Data Visualization

Blog of the Data Visualization & Communication Course at OSB-AUB

This is my favorite part about analytics: Taking boring flat data and bringing it to life through visualization” John Tukey

Exposing Thyroid Diseases

Exposing Thyroid Diseases

In the quiet corridors of our family history, a common threat is spreading across generations: thyroid diseases; which are a whispered secret, passed down from mothers to daughters, as if it is a legacy of hormonal imbalances that affect our entire life. But as I delve into this intricate web of health, I realize that the story is not confined to feminine narratives alone. Thyroid diseases spreads beyond gender, age, and expectations.

The Silent Struggle

Females: The Familiar Faces

In my family, thyroid disorders have danced with the women for decades. My grandmother, her voice a gentle tremor, would recount her battle with hypothyroidism that comes with the fatigue, the weight gain, and the chill that clung to her bones. My mother, too, faced her own thyroid journey, navigating the delicate balance of hormones but in the form of hyperthyroidism.

But Wait, There’s More

Yet, as I dug deeper, I discovered that thyroid diseases don’t discriminate. They don’t care about gender. Men, too, battle with these invisible whispers. Their stories however, are often neglected and deserve illumination. So, let’s peel back the layers:

  1. Male Thyroid Troubles: Yes, gentlemen, your thyroid matters too. While less common, thyroid disorders affect men as well. Hypothyroidism can drain their energy, cloud their minds, and leave them feeling the struggle. And hyperthyroidism? It’s like a caffeine rush on steroids including heart palpitations, anxiety, and a metabolism that races like a runaway train.
  2. Ageless Affliction: Thyroid diseases don’t play by the rules of age. They’re not bound by the calendar. It’s a reminder that our bodies are delicate symphonies, and sometimes, a single off-key note can disrupt the harmony.
  3. Hyperthyroidism Takes Center Stage: In other words, the rebel of the thyroid world, commands attention. It’s the rockstar, the one that cranks up the volume. It includes: wet palms, a racing heart, and a metabolism that burns through calories like wildfire. It’s a dance with chaos, a tango on the edge.

The Data Unveiled

To understand the true scope, we turn to the numbers. Thyroid diseases ripple through our communities, leaving no demographic untouched. Here’s what the data insinuates:

      • Gender Balance: While more women face thyroid woes, men aren’t immune. It’s a 70-30 split, a delicate seesaw where hormones sway.

      • Ageless Grasp: From teens to seniors, thyroids hum their mysterious tunes. The young grapple with Graves’ disease, while nodules grow in size in the throats of elders.

      • Hyperthyroidism Reigns: The spotlight shines on hyperthyroidism. It’s the diva, the one that commands attention. But let’s not forget its quieter sibling, hypothyroidism who is the steady calmer hum in the background.

A Call to Action

As I emotionally write this blog, I realize that our perception needs an upgrade. Thyroid diseases aren’t gender-exclusive; they’re human experiences. So, let’s break the silence. Let’s educate, empathize, and empower. And perhaps, just perhaps, we’ll unravel the mysteries of our thyroid symphony, note by note starting with spreading awareness around this sensitive topic. Especially with the finding that thyroid medication is relatively unpopular, especially among diagnosed males.

Understanding Your Thyroid Spectrum: Decoding Test Results

To break down the thyroid examination, let’s delve into the essential tests:

  • FTI (Free Thyroxine Index): This measures the amount of free thyroxine (T4) in your blood. It’s a crucial marker of thyroid function.
  • T4U (Thyroxine Uptake): This assesses how well your thyroid gland absorbs iodine to produce T4.
  • T3 (Triiodothyronine): T3 is the active thyroid hormone. It helps analyze your metabolism, energy levels, and mood.
  • TBG (Thyroxine-Binding Globulin): TBG carries thyroid hormones in your bloodstream. Think of it as the conductor guiding the thyroid symphony.
  • TSH (Thyroid-Stimulating Hormone): TSH is the maestro. It cues the thyroid to produce T4 and T3. High TSH? The orchestra slows down. Low TSH? We’re in overdrive.
  • T4 (Thyroxine): The backbone of thyroid hormones. It’s like the bassline which is the origin/base of the melody.


Get Checked: If you suspect any thyroid irregularities whether you’re male, female, seek professional guidance. Consult an endocrinologist like Dr. Alissa Kivan who was my credible source learning about this topic or your primary care physician. They’ll run the tests we discussed earlier: FTI, T4U, T3, TBG, TSH, and T4. Remember, early detection can be a lifesaver.

Spread Awareness: Be a thyroid advocate. Share your newfound wisdom with friends, family, and social circles. Let’s break the stigma and encourage open conversations about thyroid health. Knowledge is contagious.

Resources for Thyroid Warriors:

American Thyroid Association:

Thyroid Foundation of Canada:

Thyroid UK:

Data Source – University of California:

Dr. Alissa Kivan (Endocrinologist):


Note: This blog is dedicated to all those who wear their thyroid struggles like badges of courage.