WORLD THYROID DAY
Every year on May 25th, World Thyroid Day highlights this important gland in the body that causes widespread disease across the globe. The day also educates the public on the role of the thyroid in their overall health.
The thyroid is a small gland located at the base of the neck. This butterfly-shaped gland produces two hormones: triiodothyronine (T3) and thyroxine (T4). Although the thyroid is a tiny gland, it plays a huge role in one’s health.
The primary function of the thyroid is to control the body’s metabolism. Most people associate metabolism with how well you burn calories. But metabolism also affects body temperature and heart rate. If you have a problem with your thyroid, it affects your metabolic rate.
Thyroid conditions will either produce too little T3 and T4 or too much. When the thyroid doesn’t produce enough of these hormones, it’s called hypothyroidism. This condition usually happens when there is inflammation of the thyroid or there is an iodine deficiency. Iodine is the mineral that is used to make thyroid hormones. An autoimmune condition called Hashimoto’s can also cause hypothyroidism. Untreated hypothyroidism can cause brain fog, hair loss, gallstones, constipation, slow metabolism, bloating, heartburn, high blood pressure, and dry skin.
Another condition associated with the thyroid is hyperthyroidism. This condition happens when the thyroid produces too much T3 and T4 and usually occurs with overactive nodules in the thyroid or too much iodine. A condition called Grave’s disease can also cause hyperthyroidism. This condition is a result of an overactive thyroid gland. Untreated hyperthyroidism can cause unintentional weight loss, rapid heartbeat, increased appetite, tremors, sweating, fatigue, and sleep issues.
Anyone who suspects they have a thyroid issue, especially those with a family history of them, should see their doctor. There are many treatment options available for both hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism.
HOW TO OBSERVE #WorldThyroidDay
Many health organizations, clinics, and physicians hold educational seminars and presentations on this day. They encourage the public to learn more about thyroid conditions, along with their causes and treatment options. To participate:
- Learn more about the symptoms of thyroid conditions.
- If you suspect you have thyroid problems, schedule an appointment with your doctor.
- Ask family members whether they have been diagnosed with a thyroid condition.
- Donate to an organization that focuses on thyroid education and research.
Share this important medical day on social media with #WorldThyroidDay.
WORLD THYROID DAY HISTORY
In 2007, members of Thyroid Federation International created World Thyroid Day. May 25th was chosen as it is the date in 1965 that the European Thyroid Association (ETA) was formed. The ETA was the first to celebrate World Thyroid Day. In 2010, the American Thyroid Association (ATA) declared their support of the day. Currently, the Latin-American Thyroid Society (LATS), the Asia and Oceania Thyroid Association (AOTA), the Chinese Society of Endocrinology (CSE), and the Chinese Society of Nuclear Medicine (CSNM) support the campaign as well.