Check Your Thyroid

A simple exam could catch deadly problems

(HealthDayNews) -- Here's a painless self-exam that could be a life-saver. Known as the neck check, it's designed to detect thyroid problems before they get serious.

Just tilt your head back and focus a mirror on the area between mid-neck and collarbone. Watch as you swallow a sip of water. Check for any bulges in the lower neck, above the collarbone. Do this a few times. If you see any protrusions (other than an Adam's apple), contact your physician.

Lumps in the thyroid gland signal an under- or over-active thyroid. And a simple blood test (the TSH) can check that out.

Symptoms of thyroid disorders can include depression and memory slips, often shrugged off as "just aging." But most thyroid conditions are easily controlled. Even thyroid cancer is highly treatable; if caught early, more than nine in ten cases are cured.

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