There is no cure for hyperthyroidism, but it can be successfully managed with treatments such as anti-thyroid medication and diet. The thyroid gland is important organ of the endocrine system. It is located just below the voice box. The gland produces the hormones thyroxine (T4) and triiodothyronine (T3), which control the way every cell in the body uses energy. Hyperthyroidism occurs when the thyroid releases too many of its hormones over a short or long period of time.
When it comes to seeing improvements in thyroid function the best place to start is by improving diet with these healing foods:
Alternative Medicine and Herbs for Thyroid Health
Bugleweed (Pic. 1) can lower thyroid hormones and so can Motherwort, which is also anti-inflammatory. Lemon Balm may help relieve anxiety and prevent Graves antibodies from attaching to the thyroid. Citrus Peel's anti-thyroidal properties could be useful for hyperthyroid people, as well as its anti-cancer benefits. Consuming calcium and goitrogenic foods, such as soy, cabbage, broccoli, and cauliflower, will lower thyroid hormones.
Dragon bone, kava kava- Piper methysticum (Pic. 2), and St. John's Wort are sedating which can be useful for those who are hyperthyroid.
High Fiber Foods
In most cases the patients having thyroid disease develop constipation and their body weight may also increase, in such cases foods that are rich in fiber can prove to be beneficial.
It is possible to find high fiber in vegetables, fruits and cereals. The high fiber vegetables are eggplant, beans, cabbage, carrot, mushrooms, and potatoes with skin, peas, spinach, broccoli, cabbage and pumpkin. Fruits with high fiber are apples, dates, bananas, berries, orange, pear, guava and prunes. Other available high fiber sources are bran cereals and breads, beans, lentils and nuts like almonds, peanuts, cashew nuts and walnuts.
They are natural substances found in most of the foods and have the ability to enlarge the size of the thyroid glands also called goiter.
In hyperthyroidism conditions the goitrogens act as anti-thyroid drugs and slows down the excess production of the hormones and ultimately cause hypothyroidism. So goitrogen foods should be taken in huge quantities by patients having hyperthyroidism conditions and should be avoided by those having hypothyroidism symptoms.
The most common sources of goitrogens are broccoli, kale, spinach, turnip cauliflower, cabbage, strawberry, peaches, peanuts, pine nuts, soy and mustard. These goitrogen foods work more effectively if taken in raw form.
Oils that are being commercially produced have a negative effect on the thyroid. The unsaturated fats contained in these oils slow down the tissue response to the hormones produced by the thyroid. For cooking meals choose coconut oil as it helps to regulate metabolic rate of the body. It helps the thyroid gland to perform better. 2 tablespoons of organic coconut oil daily can give good results if swallowed or used in cooking or salads.
Thyrostatics (antithyroid drugs) are drugs that inhibit the production of thyroid hormones, such as carbimazole and methimazole, and propylthiouracil. Thyrostatics are believed to work by inhibiting the iodination of thyroglobulin by thyroperoxidase, and, thus, the formation of tetra-iodothyronine (T4). Propylthiouracil also works outside the thyroid gland, preventing conversion of (mostly inactive) T4 to the active form T3. Because thyroid tissue usually contains a substantial reserve of thyroid hormone, thyrostatics can take weeks to become effective, and the dose often needs to be carefully titrated over a period of months, with regular doctor visits and blood tests to monitor results. A very high dose is often needed early in treatment, but, if too high a dose is used persistently, patients can develop symptoms of hypothyroidism.
Many of the common symptoms of hyperthyroidism such as palpitations, trembling, and anxiety are mediated by increases in beta adrenergic receptors on cell surfaces. Beta blockers, typically used to treat high blood pressure, are a class of drugs that offset this effect, reducing rapid pulse associated with the sensation of palpitations, and decreasing tremor and anxiety. Thus, a patient suffering from hyperthyroidism can often obtain immediate temporary relief until the hyperthyroidism can be characterized with the Radioiodine test (noted below in "Other therapies" section) and more permanent treatment take place. Note that these drugs do not treat hyperthyroidism or any of its long-term effects if left untreated, but, rather, they treat or reduce only symptoms of the condition. Some minimal effect on thyroid hormone production however also comes with Propranolol - which has two roles in the treatment of hyperthyroidism, determined by the different isomers of propranolol. L-propranolol causes beta-blockade, thus treating the symptoms associated with hyperthyroidism such as tremor, palpitations, anxiety, and heat intolerance. D-propranolol inhibits thyroxine deiodinase, thereby blocking the conversion of T4 to T3, providing some though minimal therapeutic effect. Other beta blockers are used to treat only the symptoms associated with hyperthyroidism.
Radioiodine therapy is the administration of radioactive isotope of iodine (I131), used as a treatment method in patients with hyperthyroidism.
Hyperthyroidism is a state of excessive production of thyroid hormones by the thyroid gland (Pic. 1). Thyreotoxicosis, on the other hand, denotes a state of excessive thyroid hormones due to any cause. Thus, thyreotoxicosis includes conditions of hyperthyroidism, but these two terms are often used interchangeably. The most prevalent cause of hyperthyroidism is Graves’ disease (GD), where auto-reactive antibodies bind to thyrotropin receptor (TSH) receptors of the thyroid gland cells and stimulate them into excessive hormone production. Other causes of hyperthyroidism include multinodular goiter (a swelling of the thyroid gland, Pic. 2) or thyroid gland inflammation.
The three main methods of managing hyperthyroidism are surgically (thyroidectomy), radioactive iodine-131 (RAI) therapy, and antithyroid medication (ATD).
RAI therapy is administered in order to severely restrict, or altogether destroy the function of a hyperactive thyroid gland (so-called ablative therapy). Radioiodine emits beta-radiation particles which damage cells and tissues in their vicinity. Iodine-131 in this treatment is picked up by the active cells in the thyroid and destroys them, rendering the thyroid gland mostly or completely inactive. Since iodine is picked up more readily (though not exclusively) by thyroid cells, and (more important) is picked up even more readily by over-active thyroid cells, the destruction is local, and there are no widespread side effects with this therapy.
The aim of RAI is to achieve a euthyroid (normal function of the thyroid gland) or hypothyroid state (low production of thyroid hormones by the thyroid), with the latter being treated by thyroid hormone replacement. Typical therapeutic doses of I-131 are between 2220-7400 megabecquerels (MBq). Because of this high radioactivity and because the exposure of stomach tissue to beta radiation would be high near an undissolved capsule, I-131 is usually administered to human patients in a small amount of liquid. On occasion, some patients may require more than one radioactive treatment, depending on the type of disease present, the size of the thyroid, and the initial dose administered.
IAEA (Inetrnational Atomic Energy Agency) International Basic Safety Standards recommend that patients are not discharged until the activity falls below 1100 MBq (a value of radioactivity considered safe for the patients’ surroundings). Patients receiving I-131 radioiodine treatment may be warned not to have sexual intercourse for one month (or shorter, depending on dose given), and women told not to become pregnant for six months afterwards.
Surgery (thyroidectomy to remove the whole thyroid or a part of it) is not extensively used because most common forms of hyperthyroidism are quite effectively treated by the radioactive iodine method, and because there is a risk of also removing the parathyroid glands, and of cutting the recurrent laryngeal nerve, making swallowing difficult, and even simply generalized staphylococcal infection as with any major surgery. Some people with Graves' may opt for surgical intervention. This includes those that cannot tolerate medicines for one reason or another, people that are allergic to iodine, or people that refuse radioiodine.
Egg donation is the process by which a woman donates eggs for purposes of assisted reproduction or biomedical research. For assisted reproduction purposes, egg donation typically involves IVF technology, with the eggs being fertilized in the laboratory; more rarely, unfertilized eggs may be frozen and stored for later use. Egg donation is a third party reproduction as part of ART.
Egg donor may have several reasons for donate her eggs:
First step is choosing the egg donor by a recipient from the profiles on or clinic databases (or, in countries where donors are required to remain anonymous, they are chosen by the recipient's doctor based on recipient woman’s desired trait). This is due to the fact that all of the mentioned examinations are expensive and the agencies/clinics must first confirm that a match is possible or guaranteed before investing in the process.
Each egg donor is first referred to a psychologist who will evaluate if she is mentally prepared to undertake and complete the donation process. These evaluations are necessary to ensure that the donor is fully prepared and capable of completing the donation cycle in safe and success manner. The donor is then required to undergo a thorough medical examination, including a pelvic exam, blood tests to check hormone levels and to test for infectious diseases, Rh factor, blood type, and drugs and an ultrasound to examine her ovaries, uterus and other pelvic organs. A family history of approximately the past three generations is also required, meaning that adoptees are usually not accepted because of the lack of past health knowledge. Genetic testing is also usually done on donors to ensure that they do not carry mutations (e.g., cystic fibrosis) that could harm the resulting children; however, not all clinics automatically perform such testing and thus recipients must clarify with their clinics whether such testing will be done. During the process, which usually takes several months, the donor must abstain from alcohol, sexual intercourse, cigarettes, and drugs, both prescription and non-prescription.
Once the screening is complete and a legal contract signed, the donor will begin the donation cycle, which typically takes between three and six weeks. An egg retrieval procedure comprises both the egg donor's cycle and the recipient's cycle. Birth control pills are administered during the first few weeks of the egg donation process to synchronize the donor's cycle with her recipient's, followed by a series of injections which halt the normal functioning of the donor's ovaries. These injections may be self-administered on a daily basis for a period of one to three weeks. Next, FSH is given to the donor to stimulate egg production and increases the number of mature eggs produced by the ovaries. Throughout the cycle the donor is monitored often by a physician using blood tests and ultrasound exams to determine the donor's reaction to the hormones and the progress of follicle growth.
Once the doctor decides the follicles are mature, the doctor will establish the date and time for the egg retrieval procedure. Approximately 36 hours before retrieval, the donor must administer one last injection of hCG to ensure that her eggs are ready to be harvested. The egg retrieval itself is a minimally invasive surgical procedure lasting 20-30 minutes, performed under sedation (but sometimes without any). A small ultrasound-guided needle is inserted through the vagina to aspirate the follicles in both ovaries, which extracts the eggs. After resting in a recovery room for an hour or two, the donor is released. Most donors resume regular activities by the next day.
Laws by state
The legal status and compensation of egg donation has several models across states with examples:
During ICSI just one sperm is injected directly into the egg cytoplasm using a micromanipulative apparatus that transforms imperfect hand movements into fine and precise movements of micromanipulation tools.
Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI) is an assisted reproductive technique (ART) initially developed by Dr. Gianpiero D. Palermo in 1993 to treat male infertility. It is most commonly used in conjunction with in vitro fertilization (IVF). Following IVF procedure, the physician places the fertilized egg into the female’s uterus for implantation. Sperm are obtained by the same methods as with IVF: either through masturbation, by using a collection condom, or by surgically removing sperm from a testicle through a small incision (MESA, TESE). The females are treated with fertility medications for approximately two weeks prior to oocyte retrieval to stimulate superovulation, where the ovaries produce multiple oocytes rather than the normal one oocyte. The oocytes are retrieved by either laparoscopy, or more commonly, transvaginal oocyte retrieval. In the latter procedure, the physician inserts a thin needle through the cervix, guided by a sonogram and pierces the vaginal wall and then the ovaries to extract several mature ova. Before the embryologist can inject the sperm into the oocyte, the sperm must be prepared by washing and exposing it to various chemicals to slow the sperm movement and prevent it from sticking to the injection plate. Also, the oocytes are treated with hyaluronidase to single out the oocyte ready for fertilization by the presence of the first polar body. Then, one prepared sperm is injected into an oocyte with a thin needle. Often, embryologists try to fertilize several eggs so they can implant more than one into the uterus and increase the chance of at least one successful pregnancy. This also allows them to save extra embryos, using cryopreservation, in case later IVF rounds are needed.
After the embryologist manually fertilizes the oocytes, they are incubated for sixteen to eighteen hours and develop into a pronucleate eggs (successfully fertilized eggs about to divide into an embryo). The egg then grows for one to five days in the laboratory before the physician places it in the female’s uterus for implantation.
The chance of fertilization increases dramatically with ICSI compared to simply mixing the oocytes and sperm in a Petri dish and waiting for fertilization to occur unaided (classical IVF procedure). Studies have shown that successful fertilizations occur 50% to 80% of the time. Since the introduction of ICSI, intrauterine insemination (IUI) has decreased in popularity by 80%.See full description of ICSI
Intrauterine insemination (IUI) as a type of artificial insemination involves the placement of sperm directly into the uterus at the time of ovulation, either in a natural menstrual cycle or following ovarian stimulation. The process allows the concentration of sperm in a small volume of culture media and then the concentrated sperm is placed into the uterus through a transcervical catheter. IUI has the advantages of being less invasive and more affordable than other assisted reproduction techniques such as IVF. IUI theoretically allows a relatively higher number of motile sperm to reach the oocyte. The rationale for washing sperm is to remove prostaglandins, infectious agents, and antigenic proteins as well as to remove immotile spermatozoa, leucocytes, and immature germ cells.
IUI is a more efficient method of artificial insemination. Sperm is occasionally inserted twice within a “treatment cycle“. A double intrauterine insemination theoretically increases pregnancy rates by decreasing the risk of missing the fertile window during ovulation. However, a randomized trial of insemination after ovarian hyperstimulation found no difference in live birth rate between single and double intrauterine insemination.
Unlike intracervical insemination, intrauterine insemination normally requires a medical practitioner to perform the procedure (see Tab. 1). A female under 30 years of age has optimal chances with IUI; for the man, a total motile sperm count of more than 5 million per ml is optimal. In practice, donor sperm will satisfy these criteria. A promising cycle is one that offers two follicles measuring more than 16 mm, and estrogen of more than 500 pg/mL on the day of hCG administration. A short period of ejaculatory abstinence before intrauterine insemination is associated with higher pregnancy rates. However, GnRH agonist administration at the time of implantation does not improve pregnancy outcome in IUI cycles according to a randomized controlled trial.
Before the IUI
Before artificial insemination is turned to as the solution to impregnate a woman, doctors will require an examination of both the male and female involved in order to remove any and all physical hindrances that are preventing them from naturally achieving a pregnancy. The couple is also given a fertility test to determine the motility, number, and viability of the male's sperm and the success of the female's ovulation (see Tab. 2). From these tests, the doctor may or may not recommend a form of artificial insemination (intrauterine insemination or intracervical insemination).
The sperm used in artificial insemination may be provided by either the woman's partner sperm or by a sperm donation (donor sperm). Though there may be legal, religious and cultural differences in these and other characterizations, the manner in which the sperm is actually used in artifical insemination would be the same, If the procedure is successful, the woman will conceive and carry a baby to term in the normal manner (see Tab. 1). A pregnancy resulting from artificial insemination will be no different from a pregnancy achieved by sexual intercourse. In all cases, the woman would be the biological mother of any child produced by AI, and the male whose sperm is used would be the biological father.
Timing is critical, as the window and opportunity for fertilization is little more than twelve hours from the release of the ovum. To increase the chance of success, the woman's menstrual cycle is closely observed, often using ovulation kits, ultrasounds or blood tests, such as basal body temperature tests over, noting the color and texture of the vaginal mucus, and the softness of the nose of her cervix. To improve the success rate of artifical insemination, drugs to create a stimulated cycle may be used, but the use of such drugs also results in an increased chance of a multiple birth.
Sperm can be provided fresh or washed. The washing of sperm increases the chances of fertilization. Pre- and post-concentration of motile sperm is counted.
When ovarian stimulation is used, patients underwent afirst cycle with orally administered 50 mg/day clomiphene citrate, from days 3 to 7 of the menstrual cycle, along with subcutaneous human menopausal gonadotropin or recombinant FSH at days 3, 5 and 7 of the cycle. The follicular development is monitored by transvaginal ultrasound at days 2 (basal) and 8 of the cycle. Subsequently, daily monitoring is performed until follicular diameter measured 18 to 20 mm and thickness of the endometrium was greater than 7 mm. When one or (at most) three follicles measured the expected mean diameter, hCG or recombinant hCG is administered. IUI is scheduled 36 to 40 hours after hCG or r-hCG administration and confirmation of follicular rupture.
The patient is on bed rest for 20 minutes, and the supplementation of the luteal phase is administered orally with natural progesterone at a dose of 200 mg every 12 h from the day after IUI until confirmation of the embryonic heartbeat using an ultrasound.
Legal aspects of artificial insemination
Some countries restrict artificial insemination in a variety of ways. For example, some countries do not permit AI for single women, and some Muslim countries do not permit the use of donor sperm. As of May 2013, the following European countries permit medically assisted AI for single women: Armenia, Belarus, Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Republic of Ireland, Latvia, Republic of Macedonia, Moldova, Montenegro, Netherlands, Romania, Russia, Spain, Ukraine, United Kingdom.
Sperm donation is the donation by a male (known as a sperm donor) of his sperm (known as donor sperm), principally for the purpose of inseminating a female who is not his sexual partner. Sperm donation is a form of third party reproduction including sperm donation, oocyte donation, embryo donation, surrogacy, or adoption. Number of births per donor sample will depend on the actual ART method used, the age and medical condition of the female bearing the child, and the quality of the embryos produced by fertilization. Donor sperm is more commonly used for artificial insemination (IUI or ICI) than for IVF treatments. This is because IVF treatments are usually required only when there is a problem with the female conceiving, or where there is a “male factor problem” involving the female's partner. Donor sperm is also used for IVF in surrogacy arrangements where an embryo may be created in an IVF procedure using donor sperm and this is then implanted in a surrogate. In a case where IVF treatments are employed using donor sperm, surplus embryos may be donated to other women or couples and used in embryo transfer procedures.
On the other hand, insemination may also be achieved by a donor having sexual intercourse with a female for the sole purpose of initiating conception. This method is known as natural insemination.
Donor sperm and fertility treatments using donor sperm may be obtained at a sperm bank or fertility clinic. Here, the recipient may select donor sperm on the basis of the donor's characteristics, e.g. looks, personality, academic ability, race, and many other factors. Sperm banks or clinics may be subject to state or professional regulations, including restrictions on donor anonymity and the number of offspring that may be produced, and there may be other legal protections of the rights and responsibilities of both recipient and donor. Some sperm banks, either by choice or regulation, limit the amount of information available to potential recipients; a desire to obtain more information on donors is one reason why recipients may choose to use a known donor and/or private donation.
A sperm donor will usually donate sperm to a sperm bank under a contract, which typically specifies the period during which the donor will be required to produce sperm, which generally ranges from 6–24 months depending on the number of pregnancies which the sperm bank intends to produce from the donor. Donors may or may not be paid for their samples, according to local laws and agreed arrangements. Even in unpaid arrangements, expenses are often reimbursed. Depending on local law and on private arrangements, men may donate anonymously or agree to provide identifying information to their offspring in the future. Private donations facilitated by an agency often use a "directed" donor, when a male directs that his sperm is to be used by a specific person. Non-anonymous donors are also called known donors, open donors or identity disclosure donors.
A sperm donate must generally meet specific requirements regarding age (most often up to 40) and medical history. Potential donors are typically screened for genetic diseases, chromosomal abnormalities and sexually transmitted infections that may be transmitted through sperm. The donor's sperm must also withstand the freezing and thawing process necessary to store and quarantine the sperm. Samples are stored for at least 6 months after which the donor will be re-tested for sexually transmitted infections. This is to ensure no new infections have been acquired or have developed during the period of donation. If the result is negative, the sperm samples can be released from quarantine and used in treatments.
Preparing the samples
A sperm donor is usually advised not to ejaculate for two to three days before providing the sample, to increase sperm count and to maximize the conception rate. A sperm donor produces and collects sperm by masturbation or during sexual intercourse with the use of a collection condom.
Sperm banks and clinics usually "wash" the sperm sample to extract sperm from the rest of the material in the semen. A cryoprotectant semen extender is added if the sperm is to be placed in frozen storage in liquid nitrogen, and the sample is then frozen in a number of vials or straws. One sample will be divided into 1-20 vials or straws depending on the quantity of the ejaculate and whether the sample is washed or unwashed. Following the necessary quarantine period, the samples are thawed and used to inseminate women through artificial insemination or other ART treatments. Unwashed samples are used for ICI treatments, and washed samples are used in IUI and IVF procedures.
Anonymous sperm donation occurs where the child and/or receiving couple will never learn the identity of the donor, and non-anonymous when they will. Non-anonymous sperm donors are, to a substantially higher degree, driven by altruistic motives for their donations.
Even with anonymous donation, some information about the donor may be released to the female/couple at the time of treatment. Limited donor information includes height, weight, eye, skin and hair color. In Sweden, this is all the information a receiver gets. In the US, on the other hand, additional information may be given, such as a comprehensive biography and sound/video samples.
Information made available by a sperm bank will usually include the race, height, weight, blood group, health, and eye color of the donor. Sometimes information about his age, family history and educational achievements will also be given.
Different factors motivate individuals to seek sperm from outside their home state. For example, some jurisdictions do not allow unmarried women to receive donor sperm. Jurisdictional regulatory choices as well as cultural factors that discourage sperm donation have also led to international fertility tourism and sperm markets.
A sperm donor is generally not intended to be the legal or de jure father of a child produced from his sperm. Depending on the jurisdiction and its laws, he may or may not later be eligible to seek parental rights or be held responsible for parental obligations. Generally, a male who provides sperm as a sperm donor gives up all legal and other rights over the biological children produced from his sperm. However, in private arrangements, some degree of co-parenting may be agreed, although the enforceability of those agreements varies by jurisdiction.
Laws prohibits sperm donation in several countries: Algeria, Bahrain, Costa Rica, Egypt, Hong Kong, Jordan, Lebanon, Lithuania, Libya, Maldives, Oman, Pakistan, Philippines, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Tajikistan, Tunisia, Turkey, UnitedArab Emirates, and Yemen.See full description of Sperm donation
In vitro fertilization (IVF) is a process by which an egg is fertilised by sperm outside the body: in vitro . The process involves monitoring and stimulating a woman's ovulatory process, removing an ovum or ova (egg or eggs) from the woman's ovaries and letting sperm fertilise them in a liquid in a laboratory. The fertilised egg (zygote) is cultured for 2–6 days in a growth medium and is then implanted in the same or another woman's uterus, with the intention of establishing a successful pregnancy.
IVF techniques can be used in different types of situations. It is a technique of assisted reproductive technology for treatment of infertility. IVF techniques are also employed in gestational surrogacy, in which case the fertilised egg is implanted into a surrogate's uterus, and the resulting child is genetically unrelated to the surrogate. In some situations, donated eggs or sperms may be used. Some countries ban or otherwise regulate the availability of IVF treatment, giving raise to fertility tourism. Restrictions on availability of IVF include to single females, to lesbians and to surrogacy arrangements. Due to the costs of the procedure, IVF is mostly attempted only after less expensive options have failed.
The first successful birth of a "test tube baby", Louise Brown, occurred in 1978. Louise Brown was born as a result of natural cycle IVF where no stimulation was made. Robert G. Edwards, the physiologist who developed the treatment, was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 2010. With egg donation and IVF, women who are past their reproductive years or menopause can still become pregnant. Adriana Iliescu held the record as the oldest woman to give birth using IVF and donated egg, when she gave birth in 2004 at the age of 66, a record passed in 2006.
Infertility incidence is about 5-8% in women with hyperthyroidism. In women with hyperthyroidism hormonal changes effecting reproductive system may occur.
Hyperthyroidism occurs in about 0.2-0.4% of all pregnancies. Most cases are due to Graves’ disease although less common cause (e.g.toxic nodules and thyroiditis) may be seen. Uncontrolled hyperthyroidism in pregnancy is associated with an increased risk of severe pre-eclampsia and up to a four-fold increased risk of low birth weight deliveries. Some of these unfavourable outcomes are more marked in women who are diagnosed for the first time in pregnancy. A recent study has also shown that already high normal maternal FT4 levels are associated with a decrease in child IQ and gray matter and cortex volumes, similar to the effects of hypothyroidism.
Ideally a woman who is known to have hyperthyroidism should seek pre-pregnancy advice, although as yet there is no evidence for its benefit. Appropriate education should allay fears that are commonly present in these women. She should be referred for specialist care for frequent checking of her thyroid status, thyroid antibody evaluation and close monitoring of her medication needs. Medical therapy with anti-thyroid medications is the treatment of choice for hyperthyroidism in pregnancy. Methimazole and propylthiouracil (PTU) are effective in preventing pregnancy complications by hyperthyroidism.