Ladies, the next time you happen to find yourself in front of a mirror, take a few minutes to examine your neck. I know this sounds like a weird request, but your neck is a pretty big deal! It’s not just the place to adorn your favorite statement piece; it is also home to a butterfly shaped gland called the thyroid.
The thyroid releases hormones that regulate our metabolism, heart rate, blood pressure, temperature, and many other activities that keep us healthy. Producing too much of the thyroid hormone (hyperthyroidism) can lead to rapid weight loss and anxiety. Conversely, producing too little of the thyroid hormone (hypothyroidism) can lead to symptoms such as fatigue and weight gain.These shifts in hormone production can alter the way we look, the way we feel, and the way our bodies function.
Thyroid problems can happen to anyone, but they’re more common in women. As a matter of fact, 1 in 8 women will develop thyroid issues during her lifetime. This is identical to the likelihood that we as women have for developing breast cancer. The good news is that early detection is still the best protection.
Doing a self-neck exam is a great starting point to check for any lumps, bulges, protrusions or changes.
How to Check Your Thyroid At Home
Hold the mirror in your hand, focusing on the lower front area of your neck, above the collarbones, and below the voice box (larynx). Your thyroid gland is located in this area of your neck.
While focusing on this area in the mirror, tip your head back.
Take a drink of water and swallow.
As you swallow, look at your neck. Check for any bulges or protrusions in this area when you swallow.
**Reminder: Don’t confuse the thyroid cartilage (Adam’s apple in males) with the thyroid gland. The thyroid gland is located further down on your neck, closer to the collarbone.
You may want to repeat this process several times. If you notice anything unusual, or have concerns about your thyroid health- schedule an appointment with your health care provider.
The first step to protecting your health and wellbeing is to recognize that every part of your body is an important part. The next step is to become familiar with those parts. Knowing your body is a critical component to keeping it safe and functioning optimally. So, as you prepare to slay for the day, be sure to give your neckline the extra attention that it deserves.