Let’s Talk Thyroid

Photo provided.

Jackie Franks, Purdue Extension Health & Human Science Educator, presented “ Let’s Talk Thyroid” at Milford Public Library on Monday, August 26.  The thyroid is a small butterfly shaped gland found at the base of your neck that plays a major role in metabolism, growth and maturation of the body.  The thyroid produces three hormones: Triiodothyronine or T3, Thyroxine or T4 and Calcitonin.  To make the exact correct amount of hormones, the thyroid needs help from the pituitary gland.  The pituitary gland tells the thyroid to release more or less hormones into the bloodstream.  Your hormone levels should be tested once a year by your primary care doctor.  Problems with the thyroid include hyperthyroidism, hypothyroidism, goiter or cancer.  Hyperthyroidism is an overactive thyroid.  Hypothyroidism is an underactive thyroid.  A goiter is an abnormal enlargement of the thyroid gland.  These problems come with many symptoms, including hot flashes, sweating, hair loss, dry skin, slow pulse, or difficulty swallowing.  If you feel a lump at the base of your neck, experience changes to your voice, have difficulty swallowing or pain in your neck and throat, see your doctor to be screened for thyroid cancer.

Foods that are good for a healthy thyroid include nuts and seaweed.  Mary Duncan won a copy of “Cooking Well Thyroid Health”, by Marie-Annick Courtier as a door prize.  Doreen Ruch won a copy of “The Hashimoto’s Cookbook and Action Plan,” by Karen Frazier.  Both of these books are available to check out at the Milford Public Library.  Our next nutrition program will be in November.