International Thyroid Awareness Week 2016


Welcome to the official website of the eighth International Thyroid Awareness Week. Activities within this week will begin on May 23 and continue through May 29, 2016.

This year’s campaign is called “Catching the butterflies: Spotting the symptoms of thyroid disorders in children.”

The aim of this year’s campaign is to raise awareness of thyroid disorders, especially over activity (hyperthyroidism) and underactivity of the thyroid gland (hypothyroidism), in children and encourage parents to have their children tested if they think they are displaying the symptoms of them. Some children are born without a thyroid gland and testing at birth is also important. Compared to adult’s thyroid disorders in children are not diagnosed as much, it is important for parents to be able to spot the signs and symptoms. Testing is simple and children benefit greatly from early diagnosis and treatment.1,2

To help parents and their children to spot the symptoms associated with the two main types of thyroid disorders, hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism, this year we created two butterflies, each with a different personality that reflects the condition they represent. Hypo (short for hypothyroidism) and Hyper (short for hyperthyroidism).

Hypo is a blue butterfly, showing the symptoms of hypothyroidism, that moves slowly compared to his friends and not growing as fast. The hypo butterfly is often tired and sometimes sluggish. Hyper is a thin, overly active, fidgety pink butterfly reflecting the symptoms of hyperthyroidism. The hyper butterfly is irritable and easily upset.

As President of the Thyroid Federation International (TFI) I encourage you think carefully about whether your child or the child of someone you know might be experiencing the symptoms of a thyroid disorder. I strongly encourage parents to speak with their physician if they are concerned. If thyroid hormone imbalances are undiagnosed and left untreated, they may have a detrimental effect on a child’s brain development, growth, performance in school, puberty, overall metabolism and general well-being.3 However, in most cases thyroid disorders can be successfully managed and, with proper treatment, children should be able to control the symptoms and lead normal healthy lives.4,5

I would like to thank Merck for its support throughout the eight years of this campaign. We do hope you find this site a useful source for information on thyroid disorders, but please don’t hesitate to visit your physician if you have further questions or concerns.


Ashok Bhaseen

TFI President

Thyroid Federation International is a global organization which aims to work for the benefit of those affected by thyroid dysfunctions throughout the world.

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