January is officially thyroid awareness month. It’s a great
time to focus on this vital gland in your body. Many people don’t think of
their thyroid until something goes wrong and they have to have tests. However,
keeping your thyroid healthy all year should be one goal that you keep in mind.
We’re going to help you with this goal and give you tips to
help you keep your thyroid functioning at the best possible level. In turn,
this can help you stay healthy throughout 2019. We’ve compiled a list of the
top five things that you need to know about your thyroid. We’re also going to
talk about what you may want to do if you find a lump or bump in, on, or around
Five Things You Need to Know About Your Thyroid
1. The Basics
Do you know what your thyroid is, where it is, and what it
does? You’re not alone if you answered with a no. Your thyroid gland is shaped
a little like a butterfly. You can find this gland toward the front of your
neck in the lower portion. You can’t feel or see this gland if it’s healthy and
functioning like it should be. It’s usually a good indicator that something is
wrong if you can feel it or even see it when you look.
This small gland plays a huge role in helping regulate
several systems in your body. It helps with hormone production as well as
linking directly to your nervous system, menstrual cycle, body weight,
cholesterol levels, muscle strength, and your heart rate and breathing.
2. Your Thyroid Needs
a Constant Supply of Iodine to Function Properly
Your thyroid gland loves iodine. You have to have enough in
your body to help support a healthy thyroid function because your thyroid uses
iodine to help produce hormones. These hormones are vital because they help to
regulate your organs. Unfortunately, your body doesn’t produce iodine by
You have to get your needed iodine by eating foods that
contain good levels of it. You can get iodine from bread and table salt in the
United States. These foods were originally specially formulated with iodine in
1924 to combat the wave of iodine deficiency found all over the United States.
Not having enough iodine in your diet can lead to a condition called
Hypothyroidism. Your thyroid won’t get enough iodine to produce the hormones
your body needs to function.
3. Thyroid Disease is
Did you know that roughly 20 million Americans have some
form of thyroid disease? There are even more people who don’t have any idea
that there is a problem with their thyroid. You can have Hypothyroidism or
Hyperthyroidism. Both are a result of an improperly functioning thyroid gland.
However, they mean very different things.
Hypothyroidism is a condition where your gland isn’t
producing enough hormones to cover needed hormone production adequately.
Hyperthyroidism is a condition where your gland is producing too many hormones
for your body to handle. Common signs of Hyperthyroidism include things like
trouble sleeping, losing weight, irritability, difficulty concentrating, and
feeling too warm. On the other hand, symptoms of Hypothyroidism include feeling
cold, lethargy, dry skin, slow heartbeat, constipation, and unexplained weight
4. You Can Encourage
Thyroid Health by Diet
There are things that you can do to promote good thyroid
health even though the exact causes of thyroid issues is unknown. Your diet
plays an essential part when it comes to keeping your gland working at optimal
You may want to cut down on heavily processed foods and
gluten to start. Once you do this, you can start adding foods to your diet that
promote good health. These foods include things like seaweed, nuts, fish, whole
grains, beans, fruits, vegetables, dairy, and spices like Turmeric. As always,
you want to add everything in moderation to get a balanced and healthy diet.
5. You Can Live
Without Your Thyroid
Did you know that you can live without your thyroid? This is
true although this gland is responsible for so many vital functions in your
body. Cancer in your thyroid is one instance where your doctor may decide to
It’s important to note that you will have to take a pill
each day for the rest of your life that essentially replaces your thyroid’s
function. This is usually the last resort for people who have issues with their
thyroid. Also, you want to try alternative treatments or get a second option
with an FNA specialist first.
Thyroid Testing with
Fine Needle Aspiration
Many people who find lumps on or around their thyroid choose
to see a reputable FNA doctor LA to help with testing. Fine needle aspiration
is a popular testing method because it’s minimally invasive, there is a very
short recovery time, and it’s precise. It’s a very reliable way of finding out
if your lumps are cancerous or benign.
This is an outpatient procedure where the FNA specialist
uses an ultrasound to pinpoint where the lumps are. They’ll mark the area and
insert a very thin needle to collect the sample. These samples go to a
laboratory for testing. You usually get the results within a few days. It can
be as short as up to 48 hours after the procedure.
Benefits of Fine
Several advantages come with getting this type of biopsy.
We’ve highlighted the biggest reasons why people decide on having this
procedure. They include but are not limited too:
• Outpatient procedure
• Comes with
• Very little or no
• Quick results
Lumps around or on your thyroid can be a scary time. It’s
immensely important that you have a reputable FNA specialist. If you’re
experiencing a lump on your thyroid, you should talk to your doctor about an
FNA. This can help you get the answers you need, and you can contact us today
to schedule your appointment.