Prevalence and Impact of Thyroid Disease

Prevalence and Impact of Thyroid Disease

Prevalence and Impact of Thyroid Disease

More than 12 percent of the U.S. population will develop a thyroid condition during their lifetime.

  • An estimated 20 million Americans have some form of thyroid disease.
  • Up to 60 percent of those with thyroid disease are unaware of their condition.
  • Women are five to eight times more likely than men to have thyroid problems.
  • One woman in eight will develop a thyroid disorder during her lifetime.
  • Most thyroid cancers respond to treatment, although a small percentage can be very aggressive.
  • The causes of thyroid problems are largely unknown.
  • Undiagnosed thyroid disease may put patients at risk for certain serious conditions, such as cardiovascular diseases, osteoporosis and infertility.
  • Pregnant women with undiagnosed or inadequately treated hypothyroidism have an increased risk of miscarriage, preterm delivery, and severe developmental problems in their children.
  • Most thyroid diseases are life-long conditions that can be managed with medical attention.

January is Thyroid Disease Awareness Month

Most people have heard about the thyroid gland but may not have been taught about the huge importance this gland plays in our bodies. The thyroid gland is a small, butterfly-shaped gland that is located at the base of the neck. This gland influences the function of our most essential organs in the body: brain, liver, heart, kidneys and skin.

The thyroid’s primary job is to make hormones that are secreted into the blood stream and carried to every tissue in our bodies. The body uses this hormone for metabolism, digestion, regulating body temperature, and much more. It is vital to ensure your thyroid gland is healthy and functioning to its proper capabilities.  

The only sure way to be diagnosed with this disease is to have a blood test performed that measures your thyroid hormone levels. It is highly recommended that if you or the individual you serve is a senior over 60 that a thyroid-stimulating hormone test be administered. This test measures if the gland is working properly or not. Anyone can develop a thyroid problem; however, it is more prominent in older women.  

There are various forms of treatment for Thyroid Disease: medication, iodine, hormones, therapy and surgery. This all depends on the type of disease that is occurring. These treatments can help greatly improve a person’s quality of life. Caregivers and loved ones should know the signs/ symptoms of thyroid disease and contact a medical professional for assistance as needed.

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