Many thyroid problems are actually preventable. For example, iodine deficiency is probably the leading cause of thyroid disease worldwide, with at least 800 million people affected. Since iodine has been added to table salt, bread, and other foods, it is very uncommon, if not unheard of, to see thyroid disease as a result of iodine deficiency in developed countries such as the United States. Iodine deficiency remains a large public health problem in the rest of the world, and much more work needs to be done to eliminate this preventable cause of thyroid disease.
Nearly all thyroid diseases are treatable. Synthetic thyroid hormone is readily available to treat hypothyroidism, and there are several good treatments for hyperthyroidism. Most patients with thyroid nodules are treated successfully without undergoing surgery, and more than ninety percent of patients with the most common types of thyroid cancer are cured. A very important function of The Thyroid Society was to make information about the current treatment of thyroid disease readily available through their newsletter and publications.
Ultimately, prevention, improved treatment, and cure of thyroid disease will be achieved only through medical research. The more that is known about the normal thyroid gland and its diseases, the more likely we are to find effective preventive and therapeutic measures. Exciting thyroid research is being carried out in the areas of genetics, immunology, molecular biology, and epidemiology. The Thyroid Society continued to work for additional funding to support this research, and publicized new and important discoveries as they were made.
Archived Articles – The Thyroid Society (1998 – 2003):