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January is Thyroid Awareness Month

12/19/2011

Have you been tired, moody, or struggling with weight problems? You may need to check your thyroid. 27 million Americans have thyroid disorders and more than half of them are undiagnosed. Thyroid disease is more common than diabetes or heart disease, so it is important to know the signs and symptoms.

One way to check for thyroid disease is the neck check. How to take the thyroid neck check:

  1. You will need a glass of water and a handheld mirror.
  2. Hold the mirror in your hand, focusing on the lower front area of your neck, above the collarbones, and below the voice box (larynx).
  3. While focusing on this area in the mirror, tip your head back.
  4. Take a drink of water and swallow.
  5. As you swallow, look at your neck. Check for any bulges or protrusions in this area when you swallow (don’t confuse the Adams’ apple with the thyroid gland). The thyroid gland is located further down on your neck, closer to your collarbone. You may want to repeat this process several times.
  6. If you do see any bulges or protrusions in this area, see your physician. You may have an enlarged thyroid gland or a thyroid nodule and should be checked to determine weather cancer is present or if treatment for thyroid disease is needed.

For more information on thyroid health, visit www.thyroidawareness.com