January is National Thyroid Awareness Month


IMAGE / Elizabeth Taylor

January is National Thyroid Awareness Month, increasing awareness about diseases of the organ.

The human body requires working parts in order for it to be able to thrive.

Many times, some of its most important parts are overlooked.

The thyroid is a small, butterfly-shaped gland that is located under the larynx.

It is crucial to regulating metabolism, interacting with, and managing almost every hormone in the body.

The main function of the thyroid is to make thyroid hormones, which allow for the regulation and management of other hormones. The hormones produced by the thyroid affect nearly every cell in the body.

National Thyroid Awareness Month, which is January, was created by the American Thyroid Association to bring light to the common diseases and issues that can impact the thyroid.

It is very rare that we ever see thyroid problems in youth….”

— Ms. Andrea Rossi, nurse practitioner

Thyroid problems in youth are rare, but if found they can be dangerous.

Ms. Andrea Rossi, nurse practitioner, constantly checks youth for thyroid issues.

“It is very rare that we ever see thyroid problems in youth, although during sports physicals I always check for abnormalities in them,” Rossi said. “If any were to be found, we would send the patient for further examination.”

The two most common issues with the thyroid are hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism.

Hypothyroidism is when the thyroid is not making enough of the thyroid hormone, ultimately leaving the body in an awkward state.

Hyperthyroidism is just the opposite of hypothyroidism, where too much of the hormone is made.

Sometimes you would never know (you were having thyroid problems) unless tested.”

— Mrs. Leah Thomas, biology teacher

Mrs. Leah Thomas, biology and sociology teacher, said with some types of thyroid illnesses the symptoms can be minor.

“Sometimes you would never know unless tested,” Thomas said. “With many types of thyroid illnesses, the symptoms aren’t overly abundant, so you may never notice.”

Thyroid issues prove you must be conscious of what is going on with your body and to regulate your health.