A Pledge to Raise Awareness Against Thyroid Disorders

“Wag ka iinom ng malamig na tubig, magkakathyroid ka!”
“Iodized salt gamitin mo para hindi ka magka-thyroid.”
“May thyroid sya kaya may bukol sa leeg”
“Sige, kapag hindi mo tinigilan kakasigaw mo, magkaka-thyroid ka.”

 

Any of these lines sound familiar? They sound kind of funny but, unfortunately, these are very common misconceptions Filipinos have about thyroid.  It’s no wonder many have thyroid disorders but are not even aware of them.  This is why there is a great need to step up on the campaign to raise awareness about thyroid disorders. Before I tell you all about the campaign, here are a few quick facts about thyroid:

 

Quick Facts About Thyroid

  • We all have thyroid! “Thyroid” is not a disease; it is a gland.  It’s essential because it produces hormones that help keep the body use energy and stay warm, and that keep the brain, heart, muscles, and other organs in tip-top condition.
  • Common thyroid disorders include goiter, hypothyroidism, hyperthyroidism, thyroid nodules, and cancer. They all have different symptoms AND they cannot be prevented just by using iodized food on all your food!
  • Most symptoms of thyroid disorders are mistaken for other diseases which makes diagnosis quite confusing even for doctors.  The easiest way to diagnosis thyroid disorders is through a blood test to check levels of Thyroid Stimulating Hormone (TSH) in the blood.
  • You can do a self-assessment to check if you are at risk.  Just take this quick test to find out if you absolutely must see your doctor now.  You may also find the test at www.thyroid.ph.

It’s Not You, It’s Your Thyroid Quiz

How many of these facts did you actually know beforehand?  You’re in the minority if you’ve known most of them!

 

International Thyroid Awareness Week

For diseases that are so common, it’s bothering to know that not many people are aware of these diseases.  This is precisely why MERCK in partnership with the Department of Health (DOH), Philippine Thyroid Association (PTA), Philippine Society of Endocrinology, Diabetes, and Metabolism (PSEDM), and the Iodine Global Network (IGN) holds the annual International Thyroid Awareness Week.  They have been holding series of activities every year to inform the public about the symptoms of thyroid disorders, to dispel myths about them, and to provide proper care and treatment to those who may be suffering from these diseases.

ITAW 2017 Culminating Program

This year, I was able to attend the culminating program held at the Trade Hall of Robinson’s Novaliches last May 26. Since thyroid disorders affect mostly women, the activities were targeted for women.  Participants not only received free doctor’s consultation but also had much needed pampering while learning more about thyroid disorders.

The event kicked off with some Zumba dancers showing off steps that we can easily do in our own homes. All participants were given a card which they could have stamped after each activity.  There were four activities that all attendees must complete – the Video Viewing, Thyroid Quiz, Doctor’s Consultation, and Photobooth.

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First, the attendees were asked to watch a short video about thyroid and disorders associated with it. The video was presented in a way that everything could be easily understood by the ordinary Juan.

Watch the Video at Thyroid.ph

After this, a short quiz was given – no, not a quiz about the video! It was a self-assessment test to determine if one may be at risk of thyroid disorders.  Once the quiz was finished, participants showed the quiz results to the doctors.  The doctors then addressed their health concerns. Some were given requests for laboratory procedures and some were given prescriptions.

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Those who have finished all the required activities got to have a refreshing cup of milk tea! Then off they went to the pampering booths for some me-time. 🙂 Of course, I didn’t pass up the chance to get my own me-time!

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As the participants were dolled up, they were also given bits of trivia about thyroid disorders. While I was having my eyebrows threaded, I was told that thinning eyebrows is a symptom of hypothyroidism (mine are naturally thin though, so I’m glad I don’t have hypothyroidism. Otherwise I’d be sans brows!).  At the hair and makeup booth, I was told that a puffy face, dry skin, and hair loss are symptoms of thyroid disorders too. Those getting a manicure were informed that brittle nails may be a sign of hyperthyroidism and nails that grow too fast, of hypothyroidism.

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There were also booths that even men and children could enjoy. The massage chair is always a welcome respite to a long day of mailing. The kinect is best done as a group. I have two left feet but I nevertheless enjoyed “dancing”. No child was whining of boredom because they had a great time meeting new friends and coloring pages at the Kids Art Corner.  The kids who had the best art work were also given prizes! Awesome!

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While everyone enjoyed the activities, the most important part of the event was the forum.  Dr. Chrysanthus Herrera, Medical Science and Government Affairs Manager; Dr. Teofilo San Luis, National Coordinator of the Philippines, Iodine Global Network; and Dr. Wesley Llauderes, President of the Philippine Society of Nuclear Medicine gave interesting lectures and valuable health advice to all participants.

It’s Not You, It’s Your Thyroid

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In his lecture on “The Thyroid Masquerade”, Dr. Teofilo San Luis explained how thyroid disorders can often be attributed to other diseases.  The thyroid affects almost all organs of the body so most sufferers of thyroid disorders consult different doctors.  For instance, patients who experience palpitations or hypertension first see a cardiologist.  When test results come out negative and the heart  seems healthy, it is the only time they consider other factors.  These symptoms may also be signs of thyroid disorders.  Other such common symptoms are anxiety, sleeplessness, diarrhea, constipation,  hair loss, cold hands, menstrual irregularities, tremors, and even forgetfulness – all can easily be attributed to other diseases or even to just daily stress. Despite the symptoms of thyroid dysfunction being so varied and sometimes misleading, the condition can easily be diagnosed by blood tests and a physical examination.

Aside from sharing symptoms with just about every other ailment, what makes it difficult to diagnose thyroid disorders are the myths surrounding it.  Dr. Wesley Llauderes  dispelled these myths and further explained how to prevent and to treat thyroid problems.  For one, iodine is indeed essential to our body but it will not heal your goiter. Also, although those with hypothyroidism may benefit from iodine-rich food, these same food must be taken in moderation by those with hyperthyroidism. Here are some more myths dispelled by Dr. Llauderes:

  • Cold drinks will not cause thyroid disorders. Neither does shouting (BUT…stress affects the thyroid gland too just as it affects our overall body health)
  • Iodine-rich food such as seafood is not always good.  Those with hypothyroidism need more iodine and may eat more seafood.  Those with hyperthyroidism, on the other hand, should avoid seafood and salty food.
  • There are certain food like cabbages and carrots that may cause goiter to enlarge but this can only happen if you eat them in excessive amounts everyday. So unless you eat cabbages all day, every day, every week, there’s nothing to worry about.
  • Not all goiter are cancerous. Not all thyroid nodules are cancerous.  Having said these, the doctor also stressed the importance of having a biopsy.  Don’t be afraid of it!

Whew!  There’s really so much more to know about thyroid and its disorders.  There’s also still a lot more people who do not know some of these basic facts.  I hope that after reading this rather lengthy blog post, we would all feel our obligation to raise awareness about thyroid.  Let’s all pledge to do this!

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For more information about thyroid and the International Thyroid Awareness Week, please visit  www.thyroid.phwww.thyroidaware.com or follow “Unmasking Your Thyroid” on Facebook (www.facebook.com/thyroidph).

Merck offers FREE Thyroid Screening to raise Awareness against Thyroid Diseases

Did you know that 1 out of 11 people suffer from thyroid diseases?  You didn’t?  You are not alone! Even up to 60 percent of those who have thyroid disease are unaware of their own condition.  Most people never consider undergoing thyroid screening although they suffer from its symptoms.  This alarming fact is the very reason why Merck steps up its awareness campaign against thyroid diseases. In partnership with the DOH, PTA, PSEDM, and IGN, Merck has launched the “It’s Not You, It’s Your Thyroid” campaign in time for the International Thyroid Awareness Week (ITAW) 2017.  This campaign aims to raise consciousness against thyroid disorders.

Let’s start with you.  How much do you really know about thyroid?  Find out in this short quiz:

It’s Not You, It’s Your Thyroid Quiz

Found out that you didn’t know much?  That’s all right.  I think most of us really don’t know much about our thyroid.  Now, let’s see if you may have a thyroid disorder and have been completely in the dark about it.

Do You Have A Thyroid Disorder?

Have you ever felt so extremely tired, experienced anxiety, had difficulty sleeping, suddenly gained or lost weight?  I think we all have!  These are also some of the signs of a thyroid problem but when we do suffer from them, we just think we’ve been working too hard or we’ve not been keeping a healthy lifestyle.  If your symptoms keep recurring, it’s about time to have them checked because it may be more than just work-related stress – it could be a thyroid disorder.

Do you have any of those symptoms?  A self-check isn’t enough to diagnose thyroid problems.  You must undergo some tests and consult a doctor.  Do take advantage of the FREE Thyroid Screening and Consultation at the Trade Hall of Robinson’s Novaliches this Saturday, May 27.  There will also be free massages, nail art, eyebrow threading, hair and make-up and so much more.  Just perfect for us moms who want to stay healthy and beautiful for our loved ones.

 

Want to know more about Merck’s campaign against thyroid diseases?  Read on…

(press release)

Merck steps up awareness campaign against thyroid diseases

MANILA, Philippines – In time for the International Thyroid Awareness Week (ITAW) 2017, leading science and healthcare innovation company Merck, joined forces with the Department of Health (DOH), Philippine Thyroid Association (PTA), Philippine Society of Endocrinology, Diabetes, and Metabolism (PSEDM), and the Iodine Global Network (IGN), to raise consciousness against thyroid disorders.

You and your thyroid

The thyroid gland is a butterfly-shaped endocrine gland that sits in at the lower front of the neck. It plays a key role in one’s overall health and well-being by producing thyroid hormones that help keep the body use energy, stay warm, and keep the brain, heart, muscles, and other organs in tip-top condition. [1]

Thyroid disorders are some of the most common diseases worldwide. In the Philippines, one in every 11 adults suffers from goiter or other thyroid disorders. [2]

Thyroid problems are more common in women. Figures show that women are four to seven times more likely to have thyroid disorders than men.[3] They are also at risk of hypothyroidism by 10 times. Moreover, women who recently gave birth and those who are in the menopausal stage are more vulnerable. 2

But why are thyroid diseases usually left undetected and misdiagnosed? Blame the symptoms. Tiredness, anxiety, weight fluctuations, difficulty in sleeping – these are some of the telling signs of a thyroid problem. Unfortunately, more often than not, people usually attribute these to merely having poor lifestyle choices. This is why the theme of this year’s ITAW is: “It’s Not You, It’s Your Thyroid”.

It’s Not You, It’s Your Thyroid

Since its primary role is to control the metabolism, disorders may occur when there’s little (hypothyroidism) or overproduction (hyperthyroidism) of thyroid hormones.

Patients with hypothyroidism, or too little thyroid hormone, tend to have slower metabolism: they gain weight despite not eating much, move and speak slowly, feel tired and have depressed thoughts, cannot tolerate cold, and have irregular menstrual periods. [4] On the other hand, patients with hyperthyroidism, or too much thyroid hormone, will have hyperactive metabolism: they lose weight despite having good appetite, have heart palpitations, irritable thoughts and insomnia, have sweating and heat intolerance, and can have tremors in their hands. [5]

The diagnosis of thyroid disorders can easily be made by checking the levels of Thyroid Stimulating Hormone (TSH) in the blood. Treatment brings the level of thyroid hormones back in balance, restoring normal metabolism to the body.

For more information, visit www.thyroidaware.com or follow “Unmasking Your Thyroid” on Facebook (www.facebook.com/thyroidph).

# # #

About Merck

Merck is the world’s oldest pharmaceutical and chemical company with headquarters in Darmstadt, Germany. Merck is a leading science and technology company that works to further develop technologies that improve and enhance life – from biopharmaceutical therapies to treat cancer or multiple sclerosis, cutting-edge systems for scientific research and production, to liquid crystals for smartphones and LCD televisions.

References

[1] American Thyroid Association. Thyroid Information. http://www.thyroid.org/thyroid-information/ Accessed May 2017.

[2] Carlos-Raboca, J et al. The Philippine Thyroid Diseases Study 1 (PhilTiDeS 1): Prevalence of Thyroid Disorders Among Adults in the Philippines. JAFES. 2012.

[3] Thyroid Foundation of Canada. Thyroid Disease: know the facts. Available online http://www.thyroid.ca/know_the_facts.php last accessed May 2017.

[4] American Thyroid Association. Hypothyroidism. Accessed from: http://www.thyroid.org/wp-content/uploads/patients/brochures/Hypo_brochure.pdf on August 2016.

[5] American Thyroid Association. Hyperthyroidism. Accessed from http://www.thyroid.org/wp-content/uploads/patients/brochures/Hyper_brochure.pdf on August 2016.

 

For more information about thyroid disorders and the campaign against it,  visit Unmasking Your Thyroid on Facebook.  Like the page for updates and promotions.

The Perks of Hiring Professional HVAC Services

As important as your building’s AC system might be, you may have no idea how to take care of it. You simply hope that it continues to perform well each time you turn it on for the season. When your system starts blowing out hot air or fails to turn on at all, you may only have a matter of hours before its engine or other components overheat and become ruined. It is imperative that you hire professional HVAC services.  By hiring contractors trained in HVAC, servicing, maintenance, and other aspects of heating and cooling Williamsburg VA home and business owners like you can look forward to cooling off and having a unit that works properly again.

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Professional Repairs

HVAC units utilize a host of complex parts and components to operate. When even one of these parts breaks or malfunctions, the entire system can go down and start blowing out hot air.

Despite the fact that the part is small and seemingly inconsequential, it still may be more complex than you can handle by yourself. You may not even know the part’s name or for what purpose it it used.

Rather than damage the unit further and force having to replace the entire system, you can get the part replaced and the rest of the unit back up and running by hiring professional HVAC services. The repair pros can come to your business or home and inspect the unit to determine the damage. He or she can then either get the part from the service truck or order it from a local warehouse and have your unit back up and running quickly.

Seasonal Maintenance

Along with repairing your unit, service pros can also maintain it on a seasonal basis. When you turn off the AC for the winter and let it sit stagnant, you may jeopardize its function when you turn it on in the summertime. It needs to be maintained and cleaned before you turn it off and shut it down for the winter.

The HVAC professionals can clean and replace the filter, hose off the grime and grass clippings, replace or tighten wiring, and take care of other routine maintenance tasks that can help the unit run better next year. They can then cover it tightly for you so that it remains undisturbed during the windy and stormy wintertime weather.

Your building’s AC unit is crucial to your comfort. You can keep it in good shape by hiring professionals to repair and maintain it.

Noticing Mental Illness Signs

Feeling as though the world is crashing in around you is a sign that you are depressed or have other mental issues that need to be addressed. On the other hand, if you know someone who is withdrawn or has other symptoms that are sometimes easy to see that are associated with a mental illness, you need to seek help for them before it leads to a dark road. A Tallahassee behavioral health center is only one place where you can get help for yourself or someone you love. There are counselors available as well as doctors who can give medications to help with the illness that is present.

Image by David Castillo Dominici / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

The first thing that you have to recognize is that mental illness can lead to irregular behaviors for the person. It could be anything from a bipolar disorder to depression to dementia. Each illness has symptoms that you need to know about and recognize so that you can get help along with treatments that are a bit different for each person because what might work with one person might have the opposite impact for someone else. Some illnesses can be caused by stress while others are caused by other diseases, such as cancer.

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Try to notice if there are any significant changes that take place in a short period of time. Most of the time, a mental illness is presented with more than one symptom instead of just one or two things that take place. Confused thinking is one of the first signs that you’ll notice. It might be hard to remember things that were once easy to think about every day. Depression also goes along with mental illness as you think that no one wants to be around you or that there is nothing to live for any longer. If you notice any suicidal tendencies or thoughts with yourself or someone else, then you need to seek help immediately. Excessive fears are sometimes a sign of some type of mental illness. Not talking to people and withdrawing into your own little world can be an indication that something is wrong as well.

How To Choose The Perfect Rug For Your Space

Decorating your home can be a lot of fun. It can be exciting to experiment with different color patterns and styles to create a space that you will love seeing and enjoy coming home to each day. When it comes to rugs, you might be wondering how to go about picking the perfect one for your space. No matter where you plan to put your new rug, below are some tips to keep in mind while you are browsing for one to buy.

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Budget

Before you sit down and look for a rug to purchase, you should come up with a budget. While many traditional rugs can be pretty pricey, you will certainly be able to find one that you love even when on a tight budget. Once you know how much you can afford to spend on a new rug, you will be able to find rugs in your price range to start comparing. If you see a rug that you love and cannot afford yet, it might be worth saving up to buy. The wait will be worth it even if you have to live with a bare floor for a bit longer.

Size

The size of the rug will ultimately depend on the space and purpose of the rug. If you are looking for a rug for a whole room, the rule of thumb is to get a rug that is at least two feet shorter than the shortest wall in the space. This will help create a better overall look and feel to the room. If you are buying a rug for your dining room table, you should get a rug that is bigger than the table to ensure there is enough room for the chairs to be pulled out and still remain on the rug. In general, hallway rugs look best when there is at least six inches of flooring left between the rug and wall.

Where To Buy

There are many places to buy rugs both online and offline. However, deciding to buy online will give you many more options to choose from and you can read reviews from other customers who made similar purchases. Be sure to choose a reputable company to buy your rug from. Always look for good, quality rugs such as the ones found at rothrugs.com. Roth rugs offer all kinds of area rugs to choose from.

 

Finding the perfect area rug for your home doesn’t have to be difficult. There are many different styles, colors and sizes to choose from. Keep these tips in mind when you begin your search and you are sure to find the right rug for your home.