January is Thyroid Awareness Month
The thyroid, a small gland located in the neck, influences many of your body’s vital organs, including your heart, brain, liver and skin, by producing hormones to help them operate. However, thyroid disease can happen when too much or too little of this hormone is produced, causing your body’s regular functions to speed up or slow down, which can have negative effects including weight gain, feelings of anxiety and swelling in the neck.
The two types of thyroid disease are hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism. Hyperthyroidism refers to an overactive thyroid gland, which produces too much thyroid hormone. Hypothyroidism occurs when the thyroid gland produces less than the normal amount of thyroid hormone, resulting in the decrease of many bodily functions. There are many tests and treatments to determine if you have a thyroid condition. Treatment for hyperthyroidism usually includes prescription drugs, radioactive iodine therapy and/or surgery. Hypothyroidism tends to be treated most effectively with a prescription thyroid replacement hormone.
If you’ve experienced any pain in your neck while swallowing, or notice any swelling or protrusions near your collarbone, contact your physician about a thyroid evaluation. For more information, please visit http://thyroidawareness.com/.