January is Thyroid Awareness Month!

That’s right.. we have a whole month to ourselves! So let’s talk a little bit about thryoid conditions and what we can do to keep our thyroids healthy.

What are the most common thyroid conditions?

  • Hypothyroidism – underactive thyroid
  • Hyperthyroidism – overactive thyroid
  • Hashimoto’s Disease – autoimmune disease that causes hypothyroidism
  • Graves’ Disease – autoimmune disease that causes hyperthryoidism
  • Goiter – noncancerous enlargement of the thyroid gland
  • Thyroid nodules – growths on the thyroid gland, most are benign but they can be cancerous

Who can develop thyroid conditions?

Well, anyone! Although, women are 5 to 8 times more likely than men to develop thyroid problems (according to the American Thyroid Association). In fact, 1 in 8 women will develop a thyroid disorder in her lifetime and more than 12% of the population will develop a thyroid condition. That’s a lot of people! Unfortunately, up to 60% of people with a thyroid disease are unaware of their condition (and I can personally attest to that).

Children can also have thyroid disorders, and according to Children’s Health, 37 out of 1,000 children have thyroid disease.

How are these thyroid conditions treated?

Well, since the causes of thyroid conditions are mostly unknown and many are life-long conditions (as per the American Thyroid Association), medication is typically part of treatment.

There are also vitamins and minerals that can help with thyroid function, like:

  • Selenium
  • Iodine
  • Zinc
  • Iron

Always make sure to consult with your doctor before starting any kind of supplement.

Is there anything else we can do?

First and foremost, a healthy diet and exercise are beneficial, regardless of any health conditions.

Secondly, if you do have a thyroid condition, making sure to get regular lab work (as your doctor suggests) and going to your appointments (I do have an appointment!) is very important in tracking your thyroid function and overall health. You can also track your progress using this handy dandy health tracker!

And finally, it’s very important to not get discouraged. I know how disappointing a lack of progress can be, but it’s important to keep following up with your doctor or change doctors altogether! This is your health and even though you may not always get the results you want, you need to keep looking for the treatment that will work for you.. because it is out there!

*Disclaimer: I am not a medical professional. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your health care provider 

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