Get to Know Your Thyroid During Thyroid Awareness Month!

January is Thyroid Awareness Month!

It may be difficult to find time to learn a little more about your body and health tips – but since it’s Thyroid Awareness Month, we’ll make it easier for you to brush up on some tips.

  1. What is your thyroid?
The thyroid is a small, butterfly-shaped gland located in the base of the neck. Although small, the thyroid gland plays a huge role in the human body, influencing the function of many of the body’s most important organs, including the heart, brain, liver, kidneys, and skin.
2. What does your thyroid do?
The thyroid is part of the endocrine system. It is responsible for various functions including the metabolism, regulating body temperature, cognitive function, digestion, and more.
3. What are common thyroid problems?
a. Hypothyroidism is a condition where the thyroid gland does not produce enough of the thyroid hormones necessary for the body to function. It seldom causes symptoms in the early stages, but over time, untreated hypothyroidism can cause a number of health problems, such as obesity, joint pain, infertility and heart disease.
b. Hyperthyroidism is a condition in which the thyroid gland produces too much of the hormone thyroxine. Hyperthyroidism can accelerate the body’s metabolism significantly, causing sudden weight loss, a rapid or irregular heartbeat, sweating, and nervousness or irritability.
c. Hashimoto’s disease is a condition in which the immune system attacks the thyroid. Inflammation from Hashimoto’s disease, also known as chronic lymphocytic thyroiditis, often leads to hypothyroidism.
d. A goiter is an abnormal enlargement of the thyroid gland. While goiters are usually painless, a large goiter can cause a cough and make it difficult to swallow or breathe.
e. Thyroid cancer
Thyroid issues tend to affect women more than men.
4. What are the best ways to find out if you have a thyroid problem?
These blood tests are the best way to get checked for thyroid issues:
  • Free T4
  • Free T3
  • RT3 (Reverse T3)
  • TSH
  • Anti-thyroid peroxidase antibody (anti-tpo antibody)
  • Antithyroglobulin antibody
  • Sex hormone-binding globulin (SHBG)

Click here for a nifty thyroid resource that you can share with others and use the #ThyroidAwareness hashtag to spread the word!

Want to learn even more about thyroid disease and thyroid awareness? Click here.

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