The Australian Thyroid Foundation (ATF) wants all Australians to be aware of their thyroid gland and their thyroid health, during May, which is Thyroid Awareness Month!
The Thyroid Gland is a small bow-shaped gland, located in the front of the neck, below the voice box or larynx (Adam’s Apple) on either side of the trachea (windpipe). The thyroid gland produces hormones which give energy to the body’s functions and controls the body’s metabolism.
When the thyroid gland does not produce enough thyroid hormone, the consequences cause the body to slow. When the thyroid gland produces too much thyroid hormone, the body speeds and neither of these reactions are desirable. Thyroid health is so important to the way people function and how their body functions, says Beverley Garside – ATF CEO.
Thyroid Diseases can affect Australians from the very young to the elderly, with women affected more than men. When the thyroid gland is out of balance or diseased, everything from mental health, fertility, weight gain or weight loss and many other symptoms can be included.
Family thyroid history, auto-immune disease and iodine deficiency can all be responsible for the thyroid gland malfunctioning, so please be aware!
Thyroid cancer is affecting more Australians, with younger people being diagnosed. Proper early diagnosis and treatment is essential and the ATF support all current research that is improving outcomes for thyroid cancer patients.
Iodine, from a daily intake of iodine enriched foods, support the thyroid gland production of thyroid hormones. Therefore be aware of replacing the salt you use with iodised salt, eating a diet which includes dairy, eggs, bread and seafood, all sources of ingested iodine.
The ATF recommend all women of child bearing age should be aware of their thyroid function levels, family thyroid history and daily iodine intake. Thyroid function (TSH levels) and auto-immune disease testing (thyroid antibodies) are recommended to rule out a thyroid disorder during this life stage. Testing should be done as early as possible in pregnancy or prior to conception. Without enough thyroid hormone and a proper diagnosis, the pregnancy and foetal development can be affected.
The ATF says, Do Not Overlook Your Thyroid Health and discuss any concerns with your GP or treating doctor. Awareness, correct diagnosis and then treatment if necessary are what’s needed to improve Australians thyroid health.
Thyroid Awareness Month - May
May is Thyroid Awareness Month in Australia, which incorporates International Thyroid Awareness Week 21 – 27 May 2018 and World Thyroid Day 25 May.
About Thyroid Disease
The thyroid gland is a soft, small bow-shaped gland, located in the front of the neck, below the voice box or larynx (Adam’s Apple) on either side of the trachea (windpipe). Thyroid disease is usually caused by an auto-immune disease, which affects more women than men. Iodine deficiency is the most common worldwide cause of thyroid disorders. Along with auto-immune thyroid disease, a low iodine diet can cause hypothyroidism, an enlarged thyroid gland (goitre) and can affect fertility, pregnancy outcomes and foetal brain development.
About the Australian Thyroid Foundation
The Australian Thyroid Foundation Ltd (ATF) is a member based organisation, managed by volunteers and was founded in 1995. The ATF is now the peak advocacy and support organisation for Australians living with a thyroid disorder. The ATF is a national not-for-profit organisation with a focus on providing education and support to its members and promoting Good Thyroid Health messaging throughout the community. The ATF is a member of Thyroid Federation International (TFI), a world-wide thyroid patient organisation dedicated to global action of thyroid related issues.