What does your Thyroid do?
The thyroid, a small gland located on in the front of the neck, is a part of the endocrine system. The thyroid produces hormones from iodine that help the brain, liver, and kidneys function properly.
Thyroid problems can often go undiagnosed because of the lack of awareness about the symptoms associated with thyroid problems. Raising awareness about this issue is important because it will help ensure that more people receive treatment for thyroid problems, allowing them to live healthier lives.
A thyroid problem can cause several health problems. If a thyroid problem is left untreated for too long it can cause long-term damage to the body. There are several common thyroid problems:
- Hypothyroidism – this is an underactive thyroid. An underactive thyroid is unable to produce enough hormones for the body, leading to loss of functionality to other organs.
- Hyperthyroidism – this is when the thyroid is overactive, making too much of the hormones needed.
- Grave’s disease – this is an autoimmune disease that affects the thyroid.
- Thyroid cancer
Who is at risk for Thyroid Problems?
- Those over the age of 50
- Those with a family history of Thyroid problems
Those with an iodine deficiency
Why is Thyroid awareness important?
January is thyroid awareness month. Thyroid problems affect 12% of the population, and most thyroid problems are lifelong. Women experience thyroid problems at a higher rate than men.
This month, do some research to find out whether you have a family history of Thyroid problems. If you do, talk to your doctor, and share this information with the rest of your family. Additionally, talk to your doctor about any concerning symptoms you are experiencing that may be a result of a thyroid problem. Your doctor will be able to do tests to help you pinpoint, and then treat, the problem.
Talk to your friends and family who may be at risk for developing a thyroid problem, and encourage them to bring any concerns to their doctor.
You can also donate to thyroid research, to help doctors and scientists find the causes and best treatments for those experiencing a thyroid problem.