January Is National Thyroid Awareness Month
January 1, 2020
January 1, 2020
The importance of providing individuals with a better understanding of the thyroid provides the basis for designating the month of January as National Thyroid Awareness Month. This is designed to increase awareness regarding the importance of the thyroid, how it functions, what type of issues can occur with the thyroid, and what form of treatments are available if a condition does emerge.
Understanding The Thyroid Gland
The thyroid gland can be found in the front of your neck, and is located in the lower region below your Adam’s apple. While the thyroid gland is not large, the responsibility that it has is enormous. This gland has the task of producing thyroid hormones which are then advanced into the blood, and transported to the various tissues within your body. This impacts your brain, your heart, your muscles, and your organs by ensuring that these critical facets of your body are all functioning properly.
Conditions Of The Thyroid
Unfortunately, several conditions can develop when the thyroid gland is not operating effectively, and many people might not be aware of the frequency with which these disorders occur.
According to the American Thyroid Association (ATA), an estimated 20 million individuals in the U.S. experience some type of thyroid disease. Also, nearly 60% of people who are contending with a thyroid disease are not aware that they are dealing with the condition.
It has been estimated that women are five to eight times more likely to experience thyroid disorders than men, and there are several problematic conditions that can occur.
Hypothyroidism is an issue that involves an underactive gland. This is a condition in which the thyroid gland is unable to create enough thyroid hormone to keep the body performing normally. This will eventually cause your hormone level to become too low. This can create multiple symptoms that will be discussed shortly.
It is estimated that hypothyroidism impacts 4.6% of Americans, and there are several reasons why the condition can develop. In many cases, it is the result of an autoimmune disease. When this transpires, an individual’s immune system attacks the thyroid cells, which will eventually cause the thyroid to cease production of hormones.
Hyperthyroidism is another form of thyroid disease, and it involves a problem that is the exact opposite of hypothyroidism. In cases of hyperthyroidism, the thyroid gland generates too much thyroid hormone into the system.
Hyperthyroidism is less common than hypothyroidism even though it poses complications to the patient who encounters the disorder.
There are several causes for hyperthyroidism. In some cases, it can result from an inflammation of the thyroid – which is referred to as thyroiditis, This involves thyroid hormones leaking into your bloodstream. Hypothyroidism can also transpire due to noncancerous growths in the glands that are referred to as goiters. These often develop as the result of an iodine deficiency.
Hyperthyroidism can also occur due to an autoimmune disease that is referred to as Graves disease. When this disease develops, your immune system overreacts to the creation of thyroid hormones which results in antibodies affixing themselves to the healthy thyroid cells. This leads to additional production of the hormone which further accentuates the problem.
Symptoms of hypothyroidism include weight gain, generally feeling cold, being overly tired, having trouble with your concentration, depression, and dry skin.
If you are contending with an overactive thyroid (hyperthyroidism), you may encounter a loss of weight, a general feeling that you are hot, nervousness, anxiety, and even a fast pulse. You may also experience irritability, nervousness, anxiety, a racing heart, difficulty with sleeping, more frequency with your bowel movements, thinning skin, and a general feeling of weakness with your muscles.
When To Visit A Physician
Thyroid disease is not uncommon, and it occurs most frequently with older adults. This is particularly true with women, as was mentioned previously. The majority of thyroid conditions will continue throughout an individual’s life once the issue emerges. However, most thyroid problems can be managed with treatment. This includes thyroid cancer.
For this reason, it is wise to request an evaluation of the thyroid from your physician if you have questions, concerns, or believe that you may be experiencing the symptoms of a thyroid condition. Your doctor will ask a series of questions, conduct a physical exam, and might also order a blood test in order to determine whether you are dealing with a thyroid condition. He or she can diagnose any specific thyroid issue, and proceed with constructing a treatment plan.
If you are diagnosed with thyroid disease, the treatment will be specific to your situation. This includes your age, your general health, and the degree to which the thyroid disorder has developed.
Patients that are contending with hypothyroidism can receive forms of treatment that will regulate the condition. These include hormone replacement through medication. Anyone who is experiencing hyperthyroidism might receive medication that reduces the production of hormones. In other cases, patients might consume iodine by mouth. This will create reduction in the size of the thyroid gland.
At Rapid Med Urgent Care Center We Can Help
If you have any questions or concerns about your thyroid, or any other health topics, do not hesitate to contact us at Rapid Med Urgent Care Center. At Rapid Med, not only do we offer immediate medical attention for conditions that are not critical or life-threatening, but we also provide both primary and preventive care. This includes the preventative care that we provide through Type 2 diabetes screening.
Our Primary Care
- After Hours Care Available
- Continuity of Care
- Health Maintenance
- Patient Education
Our Preventative Care
- Alcohol Misuse Screening & Counseling
- Atherosclerosis Risk Factor Modification
- Blood Pressure Screening
- Cancer Screening
- Cholesterol Screening
- Depression Screening
- HIV-STD Screening
- Obesity Screening & Counseling
- Type 2 Diabetes Screening
- Weight Management
- Wellness Exams
In addition to visiting our offices at either location, you can receive the same great care and consideration by using our On Demand service through your phone, tablet, or computer.
Regardless of how you contact us, we can also assist you, or answer any questions regarding any of these other medical problems.
Our Urgent Care
- Allergies and Rashes
- Bronchitis and Pneumonia
- Evaluation of Acute Abdominal Pain
- Evaluation of Most Chest Pain
- Fevers – Down to 4 Months of Age
- Gastrointestinal Infections w/ Nausea & Vomiting
- Headaches and Migraines
- On-SiteUltrasound Diagnostics
- On-Site X-Rays
- Simple Gynecologic Problems
- Sinus Infections
- Skin Infections and Abscesses
- Sore Throats and Strep
- Urinary Tract Infections