High Thyroid in Cats
Iodine and hyperthyroidism (high thyroid levels) in cats
For decades we have been trying to figure out what the cause of high thyroid levels in olders cats is. The thyroid glands starts to make excess amounts of the thyroid hormone which causes many bad effects on the body. Some of these effects are high blood pressure, heart disease due to high blood pressure and high heart rate, weight loss, digestive troubles and more. Yet, the enlarged thyroid gland itself is usually not cancerous.
This has been an extremely common disease in our older cats. The question was always could there be some toxic or nutritional cause of this. We know in people too low an iodine level causes a swollen thyroid gland. Amazingly enough in cats it is the opposite. Current research has shown that too much iodine in the cat's body causes enlarged thyroid glands and high thyroid levels.
The solution to this is to feed lowered iodine levels. So far, only one company is making a diet that is restricted in iodine for this problem. It is the Hill's Company and the food is called yd. I am sure other companies will be developing their own product now that this datum has been discovered and confirmed. The results so far show that weeks to months of feeding this food can decrease the need for medical treatment for hyperthyroidism, if not actually totally reverse the condition. This diet is sold with a prescription only as it would be dangerous to feed to a growing or pregnant cat.
The next step, of course will be to do research on prevention. Are we oversupplementing iodine in our current diets for our adult cats? Could we feed lower amounts in our Senior Formulas? And other such questions need to be researched.
Of course, if the thyroid conditon is due to cancer, that is a totally different situation and needs to be handled appropriately depending on the type of cancer.
I find all of this quite exciting as it goes along with Hippocrates (the father of medicine) and his statement of "Let food be thy medicine."
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