RAC Aware – January – Thyroid Awareness Month

What is the Thyroid?
Your thyroid is a small, butterfly-shaped gland located in your neck. The thyroid’s function is to produce thyroid hormone which is essential for all your body’s functions. The thyroid takes iodine from your diet and converts it into thyroid hormones. Everything in your body relies on thyroid hormone—including digestion, the growth of your hair and nails, your sex drive, and the function of your organs and glands. Your brain, heart, and metabolism are especially dependent on the right levels of thyroid hormone to function properly and well. Thyroid disorders can range from a small, harmless goiter that needs no treatment to life-threatening cancer.

What is Thyroid Disease?
It’s estimated that in the United States, at least 27 million—and as many as 60 million—people have thyroid disease. Women make up the majority of thyroid patients. Most common types are; Thyroid nodules: a lump in the thyroid, Hypothyroidism: a condition in which the thyroid gland doesn’t produce enough thyroid hormone, Hyperthyroidism: the overproduction of hormones, Goiter: abnormal enlargement of the thryoid gland, Thyroiditis: inflammation of the thyroid, Thyroid cancer: a cancer of the thyroid. Each type can show varying symptoms to none at all.

Is there prevention?
-Ask for a Thyroid Collar When X-Rayed
The thyroid is particularly sensitive to radiation, and excessive radiation exposure is a known risk factor.
-Stop Smoking
Cigarette smoke has various toxins that are especially dangerous to the thyroid.
-Don’t Go Soy Crazy: Too Much Soy Is NOT Healthy
Stick to natural forms of soy — tofu, tempeh, miso soup — in moderation, but stay away from the pills, powders, smoothies, creams, etc.
-Try Selenium: A Thyroid Super-Nutrient
An inexpensive supplement may help prevent certain forms of thyroid disease.
-Watch Out for Fluoride: What’s Good for Teeth May Be Bad for The Thyroid
Some experts recommend you avoid fluoridated water, drink bottled water that you’ve verified is fluoride free.
-Look Out for Your Water and Produce: Thyroid Dangerous Chemical Everywhere…
Stay up on your area’s perchlorate contamination and maximum state levels for perchlorate in the water. Also, if you use well water, consider having it tested for perchlorate contamination.
-Get Celiac Disease/Gluten Intolerance Diagnosed and Treated
Researchers have actually found that the thyroid antibodies will disappear after 3 to 6 months of a gluten-free diet in some individuals, thereby preventing thyroid disease from developing, or curing it later!
-Don’t Think Your Doctor Will Tell You Everything…
Stay informed on the latest information to help you protect your health and the health of those you love!

Provided by: verywell.com and webmd.com