January is Thyroid Awareness Month

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As you embark on 2024, we at BEST DOCTORS aim to bring attention to a vital organ that often goes unnoticed–the thyroid. January not only symbolizes fresh beginnings but is also marks Thyroid Disease Awareness Month. It presents an opportunity to shed light on this condition, promote early detection, and encourage individuals to adopt a thyroid-friendly lifestyle.

In this article, we will delve into this month’s significance and how we can collectively promote thyroid wellbeing.

Understanding thyroid health

The thyroid, a small gland, is responsible for producing hormones that play a vital role in our body’s overall function, including cells, tissues, and organs such as the heart, brain, liver, and kidneys. Dysfunction arises when the thyroid produces either too much or too little thyroid hormone, disrupting the healthy functioning of major organs and resulting in a range of symptoms that can impact a person’s quality of life.

The good news? Once diagnosed and treated, it’s entirely possible to live a normal, healthy life.

A staggering 60% of individuals with a thyroid disease are unaware of their condition

Did you know?
The American Thyroid Association® was founded in 1923

Dedicated to advancing the, understanding, prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of thyroid disorders and thyroid cancer, the ATA is an international organization with over 1,600 members from 43 countries.

Thyroid disease key facts:

  • Women are more susceptible to thyroid issues than men
  • The cause of thyroid pathology remains unknown
  • While thyroid disease can be treated, it is a lifelong condition

Promoting a proactive approach

Thyroid Awareness Month goes beyond raising awareness; it’s a call to action to prioritize thyroid health year-round. Here are some ways to inspire individuals to nurture their thyroid health:

  • Education empowers patients: Learning about thyroid health enables individuals to identify symptoms, seek medical advice, and actively engage in their healthcare journey.
  • Early detection saves lives: Routine screenings play a crucial role in detecting the condition early, allowing the timely intervention and adoption of a thyroid-friendly lifestyle.
  • Improved quality of life: Effectively managing thyroid disorders can result in elevated energy levels, improved mood, and an overall sense of well-being.
  • Lifestyle and nutrition: Embracing a healthy lifestyle, which incorporates a balanced diet and regular exercise, significantly contributes to supporting peak thyroid health.
  • Exposure to environmental toxins: In order to safeguard thyroid health, it is crucial to minimize exposure to environmental toxins known to adversely affect this gland. Radiation, along with substances commonly found in plastics, bleached products, flame retardants, and fertilizers can inhibit iodide uptake, disrupt hormone production and potentially upset the delicate balance crucial for sustaining optimal thyroid function.

Unveiling the importance of thyroid health

  1. It’s a small gland with a major impact

The thyroid is a small, butterfly-shaped gland located at the base of the neck. It’s part of an intricate network of glands called the endocrine system. This gland produces thyroid hormones that play a vital role in regulating how all other organs, as well as virtually every cell of the body, function.

  1. Thyroid dysfunction can have hundreds of possible symptoms

Symptoms vary widely and diagnosis can be difficult, so keeping detailed records will be a significant help to your doctor.

What to look for:

    • Lump or swelling in neck
    • Difficulty swallowing or breathing
    • Fatigue or trouble sleeping
    • Changes in memory or ability to concentrate
    • Fast or irregular heartbeat
    • Dry skin and thinning hair
    • Unexplained changes in weight
    • Depression, anxiety or feelings of irritability
    • Changes in menstrual cycle
    • Joint/muscle pain or weakness

 

  1. It impacts millions around the world

On a global scale, thyroid diseases stand out as among the most widespread endocrinopathies, impacting approximately 200 million individuals. Alarmingly, an estimated 40% of the global population is susceptible to iodine deficiency, a critical nutrient essential for the synthesis of thyroid hormones.

  1. Anyone can be affected by thyroid dysfunction

Although women are five times more likely to develop thyroid issues than men, it can happen to anyone.

Final thoughts

It’s undeniable that the significance of this crucial gland is frequently overlooked. By promoting awareness, advocating for regular screenings and empowering individuals in their thyroid health journey, we can collaboratively strive for a world where a culture of preventive care thrives. Let this month be catalyst for positive and a renewed commitment to thyroid wellbeing throughout the entire year and beyond.

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