Thyroid Disease Awareness
Welcome back Panthers. Many students are making new year’s resolutions. How about making a resolution to be healthier this year. January is Thyroid awareness month. According to the American Thyroid Association (ATA), approximately 20 million Americans have some form of thyroid disease. The thyroid is a small gland that is shaped like a butterfly. It is located at the base of the neck just below the Adam’s apple. It plays a big role in our body. It influences the functioning of many of our essential organs such as the heart, liver, brain, kidneys and skin. The thyroid makes a thyroid hormone which is secreted into the blood and it gets carried to every tissue in the body. This hormone helps the body use energy, stay warm, and keeps the brain, heart, muscles and other organs working properly. It is important to make sure that your thyroid gland is healthy and functioning properly. According to the American Thyroid Association:
- More than 12% of the U.S. population will develop a thyroid condition in their lifetime.
- Up to 60% of individuals with thyroid disease are unaware of their condition.
- Women are five times more likely to develop the condition.
- Most thyroid conditions are life-long conditions that can be managed with medical attention.
Facts about Thyroid Disease:
- Hypothyroidism is a condition in which the thyroid gland does not produce enough thyroid hormone. Symptoms include extreme fatigue, depression, forgetfulness and some weight gain.
- Hyperthyroidism is a condition in which the thyroid gland produces too much thyroid hormone. Symptoms include irritability, nervousness, muscle weakness, unexplained weight loss, sleep disturbance, vision problems and eye irritation.
- Grave’s Disease is a type of hyperthyroidism that is an autoimmune disorder that is genetic and effects about 1% of the population.
Thyroid Disease Detection
An exam of the neck by a physician as well as a blood test to determine the level of thyroid stimulating hormone in a person’s blood can be done to determine if a person’s thyroid is overactive or underactive.
The Georgia State University Student Health Clinic offers free physical exams and low-cost thyroid disease screenings. Visit the Georgia State University Patient Portal to make an appointment or call 404-413-1930.
Have a healthy new year.