Thyroid Awareness Month - Quality of Care
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Thyroid Awareness Month

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Quality of care for Veteran’s includes raising awareness around important health topics. By highlighting some of the national health awareness campaigns each month, Veterans can get ideas, information, and resources on a variety of health matters.

Did you know that 23% of women Veterans 65 and older in VA system had a thyroid condition in 2012?  January is Thyroid Awareness Month, and we want to raise awareness on the different thyroid conditions that exist.  Have you been feeling tired, gaining weight, or feeling depressed?  It may be a sign to get your thyroid checked.

Thyroid facts:

• 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.
• Most thyroid diseases are life-long conditions that can be managed with medical attention.
• The causes of thyroid problems are largely unknown.

The thyroid gland influences your body’s metabolic processes through the hormones it produces.  It is located in a person’s throat below the larynx, or voice box and conditions can range from a swollen gland (goiter) to a very serious life threatening condition such as thyroid cancer.  That’s why it’s important to know the symptoms and warning signs.

Most common thyroid problems involve abnormal production of hormones the thyroid produces. Too much production of the hormone is referred to as hyperthyroidism.  Too little production of the hormone is referred to as Hypothyroidism.

Below are some common symptoms of thyroid conditions:

• Weight loss or gain
• Palpitations
• Feeling anxious or jittery
• Increased sweating
• Feeling hot or cold
• Trouble sleeping
• Constipation
• Depression
• Fatigue (feeling very tired)
• Hair Loss
• Dry skin and hair

Some of the above symptoms are very common so they may not be related to a thyroid condition. That’s why it’s important to talk to your health care provider regarding any symptoms you may be experiencing.

There is no cure for hyperthyroidism or hypothyroidism, but treatment can relieve most or all of your symptoms.  Treatment options range from thyroid hormone pills to surgery.

By knowing the symptoms and getting the right treatment from your healthcare provider you and your family can live healthy lives.

Resources  (click links below to open in new tab)

Treating Thyroid Problems – Veterans Health Library