This month is Thyroid Awareness Month, and I’m excited to partner with Paloma Health to gift one lucky winner an at-home thyroid test kit. I first learned about the online medical clinic that specializes in and treats hypothyroidism and Hashimoto’s a few years back. Since then, I’ve been impressed by their approach to empowering patients to take control of their thyroid health by testing at home with their easy and convenient kit that looks at different biomarkers (such as TSH, Free T3, Free T4, and TPO Antibodies, with the option to add on Vitamin D and Reverse T3, too).
As a ten-year thyroid cancer survivor this year, it’s important to me that we prioritize conversations around thyroid health. Did you know that over 20 million Americans are diagnosed with a thyroid condition? Or that 60% of those with a thyroid disease are unaware of their condition? That’s what happened in my case. Back in 2013, when I went to my gynecologist for what I thought would be a routine exam, I had no idea that something was wrong with my thyroid. There weren’t any signs or symptoms present or anything else that would prompt me to get my thyroid checked. Thanks to my gynecologist’s thorough exam and insistence on performing a neck check, the nodule on the right side of my thyroid was discovered. From there, I underwent blood work, which revealed that I had sub-clinical hypothyroidism (meaning that without medication, I would eventually begin to experience the side effects of an under-active thyroid) and I had Hashimoto’s (which accounts for 90% of adult hypothyroidism cases).
After my diagnosis of hypothyroidism and thyroid cancer, I was surprised to learn that primary care physicians often don’t run thyroid labs as part of a Complete Blood Count. Then I discovered that since many millennial women may not have a primary care physician they see regularly, more gynecologists were on the lookout for thyroid issues (and discovering thyroid cancer, as they had in my case). Also, I should note that at the time of my diagnosis, I had seen an Ear, Nose, and Throat specialist for several years who had never performed a neck check on me.
These experiences with the medical community were a large part of why I decided to become a Board-Certified Patient Advocate and how I got comfortable advocating for myself with my providers. It’s also why I appreciate companies like Paloma Health that help patients become more knowledgeable about their health and allow them to become a partner on their care team.
I recently took Paloma’s at-home thyroid test and was impressed by how simple it was to do. Once you receive the kit, you go online to register it and follow a few steps to complete the test—mainly, prep your finger, use one of the finger pricks provided, collect your samples, seal up the envelope, and send your test out. In about a week, you receive your results and can review them with Paloma’s team of doctors who can provide ongoing care. While most insurances do not cover the costs of the kits, they are reasonably priced and are FSA/HSA eligible.
If you want to join the conversation on thyroid health or try an at-home test from Paloma, head over to my Instagram and enter the giveaway for a chance to win a kit of your own. The giveaway closes on Friday, January 20 at 11:59 pm EST, so hurry up and follow the guidelines in the post to get your entry in. Good luck!