Thyroid Awareness Month – Upcoming District Arts Festival Dates

Federation Friday: Volume 2, Issue 30 - January 24, 2020

Upcoming District Art Festivals

February 15th – Districts 2,4, and 6

February 22nd – Districts 1,5,7, and 9

January is Thyroid Awareness Month 

As many as 20 million Americans have a thyroid disorder. More than half of them don’t know it. Over 12% of the United States population will develop a thyroid disorder during their lifetime. Women are 5 to 8 times more likely to develop a problem with their thyroid than men. 

What do you know about your thyroid gland? 

Your thyroid is small, butterfly-shaped gland located in the base of your neck just below the Adam’s apple. Your thyroid is responsible for helping many of your body’s vital organs function. Although the thyroid gland is relatively small, it produces a hormone that influences every cell, tissue and organ in the body. 

Your thyroid is important for regulating your metabolism, body temperature and other core physical functions. As one website explained: “Think of your thyroid like the engine of a car. The engine produces a certain amount of energy to control the car’s speed. In the same way, your thyroid produces hormones to keep your body functioning at a certain rate.” 

Thyroid disorders can cause your metabolism to either slow down or speed up, due to the production of thyroid hormones being disrupted. Most thyroid diseases are life-long conditions that can be managed with medical attention. Undiagnosed thyroid disease may put patients at risk for certain serious conditions, such as cardiovascular diseases, osteoporosis and infertility. 

Pregnant women with undiagnosed or inadequately treated hypothyroidism have an increased risk of miscarriage, preterm delivery, and severe developmental problems in their children. Most thyroid cancers respond to treatment, although a small percentage can be very aggressive. 

What Are the Symptoms of Thyroid Problems? 

Hypothyroidism; the thyroid gland does not produce enough thyroid hormone. Symptoms may include: 

  • Lethargy, slower mental processes or depression 
  • Reduced heart rate 
  • Increased sensitivity to cold 
  • Tingling or numbness in the hands 
  • Development of a goiter (an enlargement in your neck) 
  • Constipation, heavy menstrual periods, or dry skin/hair 

Hyperthyroidism, the gland produces too much thyroid hormone. Symptoms may include: 

  • Weight loss, despite increased appetite 
  • Increased heart rate, heart palpitations, higher blood pressure, nervousness, and excessive perspiration 
  • More frequent bowel movements 
  • Muscle weakness, trembling hands 
  • Development of a goiter (an enlargement in your neck) 
  • Lighter or shorter menstrual periods 

Note: Graves’ disease is a type of hyperthyroidism. It is genetic and affects one percent of the population. 

If your thyroid isn’t functioning properly, you won’t function properly. Talk with your doctor if you suspect you are experiencing problems with your thyroid. 



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