The thyroid gland is a small, butterfly-shaped gland located in the base of the neck just below the Adam's apple. Although relatively small, the thyroid gland influences the function of many of the body’s most important organs, including the heart, brain, liver, kidneys and skin. Ensuring that the thyroid gland is healthy and functioning properly is important to the body's overall well- being.
Thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) levels in your bloodstream rise or fall depending on whether enough thyroid hormone is produced to meet your body’s needs. Higher levels of TSH prompt the thyroid to produce more thyroid hormone. Conversely, low TSH levels signal the thyroid to slow down production. Click here to learn more about TSH hide
In its earliest stage, hypothyroidism may cause few symptoms, since the body has the ability to partially compensate for a failing thyroid gland by increasing the stimulation to it, much like pressing down on the accelerator when climbing a hill to keep the car going the same speed. As thyroid hormone production decreases and the body’s metabolism slows, a variety of features may result. Click here to learn more about hypothyroidism
Family History: A familiar place to look for thyroid disorder signs and symptoms is your family tree. If you have a first-degree relative (a parent, sibling, or child) with thyroid disease, you would benefit from thyroid evaluation. Women are much more likely to be thyroid patients than men; however, the gene pool runs through both.
Prescription Medications: If you are taking Lithium or Amiodarone you should consider a thyroid evaluation.
Radiation Therapy to the Head or Neck: If you have had any of the following radiation therapies, you should consider a thyroid evaluation: radiation therapy for tonsils, radiation therapy for an enlarged thymus, or radiation therapy for acne.
Chernobyl: If you lived near Chernobyl at the time (1986) of the nuclear accident, you should consider a thyroid evaluation.
A great way to increase early detection of thyroid nodules is to perform a Thyroid Neck Check, a simple check you can do anytime, developed by the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists (AACE). Learn more here and take the Thyroid Neck Check now. hide