How the Thyroid Gland Mystifies Physicians and Clients

How the Thyroid Gland Mystifies Physicians and Clients

Health

About twenty five a long time in the past, Andy Miller uncovered he had hypothyroidism, a condition that afflicts tens of millions of other Us citizens. Curious about how this problem was influencing other folks, the KFF Health and fitness News journalist interviewed endocrinologists who address hypothyroidism and various clients who reside with it. Their stories exposed how mystifying thyroid and autoimmune situations can be.

health The very first webpage of an 8-site comic about hypothyroidism. At the major of the web page, a cartoon edition of the reporter, Andy Miller, is released. He is the narrator for this collection. The next panel reads “about 25 several years back, I was get over by regular tiredness,” and exhibits him fatigued, lying in bed with the phrases “constant fatigue” weighing him down. The next panel reads, “even however I slept 10 to 12 several hours a night time, I would nevertheless wake up exhausted!” and exhibits him holding an alarm clock with spinning arms. The closing and base panel reads, “my voice dropped to Darth Vader-like depths … and my young children were fearful about me, which additional to my alarm,” and shows, on the left, Miller as Darth Vader. On the suitable, his little ones search spooked as they notice and hear to their “dad.”
(Oona Tempest/KFF Health Information)
health This 2nd page reads, “my doctor was in the beginning stumped, far too. Then a friend instructed it could be a…” at the major of the site, and prospects into a substantial arc of textual content that says, “thyroid problem” higher than a drawing of Miller’s neck and head. The thyroid, a butterfly-shaped gland in the neck, is highlighted with radiating shades of pink and yellow. Beside Miller, text reads, “the thyroid gland releases hormones that regulate metabolism. When not adequate thyroid hormone is produced, it results in hypothyroidism.” The remaining panel under displays a medical doctor saying, “Some regular indications are tiredness, bodyweight achieve, hair loss, and improvements to menstrual cycle.”
(Oona Tempest/KFF Health News)
health The future site opens with Miller keeping a doctor’s prescription in a person hand and a bottle of thyroid hormone treatment in the other. The prescription reads, “after working a check, my medical doctor approved a thyroid hormone treatment.” Underneath, Miller is drawn with raised arms and a smile butterfly wings on his again lift him as he jumps for joy and states, “It was like a switch turned back again on! The tablet restored my power! My voice returned to usual!” Beneath him reads, “and so… I joined millions of Us residents having everyday treatment to continue to keep my human body working effectively.” The text has a border of pills with butterfly wings.
(Oona Tempest/KFF Wellbeing Information)
health Site 4 begins with text that reads, “Levothyroxine, a artificial thyroid hormone, is among the the most recommended prescription drugs in the U.S.” Beneath the textual content is a dizzying sample of capsule bottles. On top rated of the bottles is an picture of the United States, with textual content that reads “That’s about… 100 million prescriptions per year! But why??” The subsequent textual content addresses the question with, “hypothyroidism is most commonly brought on by an autoimmune ailment in the U.S. It is termed Hashimoto’s disease.” An impression of a wilted thyroid gland covered in butterflies is centered under. The remaining line of textual content reads, “this happens when the immune technique mistakenly attacks and damages nutritious thyroid cells.”
(Oona Tempest/KFF Health and fitness News)
health The leading panel of this web page exhibits Miller from the back as he appears to be at two other people he interviewed for this collection: a doctor and a affected individual with hypothyroidism. The accompanying text reads, “I talked with physicians and clients and uncovered out I was 1 of the blessed types. Though generic levothyroxine operates for me, it doesn’t function for every person.” In the bottom panel, one more interviewee is launched, named Beth VanOrden, a instructor. She is lying on a couch and says, “I would crash for 3 hrs on the sofa soon after school.” Under her, further text suggests, “her problem introduced several years of irritation. It took an alternate drug routine for constructive benefits.”
(Oona Tempest/KFF Well being News)
health Webpage six continues to introduce persons Miller spoke with. The 1st panel exhibits a rendering of Misty, of South Carolina, digging out from beneath a pile of healthcare costs as she reaches for a established of tablet bottles. She states, “I have about $6,000 in unpaid clinic and medical costs more than the past two decades.” In the panel under, Jennifer Silvestri, of New York, is introduced. She’s pictured possessing blood drawn although saying, “managing pregnancy with hypothyroidism can be difficult. I hope to have a infant.” Extra text reads, “hypothyroidism decreases fertility, and there is a higher danger of miscarriage. Through pregnancy, treatment generally requirements to be altered.”
(Oona Tempest/KFF Wellness News)
health The next internet pages introduce the illustrator of the comic, Oona Tempest, as an interviewee with hypothyroidism. The intro text reads, “even our illustrator has faced worries. Her signs commenced at 22, significantly underneath the typical age of onset. Health professionals didn’t to begin with pick up on the cause.” This is accompanied by a drawing of her sitting in a doctor’s office. The medical doctor beside her claims, “Hmmm … you are fantastic,” when scratching his chin. In reply, she says, “but I am soOoOo exhausted.” The pursuing textual content reads, “by the time they did, her thyroid was outside of repair service. So she, too, joined the hundreds of thousands taking thyroid meds for existence.” The following panel shows a referee keeping up the hand of a butterfly with boxing gloves, and says “And the winner is … Hypothyroidism triggered by Hashimoto’s illness!!” whilst Oona’s shriveled-up thyroid slumps to the facet, defeated. The up coming line of text reads, “but before the tablet kicked in, extreme tiredness led to a fraught interval of unemployment,” followed by a drawing of Oona, fallen to her palms and knees beside a capsule bottle.
(Oona Tempest/KFF Overall health News)
health The closing web page of the comic starts with a drawing of Miller, who suggests, “all these conversations pointed to a have to have for more research, education, and help linked to these frequently-mystifying problems. But despite these gaps, there is extra awareness of hypothyroidism and of autoimmune ailments in common … which is in section prompted by social media and the world wide web, where by people today are speaking up about their problems.” A drawing of two figures jumping around steppingstones is in the center panel, when two women of all ages exchange a text of this comic at the base of the web site.
(Oona Tempest/KFF Overall health Information)

This illustrated report has been tailored from a KFF Health Information post, “Between Hurdles for Autoimmune Condition Sufferers: Analysis, Expenditures, Inattentive Treatment” by Andy Miller.

Illustrations by Oona Tempest.

Inventive way and enhancing by Hannah Norman, with further enhancing by Sabriya Rice.

Copy enhancing by Terry Byrne.

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