Leeuwenhoek had stolen and peeped into the fantastic sub-visible world of little things, creatures that had lived, had bred, had battled, had died, completely hidden from and unknown to all men from the beginning of time. Beasts these were of a kind that ravaged and annihilated whole races of men ten million times larger than they were themselves. Beings these were, more terrible than fire-spitting dragons or hydra-headed monsters. They were silent assassins that murdered babies in warm cradles and kings in sheltered places. It was this invisible, insignificant, but implacable-and sometimes friendly- world Leeuwenhoek had looked into for the first time of all men of all countries. ~Microbe Hunters

Thursday, 18 April 2013


Pseudopseudohypoparahypothyroidism is the medical condition that has the most letters in its name. It is actually the longest word in the English language if you exclude lame excuses for words of which no one would ever use in real life.

This hormonal disorder is quite uncommon. Typically with pseudohypoparathyroidism, a patient’s parathyroid hormone, PTH, is not being acted upon properly by the body. This causes low calcium and high phosphorus levels in the blood because the PTH is supposed to regulate these levels, but is failing to do so.

Pseudopseudohypoparahypothyroidism makes no sense to me because the PTH is being responded to by the body, but yet, the patient has is considered to be in a diseased state. They possess a genetic abnormality for a disease, but do not have any symptoms. Wouldn’t that just make them a carrier?

I browsed the interwebs for this topic, a bit. I got frustrated and stopped.

Anyways, a common hormonal disorder is thyroidism. The thyroid is the larger gland on which the 4 tiny parathyroid glands are located. In the lab, thyroid disorders are commonly diagnosed with the use of testing called “reflex testing”.  

By law, the lab is not allowed to run tests that are not ordered by physicians. That means, although your sister works in a lab, you can’t call her up and ask her to test your thyroid hormones or make sure your blood smear looks normal. There are exceptions to this rule, though, and they are called reflex tests. When the doctor orders a test and it comes out as positive, sometimes the lab runs further tests on the sample to determine a cause for the positive test, or for further diagnosis.

The normal physiological regulation response of the thyroid is stimulated by the hypothalamus and the pituitary glands. The hypothalamus releases thyrotropin-releasing hormone (TRH), which stimulates the release of thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) from the pituitary, which, in turn, stimulates the production of T3 and T4 by the thyroid. Once T3 and T4 are produced and released into the blood, the hypothalamus detects them and stops producing TRH. This is called a negative feedback mechanism. The doctor orders a TSH test and if it is abnormal, the lab automatically runs a FT4/FT3 test to determine the cause.

After we get our results, we have to report back to the physician who ordered the test. The lab is not allowed to give out any test results to patients, so calling the lab over and over again would just be a waste of your cell phone minutes.

Darn good and sure of it,



  1. I'm wondering how they came up with this name and why they decided to double the word pseudo in it? If pseudo means false, then would false - false cancel out and become true? Or is it just extra false, which I know makes no sense at all. Anyway, I thought this was an interesting post and love your We Effed-up pics, lol!

    A-Z participant blogging from Elise Fallson

    1. I wonder the same thing! I have no idea what they would have as a clinical condition.
      And thanks so much :)

  2. Another fascinating post! It does seem weird that it is called a disease if they have no symptoms though.