Thyroid Awareness Month is a public health and awareness campaign that aims to educate the general public about the different thyroid diseases and their symptoms. It raises awareness of the common endocrine disorder which is actually more common than heart disease or diabetes according to the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists. In fact, it affects approximately 30 million Americans with more than half who are still undiagnosed.
The thyroid gland is usually called the body’s engine. It is a small gland shaped like a butterfly found on the lower part of the neck. It is miniscule in size but the gland plays a vital role producing thyroid hormone which affects the function of the most important organs in the body including the brain, heart, liver, skin and kidneys. Physical problems only appear when the hormone production is already too high or too low. When there is too little thyroid hormone production, it is called hypothyroidism. On the other hand, when there is too much thyroid hormone production, it is called hyperthyroidism.
Hypothyroidism can cause a variety of symptoms like weight gain, depression, fatigue, hair loss, low sex drive and infertility. The condition can cause nonspecific symptoms and it typically has insidious onset which is the reason it is usually remains undiagnosed. Alternatively, hyperthyroidism can cause a range of symptoms like rapid heart rate, unexplained weight loss, anxiety and heat tolerance. It causes symptoms that manifest suddenly which is the reason people often get medical help sooner.
Purpose of Thyroid Awareness Month
The main goal of Thyroid Awareness Month is to increase awareness of thyroid disease. It aims to inform the public about the general symptoms of thyroid disease so that they will be able to seek medical attention and get a proper diagnosis sooner. The public awareness campaign aims to reduce the number of undiagnosed thyroid disease cases so that the people who have it will be able to get the proper treatment for their condition.
The public health campaign aims to put the spotlight on thyroid disease which is very common. It affects approximately 200 million people all over the world. It is also for informing the public that thyroid disease is a serious medical condition that can cause depression, muscle weakness, constant fatigue and other serious problems if left undiagnosed and untreated.
What You Can Do on Thyroid Awareness Month?
- Organize an activity in your area for Thyroid Awareness Month
- Display posters for the awareness campaign in public areas
- Use social media to spread awareness of thyroid disease symptoms
- Talk to your family and friends about thyroid disease and how thyroid health can be improved
- Urge your local newspapers, television stations and radio stations to help improve thyroid awareness
- Distribute educational materials about thyroid disease
- Organize a symposium in your local university to discuss thyroid disease
Message on Thyroid Awareness Month
We can all help and become thyroid advocates. One simple way is by proudly displaying the blue paisley ribbon which is the symbol for Thyroid Awareness Month. This can help increase awareness of thyroid disease and instigate people with thyroid disease symptoms to seek medical attention. Thyroid disease is very common and the problem is that many people who have it do not even know that they have it.
Special Tips on Thyroid Awareness Month
Here are tips for a healthy thyroid gland:
Consume enough high quality protein daily – the thyroid gland needs the amino acid tyrosine in the production of thyroid hormones. It can be found in protein rich foods like fish, chicken, almonds and red meat.
If you have an underactive thyroid, avoid foods that have high amounts of goitrogens – these foods include raw vegetables like cauliflower, broccoli and cabbage. Peanuts, corn and soy are also high in goitrogens. Cooking these foods inactivates most of the goitrogens.
Make sure that your liver is healthy – the liver plays an important role in the conversion of thyroid hormones into its active form. Liver issues need to be treated in order to ensure optimal efficiency of the conversion process.
Make sure that your diet contains an adequate amount of beneficial fatty acids – eat more salmon, tuna, mackerel, raw nuts/seeds, avocados and organic coconut oil.
Minimize heavy metal exposure – heavy metals like lead, mercury and cadmium can interfere with the production of thyroid hormones.
Get your thyroid gland checked regularly – your doctor should check for bumps, lumps and any kind of enlargement. Thyroid function can also be checked.
Thyroid Awareness Month is an important campaign because there are millions of people who have thyroid disease but remain undiagnosed. If you or anyone you know experience the symptoms of thyroid disease, it is important to seek medical care immediately. Everyone is encouraged to contribute and help in reaching the goals of the public health and awareness campaign.