AACE launches ‘Up to Here’ thyroid awareness campaign
The American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists this week launched the Up To Here campaign to raise awareness of thyroid diseases and to help U.S. residents recognize symptoms, risk factors and the need to seek treatment, according to an association press release.
The campaign, launched to coincide with Thyroid Awareness Month, is designed to highlight common symptoms associated with thyroid disease, such as weight gain and mood or sleep disorders.
“AACE launched the Up To Here campaign to raise awareness of thyroid diseases and to encourage people to talk with their doctors if they have certain symptoms,” Cheryl Rosenfeld, DO, FACE, FACP, ECNU, a partner at North Jersey Endocrine Consultants, LLC and an adjunct clinical associate professor of medicine at the Touro College of Osteopathic Medicine, told Healio. “Many people don’t realize that thyroid disease is more common than diabetes and heart disease. Despite this pervasiveness, more than half of Americans with thyroid diseases are unaware, which can compromise a person’s health.”
Common thyroid disorders include Graves’ disease, Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, thyroid nodules and thyroid cancer. Thyroid eye disease may develop in some people who have a thyroid condition. As Healio previously reported, knowledge gaps persist even among adults with thyroid eye disease or Graves’ disease without orbitopathy who report a greater understanding of thyroid eye disease than the general population.
“Too many patients believe that thyroid related symptoms are caused solely by ageing, stress, poor diet or lack of exercise,” Rosenfeld said in an interview. “Additionally, thyroid disease is frequently misdiagnosed as other conditions. For both these reasons, we want to empower people to have conversations with their doctors about whether their thyroid is playing a role in their symptoms.”Undiagnosed thyroid diseases may also place a person at greater risk for heart disease, weight gain or loss, infertility and osteoporosis.
Rosenfeld said endocrinologists are well positioned to help people navigate whether their thyroid is working properly and what treatment is appropriate.
“Endocrinologists should reassure patients that their concerns are being heard and provide adequate time to answer questions,” Rosenfeld said. “This reassurance is important for patients with thyroid diseases, as changes in mood or cognition related to thyroid dysfunction may affect how a patient perceives their illness or interacts with their physician and caregivers.”
All health care providers must also keep in mind that persistence of weight gain or other symptoms once the patient has been rendered euthyroid should prompt a search for other underlying etiologies or conditions, Rosenfeld said. For more information, visit www.thyroidawareness.com.
Disclosures: Rosenfeld reports no relevant financial disclosures. AbbVie and Horizon Therapeutics provided promotional support for thyroidawareness.com.