Sunday, January 18, 2009

Thyroid Awareness Month

This was first written at my new blog One Weigh at a Time. I'll be writing about thyroid disease there for the rest of this month as well as including stuff here.

Some of you may not know that part of my weight problem stems from having Hashimoto's Thyroiditis. Hashimoto's Thyroiditis is when your immune system attacks your thyroid as it thinks it's a foreign body. I have been dealing with this disease about 10+ years now. It's said that about 60 million people are afflicted with thyroid disease. It often goes undiagnosed or misdiagnosed because a lot of the symptoms of the disease are also symptoms of other diseases such as diabetes, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, and various other diseases.

Have you heard that Oprah Winfrey had to see FOUR doctors and gained forty pounds before she was diagnosed? I know what that is like considering it took me four YEARS to get diagnosed. Lot of doctors only know of the thyroid what they learned in medical school. There's vast information out there with plenty of doctors who can deal with thyroid disease properly. Unfortunately, I have not found one yet, but then I have been dealing with an HMO. I've already switched primary physicians about five times. But I digress.

January is Thyroid Awareness Month. So this month my posts will be dedicated to thyroid disease. This is the first. One site that I visit often is It's a blog ran by patient advocate Mary Shomon, who herself has Hashimoto's. It also have lots of information in regards to thyroid disease and information in regards to other sites on thyroid disease.

This year's logo for Thyroid Awareness Month is Check Your Neck, Change Your Life. Mary Shomon has created a campaign along with a free ebook that you can download. Simply click on the banner.
This informative site will tell you some of the symptoms of thyroid disease, how to check your neck, what you should look for in a clinical exam, and how to find a doctor.

Here are the steps for doing a thyroid self-check: **important note: This will not rule out thyroid disease or thyroid cancer. For accurate diagnosis, please see your physician**
1. Stand in front of a mirror

2. Stretch neck back

3. Swallow water

4. Look for enlargement in neck (below the Adam's Apple, above the collar bone)

5. Feel area to confirm enlargement or bump

6. If any problem is detected, see a doctor

I've posted this particular item on my thyroid blog Life with Hashi, and you can find it on the site mentioned above. Stay tuned for more thyroid information.