January is Thyroid Awareness Month What Should We Know

Many millions of people worldwide are suffering from a thyroid that is not functioning properly. Thyroid conditions are often ignored or thought to be another condition. One example is a thyroid that is not functioning properly can cause depression
By: emsavard
Jan. 10, 2012 - PRLog -- January is the month that we want to become aware of the gland known as the “master gland” of the body.  That gland, a part of the endocrine system, is the thyroid.  The “Thyroid Awareness Month” campaign wants to make us realize how important this small butterfly shaped gland, found at the base of our neck, just below the Adam’s apple, is for our bodies to function properly so we can have a healthy life.
The thyroid gland produces hormones that help control our body’s metabolism, growth and development.  These hormones also aide in the control of our energy levels, heart rate, and body temperature.  The thyroid hormones, thyroxine and triiodothyronine, along with the hormone calcitonin, help control the level of calcium in the blood.
It is said that as many as 59 million Americans have thyroid problems.  Unfortunately, many of these people do not know they are suffering with this problem, or they have been diagnosed with another condition with similar symptoms.  
Your risks of developing thyroid disease are higher if you have family history of the disease, have another endocrine problem, suffer with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome or Fibromyalgia, you are a smoker, a female, and are near menopause or menopausal.
There are many different conditions that can stem from a thyroid gland not functioning properly.  The three I am going to mention are hyperthyroidism, hypothyroidism and thyroid cancer.
Among the symptoms of hyperthyroidism are hyperactivity, mood swings, difficulty sleeping, sensitivity to heat and excess sweating, and increased appetite.  With this condition may come the signs of a rapid resting heart rate, a swelling in the neck ( a goiter), and a tremor.  The most common cause of hyperthyroidism is an auto-immune disease, Graves’ disease, where the body’s own immune system mistakenly attacks its own thyroid gland causing it to produce an excess of the thyroid hormone thyroxine.
Hypothyroidism may present the following symptoms: excessive fatigue, sensitive to the cold, dry thinning hair, depression, elevated levels of cholesterol, and sore or weak muscles.  The major cause of hypothyroidism worldwide is the deficiency of iodine.  That is not the case in America where iodine is plentiful in our diets.  Here the most common cause is Hashimoto’s thyroiditis.  Hashimoto’s is an autoimmune condition where the body’s own anti-bodies attack the thyroid cells causing inflammation.  The damaged thyroid gland then cannot produce of the hormone thyroxine.
Thyroid cancer signs and symptoms may be a lump or nodule that can be seen or felt under the skin of the neck, change or hoarseness of the voice, pain in the neck and throat area, difficulty breathing or swallowing and unexplained swelling of the lymph nodes.  There are no clear causes of thyroid cancer.  The risks of this cancer may be family history of thyroid disease, exposure to radiation especially when a child, and having a low iodine intake.
Thyroid diseases when properly diagnosed and treated are manageable.  The treatments may range from taking replacement thyroid hormones, a partial or total thyroidectomy, and radioactive iodine treatments.  Thyroid disease, most commonly found in women, has to have more awareness brought to it.
At http://www.papillarythyroidcancerguide.com you can find the e-book “The Thyroid Gland In Simple Terms”.  Written by Elaine Savard it explains the functions of the thyroid in laymen's terms.  In it you will find many other thyroid conditions explained in detail.

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A blog website presenting valuable information for thyroid cancer patients. Savard, diagnosed with papillary thyroid cancer, is a survivor since 1997.
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Tags:Thyroid Awareness Month, Hyperthyroidism, Hypothyroidism, Thyroid Cancer, Thyroid Disease, Hashimoto's, Graves Disease
Industry:Health, Medical, Education
Location:Calgary - Alberta - Canada
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