Thyroid Awareness Month: Insights from Eve Traill, PA-C at OnePeak Medical

In honor of Thyroid Awareness Month, we had the privilege of sitting down with Eve Traill, Physician Assistant at OnePeak Medical, to gain valuable insights into thyroid health. In this interview, Eve sheds light on the impact of thyroid disorders on women, the role of genetics, misconceptions surrounding thyroid health, effective communication with healthcare providers, and key advice for individuals during Thyroid Health Awareness Month.

Thyroid Disorders and Women’s Health:

We delve into the specific effects of thyroid disorders in women, especially during pregnancy and menopause. Eve explains, “Research suggests that estrogen and thyroid levels are linked, and those hormones are expected to increase during pregnancy and decrease during menopause.”

Importance of Regular Thyroid Screenings:

Eve emphasizes the significance of regular thyroid screenings, stating, “The American Thyroid Association recommends thyroid screenings every five years, starting at age 35. Symptoms of thyroid disorders are vast and non-specific, so getting tested anytime you experience a shift in weight change, energy levels, or sleep is important.”

Genetics and Thyroid Disorders:

Regarding genetics, Eve points out, “There are a lot of autoimmune genetic disorders that have to do with the thyroid. Specifically, Graves disease and Hashimoto’s are auto-immune and more genetic. If your mother has a thyroid disorder, this can also be genetic.” She highlights that women are 5-8 times more likely to have thyroid problems than men, with environmental factors like toxins playing a significant role.

Common Misconceptions:

Eve addresses common misconceptions, saying, “You can still have normal thyroid function with auto-immune thyroid disorders. Also, most nodules on the thyroid gland are benign/not cancerous.”

Effective Communication with Healthcare Providers:

Eve provides tips for effective communication, advising, “Have a primary care provider that you feel comfortable with, and don’t be afraid to discuss thyroid disorders and concerns with them.”

Key Messages for Thyroid Health Awareness Month:

In closing, Eve shares key messages for Thyroid Health Awareness Month, emphasizing, “Stress, anxiety, and lack of sleep can impact your thyroid health.” She recommends ensuring sufficient intake of iodine (fish, eggs, dairy, seaweed) and selenium (brazil nuts) through diet or supplementation, adding, “The thyroid is one of the first parts to be affected by toxins, heavy metals, and stress.”

If any of the symptoms or thyroid disorders we shared feel all too familiar, we encourage you to get your thyroid checked sooner rather than later. OnePeak Medical, located throughout Oregon, is currently accepting new patients.