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Thyroid health is often overlooked
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By Joseph Rios

When we think of our health, things like oral care, diet and more may come to mind, but there’s another aspect residents should be aware of — the health of their thyroid.

The thyroid, located in front of your neck, is a gland that is shaped like a butterfly. Its job is to produce hormones that control the speed of your metabolism, a system in the body that gives you energy, regulates your body temperature your heart rate.

The thyroid plays an important role in the body, but the human body can be vulnerable to health complications like thyroid disorders, including hyperthyroidism and thyroid cancer.

Hyperthyroidism happens when the thyroid gland makes more hormones than your body needs. It can cause problems with the heart, muscles, menstrual cycle, fertility and bones. If pregnant women suffer from the disorder, it can lead to issues for the mother and the baby. Women are more likely to suffer from hyperthyroidism and also are those who have a family history of the disease and have other health problems like type 1 diabetes, pernicious anemia, or a vitamin B12 deficiency and primal adrenal insufficiency, a hormone disorder. Symptoms of the disorder include trouble sleeping, shaky hands, a fast or an irregular heartbeat, weight loss, mood swings, frequent bowel movements, fatigue and nervousness or irritability.

The American Thyroid Association estimates that around 20 million people in the country are suffering from some type of thyroid disorder, but up to 60 percent of those cases go undiagnosed, or confused for another health condition.

Another common thyroid issue residents can suffer from include thyroid cancer. The cancer occurs when the thyroid produces hormones that control the body’s blood pressure, body temperature, weight and heart rate. Symptoms for thyroid cancer include a lump that can be felt through the skin, troubles swallowing, changes to the voice (meaning that you’ll sound hoarse), pain in the neck and throat and swollen lymph nodes in the neck.

In 2019, an estimated 52,070 adults in the United States were diagnosed with thyroid cancer. It is the sixth most common cancer in women, and it is the most common cancer for women who are between the ages of 20 to 34-years-old.

The five-year survival rate for people who suffer from the cancer, meaning what percentage of people live at least five years after the cancer is discovered.

It is important to recognize systems of thyroid issues and to see a doctor. Thyroid problems can lead to possible heart failure, cardiac issues, eye problems and vision loss. The American Cancer Society estimates that rates of thyroid cancer in the country in both men and women have been increasing in recent years. Usually, common types of the cancer are treatable and result in victims being cured.





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