January is Thyroid Disease Awareness Month. The Thyroid gland is a very important organ in the body. One of its main functions is to produce hormones that regulate the body’s metabolism. When living with this condition, there are many other effects it can bring on such as thyroid storm and thyroid cancer, and it also can have an effect with Menopause such as bringing it on earlier in life. We go into all of these in further detail within this topic.……
Please see January Thyroid disease awareness Month 2023 which covers:
- Introduction to the topic
- January Thyroid Disease Awareness Month 2023
- Graves Disease
- Thyroid Cancer Video
- Thyroid Cancer
- Menopause and Thyroid Disease
- Thyroid Storm
- Our Final Thoughts
- Our YouTube Video
© Copyright 2019 Grief Probate Journey Blog *PLEASE NOTE THIS INFORMATION IS SOURCED FROM UK and AMERICAN WEBSITES* It is also based on our own experience. *We are not experts in this field, we are speaking purely on our own experience with information sought from the internet to give further examples. *
1. Introduction to the topic
January is Thyroid Disease Awareness Month. The Thyroid gland is a very important organ in the body. One of its main functions is to produce hormones that regulate the body’s metabolism. When living with this condition, there are many other effects it can bring on such as thyroid storm and thyroid cancer, and it also can have an effect with Menopause such as bringing it on earlier in life or worsen the symptoms. We go into all of these in further detail within this topic.
I have a long-term health condition which thankfully is now stabilised after having two operations, and with daily medication for life. I was initially diagnosed at the age of 16 with Graves’ disease. At that time, I had no clue what that was or what it meant. I just heard the word grave, and knowing it was something I had was difficult to put into words. Since this time after two operations, I now have an underactive thyroid which is managed with medication for life. I am also on calcium tablets for life due to my parathyroid glands being bruised and then damaged in my two operations.
Over the years I’ve had to make many big decisions at a young age. Decisions that were daunting and overwhelming.
Through everything I have been through and experienced in my life, I have learnt that listening to your body is so important. We know our bodies more than anyone else. When something is wrong, our body gives us progressive signs, if we ignore them, it becomes an issue as the real problem could reveal itself all at once.
In my situation, my mum first knew something was wrong with me because I had lost a significant amount of weight, she was concerned and wanted me to go to the doctor. I didn’t go, and then I started getting a sore throat, one that I had never known or felt before, it felt like stabbing pains in my neck. It affected my eating and drinking (and I like to eat) this is when I drew the line and went to the doctor.
At my appointment, before I even said much of why I was there, the Doctor told me I had Graves Disease. I was in a state of shock, confusion and disbelief. Being diagnosed with something called this at 16 years old, it was a lot to take in and register.
Once diagnosed the task was to stabilise my condition with the medication. But every time I went for check-ups etc I had been given incorrect information in regard to fasting, not fasting before appointments. This raised great concerns for my parents, and I was taken away from hospital appointments. With this condition, sometimes a change of diet can cure it, so I was seeing a private doctor (who was a previous thyroid surgeon) who was monitoring me to see if this could work for me. Unfortunately, at the stage that I was at, a change of diet was not enough and I was advised to go back to the hospital.
I had my first operation in 2001 this was a subtotal thyroidectomy. Only the part of the gland which was affected was removed. I was assured it wouldn’t grow back and I wouldn’t require any further surgery, I could possibly have to remain on the medication, but would not require any further surgery.
Over the years that followed, I would have yearly blood tests and appointments to keep a check on my levels. Because I had gotten to know what the symptoms felt like, over the years I was certain I had become overactive once again, but as I was told this could never happen again, I always ignored it.
Five years after my first operation in 2006 when going for my annual check-up. I was told it had returned and I would need surgery I could not believe what I was hearing. So many thoughts were running through my mind. one of the main things. I knew was, my body had told me so many times during the years.
The decision went from surgery to Radioactive Iodine Therapy, I wasn’t given information on what this involved, I was 26 years old and facing this decision. Once I did my research into it, I knew 100% it wasn’t for me. I couldn’t allow this to go into my body the risks were too high in my eyes. And as I had surgery before and was aware of the risks, I chose surgery. From the research I did I found out that if the gland was too big and didn’t shrink the procedure would have to be done again, but it would have to be done 6 months later and there were many restrictions on me during that time if that happened.
I also found out that the procedure only kills the gland. The dead gland then stays in your body leaking deadly toxins into your system that could cause cancer. As soon as I knew that, it was my final decision I was not going to proceed with radioiodine therapy.
This again was such a daunting feeling. With my first operation in 2001, the only option was surgery. This time it was me who was making this choice and decision, if it went wrong, I made this choice. It was a lot to have on my shoulders. But ultimately with the methods available, surgery was my only option.
As soon as I came around from surgery and was back in the ward. When the surgeon came to see me, what he told me confirmed I made the best choice. Radio iodine therapy wouldn’t have worked for me. I was told the gland was so big, they managed to get it all out, but they sent it off to test for Thyroid Cancer. I think I was in a state of shock and disbelief from what I was hearing, but also felt validated in my decision to go for surgery rather than the Radioiodine Therapy that more than likely would not have been successful on the first attempt.
From these moments is when I knew no matter what, I will listen to my body, and I will speak up no matter if I come across as a hypochondriac. My health and my life are important, and it matters.
My Dad, family abroad, and most recently in 2021 my Mum was also diagnosed with Underactive Thyroid. For all these reasons is why I will always do what I can to spread awareness of this matter.
Please see January Thyroid disease awareness Month 2023:
2. January Thyroid Disease Awareness Month 2023
2.1 THYROID AWARENESS MONTH – January 2023
“Thyroid Awareness Month dates ; 2023, January 1, Sunday ; 2024, January 1, Monday ; 2025, January 1, Wednesday ; 2026, January 1, Thursday”.
2.2 What month is National Thyroid Awareness Month?
“January is “Thyroid Awareness Month,” which calls attention to the various health problems connected to the thyroid”.
2.3 Help us raise awareness – Thyroid UK
“Created in 2007 by Thyroid Federation international and Merck-Serono, World Thyroid Day is held every year on the 25th May and is promoted by the American”…
2.4 British Thyroid Foundation
“Meet the experts: thyroid research update · 21st November, 2022 at 6:00pm ; Meet the experts webinar: thyroid cancer · 24th January, 2023 at 6:00pm ; London”…
2.5 Welcome to the official website of the British Thyroid Association
“Primarily created for medical professionals who manage patients with thyroid disease and/or are researching into the thyroid and its disease in humans”, …
2.6 THE THRYOID TRUST, THYROID FRIENDS – Home
“The Thyroid Trust, Thyroid Friends, making things better for people affected by thyroid … Save the dates, 2023 events happening in the next few months”.
3.1 Causes: overactive thyroid (hyperthyroidism) – NHS
“Graves’ disease is an autoimmune condition where your immune system mistakenly attacks your thyroid which causes it to become overactive. The cause of Graves’ disease is unknown, but it mostly affects young or middle-aged women and often runs in families. Smoking can also increase your risk of getting it”.
3.2 Why do they call it Graves disease?
“Graves’ disease is an autoimmune disease that leads to a generalized overactivity of the entire thyroid gland (hyperthyroidism). It is the most common cause of hyperthyroidism in the United States. It is named after Robert Graves, an Irish physician, who described this form of hyperthyroidism about 150 years ago”.
3.3 What are three Graves disease symptoms?
Common signs and symptoms of Graves’ disease include:
- “Anxiety and irritability”.
- “A fine tremor of the hands or fingers”.
- “Heat sensitivity and an increase in perspiration or warm, moist skin”.
- “Weight loss, despite normal eating habits”.
- “Enlargement of the thyroid gland (goiter)”
- “Change in menstrual cycles”.
3.4 What happens if you get Graves disease?
“With Graves’ disease, your immune system attacks your thyroid gland, causing it to make more thyroid hormones than your body needs. As a result, many of your body’s functions speed up. The thyroid is a small gland in your neck that makes thyroid hormones”.
3.5 Can you be cured of graves?
“Graves’ disease is a lifelong (chronic) condition. However, treatments can keep your thyroid hormone levels in check. Medical care may even make the disease temporarily go away (remission)”. (6 Jul 2022).
3.6 What is the most common cause of Graves disease?
“It is due to an abnormal immune system response that causes the thyroid gland to produce too much thyroid hormone. Graves disease is most common in women over age 20. But the disorder can occur at any age and can affect men as well”. (1 Feb 2022).
3.7 What foods trigger Graves disease?
- “Caffeine: Foods that contain caffeine—coffee, soda, tea, and chocolate—can aggravate Graves’ disease symptoms, such as anxiety, nervousness, rapid heart rate, and weight loss”. … “Food allergens: If you have a food allergy—even if it’s a mild food allergy—you may want to avoid that food to lessen any adverse effects”.
3.8 Who typically gets Graves disease?
“Graves disease is the most common cause of hyperthyroidism. It is due to an abnormal immune system response that causes the thyroid gland to produce too much thyroid hormone. Graves disease is most common in women over age 20. But the disorder can occur at any age and can affect men as well”.
3.9 What is life like with Graves disease? – Unfortunately, this link is unavailable to us here in the UK.
“Patients may have fever, confusion or agitation and develop cardiac symptoms, such as very high heart rate, irregular heart rhythms, or heart failure. Fluid in the lungs is another symptom that may occur. Patients who develop thyroid storm have a 20 to 50% chance of dying”.
3.10 Is Graves disease a big deal?
“Graves’ disease is rarely life-threatening. However, without treatment, it can lead to heart problems and weak and brittle bones. Graves’ disease is known as an autoimmune disorder”. (26 Aug 2011).
4. Thyroid Cancer Video
32,217 views 28 Jun 2022
“Learning about thyroid cancer can be intimidating. Let our experts walk you through the facts, the questions, and the answers to help you better understand this condition. For more reading visit: https://mayocl.in/3ys82Jv. When it comes to your health, Mayo Clinic believes credible and clear information is paramount. There’s a lot to learn about thyroid cancer. We’re here to help”.
0:25 2What is thyroid cancer?”
1:29 “Who gets thyroid cancer? / Risk factors”
2:44 “Symptoms of thyroid cancer”
3:18 “How is thyroid cancer diagnosed?”
4:14 “Treatment options”
5:40 “Coping methods/ What now?”
“Still have questions about thyroid cancer? That’s okay”. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yY5bJ…
“More videos on thyroid cancer”
“Thyroid Nodules and Cancer – Mayo Clinic Facebook Live –“ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rhoPU…
“ENT surgery restores quality of life for cancer patient –“ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k0Z-I…
“Visit Mayo Clinic”: https://mayocl.in/3yq2ejx
“Like Mayo Clinic on Facebook”: https://www.facebook.com/MayoClinic
“Follow Mayo Clinic on Instagram”: https://www.instagram.com/mayoclinic/
“Follow Mayo Clinic on Twitter”: https://twitter.com/MayoClinic
Mayo Clinic explains thyroid cancer
5. Thyroid Cancer
“Thyroid cancer is a rare type of cancer that affects the thyroid gland, a small gland at the base of the neck that produces hormones”.
5.2 What are the warning signs of thyroid cancer?
Signs and Symptoms of Thyroid Cancer
5.3 What is the survival rate of thyroid cancer UK?
“Around 5 out of every 100 men (around 5%) will survive their cancer for 5 years or more after they are diagnosed. Around 5 out of every 100 women (around 5%) will survive their cancer for 5 years or more after diagnosis”.
5.4 Is thyroid cancer very curable?
“Well-differentiated tumors (papillary thyroid cancer and follicular thyroid cancer) can be treated and can usually be cured. Poorly differentiated and undifferentiated tumors (anaplastic thyroid cancer) are less common. These tumors grow and spread quickly and have a poorer chance of recovery”. (30 Mar 2022).
6. Thyroid and Menopause
6.1 Thyroid and Menopause: Is There a Connection? – Healthline
“Hypothyroidism can increase or worsen symptoms of menopause. A research study from 2007 showed that women with a thyroid disorder and severe menopause experienced improved symptoms after getting treated for the thyroid disorder. This suggests that treating thyroid disorders can help manage menopause symptoms”. (19 May 2017).
6.2 What happens to your thyroid during menopause?
“Women of menopausal age are also more to develop an overactive thyroid (hyperthyroidism); however, this is less common than an underactive thyroid. As with an underactive hyperthyroid, it can produce similar symptoms to menopause, including: hot flashes. heat intolerance”.
6.3 How do I know if it’s menopause or thyroid?
“Hot flashes are linked to low estrogen hormone levels (menopause), but hot flashes triggered by the thyroid are associated with very high thyroid hormone levels (hyperthyroid). Low thyroid levels (hypothyroid) are associated with feeling cold, not hot”. (13 Oct 2022).
6.4 Can underactive thyroid make menopause worse?
“Hypothyroidism can worsen menopause symptoms. So rather than shrug off your symptoms, it’s important to maintain hypothyroidism treatment during menopause. “Undertreated thyroid disease may cause increased cholesterol, leading to atherosclerosis and possibly heart attack or stroke,” says Rosenfeld”
6.5 What to know about menopause if you have hypothyroidism?
“Some symptoms of hypothyroidism are similar to symptoms reported during the menopause transition. These include fatigue, forgetfulness, mood swings, weight gain, irregular menstrual cycles, and cold intolerance”.
6.6 Can underactive thyroid bring on early menopause?
Not only can thyroid problems produce early menopause in young women, but they sometimes are mistaken for menopause among women in their 40s. (9 Feb 2012).
7. Thyroid Storm
7.1 Overactive Thyroid (Hyperthyroidism) – Complications – NHS
“In rare cases, an undiagnosed or poorly controlled overactive thyroid can lead to a serious, life-threatening condition called a thyroid storm. This is a sudden flare-up of symptoms that can be triggered by: an infection. pregnancy. not taking your medicine correctly”.
7.2 What happens during a thyroid storm?
“Thyroid storm is a life-threatening health condition that is associated with untreated or undertreated hyperthyroidism. During thyroid storm, an individual’s heart rate, blood pressure, and body temperature can soar to dangerously high levels. Without prompt, aggressive treatment, thyroid storm is often fatal”.
7.3 What triggers thyroid storm?“Thyroid storm occurs in people with uncontrolled hyperthyroidism due to a major stress such as: Trauma. Heart attack. Infection”. (1 Feb 2022).
7.4 How long do thyroid storms last?
“Thyroid storm is a true medical emergency that is fatal if left untreated. The cause of death may be heart failure, arrhythmias, or multiple organ failure. However, with treatment, most patients see an improvement within 24 hours”. (6 Oct 2022).
7.5 What does a thyroid storm feel like?
“Common signs and symptoms of thyroid storm include: Having a high fever — a temperature between 104 degrees to 106 degrees Fahrenheit is common. Having a rapid heart rate (tachycardia) that can exceed 140 beats per minute. Feeling agitated, irritable and/or anxious”. (8 Jun 2022).
7.6 What are symptoms of a thyroid storm?
Symptoms of a thyroid storm include:
7.7 Can stress trigger thyroid storm?
“An extreme amount of physical stress (eg, heart attack) can cause a potentially life-threatening thyroid storm if you have untreated hyperthyroidism or Graves’ disease”. (27 Feb 2018).
7.8 How quickly does thyroid storm develop?
“A thyroid storm can be brought on by a number of ailments. One of them, Graves’ disease, causes the thyroid to overproduce hormones (hyperthyroidism). When it happens suddenly, you can have a thyroid storm. It can come on within hours and may require immediate hospitalization. (26 Nov 2021).
7.9 How do you rule out a thyroid storm?
“A doctor will likely order blood tests as part of the evaluation to look for high levels of thyroid hormones (free T4 and free T3) in the blood. The thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) test will show a low level of TSH and can also provide information about what is happening in the body”.
7.10 Which patient is most at risk for thyroid storm? – Unfortunately, this link is unavailable to us here in the UK.
8. Our Final Thoughts
The topics that we do not only help us, but we also learn from people who also share with us. We value and appreciate everyone who reads, shares with us, and also shares and recommend our blog.
This topic has reminded me it is time for my annual blood test. It has been 17 years since my second operation in 2006. I have lived with this condition since 1996. Despite being on medication for life, it has remained fairly stable since my second operation in 2006. I hope it will continue to remain this way.
I hope this topic may have helped those who have read it.
9. Our YouTube Video
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