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The Faces and Facts of Thyroid Disorder

Yael Schuster

It can be diagnosed with a simple blood test, but more than half of those with a thyroid disorder are unaware they have it. A look at the many ways thyroid imbalances impact one’s health — and what can be done to treat it.

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

An estimated 20 million Americans have some form of thyroid disease — yet up to 60 percent of those aren’t even aware of it. That’s because its wide-ranging symptoms are prone to be masked among other conditions or seen as part of “life.” When left untreated, thyroid problems can cause extensive damage throughout the body, and even be fatal — which is tragic considering that the disorder can usually be diagnosed with a simple blood test.

Thyroid issues don’t affect just one age group or population. The very quiet baby, the overly nervous 8-year-old girl who has trouble sleeping, the 17-year-old boy who sweats heavily and is reed-thin despite a voracious appetite, the low-energy infertile woman, the irritable 60-year-old woman with a hand tremor, the 75-year-old man with dry itchy skin who has difficulty swallowing….all of these are among the varying faces of thyroid disorder.

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