I thoughts I would remind people about the warning signs of Feline Hyperthyroidism as it is so important to have it diagnosed early.
- Weight loss
- Usually a good or increased appetite (polyphagia)
- Increased thirst (polydipsia)
- Increased activity, restlessness or irritability
- An increased heart rate (tachycardia)
- A poor and unkempt hair coat
In an effort to prevent other felines from getting hyperthyroidism I want to bring this important research to your attention. Feline Hyperthyroidism and Cat Food: Exploring a Possible Connection
Researchers at the University of Georgia are examining whether cat food ingredients play a role in disease development. In a study funded by the Morris Animal Foundation, researchers treated feline thyroid cell cultures with various cat food ingredients to determine whether these ingredients stimulate normal thyroid cells. From the foundation website:
Researchers learned that flavonoids—plant proteins found in commercially available cat food—activate cultured feline thyroid cells as effectively as a cat’s normal thyroid-stimulating hormone. This suggests that flavonoids may interfere with normal thyroid function and be a contributing factor in the development of feline hyperthyroidism. Researchers have to confirm these results by repeating the necessary experiments. Final analysis and results are expected by summer 2013.
If the researchers identify nutritional causes of hyperthyroidism, it is hoped that these compounds can be reduced or avoided in cat food, thus reducing the incidence of disease and improving the lives of cats.
One of the culprits is soy, felines do not have the necessary enzymes to digest soy properly so while soy may be good for humans it is not good for cats.
A much smaller 2000 EPA study of 100 cats with hyperthyroidism and 163 control cats identified a chemical called bisphenol-A (BPA) which is used to coat the inside of cat food cans, as a possible culprit. Interestingly, cats in the study that preferred fish or liver and giblets flavors of canned cat food had an increased risk.Another chemical that may play a role in the increase in hyperthyroidism may be polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs). PBDEs are flame retardants used in building materials, furniture, carpeting, and textiles. Intestingly, PBDEs are also found in particularly high concentrations in fish that are high up the food chain, such as tuna and mackerel, two fish proteins widely used in fish flavored cat food.
So the things to avoid seem to be food with plant proteins like soy, canned food especially fish, liver and giblet flavors and fish due to it's high concentration of PBDEs. We don't recommend avoiding canned food altogether, but trying to find cans that are not coated with BPA and avoiding the flavors that increased the risk.
Hyperthyroidism is also caused by Adenomas (benign tumors) and Adenocarcinomas (malignant tumors) you can read more about that @ Causes of Hyperthyroidism in Cats.
I hope you found this post informative and that I wasn't too boring or long winded. ~Socks, reporting for ATCAD