Written by Alexandra Matkevich RN
Thyroid disease and cancer doesn’t just affect Australians and thyroid disorders are commonly diagnosed all across the world. This January let’s help our American friends celebrate Thyroid Awareness Month. In Australia, we celebrate Thyroid Awareness Month in September. Knowing more about your thyroid health can help you support your health and wellbeing.
What is the Thyroid?
The thyroid is a butterfly shaped gland located at the front of the neck. It is responsible for secreting T3 and T4 hormones that are used in metabolism.
What signs and symptoms should you talk to your doctor about?
“Research statistics from 2008, indicate thyroid cancer has increased by 84% in women and 40% in men over the past 10 years.”
The symptoms of thyroid disease can be vague and many people attribute the change in their health to stress and lifestyle changes. Some people are even misdiagnosed when the real culprit is the thyroid gland. Though many people think that Thyroid Cancer is the only thyroid disease, an underactive or overactive thyroid are also types of thyroid diseases. The experience can be different for many people with thyroid disease, so speak to your health professional if any of these symptoms worry you:
- Mood swings
- Weight loss
- Weight gain
- Decreased appetite
- A puffy face or eyes
- Joint pain
- Thinning hair
- Sensitivity to the cold
- Dry, pale skin
- Changes to your heart rate
- Changes to your menstrual cycle
- Frequent toileting
- A swelling or lump in your neck
Who treats thyroid problems?
General practitioners, clinical endocronologists , ear nose and throat surgeons and general surgeons all help in the management of thyroid problems. Some people also find additional support from complementary medicine practitioners. The best person to talk to first is your local doctor who can organise diagnostic tests and specialist appointments if he or she thinks your thyroid is cause for concern. Thyroid disease is treatable and manageable.
If you are concerned about your thyroid, speak to your GP who can arrange and appointment with a thyroid specialist. To make an appointment with a surgeon who specialises in the surgical treatment of thyroid problems. Contact us today!