ABBREVIATIONS & DEFINITIONS
Obesity: Weight that is higher than what is considered as a healthy weight for a given height is described as overweight or obese. Body Mass Index, or BMI, is used as a screening tool for overweight or obesity. In adults, a BMI > 30 kg/m2 is considered in the obese range
Hypothyroidism: a condition where the thyroid gland is underactive and doesn’t produce enough thyroid hormone. Treatment requires taking thyroid hormone pills.
Primary hypothyroidism: the most common cause of hypothyroidism cause by failure of the thyroid grand.
Levothyroxine (T4): the major hormone produced by the thyroid gland and available in pill form as Synthroid™, Levoxyl™, Tyrosint™ and generic preparations.
Thyroid hormone therapy: patients with hypothyroidism are most often treated with Levothyroxine in order to return their thyroid hormone levels to normal. Replacement therapy means the goal is a TSH in the normal range and is the usual therapy. Suppressive therapy means that the goal is a TSH below the normal range and is used in thyroid cancer patients to prevent growth of any remaining cancer cells.
TSH: Thyroid Stimulating Hormone — produced by the pituitary gland that regulates thyroid function; also the best screening test to determine if the thyroid is functioning normally.
Autoimmune thyroid disease: a group of disorders that are caused by antibodies that get confused and attack the thyroid. These antibodies can either turn on the thyroid (Graves’ disease, hyperthyroidism) or turn it off (Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, hypothyroidism).
Bariatric surgery is an operation on the stomach and/or intestines that helps patients with extreme obesity to lose weight. This surgery is an option for people who cannot lose weight by other means or who suffer from serious health problems related to obesity.
Leptin: A hormone made in the fat cells, which goes to the blood and reaches the brain where it sends a message that there is enough energy around
Body Composition: The human body is composed of fat mass, muscle mass (lean body mass) and bone mass. Total body water is included in the measurements of muscle mass.