The Department of Health (DOH) today joins the rest of the world in observing International Thyroid Awareness Week (ITAW) 2018 with the theme, “The Thyroid: Control Panel of the Body.” This is to highlight the central role of the thyroid gland in regulating the functions of the body.
The ITAW aims to raise awareness on the prevention of thyroid disorders and encourage those affected to seek early medical consultation once signs and symptoms are observed. 
Thyroid disorders include hyperthyroidism, hypothyroidism, thyroid nodules or goiter and thyroid cancer. The common warning signs include fatigue, increased sensitivity to cold, constipation, dry skin, weight gain, puffy face, hoarseness of voice, muscle pain and weakness, joint pains and stiffness, thinning of hair, slowed heart rate, depression, and impaired memory.
 “Thyroid disorders are preventable but can lead to the development of diseases like goiter, heart diseases, infertility, and congenital hyperthyroidism if left untreated,” Health Secretary Francisco T. Duque III explained. 
Duque lamented that thyroid disorders still affect a significant segment of Philippine society. According to the 2012 Philippine Thyroid Diseases Study (PhilTiDes-1), the prevalence of thyroid function abnormalities in the Philippines is 8.53% among adult population. 
As part of the national observance of ITAW 2018, the DOH, through the Disease Prevention and Control Bureau, Health Promotion and Communication Service and different specialty societies and medical organizations, is conducting a Thyroid Lay Forum in Davao City on May 22, 2018 and in Iloilo City on May 25, 2018 and radio guesting to discuss thyroid disorders.