Thyroid Test for Personal Awareness During Thyroid Awareness Month

The thyroid gland is located in the front part of the neck and produces thyroid hormones that regulate metabolism. The hormones are responsible for the energy levels of a person, and aid in the use of other hormones and the growth of the body. Under production or over production of the thyroid hormones causes various problems in the body resulting in hypothyroidism or hyperthyroidism. The symptoms that are caused are very general in nature making a thyroid test necessary to detect the real cause of the symptoms.

According to the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists (AACE) there are about 27 million Americans who suffer from some kind of a thyroid disorder. And it is estimated that about 50% of these cases are undiagnosed due to the nature of the symptoms. Given that diabetes is estimated to have an incidence of 16 million, thyroid disorders are considered to be the most common endocrine problem. Thyroid testing is one way to foster better diagnosis of the condition ensuring proper and timely treatment. A home thyroid test can be extremely convenient to use too.

It is estimated that 80 percent of these thyroid disorders occur in women. In fact women are 5 times more likely to have a condition called hypothyroidism than men. This means that women should be far more careful about thyroid testing and ensure that they invest in a home thyroid test to avoid thyroid disorders.

Genetics are also considered to affect the risk of thyroid issues. The risk is considered to be two times higher if one parent suffers from a thyroid condition. Pregnancy has also been known to increase the possibility of a thyroid malfunction. Statistics tell us that one in every five newborn children has an underactive thyroid and most of this does not get detected because a thyroid test is not a mandatory checkup at birth.

Two in every five cases of hyperthyroid disorders are caused by the autoimmune hyperthyroidism (Graves’ disease). Autoimmune hypothyroidism (Hashimoto’s thyroiditis) accounts for about 95 percent of the hypothyroidism cases. Swollen thyroid glands account for about 5 percent and may not involve a hormonal imbalance. Whether it is Hashimoto’s or Grave’s, a thyroid condition can only be established with the help of a thyroid test.

Today you can avail yourself of a home thyroid test that is available in online medical stores so that you can test the levels of the TSH hormone itself at home. The test indicates whether the thyroid is producing enough hormones by detecting the level of TSH hormone in your blood. The TSH hormone is produced by the pituitary, not the thyroid, and when the pituitary senses there is not enough thyroid hormone it releases TSH. If the level of TSH being released in your body is not in a good middle range between the poles of too much or too little then there may be a problem.

This January in 2010 is Thyroid Awareness Month, the purpose of which is to create awareness among people of the various symptoms that thyroid problems can cause. A home thyroid test can prove to be a quick and convenient way for you to check the levels of your TSH hormone for proper diagnosis of thyroid issues so that you can get treatment started as soon as possible and relieve yourself of the frustrating symptoms.