This month is thyroid awareness month 2023. Every year we spend a month helping the American Thyroid Association get the word out about thyroid related health issues, ways to get checked, and what to do about it.
What is the Thyroid and How can it Affect People
Thyroid diseases are actually pretty common in the United States, with an estimated 30 million people affected. The thyroid is a small gland in every human body that produces hormones that play an important role in the functioning of the body’s systems, like cells, tissues, the heart, brain, liber, and kidneys. Dysfunction happens when the thyroid produces too much or too little thyroid hormones. Either direction can cause health issues and a wide range of symptoms. However, there is good news! Once a thyroid dysfunction is diagnosed it is highly treatable and possible to live a normal and healthy life.
First Way to Participate in Thyroid Awareness Month: Thyroid Neck Test
There are many ways to get involved with thyroid awareness month, but an easy way to get involved is to check yourself. Do the thyroid neck test. Get a hand-held mirror and a glass of water. Locate your thyroid gland by using the mirror in your hand to navigate visually to the lower front area of your neck, above the collarbone. Tip your head back and swallow a sip of water. As you swallow, look at your neck. Are there any bulges or protrusions? If you spot a bulge, go ahead and see your physician. A bulge usually indicates that your thyroid gland or a thyroid nodule is enlarged.
Other Ways to Participate in Thyroid Awareness Month
Here are a few ways to get involved. Feel free to ask your certified caregiver about them, your in-home care or family and friends. Remember to get tested and that the key is early treatment.
- Make a donation – it’ likely you know someone who has been or will be impact4ed by thyroid dysfunction. Celebrate your good health by making a donation that goes directly to helping others.
- Get tested – thyroid dysfunction can have hundreds of different possible symptoms which can make it hard to notice or to narrow down without proper testing. Even if you don’t think that a symptom is a thyroid dysfunction symptom be sure to mention it to your caregivers and doctors.
- Encourage friends and family to get tested – now that you know about thyroid dysfunctions, go ahead and spread the word. It’s often word of mouth that we learn about new ways to take care of ourselves. If a friend or family member has mentioned feeling cold a lot of the time, having trouble sleeping, or difficulty swallowing, they may be particularly important for you to suggest they see their doctor. A small thing can turn into a big issue if it isn’t looked at and treated.
Remember, diagnosis is the key. So don’t be afraid to find a way to get tested. The best way to take care of yourself is early diagnosis and prevention. Get your thyroid checked today!