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  • Anonymous
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      Thank you, RTrex, for alerting us to details about Gail Devers’s
      appearance on Oprah. I was able to watch it and taped her portion
      of the show, which was about diseases that go easily undetected.

      For those interested about the show…
      Gail was articulate and likable. It’s easy to listen to her story
      and empathize. She did a wonderful job of summarizing her many
      symptoms that she experienced prior to diagnosis: fatigue, hair
      loss, weight loss, bulging eyes, sores and scaly skin on her face,
      menstrual problems, accelerated resting heart rate, depression,
      large goiter, thoughts of going crazy and being a hypochondriac,
      and lowered self-esteem. She summed it up like we would – she
      avoided mirrors and she wanted to crawl in a hole until it was all
      over. She went undiagnosed for 2 1/2 years, and all the while her
      doctors said that she was just under tremendous stress. They didn’t
      suspect a thyroid problem until her goiter became noticeable.

      Oprah asked, “Wouldn’t the first thing be that you’d get a blood

      Guest Nancy Snyderman, MD, answered, “Because we’re in a state,
      a time in medicine, where we always weigh is it cost effective to
      get a blood test on everybody who comes in and says I’m a little
      pooped and my hair’s falling out.” During her talk she mentioned
      that 1 in 8 women suffer from a thyroid disorder, especially
      women over 30. She referred to the thyroid as “the engine that
      keeps us ticking.” She stressed the need for a good, respectful
      relationship (on both sides) with your doctor. She also stressed
      being a proactive patient and asking for blood tests when you
      know that something just isn’t right.

      Gail talked about her Gland Central Campaign (did I get that
      right??), where she’s teamed up with the American Medical Women’s
      Association to educate people about the thyroid gland and its
      disorders. Her message: The thyroid gland influences every cell,
      organ, and tissue in your body; if it stops working, so do you; and
      know some of the symptoms – “Go in and talk to your doctor and get
      a very, very, very simple blood test.” At this point she mentioned
      the TSH test.

      At the end of the segment, Oprah flashed a list of common symptoms
      to watch for:
      Hypothyroidism – low energy, sluggishness, dry and brittle skin,
      weight gain, feeling cold in a room where everyone else feels warm.
      Hyperthyroidism – feeling “jittery”, attention deficit, hyperactivity,
      feel hot when everyone else feels normal.

      I’m very happy to see that the word is getting out about thyroid
      disorders, but I do have a wish list after watching this segment of
      Oprah. My wish list:
      1. *I* know that Gail has hyperthyroidism (Graves’), but I wish that
      she or Oprah had made that point clear. Gail never mentioned what kind
      of thyroid disorder she has, let alone Graves’ Disease.
      2. I wish that Oprah had put Graves’ Disease as a subtitle under
      hyperthyroidism in her symptoms list. Just like she should’ve put
      Hashimoto’s under the hypo list.
      3. I wish the symptoms lists would have been more complete. (i.e.,
      my eye symptoms were my first symptom!)
      4. I wish that Gail hadn’t say “very” three times when referring to
      the blood test that (it seems automatically) diagnoses the disorder.
      5. I wish Gail had elaborated on her treatment and present health
      condition. She sounded “cured” and ready for the next Olympics.
      6. I wish Graves’ Disease would’ve been mentioned – even ONCE!
      7. I wish the NGDF and other organizations’ addresses and/or phone
      numbers would’ve been flashed on the screen.
      8. I wish I wasn’t wishing for more…

      Feeling cheated somehow, Debby

      P.S. Sooooo glad that the BB is up and running again (thanks Jake
      and Archie!!). Our vacation coincided with the breakdown, so I
      didn’t have to experience any withdrawal symptoms! LOL

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