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Locums News January 3, 2017

Thyroid Awareness Month: Thyroid Health Facts & Locum Endocrinology Jobs

January is Thyroid Awareness Month — i.e, the perfect time to spread the word about thyroid health to patients, and to celebrate the role of the locum tenens endocrinology specialist in today's healthcare workforce.

According to Empower magazine — a publication of the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists (AACE) — thyroid issues are among the most under-the-radar conditions in the United States. More than 30 million Americans have thyroid disorders, writes Karen Pan in the article, yet more than half of them are undiagnosed.

Needless to say, that can be a problem. Thyroid health is related to "plays a huge role in our body, influencing the function of many of the body’s most important organs, including the heart, brain, liver, kidneys and skin," explains the Thyroid Awareness website (another effort by the AACE). "Ensuring that the thyroid gland is healthy and functioning properly is vitally important to the body's overall well-being."

Of course, this is no news to endocrinologists, who are actively working to ensure thyroid health and hormonal balance among Americans. Still, given the extent to which thyroid health remains an unknown among many folks, we've assembled the following list of thyroid facts and resources for Thyroid Awareness Month. We invite you to share them with your patients, family and friends to help promote thyroid health this month, and all throughout the year.

And if you're a practicing endocrinologist, read on for a rundown of our latest locum tenens endocrinology job opportunities, or click here to view all current locum tenens endocrinology assignments.

Thyroid Awareness Facts & Resources

  • Facts about Hyperthyroidism. The danger of hyperthyroidism is that, while it may not always cause "recognizable symptoms," according to the Thyroid Awareness website, it nevertheless can create symptoms that are "discomforting, disabling or even life-threatening." It also afflicts women at a rate of about five to 10 times that of men. Read more about Hyperthyroidism.
  • Educational Resources from From "neck check" instructions to "10 Questions about Your Thyroid Health," this library of thyroid awareness resources addresses all the major questions about thyroid health. Features instructional web pages and downloadable PDFs.
  • The Power of Paisley, Symbol of Thyroid Awareness. The AACE is supporting a movement to raise thyroid awareness with the help of paisley-colored ribbons. "Blue paisley gives thyroid advocates – including patients, endocrinologists [en-doh-cri-NA-lo-jists], families, friends and other medical providers – something to unite behind to spread a very important message," writes Karen Pan at Empower. 
  • Thyroid Cancer. Thyroid cancer, or carcinoma, usually appears as a painless lump in the front of the neck. Though the most common types of this cancer "tend to grow slowly" and "usually do not spread beyond the neck," most patients "have excellent prognoses." However, early detection is still essential, particularly as the "estimated number of newly diagnosed thyroid cancer patients has continued an upward trend for more than 15 years," according to the Thyroid Awareness website. 
  • Facts about Graves’ Disease. Also known as "toxic diffuse goiter," Graves’ disease is the most common cause of hyperthyroidism in the U.S. — an autoimmune condition "in which the thyroid gland produces excessive hormones," reports Thyroid Awareness. With Graves' disease, the body makes its own thyroid-stimulating immunoglobulin (TSI) that can stimulate the thyroid "to make too much thyroid hormone," as well as "swelling of the muscles and other tissues around the eyes ... causing eye prominence, discomfort or double vision." 
  • Facts about Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis. Also sometimes called autoimmune or chronic lymphocytic thyroiditis, Hashimoto’s thyroiditis is the United States' most common type of thyroid disease, affecting more than 10 million Americans. It's also roughly seven times more common in women than it is in men, and can lead to hypothyroidism and the development of goiters. Facts, Causes, Signs & Symptoms of Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis.
  • Thyroid Health and Pregnancy. "Even before conception," untreated thyroid conditions "can hinder a woman’s ability to become pregnant or can lead to miscarriage," reports the Thyroid Awareness website. And, while most of these problems may be easily treated, it's also essential that they be recognized, since thyroid issues can translate to the baby's health and hormonal development. 

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