carry the HLA-B27 gene and one of the problems with Klebsiella is that it resembles the HLA-B27 gene. An autoimmune response is created when the body produces antibodies to fight off Klebsiella these then also attack the HLA-B27 (which is also a type of protein). Specifically, your joints are targeted.

Signs of a Klebsiella infection:

  • Fever and chills
  • Feeling unwell
  • Fatigue
  • Constipation
  • Diarrhea
  • Nausea and vomiting

And if the bacteria is found in other parts of the body:

  • Coughing (often accompanied by yellow or green mucus, or sometimes blood)
  • Breathing problems
  • The symptoms can also resemble flu
  • Urinary tract infection (burning sensation and/or pain when urinating, intense urge to urinate frequently without actually needing to go, frequent urination)

Getting rid of Klebsiella can be difficult, it is often resistant to antibodies and conventional medicines like antibiotics. But starving it long-term so that it dies off and continuing to look after your digestive tract can prevent your body from attacking the B27 proteins. But how do we do this?

Low Carb Diet for Ankylosing Spondylitis

Klebsiella feeds on leftover starches (carbohydrates) in the stomach. When there is a problem with digestion, things that are difficult to digest such as carbohydrates can sometimes end up not being fully digested. This could be due to a carbohydrate intolerance which means that you don’t have enough of an enzyme called amylase to break down the carbs properly.

You don’t necessarily need to be carbohydrate or gluten intolerant to experience problems, however. Sometimes a condition called leaky gut can develop and is also cause of autoimmune diseases. Leaky gut is when your intestines start to leak pathogens and undigested foods into the rest of your body.

Leaky gut can be brought on by:

  • Too much alcohol
  • Frequently eating difficult to digest foods such as legumes, nuts, as well as wheat and other grains (they contain lectins)
  • diet high in sugar, fatty foods, and processed foods
  • Lack of fiber

  • Chronic stress

  • Over-exercising

  • Gut bacteria imbalance

Dr. Alan Ebringer is a rheumatologist who had done extensive research on AS. He and a colleague, Dr. C Wilson discovered that a low starch diet helps to get rid of the Klebsiella bacteria and can lower the inflammation in the body caused by the improper digestion of starches. You can see the full recommendation here.

How to Eat Fewer Carbs

People think carbs in term of wheat, bread, and pasta only. One must understand that carbs are present everywhere, including sugar, alcohol, fruit as well as in vegetables. It is impossible to have zero carb diet if you are not solely a meat eater. So here our aim is to limit the carbs.

Try these tips:

  • Breakfast: 2-3 Eggs with runny egg yolk and vegetables. If you feel hungry after this then add more fat or protein. An avocado is a great option.
  • Snacks: Snack on soaked nuts, but not roasted. Make sure the nuts are soaked because unsoaked nuts contain lectins that are worst for joints. You can also try hummus and veggies or Greek yogurt with a small handful of berries. Smoothies and vegetable juices can also make great snacks.
  • Lunch: Chicken Breast Salad with Olive oil or MCT oil.
  • Dinner: Fish and some vegetables or just vegetables
  • Your protein intake should be one-third of your veggies.

Alkaline Diet Low in Lectins:

Your diet should be mainly alkaline. When you fill your plate with veggies, this is not difficult. 80% of your plate should be veggies. Preferably one cup each of leafy greens, sulfuric vegetables (cabbage, cauliflower, onion, garlic, etc), and colorful vegetables per day. When choosing your foods, remember that meat, grains, dairy, fizzy drinks, and coffee are all acidic. Most vegetables and some legumes are not.

Avoid Lectins. Remember to look for lectins. Lectins are a type of protein in carbohydrates and are the enemy of the people with joint problems. The good news is that even though we cannot completely avoid lectins, preparing and cooking your legumes and the gluten-free grains correctly can remove the lectins.

Keep your diet low in carbs, lectins, and mostly alkaline and I am pretty sure your symptoms will improve at least 40%. Making sure you eat probiotic foods like sauerkraut, kefir, kimchi, and miso will also help to balance out your gut bacteria and improve your overall health.

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Tinnitus: 5 Strange Reasons for Ringing Ears

Ringing in your ears, known as tinnitus, may not seem like a big deal. But for many, it’s an annoying condition that can drive you to distraction and affect your life. Thankfully, there are several ways to relieve the problem.

It’s also a common complaint. Nearly 50 million Americans report some type of tinnitus, according to audiologist Craig Newman, PhD, Vice Chair and Section Head of Cleveland Clinic’s Allied Hearing, Speech and Balance Services. For about 42 million people, the problem is bothersome and/or chronic.

“They have problems, such as sleep disturbance, and they may experience anxiety or depression,” he says. “Many also have concentration difficulties.”

Causes of tinnitus

Physicians and audiologists don’t always know the exact cause of tinnitus. Excessive noise exposure is a common cause. Do you work in a noisy environment, such as a factory or construction site? Or perhaps you listen to loud music constantly or use power tools? Exposure to loud sounds puts your ears at risk.

Whether you’re young or old, it’s a good idea to take steps to protect your ears. To reduce your risk, physically remove yourself from loud sounds, turn down the volume or wear hearing protection.

Lesser known potential causes of tinnitus include:

1. Ear wax. Something as simple as a buildup of ear wax in your inner ear may cause your ears to ring. Your doctor can remove the wax to eliminate the ringing.

2. Medications. Some medicines may affect your ears. High doses of aspirin, certain antibiotics and antidepressants may cause tinnitus. Chemotherapy drugs also may affect your ears. Check with your primary care physician to determine if any medications you take could be a culprit.

3. Dental issues. Ringing ears sometimes may relate to a non-auditory problem with your jaw or teeth. For example, a temperomandibular joint (TMJ) disorder can cause noises like popping or clicking in the joint in your jaw.

If you recently had dental work or your jaw is bothering you, you may want to revisit your dentist. Sometimes a night guard or a dental orthotic device can help with dental issues and stop the annoying sounds you’re hearing.

4. Head injuries. Were you in a motor vehicle accident recently? Or did you bump your head? If so, that ringing you hear may be a symptom of a biomechanical problem of the head, neck or jaw. If you have concerns after a head injury, seek medical attention.

To help prevent a head injury, wear head protection if you play high-contact sports, such as hockey, or if you work at a high-risk location, such as a construction site, Dr. Newman advises.

5. Diseases. Ringing in your ears is sometimes a symptom of a medical condition, such as Meniere’s disease. This occurs when abnormal fluid pressure builds up in your inner ear. Hypertension and diabetes may cause tinnitus as well. It’s always best to get a medical check-up to find out what’s wrong.

Work with your doctor to find relief

Unfortunately, there is no FDA-approved medication for tinnitus, Dr. Newman says. Treatment usually involves trial and error.

“You want to first rule out any underlying problem requiring medical or surgical intervention,” he says. “Then make sure to have a complete hearing test by an audiologist.”

If there’s no specific treatment that will stop your tinnitus, there are other ways to find relief:

  • Cognitive behavioral counseling can help you change your thinking or behavior to help manage tinnitus, Dr. Newman says.
  • Sound therapy involves the use of external relief-producing sounds to help you change how you react to tinnitus. Some patients find relief at night with a bedside sound generator. There are even apps you can download for smartphones or tablets that may help.

Hearing aids can do double duty

Hearing aids are the answer to tinnitus for some people.

“You improve your ability to hear and the hearing aids amplify the sounds around you to mask the tinnitus,” Dr. Newman says.

Some hearing aids have a built-in sound generator which produces white or pink noise, or ocean wave sounds. This provides masking relief and promotes a process called habituation (helping you get to a point where you no longer pay attention to the tinnitus).

“In this case, the tinnitus is not gone, but you no longer pay attention to it unless you focus on it,” says Dr. Newman. “Our goal is to get you to the point where you’re basically tuning the tinnitus out.”

Don’t just wait and hope your tinnitus will go away. Talk to your primary care physician and audiolinogist if you notice ringing in your ears or other problems with your hearing. They can help you pinpoint your problem and find relief.

25 Things Only Someone with Bipolar Disorder Would Understand

1. You can tell when you had a manic episode by looking at your credit card bill.

2. Even though you live on your own, it often feels like you’re waking up with a stranger.

3. You have so many racing thoughts you should be a NASCAR analyst.

4. You don’t suffer from a sense of superiority – you’re remarkably modest for an emperor of all humanity.


5. You just realized people can drink beer for fun, not because they’re self-medicating.

6. Every morning you wake up thinking, “today is going to be a great day. Just not for me.”

7. Family members have mistaken you for the Incredible Hulk.

8. If someone is described to you as “moody” you think to yourself: amateur.

9. You eat fear for breakfast.

10. You don’t know the meaning of “psychosomatic,” because you can’t concentrate on reading a word that long.

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15 Things That Can Make Tinnitus Worse

Loud Noises

When you have tinnitus — or ringing in your ears — many things can make those sounds worse. One of the most obvious is noise. Loud sounds from things like machinery, headphones, and concerts can cause short-term ringing or permanent hearing loss. Do what you can to avoid it. Move farther away. Wear earplugs. Turn down the volume. Don’t forget to protect kids’ ears, too.

Medicine

The list includes antibiotics, antidepressants, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), cancer drugs, diuretics, and high doses of aspirin. Usually the higher the dose, the greater your chance of problems. Often if you stop taking it, your symptoms will go away. Check with your doctor if you think your meds are to blame. But don’t stop any drug without talking to him first.

Stress

Yes, it can make the ringing seem louder. Find ways to relax and get it under control. You might try exercise, deep breathing, or biofeedback. Massage or acupuncture could also help. If you have trouble doing it alone, your doctor may be able to suggest relaxation tips.

Earwax

Your body makes this gunky stuff to trap dirt and protect your ears. But sometimes it builds up and can cause problems. That can lead to ringing and even temporary hearing loss. Your doctor can see if there’s a buildup in your ears and remove it gently. Don’t use cotton swabs to try to do it yourself.

Infections

You might notice ringing not long after you’ve had a cold. If that’s the reason, it shouldn’t last long. If the noise doesn’t go away after about a week, see your doctor. You could have an ear or sinus infection.

Allergies

You may need to try an allergy medicine to treat symptoms or change the drugs you’re taking. See your doctor or an allergist for advice.

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Vagus nerve stimulation may reduce the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis

Electrostimulation of the vagus nerve may be key to reducing the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis, according to findings that scientists presented at the Annual European Congress of Rheumatology in Madrid, Spain.
close up of a healthcare professional checking a senior woman's hand for signs of arthritis

Electrostimulation of the vagus nerve may help reduce the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis.

This research gives hope that there may be a new way to help treat this autoimmune condition.

The vagus nerve, which is a very long nerve that runs between the brain and the neck, chest, and abdomen, is a complex structure.

Previous research has found an inflammatory reflex in the vagus nerve that reduces the production of cytokines, including certain molecules that are a component of autoimmune conditions. These molecules are called tumornecrosis factor (TNF).

The immune systems of healthy people block TNF, but in those with certain autoimmune conditions, excess TNF makes its way into the bloodstream and causes inflammation and a higher rate of symptoms associated with the conditions.

TNF is a target in many rheumatoid arthritis (RA) drugs, such as infliximab (Remicade) or etanercept(Enbrel). Many people call these drugs TNF-blockers.

The researchers thought that if they could boost this naturally occurring reflex in the vagus nerve, it might have a similar result — or one that was even better, as drugs that aim for TNF also suppress the immune system and have other unwelcome side effects.

“This is a really exciting development,” says Prof. Thomas Dörner, Chairperson of the Scientific Programme Committee at the Annual European Congress of Rheumatology, which this year takes place in Madrid, Spain.

“For many [people living with] RA, current treatments don’t work, or aren’t tolerated. These results open the door to a novel approach to treating not only RA but other chronic inflammatory diseases. This is certainly an area for further study,” adds Prof. Dörner.

Small neurostimulator led to big findings

The researchers implanted a small neurostimulator, called a MicrioRegulator, into 14 people with RA. To qualify for the study, each person had tried at least two medications that worked in different ways but that hadn’t helped reduce their symptoms.

The scientists then divided the participants into three groups: a placebo group, a group that had vagus stimulation once per day, and a group that had vagus stimulation four times per day.

The study, which took place over 12 weeks, revealed that those in the once-per-day group had a much better result, symptom-wise, than those in the other two groups — including those that had stimulation four times each day.

Both stimulation groups also had a distinct reduction of more than 30% in their cytokine levels during the course of the study.

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15 Heartburn Trigger Foods: Control Acid Reflux

Heartburn is a painful condition that affects around 20% of the population every week. The symptoms of heartburn are a tight, painful feeling through your chest. Heartburn is caused by acid reflux, which happens when stomach acid is released into the esophagus. The stomach acid eats away at the lining of the esophagus and can cause lasting damage.

If you experience frequent heartburn, you may have a condition called acid reflux disease, or gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). Lifestyle and overall health are important factors in heartburn symptoms. Losing excess weight, quitting smoking, and sleeping in an elevated position can decrease the likelihood of acid reflux.

The type of food you eat and the quantity can exacerbate acid reflux, causing heartburn. If you suffer from heartburn, try eating smaller portions in 4-6 meals a day. Overloading your stomach can cause acid to leak into your esophagus. Keep a food diary to identify which foods may trigger your heartburn. You don’t need to cut these foods totally out of your diet, but moderation can help keep your heartburn at bay.

Here are 15 of the biggest heartburn trigger foods that you can avoid for relief from acid reflux.

1. Alcohol

Alcohol can be a massive trigger for heartburn attacks. Red wine and beer are particularly likely to cause acid reflux. Alcohol relaxes your esophageal sphincter, allowing for stomach acid to creep up. Drinking alcohol with a large meal is a recipe for disaster as it increases the risk for acid reflux. If you enjoy a drink with your meal, eat smaller portions to minimize your risk of heartburn.

2. Fried Food

Fatty foods can be brutal for a person suffering from acid reflux. While fried foods may look crispy, they retain a lot of the oil in the coating. Foods high in fat take longer to digest, putting pressure on your stomach and esophagus. This increases the risk of acid reflux due to the time your stomach stays full. Instead of fried foods, try grilling or poaching your meals. This not only saves calories but can protect you from heartburn.

3. Spicy Food

The effect of spicy food on heartburn is interesting. Many people complain of massive heartburn after consuming a spicy dish, but others may find spicy food helps calm their chronic heartburn. Spicy food can affect the acid levels in your stomach, creating a more hostile environment that can promote acid reflux. If you find spicy food can trigger heartburn, then try reducing the heat in your meals.

4. Tomatoes

Tomatoes, fresh or canned, can be a major trigger for heartburn. While they are incredibly healthy vegetables, tomatoes are naturally high in acid. This can upset your stomach, causing acid reflux as you digest your meal. Be wary of tomatoes used in cooking. A delicious pasta sauce could come back to haunt you later that night. Also consider condiments high in tomatoes and acid, such as ketchup and salsa.

5. Oranges

Your breakfast orange juice could be giving you heartburn later in the day. Oranges and other citrus fruit are high in acid content, which can lead to acid reflux. Instead of citrus fruit, go for high alkaline foods. These include berries, apples, pears, bananas, and  melon. If you insist on drinking or eating citrus foods, try to get them in as early in the day as possible. This will minimize the risk of heartburn, as many people experience it in bed or while lounging.

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Treatable brain inflammation may be behind tinnitus

Scientists may have seen a way to cure a maddening symptom of hearing loss.

  • A treatment for tinnitus – a constant ringing in the ears – has been frustratingly elusive.
  • Out-of-control inflammation, the brain’s response to damage, may be the cause of long-term ringing in the ears.
  • A study that examined mice with noise-induced hearing loss seems to have found the neural trigger for tinnitus.

Common, or subjective, tinnitus is no fun. If you have it, you know what we mean. And a lot of people do — some 500 million worldwide. It’s a byproduct of hearing loss that produces a constant veil of high-frequency pitches that never abates. For sufferers, there is no silence, ever. Unfortunately, identifying its cause, much less a treatment, has proven elusive. Now, however, a new study published in PLOS Biology may have uncovered the physiological mechanism behind it: neuroinflammation in the auditory cortex. And it could be treatable.

Note the “may” in the paragraph above. It’s there because this study draws its conclusions based on the physiology of rodent test subjects, not humans, and things don’t always translate between species. Hence, its claims deserve a grain or two of salt. Ethics issues aside, this is often the case with exciting-sounding medical-breakthrough news. It’s so common, in fact, that there’s a Twitter hashtag for it: @justsaysinmice.

How to acquire tinnitus

Image source: Vagengeim/Yes – Royalty Free/Shutterstock/Big Think

Not that you’d want to. However, the recipe is simple: Expose your ears to overloud noise. Tinnitus is actually not an underlying condition — it’s a symptom of hearing loss. Noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL) can result from, for example, working in a loud environment without protecting your ears, or attending too many loud concerts, standing too close to speakers at a show, or from listening to loud music on headphones.

The way that we hear sound is not as direct as many think. Sound is really a matter of compression waves generated by a source that compresses and releases air on its way to your ears. Tiny hairs, the stereocilia, in your ears receive these air-pressure changes and fire off signals to your brain that we interpret as sound. Each hair has the job of producing a certain range of audio frequencies, and with tinnitus, some of these hairs get stuck in what amounts to their “on” position, continually firing off these signals to your brain even without the presence of an actual external sound source. Exactly what triggers this misbehavior is what the new study attempts to explain.

Inflammation

Image source: Alila Medical Media/Shutterstock

The study states, “Neuroinflammation is the central nervous system’s response to external and internal insults, such as infection, injury, diseases, and abnormal neural activity,” and so its authors looked at mice with NIHL to assess its possible role in tinnitus. They conclude “Our results indicate that neuroinflammation plays an essential role in a noise-induced excitatory-to-inhibitory synaptic imbalance and tinnitus in a rodent model.”

To protect the brain, an inflammatory response typically involves the activation of microglia, the central nervous system’s primary immune cells. When they remain active in response to chronic damage — as with hearing damage — though, they tend to release proinflammatory cytokines, which can make the problem worse. In the mice studies, the authors found one such proinflammatory cytokine, TNF-α. (“TNF” stands for “tumor necrosis factor.”) It seems to be the neural trigger for tinnitus.

When the researchers shut off the gene that results in the production of TNF-α in one set of mice, and likewise when they repressed it with medication in another, tinnitus disappeared. Testing the connection from the other direction, they also found that when they introduced TNF-α into the auditory cortex of normal mice and also mice who had no natural TNF-α, tinnitus appeared.

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20 Gluten-Free Holiday Cookies + Treats

Are you looking for some delicious gluten-free holiday cookies and treats to bake up this year for Christmas or Hanukkah? If so, look no further than my comprehensive list of delicious holiday cookies and treats!

Try any of these recipes and show your friends that gluten-free desserts can look and taste just as good – and sometimes even better – than their gluten-full rivals. Plus, us gluten-free folks have a secret ingredient – Vitamin L (love). I know, cheesy, but true!

Gluten-Free Flours Used

You’ll notice that I use a variety of gluten-free flours in my recipes. You can find all these flours at your local grocery store or online.

Gluten-free flours used include:

  • Bob’s Red Mill 1-to-1 Gluten-Free Flour Blend
  • Otto’s Cassava Flour
  • Honeyville Almond Flour

Be sure to stock up – I just keep these flours in my pantry at all times so I have them on hand when my baking needs arise.

20 Gluten-Free Holiday Cookies + Treats

(1) Gluten-Free Sugar Cookies: 

These gluten-free sugar cookies are perfect for cutting out your favorite shapes and decorating them with frosting and icing. Follow the instructions carefully to ensure these cookies hold their shape and don’t spread.

Gluten-Free Sugar Cookie - header

(2) Gluten-Free Peanut Butter Blossoms:

These stunning cookies are made using the original Hershey’s Kisses recipe and a simple gluten-free flour swap. Aren’t they beautiful? I use sparkling sugar instead of granulated sugar as the coating.

Gluten-free peanut butter blossoms recipe header

(3) Gluten-Free Lemon Crinkle Cookies:

These moist and sweet cookies are made with almond flour and are infused with lots of lemon. I love how they look too. They’re so cute and cozy coated in powdered sugar. These cookies offer up a totally sweet holiday treat for all!

Gluten-free Lemon Crinkle Cookies

(4) Gluten-Free Cassava Flour Chocolate Chip Cookies:

Cassava flour works like a charm in this simple chocolate chip cookie recipe. Don’t be fooled by the picture because these cookies are soft and doughy even though they’re slightly browned along the rim. Best part – they are totally grain-free too – score!

Cassava Flour Chocolate Chip Cookies II - 1

(5) Almond Flour Linzer Torte Cookies

Almond flour lovers delight in these soft-baked linzer torte cookies stuffed with raspberry jam. I’m craving these just by looking at ’em.

Linzer Cookie header

(6) Gluten-Free Rum Balls:

This adult cookie is perfect for Christmas and even better when you make them for your New Year’s celebrations. This is a no-bake recipe too – easy peasy!

Gluten-Free Rum Balls header

(7) Gluten-Free Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Fudge:

Elevate your chocolate fudge recipe with this chocolate chip cookie dough fudge instead. It’s yummy and made with white chocolate.

Gluten-Free Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Fudge 3

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23 ‘Surprising’ Symptoms of Thyroid Disease No One Talks About

Although thyroid disease is common, affecting nearly 12 percent of people in the U.S., many people don’t understand the reality of what it’s like to live with a thyroid condition.

Hurtful misconceptions about thyroid disease still perpetuate, as some believe it’s “not that bad,” only affects the thyroid or can always be easily “fixed” with medication. Others may simply be unaware of the different types of thyroid disease and all the symptoms and side effects thyroid conditions can cause. In fact, it’s estimated that up to 60 percent of people with thyroid disease don’t realize they have it. That’s why it’s so important to raise awareness and promote better understanding of the many ways thyroid disease can manifest.

The thyroid is a small, butterfly-shaped gland in the lower neck. As part of the endocrine system, it produces hormones that help regulate metabolism and autonomic bodily functions, affecting every tissue, organ and system in the human body. Any dysfunction of the thyroid gland falls under the umbrella of thyroid disease.

Hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid disease) occurs when the thyroid doesn’t produce enough thyroid hormone. This slows the body’s processes and metabolism, resulting in symptoms such as weight gain, depression and fatigue. Causes of hypothyroidism may include Hashimoto’s thyroiditis (an autoimmune condition), medications, radiation therapy or thyroid surgery.

Hyperthyroidism (overactive thyroid disease) occurs when the thyroid produces too much thyroid hormone. This accelerates the body’s metabolism, causing symptoms such as increased heart rate, weight loss and tremors. Hyperthyroidism has several possible causes, including Graves’ disease (an autoimmune condition), hyperfunctioning thyroid nodules and thyroiditis.

Thyroid nodules are small lumps that form in your thyroid. The majority are not serious and do not cause any symptoms. Some can become large enough to cause symptoms such as difficulty breathing or swallowing, while others may secrete extra hormones, causing symptoms of hyperthyroidism.

Goiter is the abnormal enlargement of your thyroid gland. It can occur for a number of reasons, including hypothyroidism, hyperthyroidism, nodule growth, thyroid cancer, pregnancy or inflammation.

There are several types of thyroid cancer, though it is considered relatively rare. Thyroid cancer can cause changes to your voice, difficulty swallowing, pain in your neck and throat, and a lump that can be felt on your neck. Most cases can be cured with treatment.

Whatever type of thyroid condition you have, know your symptoms are valid, and there is a community here that understands any struggles you may be facing.

To help raise awareness of some lesser-known thyroid symptoms and remind anyone struggling that they’re not alone, The Mighty teamed up with The National Academy of Hypothyroidism (NAH). We asked our Mighty community and the NAH community to share a surprising symptom of thyroid disease and what it’s like to experience it.

Here’s what our communities shared with us:

1. Throat Tightness

Thyroid disease can cause feelings of tightness or discomfort in the throat for several reasons. Different types of thyroiditis (inflammation of the thyroid gland) may cause pain or swelling in the gland, depending on the presentation of the specific condition.

Goiter, or abnormal enlargement of the thyroid gland, is known to cause throat tightness as well as cough, difficulty breathing or swallowing, hoarseness and swelling in the front of the throat or neck. Goiters can be caused by a few different factors, including Hashimoto’s thyroiditis (hypothyroidism) and Graves’ disease (hyperthyroidism).

Tightness and pain around my thyroid when I’m exercising, upset or stressed. It makes it hard to breathe and difficult to swallow. It also makes my voice sound strained when I’m talking to people. Although I now know this is a symptom of thyroid disease caused by inflammation, it didn’t come up at all when I first started doing research on thyroid disease. – Jessica M.

Tightness in throat quite frequently (not sore just tight, like I’m being strangled. It’s an awful feeling)! – Victoria B.

2. Hair Loss

People with prolonged and severe hypothyroidism or hyperthyroidism may experience hair loss that typically occurs evenly across the entire scalp. Much of the hair may grow back with proper treatment of the disease. It’s also possible to experience hair loss as the result of taking medications to treat your thyroid disease, though this is rare.

Little or no eyebrows when hypothyroid. – Theresa H.

Excessive hair loss. – Stephanie L.

3. Anxiety/Panic Attacks

Anxiety can be a symptom of thyroid disease, particularly hyperthyroidism. The thyroid gland is responsible for producing T3 and T4 hormones, which help regulate many of the body’s automatic functions, such as heart rate and digestion. When the thyroid is overactive, it can cause symptoms such as increased heart rate, high blood pressure, heart palpitations, insomnia and reduced appetite – which are also common symptoms of anxiety. If you’re experiencing these symptoms, it’s important to talk to your doctor to determine their root cause.

Anxiety. I have been told it will go away when my levels are right. They haven’t been right in three years. I’ve panicked driving over a bridge so bad, I didn’t know if I was going to be able to drive all the way across. It was terrifying and embarrassing. – Kelly S.

Panic attacks! Before I was diagnosed they would just come from nowhere. I honestly thought I was going to die or that something was really wrong with me. I still suffer with anxiety now, especially around the time of menstruation. I can feel my hormones changing. – Diane B.

4. Fatigue

Fatigue is one of the most common symptoms associated with hypothyroidism – and it involves a lot more than feeling “a bit tired.” Fatigue is sleep that doesn’t make you feel refreshed when you wake up. You won’t feel better even with 10 or more hours of sleep because you’re not getting deep sleep. This can make it difficult to do everyday activities because you don’t have the energy.

The bone crushing fatigue. I know fatigue is one of the first listed symptoms, but I never knew how severe it could get until I experienced it myself. That it was possible to fall asleep while walking to college. That I could regularly fall asleep mid sentence while talking. How it became impossible to stay awake through lectures. The tiredness scared me, it was so demanding. Still it took another two years after this to get diagnosed, kept being told I was depressed, and that was making me tired. – Heike K.

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Was Luke Perry too young for a stroke? No, they can happen at any age

(CNN)The death of Luke Perry, after the actor suffered what his publicist said was a massive stroke, is evidence that the disease can affect people of any age, the American Heart Association said.

Perry, who starred in “Beverly Hills 90210” and “Riverdale,” died Monday. He was 52.
“Although stroke often affects older individuals, it is not only a disease of the elderly,” said Mitchell S. V. Elkind, chair of the American Stroke Association Advisory Committee. “There is evidence that stroke rates among young people are increasing in the United States and this requires additional research.”
Luke Perry, star of 'Beverly Hills 90210' and 'Riverdale,' dead at 52

Luke Perry, star of ‘Beverly Hills 90210’ and ‘Riverdale,’ dead at 52
A 2017 report by the American Academy of Neurology found that 15% of all ischemic strokes happen to young adults and adolescents. But a lack of research, awareness and frequency makes diagnosing the symptoms early on a challenge.
Ischemic strokes account for 87% of all stroke cases. They occur when a blood vessel becomes blocked by fatty deposits and blood has trouble passing through to the brain.
Other types of strokes include thrombotic ischemic stroke — triggered by a blocked vessel — and a hemorrhagic stroke, caused by weakened blood vessels that rupture and bleed into the brain.
The cause and type of Perry’s stroke has not been revealed. But Elkind said it’s important to know risk factors and symptoms.

The risk factors

Stroke is the second leading cause of death worldwide — and high blood pressure is the leading cause of stroke, according to the American Stroke Association.
What happens during a stroke

What happens during a stroke
Smoking, diabetes, high blood pressure, high blood cholesterol, obesity and other cardiovascular diseases put people at greater risk for stroke, the heart association said. Avoiding diets with high calories, lots of saturated fat, trans fat and sodium can reduce the risk, as can getting 150 minutes of activity each week, the association said.

The symptoms

The American Heart Association recommends using the acronym F.A.S.T. to remember how to catch the warning signs of a stroke:
Face is drooping.
Arms are weak.A
Speech difficulty.
Time to call 911.

Source: CNN

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