International Thyroid Awareness Week 2016 Event + FAQ on Thyroid

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

     It's alarming that millions of Filipinos are affected by thyroid disorders, yet very few are aware of them. Here's a short story why I know some important facts on thyroid disorder. Exactly six years ago, a small ball-like mass was seen by my sister-in-law moving up and down while I was drinking water. She's so shocked that day and asked me to swallow even if there's nothing to swallow. She told me that the mass was not obvious until that day where she noticed something moving in the center of my neck. I'm calm after hearing those words but so worried that I've inherited something from my mother- goiter. I did not waste my time and went for a check-up. Went to an ENT specialist (Ears, Nose, Throat) for the first check-up to be exact.

     After the lab results, I consulted a specialist for thyroid disorder- endocrinologist and found out that I have elevated result in one of my thyroid function test. He gave me a medicine named Tapazole. Took it for a month and the lump subsided. But I did not return to my doctor for a follow up check-up. I'm still clueless and wondering if the lump is there inside my neck, just hiding, no one knows unless I'll schedule another appointment to the doctor. Prevention is always better than cure so does having a regular check-up. More information on International Thyroid Awareness Week Event Launch + Important FAQS on Thyroid below :)
International Thyroid Awareness Week 2016 Event + FAQ on Thyroid
Did you know that...

     A study by the Philippine Society for Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism in 2012 showed that one in 11 Filipino adults has goiter, and around one in 12 Filipino adults suffers from some form of thyroid disease. Around 8 in every 1000 children worldwide are affected by thyroid disease but only a handful get properly diagnosed and treated. So it's not only alarming for adults but also for the little ones.

     Merck Inc. and ETC 2nd Avenue collaborated for the International Thyroid Awareness Week Celebration by hosting a culminating event called “Catching Butterflies: Spotting the Symptoms of Thyroid Disorders in Children.” It was held at Fisher Mall Event Center last May 28, 2016 in order to increase the awareness of the thyroid and the disorders that can affect children and adults. The butterfly theme was chosen to represent the thyroid, which is a butterfly shaped organ found at the base of our necks. 
International Thyroid Awareness Week 2016 Event + FAQ on Thyroid
A panel of experts from the Philippines Society for Diabetes, Endocrinology, and Metabolism, the Philippine Thyroid Association, and the Iodine Global Network conducted a talk on how to recognize and treat thyroid disorders.

  • It was an educational and fun-filled event. 
  • A panel of experts from the Philippines Society for Diabetes, Endocrinology, and Metabolism, the Philippine Thyroid Association, and the Iodine Global Network conducted a talk on how to recognize and treat thyroid disorders.
  • The awareness campaign showed that thyroid disorders are treatable with early screening and proper treatment.
  • Parents and their children enjoyed different activities in each both. Showing with you the booths below:

Spot Art Competition
International Thyroid Awareness Week 2016 Event + FAQ on Thyroid
Butterfly Face Painting and Butterfly Clay Art 
International Thyroid Awareness Week 2016 Event + FAQ on Thyroid
Dance Performances
International Thyroid Awareness Week 2016 Event + FAQ on Thyroid
     Parents need to be aware on thyroid problem and disorders. The very reason for this lies on the problem that if thyroid hormone imbalances are left undiagnosed and untreated, they can have harmful effect on a child’s brain development, growth and physical maturity. 
International Thyroid Awareness Week 2016 Event + FAQ on Thyroid
     There are a lot of people who may have thyroid disorders, but aren’t even aware until it is too late. It is important to have one’s thyroid checked as early as possible, especially if there is family history of the disease, or during pregnancy. Prevention, proper information and early detection will always be better than cure that comes too late. 

All about Thyroid, here are the important FAQ:

1. What is thyroid? Why it is important? 

     The thyroid gland is a butterfly-shaped organ located at the base of the neck. The thyroid produces and stores thyroid hormones, which are essential to the normal development of the body, as well as its normal metabolism and function. Thyroid hormones affect practically all systems of the body, from the brain, to the heart, to the stomach, the reproductive system, etc.

2. What are the symptoms of  hypothyroidism? What is the difference between hyperthyroidism?

     Hypothyroidism is when your thyroid doesn't produce enough thyroid hormone. Thus, metabolism is slowed. Patients typically complain of weight gain (even without increasing appetite), cold intolerance, chronic fatigue, sadness/depression, slowed speech patterns, slow heart rate, dry/brittle hair, constipation, and menstrual irregularities.

     Hyperthyroidism is when there is too much thyroid hormone, and Symptoms are typically opposite that of hypothyroidism. Patients will note weight loss, sweating, insomnia and irritability, fast heart rate and palpitations, hair loss, diarrhea, and menstrual irregularities.

3. How do we diagnose thyroid disorders?

     Diagnosis is made by a physician based on the results of blood tests- TSH (thyroid stimulating hormone) and thyroid hormone levels in the blood.

4. How to self- check your thyroid?

     Facing a mirror, lift your chin up and inspect your neck. Swallow, and if you see a mass at the base of the neck moving up and down, you may need to consult your doctor for goiter. Also be aware of the symptoms of hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism, so you can consult a doctor when you note you have them.

5. What are the treatments for hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism?

     Hypothyroidism is treated with thyroid hormone replacement therapy.

     Hyperthyroidism is treated with anti-thyroid drugs, which lower the level of thyroid hormones in the body.

6. Do children need to be screened for thyroid problems?

     Parents should be aware of the symptoms of thyroid disorders so they can bring their child to the doctor. If they notice mood and behavior changes, difficulty learning, and other signs, consult a doctor.

7. Do pregnant women need to undergo thyroid problem screening?

     It is recommended that women get screened for thyroid disorders if:

  • previous history of thyroid disorders 
  • thyroid surgery
  • above 30 years old
  • amily history of thyroid disorders
  • previous history of pregnancy loss or difficulty getting pregnant
  • living in iodine deficiency areas

8. How will thyroid disorders affect pregnant women and the baby inside their womb?

     Thyroid disorders, if untreated, can lead to negative outcomes for the mother and child. Conditions like eclampsia and placenta previa can occur. Furthermore, the child might have developmental abnormalities, especially with mental and cognitive abilities. Children with mothers who are iodine deficient or hypothyroid can have lower IQs. Ask your doctor about thyroid screening if you are pregnant.

9. What are the foods that should be avoided if you have thyroid problem? What are the foods that must be included in the diet because it's good for the thyroid glads?

     People are encouraged to take iodized salt, to avoid iodine deficiency, the most common cause of goiter.

10. Are thyroid disorders hereditary?

     There is a hereditary component to thyroid problems. If you have a relative who has thyroid disorders, you should regularly have yourself checked.

     So there you go,  hope you find this blog post informative and go ahead spread this information to your family, relatives, and friends so that those who are unaware will be aware and armed with knowledge about thyroid problems and disorders. Early screening will help especially if there is an existing disorder. Thyroid problems and disorders can be treated so don't be afraid. Remember that #thyroidawareness only means #wearebraver and ready to defeat the disorder!

Good Times!~

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