National Thyroid Awareness Month

Raising awareness about the thyroid is essential because it plays a very significant role in the human body. Now is the time to be examined and tested by your doctor.

According to a study made by the American Thyroid Association, 1 in 10 people suffer from a thyroid disorder.

According to a study made by the American Thyroid Association, 1 in 10 people suffer from a thyroid disorder. The study also found that at least 1 in 8 women will develop a thyroid disorder during their lifetime. Also, more than half of the people in the U.S. who suffer from a thyroid disorder are undiagnosed. January is the time to be examined and tested by your doctor.

Thyroid disease refers to conditions that affect how the gland functions. The thyroid is a small butterfly-shaped gland located just above your collarbone and in front of the windpipe. This gland controls essential functions such as regulating breathing, heart rate, body weight, muscle strength, cholesterol, metabolism, menstrual cycle, and body temperature. The thyroid can be either overactive or underactive, and both conditions can lead to health problems.

Common thyroid diseases

Thyroid problems happen when the gland produces too much or not enough hormones. If the thyroid makes too much hormone, it is called hyperthyroidism. If the thyroid doesn’t create enough hormones, it is hypothyroidism. You should be familiar with other thyroid conditions:

  • Graves’ disease is the most common form of hyperthyroidism.
  • Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, an autoimmune disorder, is the most typical form of hypothyroidism.
  • The thyroid gland’s swelling causes goiter to a larger size.
  • A thyroid nodule is an unhealthy growth in thyroid cells, forming a lump within the gland, which can lead to thyroid cancer.
thyroid gland graphic

What is hyperthyroidism?

This condition is also known as overactive thyroid disease, and it occurs when your thyroid gland produces excess levels of thyroxine. This hormone controls and regulates several metabolic and digestive processes in your body. Additionally, this type of thyroid disease significantly increases your body’s metabolism, digestion, heart rate, muscle works, and bone strength, eventually causing rapid weight loss and an irregular heartbeat.

What is hypothyroidism?

Hypothyroidism means having an under-active thyroid. Contrary to hyperthyroidism, this condition occurs when the thyroid gland doesn’t produce enough thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH). Some of the effects of hypothyroidism’s deficiency of thyroid hormones are disruption of the heart rate, increased body temperature, and slow down in all aspects of metabolism. Significant symptoms include fatigue, cold sensitivity, constipation, dry skin, and unexplained weight gain.

Thyroid cancer

Thyroid cancer begins when cells grow and multiply rapidly near the thyroid area. These malignant cells form tumors, and the abnormal cells can eventually spread throughout the body. In most cases, there are no early symptoms. However, as the cells grow, they may cause a small lump in the neck, swollen lymph glands, voice changes, and difficulty swallowing. Most cases of thyroid cancer can be cured and treated with surgery to remove the affected area or, in some cases, all of the thyroids. Medications are needed to provide necessary hormones that the thyroid is no longer supplied.

thyroid gland graphic

Thyroid Awareness Month

Thyroid awareness month can be observed through these actions:

The primary purpose of this movement is to increase awareness of thyroid diseases and prevention and the different types of treatment and cures. Raising awareness is key to helping people recognize the symptoms of thyroid problems. With better and efficient attention, people will know when to talk to their doctors about testing and treatment.

If you are experiencing any of the symptoms mentioned above, contact your physician, and with the help of Signature Health Services, we can provide you with the best home health care.

Call Signature 24/7 at 800-277-8291 for excellence in skilled and compassionate home health care.

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