January is Thyroid Awareness Month
We don’t pay much attention to our thyroid until it causes us enough trouble to produce symptoms. But your thyroid, a small, butterfly-shaped gland located in the lower front part of your neck, can be producing too much or too little hormone, or you could even have thyroid cancer without knowing it.
The ribbon for thyroid awareness is a blue paisley design, because the print resembles the thyroid’s follicles. Make clients aware by wearing or posting a blue paisley ribbon. When you’re working on a client, if you notice anything unusual in the client’s neck, let her know.
Since January is Thyroid Awareness Month, it’s a good time to do the “neck check” recommended by the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists. You also can show clients how to do the check:
- Hold a mirror in your hand, focusing on the lower front area of your neck, above the collarbones and below the voice box (larynx). Your thyroid gland is located in this area of your neck.
- Tip your head back.
- Take a drink of water and swallow.
- As you swallow, check for bulges or protrusions in your neck. If you’re a man, don’t confuse the Adam’s apple with the thyroid gland. The thyroid gland is located farther down the neck, closer to the collarbone.
- If you notice any bulges or protrusions in this area, see your physician.