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In This Issue:

Handling the Heat
TSH: What Your Doctor May Not Know About Your Thyroid

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June 2015

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Handling the Heat

Dr. Tara Brown, (Hon) BA Kin, DC, ART®, D.Ac
Doctor of Chiropractic
Active Release Techniques, Acupuncture & Graston Technique Provider

dr tara brownWith summer fast approaching, it is important to be aware of the many heat disorders that may develop from high temperatures and excessive sun exposure, as well as how to deal with them.

HEAT RASH

A skin irritation caused by excessive sweating during hot, humid weather.  Most common in young children, although it can occur at any age.

Recognizing heat rash: Heat Rash appears as a red cluster of pimples or small blisters that may be itchy. They are more likely to occur in upper chest and neck, groin, under the breasts, behind the knees and in elbow creases.
What to do: Move to a cooler, less humid environment; keep affected area dry; and use dusting powder to increase comfort, but avoid creams and ointments as they keep the skin warm and moist, which may worsen the condition.  This condition does not usually require medical assistance.

HEAT CRAMPS

Heat cramps most often occur in people who sweat a lot during strenuous activity, depleting their body of salt and moisture. Low levels of salt cause painful cramps in the muscles. 

How to recognize heat cramps: Heat cramps are muscle pains and spasms usually in the abdomen, arms or legs that may occur with strenuous activity.
What to do: Stop all activity; sit quietly in cool place; drink clear juice, sports beverage, or water; and abstain from strenuous activity until cramps subside. Seek medical attention if they do not subside within 1 hour.

HEAT EXHAUSTION

heat exhaustionHeat exhaustion is a mild form of heat-related illness, which develops after exposure to high temperatures and often is accompanied by dehydration. The main cause is loss of water and salt found in sweat.  People more prone to heat exhaustion are the elderly, people with high blood pressure and people working or exercising in a hot environment. 

Most common signs include: Heavy sweating; paleness; muscle cramps; tiredness; weakness; dizziness; headache; nausea/vomiting; fainting; hot, dry skin; and cold, damp skin. The victim’s pulse rate will be fast and weak, and their breathing will be fast and shallow. 
What to do: Drink cool water; rest; take a cool shower or bath; move to an air-conditioned environment; and change to lightweight clothing.

HEAT STROKE

Heat stroke is more serious than heat exhaustion and occurs when the body can no longer regulate its temperature. The sweating mechanism in the body no longer works and therefore is unable to cool itself down. Heat stroke can lead to permanent brain and organ damage and, in some cases, death if emergency treatment is not provided.

Most common signs include: Extremely high body temperature (about 103°F orally); red, hot and dry skin (no sweating); rapid, strong pulse; throbbing headache; muscle cramps/twitching; dizziness; nausea; confusion; and unconsciousness.
What to do: Call for immediate medical assistance! Then move to a shady area; cool victim rapidly; monitor body temperature; do NOT give fluids to drink; and get medical assistance as soon as possible.

 

Please call us at 905.465.4595 for more information and to book your appointment.

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TSH: What Your Doctor May Not Know About Your Thyroid

Dr. Samantha Ristimaki, BSc, ND
Doctor of Naturopathic Medicine
Acupuncture & Traditional Chinese Medicine

dr ristimakiWhen people go for a yearly doctor’s checkup, they usually receive a requisition for lab work. At that time their doctor says, “We’ll call you if there are any abnormal results.”  This may seem okay, but what if your doctor is not reviewing your results using updated guidelines?

I often see patients, women especially, complaining of fatigue, weight gain, cold intolerance, constipation, depression and other symptoms of low thyroid function, who saw their doctor only to be told that everything was normal. If this sounds like you or a close friend, you may want to keep reading.

Thyroid Stimulating Hormone (TSH)

Thyroid function is tested initially by measuring the thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH). This hormone is produced by the pituitary gland and it signals the thyroid to produce hormones responsible for regulating metabolism. TSH tells the thyroid what to do in response to what is going on in the body. When the body senses that there is too much thyroid hormone, TSH levels drop and stop telling the thyroid to produce this hormone. Conversely, when the thyroid is underactive, TSH is high because the brain senses that the thyroid needs to jump into action and up the amount of thyroid hormone in the body.
 
What’s normal?

In 2002, the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists re-established the guidelines for “normal” TSH levels. Up to this time, the normal value for TSH was 0.5 to 4.0. TSH values over 4.0 suggested an underactive thyroid. The association changed the normal range for TSH to 0.3 – 3.0 meaning far more people may have been suffering from undiagnosed low thyroid function.

It's 2015 and the labs have not changed their range for TSH!

If you have the opportunity to see your test result, you will notice that beside your level is the range for what is normal and abnormal. Results are usually highlighted and easy to see. The problem with TSH is that the guidelines for normal were changed 13 years ago and labs are still using the old normal range. Because of this, few doctors are aware of the new guideline for thyroid function.

Ask for your results

I always recommend patients request copies of their blood work results for their own records. This not only gives you a personal health record to access should your doctor not be available, but it also allows you to keep a watchful eye on your own health. Health care professionals are there to help you, but at the end of the day you are your own best health advocate.

 

Please call us at 905.465.4595 for more information and to book your appointment.

For pricing information please click here.

 


 

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