Health News

Hypothyroidism vs Hyperthyroidism

by Columbia Surgery on April 15, 2014

Hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism are two of the most common thyroid disorders, and though their names sound almost identical, the disorders themselves are very different. The easiest way to remember the difference is to recall that “hyper” means too much, like when they say someone is hyperactive, it means they have too much energy.

The thyroid is a butterfly shaped gland located in the neck.

The thyroid is a butterfly shaped gland located in your neck just below the Adam’s apple. It’s part of the endocrine system and its primary function is to secrete a hormone that regulates your body’s growth and metabolism.

Hypothyroidism is when your thyroid isn’t producing enough hormones. Symptoms vary from person to person, but often include fatigue, increased sensitivity to cold, constipation, unexplained weight gain and a “puffy” face. If left untreated, hypothyroidism can cause obesity, joint pain, infertility and heart disease. It’s important to note that while these symptoms may be related to hypothyroidism, they may also be caused by other problems.  The best way to make a diagnosis of hypothyroidism is to have a simple blood test. Fortunately, treatment of hypothyroidism with synthetic thyroid hormone is usually simple, safe and effective.

Hyperthyroidism, conversely, is when your thyroid is over-producing hormones. Symptoms often include sudden weight loss despite a strong appetite, rapid or irregular heartbeat, increased appetite, and nervousness, just to name a few. You might notice that these symptoms are very similar to the symptoms of a number of other health problems, and indeed, hyperthyroidism can be difficult to diagnose at first. However, once properly diagnosed, most people respond well to hyperthyroidism treatments, which can include anti-thyroid medication, surgery, or small amounts of radioactive iodine.

Hopefully this helps clear up any confusion you had about these two common thyroid disorders. For more information on the thyroid and its disorders, visit http://columbiathyroidcenter.org

Links for further reading:
Columbia University’s Dr. James Lee on how to test your thyroid [VIDEO LINK]

New York Thyroid Center Establishes Unique Thyroid Biopsy Clinic

Thyroid Cancer: My Story

{ 0 comments }

Hernias: What You Need to Know

by Columbia Surgery on April 15, 2014

Hernia (1)A hernia happens when part of an internal organ or tissue bulges through a weak area of muscle, usually in the abdomen. While there are several types of hernias, the most common kinds are inguinal (groin) and umbilical hernias. Inguinal hernias are more commonly found in men and often begin developing shortly before or after birth. Umbilical hernias form directly underneath the navel. Hernias that occur at the site of previous surgery are also quite common.

A hernia is usually fairly straightforward to diagnose, as a patient will often feel a bulge, accompanied by localized pain or discomfort, and may even feel something pushing through the hernia. Less commonly, one will only feel general pain or discomfort in the area without being able to localize its origin.

There are many treatments that offer temporary relief from the pain caused by a hernia, but surgery is the only cure. Depending on the type of hernia, doctors will recommend either open or laparoscopic surgical repair.

  • Open surgery – The surgeon makes an incision directly over the hernia, and mesh is usually used to close the hole formed by the hernia. This can often be done on an outpatient basis, under local anesthesia with sedation.
  • Laparoscopic surgery – The surgeon inserts small tubes called ports through the abdominal wall, and the surgical mesh is placed through these tubes. This approach can be used for both small and large abdominal wall hernias.

While some patients with hernias may put off treatment in order to avoid surgery, this may be delaying the inevitable. Hernias never get smaller and they never go away on their own. Ultimately, most patients will elect for surgery because the pain and discomfort becomes too much to bear.

So, if you experience any of the signs or symptoms of a hernia, be sure to schedule an appointment with an experienced physician to discuss your treatment options.

And check out our website for more information about hernias:

{ 0 comments }

Weight Loss Surgery for a Broken Hunger Mechanism

April 14, 2014

TweetMedically induced obesity made headlines last month as a 200-pound, 12-year-old girl from Texas underwent weight loss surgery. Her hunger mechanism, the complex system of neurotransmitters and chemicals that told her brain she was full, had been damaged during brain surgery. Medically induced obesity can be caused by medications, or as in the case of […]

Read the full article →

Turmeric, Curcumin, and Cancer: What’s the Research?

March 26, 2014

TweetDeborah Gerszberg, RD, CNSC, CDN Clinical Nutritionist The Pancreas Center Turmeric is a root, appearing similar to ginger, with a very mild bitter and spicy flavor, often found ground in the spices section of your grocery store.  As one of the main spices found in curry, you may recognize turmeric by its bright yellow/orange hue. […]

Read the full article →

NewYork-Presbyterian/Columbia University Medical Center Announces Performance of First Robotic Whipple Procedure

March 12, 2014

TweetOn March 4, 2014, the first robotic Whipple procedure was performed by Dr. John Chabot, Executive Director of The Pancreas Center, and Dr. Yanghee Woo at NewYork-Presbyterian/Columbia University Medical Center. This is exemplary of The Pancreas Center’s mission to continually advance the quality of pancreatic care. What is a Whipple Procedure? For those who may […]

Read the full article →

Recent Questions About the Usefulness of Mammography

March 7, 2014

TweetMany patients have inquired about a recent study in the British Medical Journal by Canadian researchers who found that mammography did not reduce death rates from breast cancer and may even have harmed some women by leading to unnecessary surgery, radiation, and chemotherapy. A vast majority of physicians, researchers, and breast radiologists have criticized the […]

Read the full article →

Dr. Kato to Receive 2014 Nobility in Science Award

February 26, 2014

TweetThe Sarcoma Foundation of America will award Tomoaki Kato, MD its 2014 Nobility in Science Award at its 12th SFA Annual Gala, “Finding the Cure in Our Time-Generating Hope” on Monday, May 5, 2014. Dr. Kato is Surgical Director for Liver and Gastrointestinal Transplantation and Chief, Division of Abdominal Transplantation, at NewYork-Presbyterian/Columbia University Medical Center […]

Read the full article →

Advancement in Gastric Cancer Treatment: Robotic Surgery

February 25, 2014

TweetSpecially trained surgeons in gastric cancer operations and robotic surgery can offer select patients a minimally invasive approach to gastric cancer surgery.  The traditional open operations for gastric cancer are performed through large abdominal incisions; however, for the past thirty years, experts in Korea and Japan and more recently in the U.S. and Europe have […]

Read the full article →

Cheers for Chia: the Ancient Superfood

February 21, 2014

TweetDeborah Gerszberg, RD, CNSC, CDN Clinical Nutritionist The Pancreas Center Many people are familiar with Chia Pets, the clay pots where sprouted chia seeds grow “hair” on animals or figurines. Fewer of us are familiar with the chia seeds used in many foods, drinks, cereal, and baked goods. If you take a look in your […]

Read the full article →

Dr. Robert Grant’s Life-Stage Approach to Cosmetic Surgery

February 20, 2014

TweetSince its introduction into the field of medicine, cosmetic surgery has been a controversial and often misunderstood practice. Many believe it is reserved for the elderly, the wealthy, or the vain, while others simply view cosmetic surgery as a series of complex and expensive procedures. But the truth is that cosmetic surgery has a wide […]

Read the full article →