Your Thyroid and Chronic Kidney Disease Have Something Going On.

Today’s blog was written at the request of a reader.  The deal is I write a blog about hyperthyroid and its connection to Chronic Kidney Disease and she goes directly to her nephrologist to ask him the same questions she asked me.

While I’m a good researcher, I am not a doctor and that’s who should be asked your CKD questions.  Come to think of it, any time you receive any well-meant advice about this disease, check with your nephrologist first… even if you admire the brain of the person giving the advice.THYROID_72

Let’s do our usual go-back-to-basics-first.  The thyroid, according to WebMD at http://www.webmd.com/women/guide/understanding-thyroid-problems-basics , “… secretes several hormones, collectively called thyroid hormones. The main hormone is thyroxine, also called T4. Thyroid hormones act throughout the body, influencing metabolism, growth and development, and body temperature. During infancy and childhood, adequate thyroid hormone is crucial for brain development.”

There doesn’t seem to be anything alarming there, so let’s go to the T4.  I turned to What Is It And How Did I Get It? Early Stage Chronic Kidney Disease for information about this and found it on page 23 (Usual reminder: digital book owners, use a word search rather than a page).

“What this test is really for is to see if the T3 test comes back abnormal.  If it does, the lab needs to run another thyroid test.  That test, the T4, is a further thyroid test which looks for specific causes of the abnormality.”

Ah, so we need to be tested via a blood draw to see if there is an abnormality in our thyroid function.  Without getting technical, the abnormalities could be hypothyroid or hyperthyroid.  As a former English teacher, I know hypo is a prefix (group of letters added to the beginning of a word that changes its meaning) that means under, while hyper means over.

blood_test_vials_QAMy reader’s question was about hyperthyroid, but for the safe of completeness, I’ll include the symptoms of hypothyroid. These are the main symptoms – although there are many more – as found on http://thyroid.org.nz/Thyroid_Problems.php

  1. Cold hands and feet
  2. Chronic fatigue
  3. Lethargy and fatigue
  4. Emotional instability
  5. Depression

Hyperthyroid is not as common as hypothyroid and presents different symptoms:

  1. Sweating
  2. Anxiety and Excitability
  3. Thirst
  4. Racing heart
  5. Hunger
  6. Muscle weakness
  7. Shortness of breath
  8. High blood pressure
  9. Insomnia
  10. Weight loss

Numbers 7 & 8 caught my eye immediately since they seem to have something to do with CKD.

The diagnose I was specifically asked about is hyperthyroid, renal.  We already know renal means kidney, so this deals with how the overactive thyroid affects the kidneys.  Remember that hormones travel through the blood and that the thyroid produces a hormone.  Too much of that hormone produces the above symptoms.thyroid

As I understand it (and, again, I am not a doctor) – as mentioned –  the thyroid produces a hormone which is released into the blood, while the kidneys filter the blood.  If you have CKD, your kidneys are not functioning as well as they should.  If you have hyperthyroid, you are producing extra thyroid hormone that your compromised kidneys cannot purge from your blood as well as they should.

This quote from Wellness Resources at http://www.wellnessresources.com/health/articles/thyroid_and_kidney_problems_overlap/#ref1  encapsulates the interplay between the kidneys and the thyroid:

“A considerable body of science now links thyroid problems and kidney problems  in a “chicken and egg” manner.”

So yes, Cynthia, the CKD could have caused the hyperthyroid, renal, and vice versa.  However, hypothyroid does seem to be more common than hyperthyroid.

If there are topics you’d like me to research for you, Dear Readers (after Stephen King’s writing), please ask.  You can leave a comment here or inbox me on Facebook via the blog’s page.  I offer you the same deal.  I’ll research for you providing you ask your nephrologist the same question you’re asking me.

It’s clear to me that digital books are not the future of anything, but are what’s more desired right now.  Digital copies of What Is It And How Did I Get It? Early Chronic Kidney Disease consistently outsell the print copy.  That’s fine with me.  While you can pass around a print copy, you can also share the digital copy.  Just keep sharing the Chronic Kidney Disease information.

Another way to share is to send SlowItDown the list of communities in your area that could use CKD education.  It’s free. It’s taught by trained educators. And it’s brought to you.  Could your church use the education as a public service?  What about your local library?  Police station?  Senior citizen center?  Let’s get those phones ringing, folks.  602 509-4965. Don’t feel like talking to me?  Then email: ckded@cox.net.

I am absolutely thrilled that health treatment companies are starting to ask me what it’s like to be a CKD patient, even though I am an early stage patient.  Their interest means the medical profession is looking for new, possibly more effective, ways to slow down the progress of our incurable disease.The Table

On a personal note, we got out for a date day this past Friday.  I once considered a movie and dinner sort of humdrum as a date.  Now that we are still dealing with medical issues, it is wonderful!  Life is definitely a matter of how you look at yours… and mine gets better every day.

We also got out to a party for a bit this weekend.  I’m always amazed that the one person at a social function whose mother has CKD, or whose brother is a nephrologist, or whose roommate works in a doctor’s office, or who is worried about high blood pressure sits right next to me and starts talking.

On another front entirely, sometimes, as (slightly) older people with medical issues, we need help.  So we organized a text group message list.  It includes all our daughters out here in Arizona and two of their significant others.  A third significant other and the woman I consider my niece just asked to be added to the list.

I’d thought it was a burden, but these younger, (thankfully) healthy people WANT to help us out when we need it.  Maybe this would be a good idea for you.SlowItDown business card

Until next week,

Keep living your life!

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