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Katherine Van Driel Bauer
born February 22, 1890 in New Jersey
died June 1, 1920, in Irvington, New Jersey - age 30 years.

Father: Unknown
Mother: Unknown

Spouse: George Bauer (1886-1974)

Cause of death: Hyperthyroidism

Hyperthyroidism is the term for overactive tissue within the thyroid gland causing an overproduction of thyroid hormones. Thyroid hormone is important at a cellular level, affecting nearly every type of tissue in the body.

Thyroid hormone functions as a controller of the pace of all of the processes in the body. This pace is called metabolism. If there is too much thyroid hormone, every function of the body tends to speed up. It is therefore not surprising that some of the symptoms of hyperthyroidism are nervousness, irritability, increased perspiration, heart racing, hand tremors, anxiety, difficulty sleeping, thinning of the skin, fine brittle hair, and muscular weakness—especially in the upper arms and thighs. More frequent bowel movements may occur, but diarrhea is uncommon. Weight loss, sometimes significant, despite a good appetite may occur, vomiting, and, for women, menstrual flow may lighten and menstrual periods may occur less often.

Thyroid hormone is critical to normal function of cells. In excess, it both overstimulates metabolism and exacerbates the effect of the sympathetic nervous system, causing "speeding up" of various body systems and symptoms resembling an overdose of epinephrine (adrenaline). These include fast heart beat and symptoms of palpitations, nervous system tremor such as of the hands and anxiety symptoms, digestive system hypermotility (diarrhea), considerable weight loss and unusually low lipid panel (cholesterol) levels as indicated by a blood test.

Katherine, who was called Katie by her family, was admitted to St Michael's Hospital in Irvington on May 20 and died there 11 days later. She was only 30 years old and left behind her three little daughters for her husband George to raise alone. George's mother, Maggie, was living nearby with George's sister Mamie and her husband, Gus Klaiber. When Katie died, Maggie moved in with George to help him raise the three little girls.

Katie was buried at Clinton Cemetery in Irvington.