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January 2006

NHM Health Focus: Thyroid Awareness

Thyroid Resources:
 – Thyroid: How It Works (EndocrineWeb)
 – Your Thyroid Gland (AAO-HNS)
 – Your Thyroid (EndocrineWeb)
 – Thyroid Disorders and Treatments (AllThyroid.org)
 – Thyroid Diseases (NLM MedLine Plus)
 – Thyroid Imbalance? Target Your Numbers (AACE)
 – Thyroid Disease (ACOG)

Thyroid Health Organizations
  – American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists
  – American Thyroid Association
  – British Thyroid Foundation
  – Thyroid Federation International
  – Thyroid Foundation of America
  – The Hormone Foundation

One in ten Americans--more than the number of Americans with cancer and diabetes combined--suffer from thyroid disease. Yet half remain undiagnosed (American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists). Thyroid malfunction is linked to a number of other diseases. Most recently, it has been shown that thyroid malfunction can cause dangerously high levels of cholesterol.

The Thyroid gland is located in the neck below the Adam's Apple. And while it may be small, we have serious problems when it malfunctions. Hormones secreted by the thyroid travel to all tissues in our bodies, where they control the rate at which foods break down and energy is released or stored. Small gland, big problems: Diagnosing thyroid disease describes the thyroid, what it does and what happens when things go wrong.

Check your own knowledge of the thyroid and its activities with a quiz from Australia's Better Health Channel.

The following links describing the biology of the thyroid and the endocrine system, of which the thyroid gland is a part, are listed in order of increasing complexity:

Access Excellence @ the National Health Museum has these resources related to thyroid health include.