January is Thyroid Awareness Month

January is the month for new beginnings, new goals and the time when many of us take a renewed interest in our health and wellness.

It’s also Thyroid Awareness Month, a month dedicated to giving the thyroid gland some special attention.

You may wonder why I am dedicating time to this topic in my blog. Well, there are three reasons:

First of all, I have a thyroid disorder myself, so I truly understand how your overall well-being can be linked to having your thyroid hormones in balance. The hormones secreted by this butterfly-shaped gland regulate the body’s metabolism, so the health of the thyroid is essential to nearly every function in your body.

The second reason I am talking about thyroid health is because many people don’t know this, but thyroid imbalances can be a common reason for hair (and even eyebrow) thinning. I have seen many clients with thyroid problems come to my hair replacement salon to get help with this issue. Or they find out after coming to us about hair loss that their thyroid is the culprit. Hair loss due to thyroid disorders becomes apparent several months after the onset. This type of hair loss is diffuse and involves the entire scalp rather than a select area. With successful treatment of the thyroid disorder, hair regrowth is usually quite successful. Keep in mind, due to the long growth cycle, it might take several months to see a difference.

Finally, I wanted to share some valuable information about thyroid disease with you because the American Thyroid Association (ATA), indicates that up to 60 percent of those with thyroid issues are unaware of their condition. That’s pretty sobering.

Some forms of thyroid disease come on abruptly and are diagnosed quickly. However, others are present for months (or even years) before a formal diagnosis is made. As thyroid hormones have an impact on nearly every cell in our bodies, symptoms of thyroid disease can be varied. Perhaps this is why the disorder is often misdiagnosed.

Hypothyroidism is the term used for an underactive thyroid.  The most common symptoms of hypothyroidism include: fatigue, weight gain, hair loss, brain fog, memory loss, depression, cold hands/feet, dry skin, brittle nails, PMS, puffy face and lack of sex drive.

Hyperthyroidism—less prevalent than hypothyroidism—is the term for an overactive thyroid. The most common symptoms of hyperthyroidism include: weight loss, tremors, excessive sweating, heart palpitations, goiters, insomnia, changes in the menstrual cycle, anxiety and restlessness.

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, I encourage you to have a conversation with your doctor about your concerns.

Facts about Thyroid Disease (from the ATA):

 More than 12 percent of the U.S. population will develop a thyroid condition during their lifetime.

  • An estimated 20 million Americans currently have some form of thyroid disease.
  • Women are five to eight times more likely than men to have thyroid problems.
  • One woman in eight will develop a thyroid disorder during her lifetime.
  • Undiagnosed thyroid disease may put patients at risk for certain serious conditions, such as cardiovascular diseases, osteoporosis and infertility.
  • Pregnant women with undiagnosed hypothyroidism have an increased risk of miscarriage, preterm delivery and severe developmental problems in their children.
  • Most thyroid diseases are life-long conditions that can be managed with proper medical care.

For more valuable information from the ATA (including information on clinical trials and finding a thyroid specialist in your area), click here.

We are our own health advocates, so if you suspect you are suffering from a thyroid disorder, speak up. If you think you need a second opinion, please get one. I have firsthand experience of the benefits of getting trusted care when dealing with a thyroid disorder. It’s a puzzling and frustrating condition, but with proper diagnosis and treatment, you can feel great.

Keep reading my blogs for more thyroid-related information, eyebrow trends, the latest news about hair loss and much more!

Always remember: Be informed. Be encouraged. Be empowered. But, most of all . . . Be yourself.

 

 

 

 

 

About the Author

Renata Marie Vestevich is the president and founder of EES – Essential Eyebrow Solution®. She is also the owner and director of Advanced Hair Solutions in Auburn Hills, Michigan. Her career covers more than 30 years in the cosmetology and hair replacement industry. To read Renata’s full bio, click here.