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American Thyroid Association Clinical Guidelines for Thyroid Dysfunction

The Standards of Care Committee of the American Thyroid Association (ATA), an organization of scientists and physicians dedicated to a better understanding and treatment of thyroid disease, has come out with some clinical guidelines for detection of thyroid dysfunction. Thyroid disease has been the most popular topic on this Health Observances blog, so Leigh Schevchik, the Blog Manager and I agreed to cover thyroid topics for the rest of the month of August, since the calendar of Observances is light this month.

Healthline has added a lot of exciting new content and we hope our new video content about thyroid disease from Healthology will help all of you with an interest in this subject matter. The ATA is recommending:

The rationale for this is that the test itself is inexpensive yet prevalence of thyroid dysfunction is high, especially in women. I have not been able to get my hands on the exact numbers for prevalence but it looks like it is somewhere greater than 4% and under 10% for hypothyroidism, higher for hyperthyroidism. Please correct me if you have access to the exact numbers!

Risk Factors include:
  • goiter
  • family history
  • diabetes mellitus
  • pernicious anemia
  • previous history of thyroid dysfunction
  • vitiligo
  • leukotrichia
  • medications like lithium carbonate, amiodarone hydrochloride, kelp

The thyroid gland is a butterfly shaped endocrine gland found in the neck. It secretes hormones involved in growth and metabolism - T4 and T3, which are in turn regulated by thyrotropin (TSH). The hypothalamus in the brain regulates the secretion of TSH, and the amount of iodine and calories consumed also effects the process. The amount of calcium in the blood is regulated by the thyroid's secretion of the hormone calcitonin. All of these hormones interact with the central nervous system - an increase can result in anxiety and a decrease can result in infertility, decreased concentration and ability to think.

Our endocrine system is the very core of who we are - so no wonder so many of you have concerns about that little butterfly inside your neck! One alternative healing technique is visualization therapy. Using meditative techniques - relaxation, deep breathing - you can focus on visualizing your thyroid as a beautiful, healthy butterfly as you fall asleep and before you arise in the morning. It can't hurt and it just might help!

Thank you heyjules45 for use of photo.
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The Healthline Editorial team writes about the latest health news, policy, and research.