Did you know that thyroid disease is more common that heart disease or diabetes?
Your thyroid produces thyroid hormone, which controls the metabolism of every cell, tissue and organ in your body. Too little or too much thyroid hormone can affect your body in adverse ways. If you have too much, your body’s systems speed up (hyperthyroidism); if you have too little, your body’s systems will slow down (hypothyroidism).
Left untreated, thyroid disease may cause osteoporosis, infertility, and heart disease, along with autoimmune diseases, including diabetes, arthritis and anemia.
Items needed for test: A. Handheld mirror B. Glass of water
1. Hold the mirror in your hand, focusing on the lower front area of your neck, above the collarbones, and below the voice box (larynx). Your thyroid gland is located in this area of your neck.
2. While focusing on this area in the mirror, tip your head back.
3. Take a drink of water and swallow.
4. As you swallow, look at your neck. Check for any bulges or protrusions in this area when you swallow. Reminder: Don’t confuse the Adam’s apple with the thyroid gland. The thyroid gland is located further down on your neck, closer to the collarbone. You may want to repeat this process several times.
If you see any bulges or protrusions in this area, see your physician. You may have an enlarged thyroid gland or thyroid nodule that should be checked to determine whether further evaluation is needed.
If you have a family member with thyroid disease, are over the age of 60, or have any symptoms or risk factors associated with thyroid disease, you should talk to your doctor about a thyroid stimulating hormone (THS) test.