The study design

Thyroid Factor

The Natural Thyroid Diet

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I had recently moved my practice to Ochsner Hospital, 4.5 months prior to Hurricane Katrina to be specific. The patient base of my practice was mostly insured patients (a more upscale patient mix), with the majority of patients living in Jefferson Parish or further west of New Orleans. Wait times for new appointments never exceeded 2 weeks in either the pre-or post-storm periods. I had already confirmed that the total number of patients seen during those 4.5 months, compared to the 4.5 months following the start of normal clinical operations after the storm, had not changed (approximately 450 in each time period), as part of my normal tracking of clinic volumes. We therefore looked at new referrals, both the total number and the number of referrals for specific disorders, some expected to be affected by stress (precocious puberty, pubertal delay, short stature, alopecia areata, 'spells'), and some not (thyroid disease, premature adrenarche). The data were compiled and statistical significance determined by risk analysis. The raw numbers are shown in Table 1.

Pre Storm

Post Storm

Diagnosis

Number

Percentage

Number

Percentage

Total Referred

177

-

169

-

Precocious Puberty

11

6.2

5

3.0

Premature Adrenarche

10

5.6

10

5.9

Pubertal Delay

24

13.6

25

14.8

Short Stature

45

25.4

30

17.8

Thyroid Disorders

33

18.6

32

18.9

Alopecia

0

0.0

2

1.2

Table 1. Effects of hurricane stress on the pubertal development of the children

Table 1. Effects of hurricane stress on the pubertal development of the children

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