Author Archives: Mary Shomon

Mary Shomon is a patient advocate and New York Times bestselling author of 13 books on health. Mary has been researching, writing and teaching about thyroid disease, hormonal health, weight loss, and autoimmune disease for two decades. In addition to her books, you can find her writing at www.Verywell.com and www.HealthCentral.com.

How You Can Take Control and Govern Your Own Health (and Healthcare)

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Whether you are battling a complex chronic condition or want to remain in good health, there is a lot you can do to manage your own health care and improve the quality of care you get from professionals. Partner with your Doctor Professionals in the health care field have a lot to offer, whether it be a medical or chiropractic physician, nurse, physical therapist, nutritionist, or massage therapist – they often have many years of education in their perspective field, clinical experience, and a heart for helping others. BUT….they are also human. In other words, they are not perfect and not all-knowing. In addition, many physicians report not being able to spend as much time with their patients as they would like to. There is also research showing that it can take many years (sometimes even decades) for new knowledge or scientific findings to make their way into clinical practice. […]

Celebrities Who Live With Chronic Pain and How They Manage It

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For many stars, chronic pain presents an additional burden, and they don’t always know when it’s time to get treatment and what kind is best for them. Sometimes they struggle with always presenting a perfect image of themselves and of their lives to the world. And this image can’t include pain. But improper treatment makes the matter worst and then chronic pain can’t be hidden anymore. It’s also worth considering that celebrities who come forward with their stories of chronic pain — and how they successfully overcame their conditions — may serve as sources of inspiration for many of their fans who may also experience chronic pain of their own. Below are some examples of these celebrities and the pain problems they were dealing with. Montel Williams In 1999, after being misdiagnosed for about 10 years, Williams was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. To cope with the pain and the slow […]

How Herbal Tea Can Help Your Thyroid + 6 Teas You Need to Try

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There are definite benefits to be found in coffee aside from being hot and delicious. It contains a high level of antioxidants and polyphenols (also available in many fruits and vegetables) and some studies have shown that coffee may even help prevent cancer, diabetes, depression, cirrhosis of the liver, and gallstones. However great these benefits sound, coffee’s impact on the thyroid may cause it to be more detrimental than beneficial. How Coffee Harms the Thyroid Coffee is a prime carrier of caffeine, an intense stimulant for the central nervous system. This compound is responsible for a number of the drink’s benefits, but also many of its faults. In his book Coffee and Health, Gerard Derby presented research that linked high doses of caffeine to enlarged thyroid glands in lab rats. In addition, high levels of caffeine increases cortisol production. This boost provides a temporary high of energy by activating our […]

10 Tips to Manage Chronic Pain

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Pain can appear suddenly or build slowly over time, ranging from mild and intermittent to severe, and may result from an injury or infection. It persists for months or years and affects your physical and emotional well-being. No matter what the reasons behind your pain are, you can benefit from many techniques and healthy lifestyle habits, and greatly improve the quality of your life. Check Your Diet Healthy eating habits can help you manage pain long term. Here are some tips to improve your diet. Avoid artificial sweeteners, aspartame in particular, as well as all additives, preservatives, and processed foods. Avoid sugar and caffeine, including sodas, fruit juices and energy drinks. These are highly inflammatory and could be responsible for some of your symptoms. Stay away from these possible inflammation instigators: nightshade vegetables (tomatoes, eggplant), dairy, chocolate, citrus fruits, gluten. Eat a varied diet of organic, whole foods, including high-quality protein, fresh, whole fruits and […]

A Case of Lyme-Associated Parkinsonism: Could Timely Treatment Have Saved a Man’s Life?

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There are several documented cases of patients with confirmed borrelia infection who went on to develop Parkinson’s disease, as well as anecdotal reports of the same. However, a causal relationship has been harder to establish, in part because pre and post mortem testing for borrelia infection (particularly within the central nervous system) had not been conducted in these cases. But in 2003, the first known documented case of Lyme-associated parkinsonism followed by an autopsy was published in the journal Archives of Pathology & Laboratory Medicine. In 1995, a 63-year-old man with no history of neurological dysfunction presented with the classic Lyme-associated “bulls eye” (erythema migrans) rash, tremors, joint pain and swelling. It wasn’t until 12 months later that he was finally diagnosed with Lyme disease based on a positive Western blot (serum) test. Another 2 months went by before he was treated with IV antibiotics for 3 weeks. There was […]

How To Overcome a Malfunctioning Set Point

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This natural weight range is called your set-point, and is different for every person. Scientists believe that the average person has a set point range of about ten to twenty pounds, meaning that there is a range at which the body is comfortable and will resist attempts to change that weight. The set point is maintained by the hypothalamus and the human body uses regulatory mechanisms to keep its weight within the “natural” weight range. For example, if you eat more than you need to maintain your body weight, then typically your body temperature will rise and your metabolism speeds up to burn the extra calories. If on the other hand you do not eat enough to maintain your weight, then your basal metabolism slows down to spare the available calories. Another regulatory mechanism is hunger – if the body is not getting enough energy, you will feel hungrier. When the […]

Healthy Eating for a Healthy Weight

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There are some basic rules you can implement to aim for healthier eating habits and a healthy weight. Oils and Fats Dietary fat is not a major determinant of body fat. Foods rich in fat (the right type of fat!) will help you feel satiated, and they won’t trigger the insulin high and crash that most processed carbs (like bakery goods and breads) do. Without insulin highs and lows, your blood sugar will be more stable and your body can access the fuel it’s storing in your fat cells. Consuming healthy fats instead of processed, toxic ones can improve your health. This means not buying or consuming margarine, other butter imitations, hydrogenated oils, canola, corn oil, sunflower oil, soy oils and other such polyunsaturated oils. These are highly processed and refined oils, they oxidize quickly and become rancid even before they hit the shelves. They contain high amounts of omega 6 and are not […]

Learn About the Power of HCG for Weight Loss

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What is HCG? HCG has been safely used to enhance and accelerate weight loss for over 60 years. HCG is a naturally occurring hormone produced in large quantities during the early stages pregnancy. This hormone allows the body to mobilize fat and use it as energy for both mother and baby. HCG is also naturally present in men and safe to use as therapy. How does HCG work? HCG works by reducing feelings of hunger, so the immediate benefit is that it will allow you to eat very little (500 calories per day) comfortably. HCG modulates the hypothalamus and begins to provide access to abnormal fat accumulated around the hips, stomach, thighs, etc. The hypothalamus will not recognize that the calories you are consuming are coming from fat stores that the hCG is breaking down. All your body systems are receiving the adequate calories they need from your fat stores […]

Are You Really Hungry? Or is it Your Hormones?

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Leptin and ghrelin regulate appetite. When we get hungrier, we tend to eat more. When we eat too much for our body’s needs and ability to properly metabolize nutrients, or when we eat too much unhealthy food, we can become overweight or gain weight back. Leptin decreases hunger and is secreted primarily in fat cells. It usually correlates to fat mass — the more fat you have, the more leptin you produce. Ghrelin increases hunger and is secreted primarily in the lining of the stomach. Both hormones activate your hypothalamus and both hormones and their signals get messed up with obesity. Insulin is a hormone produced by the pancreas to help balance blood sugar and get glucose into your cells. The stronger your cravings and the higher your diet is in sugars, the higher the insulin levels are. This makes it much harder to lose body fat and contributes to the […]

It’s More Than The Food: Reasons You Can’t Lose Weight

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If you consume healthy amounts of unprocessed, fresh food, and exercise yet still can’t lose weight, then you can be assured there are some hidden clinical aspects you haven’t addressed yet. Here’s what you need to know. Insulin Resistance Insulin is a hormone produced by the pancreas to help balance blood sugar and get glucose into your cells. The higher your insulin levels, the harder it is to lose body fat. If the insulin level is too high for too long, you end up with resistance to insulin. Consistently high blood glucose levels along with insulin suppression lead to cells that are starved of glucose. One way to regulate this is to send hunger signals to the brain, which leads to overeating. The unused glucose is eventually stored as body fat. Resolving insulin resistance needs a customized program, which involves the right diet for you, the right type of exercise to […]

The “Eyes” Have it: Graves’ Ophthalmopathy, Causes and Treatments

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Causes and symptoms TSH receptors and cells of immunity in the eye area play a major role in Graves’ ophthalmopathy. Thyroid eye disease causes the muscles and soft tissues within the eye socket to swell. There is limited space inside the orbit so, as the tissues swell, the eyeball is pushed forward, causing various negative eye symptoms. These can range from mild to severe, where the eye is pushed far enough forward that the eyelids don’t close properly, leaving the cornea dry and unprotected. The muscles that control the eyeball don’t work as well and the eyeball cannot move so easily. When the disease is very severe, the nerve connecting the eyeball to the brain can be compressed and damaged. The most common symptoms of thyroid eye disease are: pain behind the eye, redness and irritation, dryness of the eyes, double and/or blurred vision, sensitivity to light, difficulty moving the […]

Why Graves’ Disease Doesn’t Have to be Grave

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In the U.S., Graves’ disease is the no. 1 cause for hyperthyroidism, which is an overactive thyroid gland that produces too much thyroid hormones.  Normally, thyroid function is regulated by the pituitary gland, a tiny gland responsible for secreting TSH, which signals the thyroid to produce thyroid hormones T3 and T4. In Graves’ disease, an antibody known as thyrotropin receptor antibody (TRAb) can mimic pituitary hormones causing an overactive thyroid. When thyroid hormones are too high, energy metabolism will speed up, causing the body to burn through nutrients too quickly. Graves’ disease symptoms can vary a lot depending on the person and how severe the disorder has become. Some of the most common symptoms are: irritability, anxiousness, muscle pains and weakness, insomnia, a fast heartbeat, digestive problems, an increase in perspiration, sensitivity to heat and changes in temperature, enlargement of your thyroid gland (goiter), irregular periods, reduced libido, eye problems, including bulging […]