Last updated on April 24, 2014 at 21:24 EDT

What brings a lump to your throat? Common disease symptoms are focus of Thyroid Month

June 11, 2012

3 million Canadians have a thyroid disorder — and half don’t know it

GANDER, NL, June 11, 2012 /CNW/ – Among the easiest diseases to diagnose
and treat are common disorders of the thyroid gland – and yet an
estimated 1.5 million Canadians are unaware that symptoms they are
experiencing, such as weight gain or loss, depression, forgetfulness,
and fatigue may be caused by a dysfunctional thyroid.  To mark Thyroid
Month in June, the Thyroid Foundation of Canada is implementing a
nationwide program to inform Canadians about the signs and symptoms of
thyroid disorders.

Consequences of untreated thyroid disorders include heart disease,
clinical depression, osteoporosis and infertility. In pregnant women,
an untreated thyroid disease may increase the risk of miscarriage and
stillbirth, learning disabilities and other developmental problems in

Mabel Miller, National President of the Thyroid Foundation of Canada,
said: “Symptoms of the most common thyroid disorders tend to be general
in nature – such as changes in weight, fatigue, depression, and
sensitivity to cold or to heat. Some people experiencing these symptoms
may endure them without consulting a doctor or, if they do consult
their doctor, do not report all the symptoms.

“As a result,” she added, “their thyroid disorders may go undiagnosed or
be misdiagnosed. So it’s a good idea, if you are experiencing one or
more symptoms, to tell your doctor.”

Miller explained that thyroid disorders are diagnosed by means of a
simple, quick blood test – the Thyroid Hormone Stimulating (TSH) test -
which a doctor may order at the request of a patient.  It is
recommended that all men and women be tested for thyroid disorders
beginning at age 35 years and every five years thereafter.

The Thyroid Gland
The thyroid is a small gland in the neck that lies below the Adam’s

It produces hormones that regulate growth, maturation and the speed of
metabolism and, as such, is one of the most important glands in the

Common thyroid diseases
An under-active thyroid gland does not produce sufficient hormones
(hypothyroidism). This causes one’s metabolism to slow down and may
lead to fatigue, weight gain, constipation and depression.

An over-active thyroid gland (hyperthyroidism) over-produces hormones.
This causes one’s metabolism to speed up and may lead to fatigue,
muscle weakness, weight loss, heat intolerance, and palpitations.

Hypothyroidism usually is treated with thyroid replacement therapy in
order to return hormone levels to normal.  Hyperthyroidism may be
treated with radioactive iodine, anti-thyroid drugs, or surgery.

The Thyroid Foundation of Canada
The mission of The Thyroid Foundation of Canada is to develop
educational materials on thyroid diseases for the information of
patients.  These are posted at www.thyroid.ca . The Thyroid Foundation of Canada was established in 1980 by Diana
Meltzer Abramsky CM, BA, in Kingston, Ontario.  The world’s first
thyroid foundation, it is now the model for establishing thyroid
foundations in other countries.

SOURCE Thyroid Foundation of Canada

Source: PR Newswire