Taking care of the thyroid has become one of the great unfinished business of health in our country. We have no excuse: the medical examination, with early diagnosis, cost nothing and effort, in turn, won with its procedure a guarantee of life and health.
With this message as a slogan, the Spanish Society of Endocrinology and Nutrition (SEEN), in collaboration with Merck, has organized these days an information campaign in Madrid to sensitize people about the importance of caring in this regard.
The thyroid is an endocrine gland located at the bottom of our neck, below the cricoid cartilage, more commonly known as’ Adam’s apple. Its size is approximately 50 mm in length. Its shape is reminiscent of the butterfly and its color is pinkish gray. Basically it takes to produce and store two vital hormones in the body processes: thyroxine and triiodothyronine. But it also releases a given dose of substances, as our body needs prompted. These two would be in short, its most important functions within the body.
As many people know, is the contribution of iodine, the primary key for a healthy thyroid. Therefore, when for various reasons do not have enough of this chemical element, is a decrease in the levels of thyroid hormones. Rather, in many cases, can cause the thyroid to grow abnormally. Then we talked of goiter. Formation in very thin people, this can even be felt with the fingertips.
As often happens with hormonal disorders, hypothyroidism affects more women than men, reaching the most probable age for the disease between 40 and 50 years old, and also during and after pregnancy. In the latter case, the treatment of hypothyroidism in women who are expecting a baby, is exactly like any other patient.
It is curious that one of the main quirks and complications of hypothyroidism is how difficult it can be to detect its symptoms. Generally, the most obvious signs are fatigue and physical exhaustion, and often mental. Other signs include dry skin, decreased appetite, hair loss, memory loss, muscle aches, poor salivation, weight gain and blurred vision, among others.
The psychological component is almost as important in hypothyroidism. As with other diseases that cause weakness and fatigue, is common in people suffering from thyroid, suffer depression, anxiety, nervousness or feelings of helplessness. But in the majority of cases, although no official figures, most who suffer this disease have a very high quality of life and a good mood.
Spain is one of the countries with iodine deficiency in Europe, judging by the Report on the Campaign for the Prevention of hypothyroidism, offered by the multinational pharmaceutical chemist Merck. The statistics are not quite in our favor in terms of prevention and diagnosis of hypothyroidism since, currently, about 50% of cases are diagnosed by chance in our country due to the absence of signs in its early stages. A fact that is hardly encouraging and unfortunately on the rise.
According to Dr. Sergio Donnay, Chief of Alcorcón Foundation and member of the Thyroid SEEN, although many do not sufficiently representative cases of coma or death from thyroid-related diseases, there does exist the possibility if it is not ever as no medical treatment is a disease whose evolution can be degenerative.
It is therefore urgent that men, women and children be alert and we revise the thyroid gland at least once a year and need to be aware of the prevalence of this disease in our family and past generations, because the factor gene is one of the most common.