Health & Wellness Blog
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Thyroid Awareness Month
Posted by Scott filed under Healthcare Observance
January is National Thyroid Awareness Month. The thyroid is a small gland in the neck. The hormones produced by the thyroid play a major role in your body, and an overactive or underactive thyroid can cause a lot of problems. Thyroid Awareness Month is a time to bring awareness to thyroid conditions like hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism, and to remind Americans of the importance of keeping their thyroid healthy.
Hyperthyroidism, or overactive thyroid, is when the thyroid glance produces too much of a certain hormone, called thyroxine. This can speed up the metabolism, which causes weight loss and a rapid heart beat. There are several risk factors for hyperthyroidism, such as a family history of Grave’s disease, being female, and having a history of chronic diseases. Symptoms of hyperthyroidism include:
- Unintentional weight loss
- Rapid heart beat
- Difficulty sleeping
- Brittle hair or thinning hair
If ignored, hyperthyroidism can cause serious problems, but luckily it is treatable.
Hypothyroidism is when the thyroid is underactive and does not produce enough thyroid hormones, which can cause weight gain. Common causes for hypothyroidism include:
- Treatment for hyperthyroidism
- An autoimmune disease, such as Hashimoto’s disease
- Radiation therapy
- Certain medications, such as the kind used to treat cancer or heart disease
- Radiation therapy
Symptoms of hypothyroid tend to vary from person to person, and they take time to develop. Signs include:
- Weight gain
- Dry skin
- Muscle weakness
- Slow heart rate
- Pain in joints
- Thinning hair
- Puffiness in the face
Like hyperthyroidism, hypothyroidism can cause serious problems, but it is treatable.
Keeping Your Thyroid Healthy
The thyroid is an important gland in the body, which is why it’s so important to keep it healthy. Thyroid conditions are extremely common, especially among women. One of the most important ways to maintaining thyroid health is keeping a balanced diet. Be sure to eat a variety of fruits, vegetables, and whole grain foods.
NOTE: The information in this article and links contained therein are intended to provide general information only and should not be used for diagnosing or treating any medical condition. If you are concerned about your health or suspect you may have an untreated illness or condition, please seek the advice of a medical professional.
Holland, Kimberly. (2017). “Everything You Need to Know About Hypothryoidism.” Retrieved from: https://www.healthline.com/health/hypothyroidism/symptoms-treatments-more
Prime Therapeutics. (2018). “It’s a small part of the body—but kind of a big deal.” Retrieved from: https://www.primetherapeutics.com/en/services-solutions/connect/2018/thyroid_awareness.html
Fantauzzo, Michael. Lights, Verneda. Solan, Matthew. (2016). “Hyperthyroidism.” Retrieved from: https://www.healthline.com/health/hypothyroidism/symptoms-treatments-more
Mayo Clinic. (2018). “Hyperthyroidism.” Retrieved from: https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/hyperthyroidism/diagnosis-treatment/drc-20373665
Harvard Health Publishing. “Healthy eating for a healthy thyroid.” Retrieved from: https://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/healthy-eating-for-a-healty-thyroid