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Thyroid testing used to highlight potential risks

Category: Thyroid Diseases

Hyperthyroidism affects approximately 30 million Americans, according to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. In hyperthyroidism, the thyroid gland makes more of the hormone than the body needs, which tends to cause nervousness and irritability, weight loss, mood swings and other symptoms.

There is some evidence that Iodine 131, which can be produced from nuclear reactors, may be linked to thyroid problems. To raise awareness of this danger, the Clearwater Festival in New York offered thyroid tests to the public at the event.

"There are no standard testing programs for thyroid health in the U.S. even though the rate of thyroid cancer has nearly tripled since 1980," said Joseph Mangano, executive director of the Radiation and Public Health Project, who sponsored the testing program adding that while the E.U. labels food with nutrients beneficial for a functioning thyroid, the U.S. population is ill informed.

"Here, few have any idea of where the thyroid is and what the thyroid does, how radiation may affect it, and what a health risk a damaged thyroid can be," he said.

TSH tests, the most common thyroid test used, can be performed with a simple finger stick to draw blood.ADNFCR-2248-ID-19299187-ADNFCR

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