National Thyroid Disease Awareness Month
The thyroid is a small gland responsible for producing hormones that play an essential role in many of the body’s systems. Dysfunction occurs when the thyroid produces either too much or too little thyroid hormone. It can then disrupt healthy functioning of vital organs leading to a wide range of symptoms.
Take the thyroid neck check
Have a hand-held mirror and a glass of water handy. With the mirror in your hand, focus on the lower front area of your neck, above the collarbone, and below the voice box (larynx). This is where your thyroid gland is located. While focusing on this area, tip your head back, take a drink of water, and swallow. As you swallow, look at your neck. Check for any bulges or protrusions. (Don’t confuse the Adam’s apple with the thyroid gland.) If you do see any bulges, see your physician. You may have an enlarged thyroid gland or a thyroid nodule.
Encourage friends and family to get tested
If a family member or a friend has mentioned feeling cold a lot of the time, having trouble sleeping, or difficulty swallowing, maybe it's time to suggest they ask their doctor about thyroid dysfunction.
Reasons You Should Check Your Thyroid
- It's a small gland with a major impact
The thyroid is a small, butterfly-shaped gland at base of the neck that produces thyroid hormones, and these influence how all other cells, tissues, and organs function.
- Thyroid dysfunction can have hundreds of possible symptoms
Symptoms vary widely and diagnosis can be difficult. Keeping a detailed listed of your symptoms will be helpful to your doctor.
- It affects millions in the U.S. alone
It's estimated that over 30 million Americans have thyroid dysfunction, yet at least half of these cases are undiagnosed and untreated.
- Anyone can be affected by thyroid dysfunction
Although women are five times more likely to develop thyroid problems than men, it can happen to anyone.
- Diagnosis is everything
With a proper diagnosis, thyroid dysfunction can be effectively treated so you can enjoy a healthy lifestyle.
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