January Is Thyroid Awareness Month
“Awareness is the first step in healing”
January - the month of the new door of beginnings is celebrated as thyroid awareness month 2023.
Thyroid diseases are the most common endocrine disorders worldwide. 42 million Indians suffer from thyroid conditions, with one in ten men and women having hypothyroidism. In India, one-third of thyroid patients are unaware of their illness. If left untreated over time, thyroid dysfunction can result in obesity, joint pain, infertility, and heart disease. All ages are affected by this condition; however, women are more prone to get it than males. To increase public awareness of the different health issues associated with the thyroid gland, January is marked as "Thyroid Awareness Month" throughout the world.
It is the perfect time to learn more about the history of thyroid disease, its symptoms to observe, common myths and facts about thyroid disease, and simple prevention tips.
History Of Thyroid
Thomas Wharton in 1656, coined the term “Thyroid.” The thyroid is a Greek word indicating shield. It was derived with the thyroid cartilage in mind, as it is shaped like a shield. The “Yellow Emperor” Hung Ti described the use of seaweed to treat goiter. Bernard Courtois discovered iodine in 1811 while burning seaweed. Later in 1820, iodine became the popular treatment for thyroid in European countries. In 1923, The American Thyroid Association was founded. ATA is committed to improving knowledge regarding thyroid conditions, including signs and symptoms, treatment of thyroid cancer, and preventing, diagnosing, and treating them. It is a global organization with more than 1,600 members in 43 nations.
What Is The Thyroid Gland?
In your neck, right above your collarbone, sits a butterfly-shaped gland called the thyroid. It is one of your body's endocrine glands that produce hormones. Thyroid hormones control numerous bodily processes. These include how quickly you burn calories and your heart rate. When the thyroid produces either too little or too much thyroid hormone, dysfunction results, both can impair the healthy functioning of important organs, which can cause a variety of symptoms.
What Are The Symptoms You Should Observe?
Disorders of the thyroid gland involve underactive thyroid (Hypothyroidism), overactive thyroid (hyperthyroidism), thyroid swelling (goiter), and benign and malignant (cancerous) nodules of the thyroid gland. Each thyroid type has its own set of symptoms. Your thyroid affects many different body systems and can have symptoms like weight gain, excessive tiredness, and sleep, changes in mental health, inability to tolerate heat and cold, infertility, diarrhea, or constipation.
Thyroid Tests And Their Importance
Medical professionals carry out thyroid tests to assess how well your thyroid is functioning and detect any problems. Your doctor will recommend you test for three thyroid hormones such as Thyroxine (T4), triiodothyronine (T3), and stimulating thyroid hormone (TSH). Sometimes thyroid antibody tests are also advised to be taken. For these tests, your healthcare provider may draw blood from your arms and send it to a lab for testing. Some imaging tests like ultrasound and thyroid scans also detect thyroid diseases and their causes. It is important to check for thyroid if you have any symptoms because most of your body's organs, including your heart, are impacted by thyroid hormones because they regulate how the body uses energy.
Why Thyroid Awareness Month Is Important
Thyroid awareness is essential for supporting individuals in identifying the signs of thyroid issues. When there is increased awareness, people will be more aware of when to consult their doctors regarding testing and treatment. This program aims to raise public knowledge of thyroid disorders and their prevention, treatment, and cure. Even if we are symptom-free, we should be aware of potential warning signals so that we can seek medical attention as soon as possible. And if you are diagnosed with thyroid disease, starting therapy immediately increases your chances of leading a healthy life.
Simple Management Tips
To help you track and manage your thyroid issues, consult a specialist. Take your meds as prescribed and get regular thyroid exams to determine whether you need to adjust your prescription dosage.
The following health precautions can be taken this thyroid awareness month 2023 to reduce the effects of thyroid disease and support its management:
- Don't eat packaged food.
- Maintain a healthy sleep routine.
- Get some sunlight each day.
- Regular exercise
- Better stress management
- Give up smoking.
- Ingest whole carbohydrates, proteins, and vitamins.
Common Myths And Facts About Thyroid
|Hypothyroidism is a disorder of middle-aged women.
|Hypothyroidism can affect a person of any age and gender. Women are more affected than men.
|All patients with thyroid problems develop goiter.
|Nowadays, most thyroid disease patients do not develop goiter, partly because salts are enriched with iodine.
|It is difficult to lose weight with the thyroid.
|If your thyroid levels are well controlled, it does not affect your weight
|A lump or nodule in the thyroid means cancer.
|Most of the nodules are non-cancerous; only 5% of the nodules or lumps turn out to be cancerous.
|Thyroid cancer is not curable.
|Most thyroid cancers, if detected early, can be cured with surgery
|Diet alone can cure thyroid
|Thyroid diseases cannot be controlled only by diet. Restoring hormone balance to a normal level with thyroid medication is also required. Your general health still depends on eating a balanced diet that is rich in vitamins and minerals.
Be All Ears! January Is Thyroid Awareness Month.
Your general health and quality of life are greatly impacted by the thyroid's activity, which regulates your metabolism and affects numerous bodily systems. The key to treating thyroid problems is early identification. After being identified and treated, most patients lead ordinary, healthy lives.