Did you know that one in seven Australians has a thyroid disorder, caused mainly by a lack of iodine in our diets?
The thyroid is a small, bow-shaped gland in the front of the neck that secretes hormones that control major bodily functions such as weight management, sleep, energy use and food metabolism.
Thyroid disorders can be caused by many things including autoimmune diseases, viral and bacterial inflammation, family predisposition, chronic stress and, in women, hormone imbalance caused by childbearing and menopause.
What is World Thyroid Day?
World Thyroid Day is an annual global event initiated by Thyroid Federation International (TFI), a worldwide thyroid patient support and educational organisation, and supported by the Australian Thyroid Foundation (ATF). Held in May each year, it’s an opportunity to spread the word about thyroid disorders and to educate people on what they can do to prevent them or minimise their impact.
The message of good thyroid health advocates eating iodine-rich foods such as fish, dairy and cruciferous vegetables (broccoli, brussel sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower and kale). It also encourages people to get a checkup if they suspect they are suffering from a thyroid disorder and, in the case of pregnant or breastfeeding women, to talk to their doctor about taking iodine supplements.
How can you get involved?
- Volunteer with the Australian Thyroid Foundation (ATF) and help with marketing, fundraising or office and phone support.
- Make a donation to the ATF or bequeath a donation in your will.
- Become a corporate sponsor if you are a business and gain exposure in return for financial support.
- Purchase ATF merchandise such as a Gold Bow (the thyroid symbol) from the ATF website.
- Spread the word about good thyroid health on Facebook, Twitter and your other social media platforms.
- If you’ve been affected by a thyroid disorder, share your story to help others deal with their own experiences.
- Hold a fundraising event such as a dinner party, barbecue, work luncheon, girl’s night out or sporting event to raise funds to help the ATF continue their work.