To Chase Butterflies
I’ve been taking Selene to a few events the past months, especially mom and kid events that I feel she will learn from. I rarely write about events now but one I really want to share with other moms out there is the International Thyroid Awareness Week culmination we were invited to. When it comes to health, I really want to stress how important it is to get checked (be it for breast cancer, etc) because prevention is always better than having to look for a cure.
Thyroid disorders affect millions of Filipinos, yet very few are aware of them as we don’t really give much importance to our thyroid glands. 1 in 11 Filipino adults has goiter and around 1 in 12 Filipino adults suffers from some form of thyroid disease. Also, it is estimated that 8 out of every 1000 children worldwide are affected by thyroid disease. I personally know close friends and Titas who are affected by the disease and it is quite a frustrating disease – something that can be prevented early on and harder to treat when only lately discovered.
If you’re wondering why butterflies are tied to thyroid awareness – it’s because the thyroid is a butterfly-shaped gland that sits low on the front of the neck, just above the trachea.
Hypothyroidism vs. Hyperthyroidism
I just want to quickly share the difference between these two conditions that affect the thyroid gland. Hypothyroidism is an underactive thyroid that doesn’t produce enough hormones for the body. Your whole metabolism slows down, the heart rate is slower than normal, the intestinal tract becomes sluggish, and there is less heat production. This is usually accompanied by weight gain, fatigue, forgetfulness, depression, etc.
Hyperthyroidism, on the other hand, is an overactive thyroid wherein all body functions tend to speed up. People with hyperthyroidism will have symptoms of a fast metabolism. Racing thoughts, feeling hot, excessive sweating, palpitations, anxiety, irritability, etc. Massive weight loss happens, but take note, the weight loss associated with overactive thyroid is not happy weight loss. It is associated with muscle weakness and constant fatigue.
Both disorders can go unnoticed for many years before intense symptoms will force you to get yourself checked. Even children can be affected by these disorders, which is why the event was aimed at educating moms not only regarding their own thyroid health, but for their children’s as well.
As a closing, I just want to remind everyone to get checked as early as possible to avoid complications in the future. Especially us women, I mean, we have enough hormone issues already (especially if it’s the time of the month, right?). Happy healthy Sunday, folks!