As we welcome the New Year, it's common to reflect upon the past while also looking toward the future. It's also a time to focus on health and well-being as we set our New Year's resolutions, and making changes for a healthier tomorrow. In addition to January being an ideal time to make a fresh start, it's also Thyroid Awareness Month. As it turns out, your thyroid has a lot to do with your health.
Did you know over 30 million Americans have thyroid disorders? And of those 30 million, more than half of them are undiagnosed and untreated. To put it in perspective, thyroid disease is more common than breast cancer.
What You Need to Know about Thyroid Awareness
Thyroid Awareness Month is all about understanding the signs and symptoms of a thyroid problem so you'll know how to respond. Because
some signs and symptoms of thyroid issues overlap with the symptoms of other issues, it's best to consult your doctor if you suspect a thyroid issue.
How does the Thyroid Work?
Your thyroid is responsible for regulating metabolism. It's a small, butterfly shaped gland located in your neck. It listens to your body's signals, which tell your thyroid what amount of hormones you need. Maintaining the correct level of thyroid hormone allows your heart, brain, liver, and kidneys to function properly.
How does the Thyroid Impact Well-Being?
When things are going well, it's best to leave well enough alone. But if your thyroid is not regulating properly, your cells and organs may not be able to do their jobs. Symptoms of a thyroid problem include:
- Weight gain
- Joint pain
- Disrupted sleep
- Changes in hair and skin
- Changes in ability to concentrate
If you're experiencing these symptoms, it may be worth having a talk with your doctor and perhaps having your thyroid levels checked. After all, these symptoms can be caused by other issues that are not thyroid-related.
Checking Up on Thyroid Health
If you do one thing during Thyroid Awareness Month, I hope you make a point to discuss your thyroid with your medical provider. They'll be able to educate you about additional signs and symptoms, as well as answer any questions you may have.