Asia Pacific
Aon Health & Wellbeing Conversation - Issue 3

The Thyroid Gland and How It Affects Your Health

In the Philippines, about six percent of the population (5.8 million Filipinos) are affected by thyroid disorders 1. Higher prevalence is observed among adults at just under 9 percent, with Goiter cases being the most common.

How does the thyroid affect the body?

The thyroid is a butterfly-shaped gland located at the neck. Its task is to produce thyroid hormones mainly responsible for controlling the pace or rate of different activities in the body, i.e. metabolism 2 . When the thyroid gland fails to produce sufficient or over-produces this hormone, it causes these activities to underperform or become overactive, disrupting normal physiological processes in our bodies. The most apparent symptom, the swelling of the neck, causes difficulty in breathing and swallowing.

Thyroid anomalies include:

  • Hypothyroidism or Hyperthyroidism

  • Goiter (enlargement of the thyroid gland commonly visible as swelling of the neck)

  • Thyroid cancer

  • Thyroid nodules (small rounded lump at the area of thyroid)

  • Thyroiditis

 

How can we manage thyroid disease?

Thyroid problems are treatable and easily manageable. However, if left untreated, they may result in complications and lead to other diseases or sicknesses, which could end up being fatal for some. It is best to see your doctor should you observe any of the signs and symptoms mentioned above.

The right diet can also help support thyroid health.

 

1 National Nutrition Survey – a survey conducted by the Food and Nutrition Research Institute of the Department of Science and Technology every five years defining the Filipino citizen’s nutritional status as mandated on E.O. 128 Sec.22 of the Republic of the Philippines.

2 Metabolism – the process by which your body converts what you eat and drink into energy. During this complex biochemical process, calories in food and beverages are combined with oxygen to release the energy your body needs to function. – MayoClinic


 

Sources:
women/ss/slideshow-thyroid-symptoms-and-solutionsmayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/goiter/symptoms-causes/syc-20351829
mayoclinic.org/thyroid-disease/expert-answers/faq-20058228
medlineplus.gov/thyroiddiseases.html
webmd.com/women/manage-hypothyroidism-17/balance/slideshow-foods-thyroid
fnri.dost.gov.ph/index.php/nutrition-statistic/19-nutritionstatistic/118-8th-national-nutrition-survey
fnri.dost.gov.ph/index.php/nutrition-statistic/19-nutritionstatistic/118-8th-national-nutrition-survey



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