Friday, January 2, 2009

Thyroid Awareness Month Facts Review

The thyroid is a small gland, shaped like a butterfly, located in the lower part of your neck. The function of a gland is to secrete hormones. The main hormones released by the thyroid are triiodothyronine, abbreviated as T3, and thyroxine, abbreviated as T4. These thyroid hormones deliver energy to cells of the body.

The most common problems that develop in the thyroid include: hypothyroidism (an underactive thyroid), hyperthyroidism (an overactive thyroid), goiter (an enlarged thyroid), thyroid nodules (lumps in the thyroid gland), thyroid cancer (malignant thyroid nodules or tissue), and thyroiditis.

You have a higher risk of developing thyroid disease if, among a variety of factors:

…You have a family member with a thyroid problem

…You have another pituitary or endocrine disease

…You or a family member have another autoimmune disease

…You've been diagnosed with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

…You've been diagnosed with Fibromyalgia

…You're female

…You're over 60

…You've just had a baby

…You're near menopause or menopausal

…You're a smoker

…You've been exposed to radiation

…You've been treated with lithium

…You've been exposed to certain chemicals (i.e., perchlorate, fluoride)

Thyroid Cancer Incidence - The state of New Jersey tabulates these statistics on thyroid cancer incidence.

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