Thyroid For Dummies
Thyroid For Dummies, 2nd Edition
by Alan L. Rubin, MD
Thyroid For Dummies, 2nd Edition®
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About the Author
Alan L. Rubin, MD, is one of the nation’s foremost experts on the thyroid gland in health and
disease. He is a member of the Endocrine Society and has been in private practice specializing in
thyroid disease and diabetes for over 28 years. Dr. Rubin was Assistant Clinical Professor of
Medicine at UC Medical Center in San Francisco for 20 years. He has spoken about the thyroid to
professional medical audiences and nonmedical audiences around the world. He is a consultant to
many pharmaceutical companies and companies that make thyroid products.
Dr. Rubin has written extensively on the thyroid gland as well as diabetes mellitus. As a result, he
has been on numerous radio and television programs talking about the cause, the prevention, and
the treatment of conditions of the thyroid. He is also the best-selling author of Diabetes For
Dummies and Diabetes Cookbook For Dummies, both now in second editions and translated into
multiple languages including Chinese, Spanish, French, and Russian. His latest book is High
Blood Pressure For Dummies.
The second edition of this book is again dedicated to my wife, Enid. She smilingly let me do my
work, sometimes into the wee hours of the morning, and missed many an opportunity to go out to
dinner or a movie so that I could produce this book for you. If you have a fraction of the support in
your life that she has given me, you are a lucky person, indeed.
The great publisher and midwife, Kathy Nebenhaus, deserves enormous appreciation for helping
me to deliver yet another bright-eyed baby. Her optimism and her enthusiasm actually made this
book possible. Acquisitions editor Michael Lewis played a huge role in ironing out the inevitable
problems that arise when book publishing and medicine meet.
My editor, Michael Baker, did a magnificent job turning my sometimes incomprehensible prose
into words that you can understand. He also conducted a whole orchestra of other editors who
contributed to the book, including Melissa Wiley. My thanks to Dr. Kathleen Bethin for the
technical editing of the book.
Librarian Karen O’Grady at St. Francis Memorial Hospital was tremendously helpful in providing
the articles and books upon which the information in this book is based.
My teachers are too numerous to mention, but one person deserves special attention. Dr. Francis
Greenspan at the University of California Medical Center gave me the sound foundation in thyroid
function and disease upon which this book is based.
Finally, there are my patients over the last 28 years, the people whose trials and tribulations
caused me to seek the knowledge that you will find in this book. This book is written on the
shoulders of thousands of men and women who made the discoveries, tried the medications, and
held the committee meetings. Their accomplishments cannot possibly be given adequate acclaim.
We owe them big time.
We’re proud of this book; please send us your comments through our Dummies online registration
form located at www.dummies.com/register/.
Some of the people who helped bring this book to market include the following:
Acquisitions, Editorial, and Media Development
Project Editor: Mike Baker
(Previous Edition: Joan Friedman)
Acquisitions Editor: Michael Lewis
Copy Editor: Melissa Wiley
Editorial Program Coordinator: Hanna K. Scott
Technical Editor: Kathleen Bethin, MD
Editorial Manager: Christine Meloy Beck
Editorial Assistants: Erin Calligan, David Lutton
Cartoons: Rich Tennant (www.the5thwave.com)
Project Coordinator: Adrienne Martinez
Layout and Graphics: Carl Byers, Andrea Dahl, Stephanie Jumper, Barbara Moore, Heather
Special Art: Kathryn Born
Proofreaders: Laura Albert, Leeann Harney, Jessica Kramer, Aptara
Indexer: Aptara Publishing and Editorial for Consumer Dummies
Diane Graves Steele, Vice President and Publisher, Consumer Dummies
Joyce Pepple, Acquisitions Director, Consumer Dummies
Kristin A. Cocks, Product Development Director, Consumer Dummies
Michael Spring, Vice President and Publisher, Travel
Kelly Regan, Editorial Director, Travel
Publishing for Technology Dummies
Andy Cummings, Vice President and Publisher, Dummies Technology/General User
Gerry Fahey, Vice President of Production Services
Debbie Stailey, Director of Composition Services Contents
About This Book
Conventions Used in This Book
How This Book Is Organized
Icons Used in This Book
Where to Go from Here
Part I : Examining the Thyroid
Chapter 1: The Big Role of a Little Gland
Discovering the Extent of the Problem
Identifying an Unhappy Thyroid
Recognizing Who’s at Risk
Realizing the Importance of a Healthy Thyroid
Treating What Ails You
Examining Additional Contributors to Thyroid Ailments
Realizing the Consequences of Delaying Treatment
Paying Attention to Special Groups and Considerations
Keeping the Rest of Your Body Healthy
Chapter 2: How the Thyroid Works
Picturing Your Thyroid
Examining the Production of Thyroid Hormones
Understanding the Function of Thyroid Hormones
Chapter 3: Finding a Thyroid Doctor
Asking the Right Questions
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