Thyroid Awareness Month: Understanding Thyroid Related Pain

January is Thyroid Awareness Month which aims to help raise public awareness of people who are suffering from thyroid related conditions. With thyroid disease affecting nearly 200 million people across the world, it’s a more common condition than that heart diseases and diabetes. By spreading the message of thyroid disease, we can help more people receive appropriate treatment and return to a healthy, limit-free lifestyle.

What is a Thyroid?

Thyroids are small glands that are responsible for regulating the body’s temperature and producing hormones to normalize the metabolism. Located in the front of the neck, thyroids are essentially the metabolic control center. Thyroid disease occurs when it under or over-produces thyroid hormone. If your thyroid isn’t functioning properly, neither are you.

Thyroid Diseases

Depending on the type of thyroid disease, symptoms may vary. The most common types include:

  • Hypothyroidism

Hypothyroidism occurs when the thyroid gland fails to produce enough hormones. Symptoms include hair loss, fatigue, mood swings, depression, loss of appetite, etc.

  • Hyperthyroidism

As the opposite of hyperthyroidism, hyperthyroidism overproduces hormones, therefore causing increased appetite, exhaustion, irritability, muscle weakness, irregular sleep patterns, etc.

  • Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis

Thyroiditis is the inflammation of the thyroid gland, which may or may not cause pain. In addition, it can cause the thyroid to produce excess hormone.

Who’s at Risk?

If you are concerned about your risk for developing thyroid disease, there are two major factors to consider-age and gender. The disease occurs primarily in women over the age of 50. Additional risk factors for thyroid disease include, diet, family history, and personal history. Regular screenings can help in diagnosing thyroid disease early on. If left untreated, the condition can progress and cause multiple complications. Through early detection, treatment, and education, we can generate the essential awareness to prevent undiagnosed and untreated cases of thyroid disease.