January is Thyroid Awareness Month

The thyroid gland is a small, butterfly-shaped gland located in the base of the neck just below the Adam’s apple. Although relatively small, the thyroid gland plays a huge role in our body, influencing the function of many of the body’s most important organs, including the heart, brain, liver, kidneys and skin. Ensuring that the thyroid gland is healthy and functioning properly is vitally important to the body’s overall well-being. An estimated 15 million of Americans have undiagnosed thyroid problems. At Newport Urgent Care we can help with early detection of thyroid conditions.

How common is thyroid disease?

Newport Urgent Care January is Thyroid Awareness MonthThyroid disease is more common than diabetes or heart disease. Thyroid disease is a fact of life for as many as 30 million Americans – and more than half of those people remain undiagnosed. Women are five times more likely than men to suffer from hypothyroidism (when the gland is not producing enough thyroid hormone). Aging is just one risk factor for hypothyroidism.

How important is my thyroid in my overall well-being?

The thyroid gland produces thyroid hormone, which controls virtually every cell, tissue and organ in the body. If your thyroid is not functioning properly, it can produce too much thyroid hormone, which causes the body’s systems to speed up (hyperthyroidism); or it can create too little thyroid hormone, which causes the body’s systems to slow down (hypothyroidism).

Untreated thyroid disease may lead to elevated cholesterol levels and subsequent heart disease, as well as infertility and osteoporosis. Research also shows that there is a strong genetic link between thyroid disease and other autoimmune diseases, including types of diabetes, arthritis and anemia.

Simply put, if your thyroid gland isn’t working properly, neither are you.

How do you know if you have a thyroid problem?

First, you must understand how to recognize the symptoms and risk factors of thyroid disease. Since many symptoms may be hidden or mimic other diseases and conditions, the best way to know for sure is to ask your doctor for a TSH (thyroid-stimulating hormone) test, a simple blood test to verify your thyroid gland’s condition. Also, take a minute and perform a self Neck Check. And because thyroid disease often runs in families, examinations of your family members and a review of their medical histories may reveal other individuals with thyroid problems.

What are some of the reasons to consider a thyroid evaluation?

  • Family history: A familiar place to look for thyroid disorder signs and symptoms is your family tree. If you have a first-degree relative (a parent, sibling or child) with thyroid disease, you would benefit from thyroid evaluation. Women are much more likely to be thyroid patients than men; however, the gene pool runs through both.
  • Prescription medications: If you are taking Lithium or Amiodarone, you should consider a thyroid evaluation.
  • Radiation therapy to the head or neck: If you have had any of the following radiation therapies, you should consider a thyroid evaluation: radiation therapy for tonsils, radiation therapy for an enlarged thymus, or radiation therapy for acne.

To help with early detection and in some cases help you find lumps or enlargements in the neck that may point to a thyroid condition, you can perform a simple Neck Check self-exam. Here is a step-by-step guide.

How to take the Thyroid Neck Check

All you will need is:

A. Handheld mirror
B. Glass of water

Newport Urgent Care January is Thyroid Awareness Month

  1. 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.
  2. While focusing on this area in the mirror, tip your head back.
  3. Take a drink of water and swallow.
  4. As you swallow, look at your neck. Check for any bulges or protrusions in this area when you swallow. Reminder: Don’t confuse the Adam’s apple 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.
  5. If you do see any bulges or protrusions in this area, see your physician. You may have an enlarged thyroid gland or a thyroid nodule that should be checked to determine whether further evaluation is needed.

For more information contact Brea Urgent Care at 949-752-6300.

December 1 is World AIDS Day

In recognition of World AIDS Day on December 1, Newport Urgent Care encourages everyone in [enter state/city] to get tested for HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. In the United States, about 1 in 5 people who has HIV doesn’t know it.

The only way to know for sure whether or not you have HIV is to get tested. You could have HIV and still feel healthy. Everyone ages 15 to 65 needs to get tested at least once. Some people may need to get tested more often.

To find an HIV testing location near you, text your ZIP code to KNOWIT (566948) or use this online locator.

HIV is passed from one person to another by:

  • Having unprotected sex with a person who has HIV
  • Sharing needles with someone who has HIV
  • Breastfeeding, pregnancy, or childbirth if the mother has HIV
  • Getting a transfusion of blood that’s infected with HIV (very rare in the United States)

Learn more about HIV/AIDS and how to prevent this disease.

Around the world, about 34 million people are living with HIV. In the United States, about 50,000 people get infected with HIV every year. World AIDS Day is a global initiative to raise awareness, fight prejudice, and improve education about HIV and AIDS.

For more information, visit Newport Urgent Care in Newport Beach, CA or call us at 949-752-6300.

November is American Diabetes Month

Diabetes is one of the leading causes of disability and death in the United States. One in 12 Americans has diabetes – that’s more than 25 million people. And another 79 million adults in the United States are at high risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

To raise awareness about diabetes and healthy living, Newport Urgent Care is proudly participating in American Diabetes Month. Locally, 6.3% of people live with or are at risk of diabetes.

If you are overweight, have high blood pressure, or are age 45 or older, you are at higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes. The good news is that making healthy changes can greatly lower your risk. To help prevent type 2 diabetes:

  • Watch your weight.
  • Eat healthy.
  • Get more active.

For more information, visit Newport Urgent Care in Newport Beach, CA or call us at 949-752-6300.

October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month

This October, Newport Urgent Care is proud to participate in National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Breast cancer is the second most common kind of cancer in women. About 1 in 8 women born today in the United States will get breast cancer at some point.

The good news is that many women can survive breast cancer if it’s found and treated early.

  • If you are a woman age 40 to 49, talk with your doctor about when to start getting mammograms and how often to get them.
  • If you are a woman age 50 to 74, be sure to get a mammogram every 2 years. You may also choose to get them more often.

Talk to a doctor about your risk for breast cancer, especially if a close family member of yours had breast or ovarian cancer. Your doctor can help you decide when and how often to get mammograms.

For more information, visit Newport Urgent Care in Newport Beach, CA or call us at 949-752-6300.

September is National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month

One in 3 children in the United States is overweight or obese. Childhood obesity puts kids at risk for health problems that were once seen only in adults, like type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, and heart disease.

The good news is that childhood obesity can be prevented. In honor of National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month, Newport Urgent Care encourages your family to make healthy changes together.

  • Get active outside: Walk around the neighborhood, go on a bike ride, or play basketball at the park.
  • Limit screen time: Keep screen time (time spent on the computer, watching TV, or playing video games) to 2 hours or less a day.
  • Make healthy meals: Buy and serve more vegetables, fruits, and whole-grain foods.

Taking small steps as a family can help your child stay at a healthy weight.

For more information, visit Newport Urgent Care in Newport Beach, CA or call us at 949-752-6300.