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Spread your wings, be thyroid aware

This International Thyroid Awareness Week we’re raising awareness about the importance of mothers and babies maintaining good thyroid health. ITAW is an annual campaign developed by Merck (Merck Healthcare KGaA) in close collaboration with Thyroid Federation International and this year with ThyroidChange.

Be thyroid aware

Thyroid disorders are common conditions worldwide1, which occur when the thyroid gland – a small butterfly shaped gland in the front of the neck – is not working properly.3

The thyroid gland is known to play a key role in our health and wellbeing.4,5 However, up to 50% of people suffering from thyroid disorders are undiagnosed.6

While living with an undiagnosed thyroid disorder can be debilitating, it doesn’t have to be this way! Inspired by the butterfly-shaped gland, with the right management, we say to those with thyroid disorders to ‘Spread Your Wings’.

1 in 8 women will develop thyroid problems in her life. Too little or too much thyroid hormone can cause problems in getting pregnant and during pregnancy, therefore, proper functioning of the thyroid gland plays an important role in a mother’s life.8 Which is why for ITAW we are focused on raising awareness about the importance of mothers and babies maintaining good thyroid health.

‘Spread Your Wings’ infographic

Our ‘spread your wings’ infographic helps people to be thyroid aware. Read and share to spread awareness about the impact of thyroid disorders on mothers and babies and the common symptoms.

Suspect you have a thyroid disorder?

  • Download our Wellbeing Diary and try out the short thyroid disorders symptom checker
  • Get your blood tested – regular full thyroid panel blood tests can detect levels of your thyroid hormones and allow optimal treatment control
  • Manage your thyroid – thyroid health can be managed by treatment based on your needs
  • If you are pregnant, ask your doctor about optimal thyroid ranges for pregnant women

Spread thyroid awareness

Help us spread the news on this important topic and let us make a difference to the lives of those affected by thyroid disorders.

  • Keep up with the campaign via our channels on Twitter and LinkedIn
  • Engage by using the hashtag #SpreadYourWings21
  • Share the ‘Spread Your Wings’ infographic to encourage others to be thyroid aware

Why are we doing this?

International Thyroid Awareness Week (ITAW), now in its 13th year, was created to highlight the detrimental impact that thyroid disorders have on people’s quality of life when left undiagnosed. Around 1.6 billion people worldwide are thought to be at risk, with hundreds of millions living with a thyroid condition right now.9 Up to 50% of those living with a thyroid disorder are undiagnosed, and people may be needlessly struggling through their everyday lives without knowing the root cause of their symptoms.6

However, once diagnosed, thyroid disorders are treatable,5,7 and the ITAW campaign is pushing to improve testing and diagnoses globally.

  1. Taylor PN et al. Global epidemiology of hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism. Nature reviews. Endocrinology 2018;14:301-316.
  2. Mendes D. Prevalence of Undiagnosed Hypothyroidism in Europe: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. Eur Thyroid J 2019;8:130-143.
  3. Thyroid Foundation of Canada. About Thyroid Disease. Available from: accessed February 2022.
  4. American Thyroid Association. Thyroid blood tests and general well-being, mood and brain function. Available at august-2016/vol-9-issue-8-p-8-9/.Last accessed February 2022.
  5. American Thyroid Association. Hyperthyroidism. Available at Last accessed February 2022.
  6. Chaker L, et al. Hypothyroidism. Lancet 2017;390:1550–62.
  7. American Thyroid Association. Hypothyroidism. Available at accessed February 2022.
  8. Thyroid awareness: what happens when this little gland goes haywire. Available at Last accessed February 2022.
  9. Khan A, Khan MM, Akhtar S. Thyroid disorders, etiology and prevalence. J Med Sci 2002; 2: 89–94. Available at accessed February 2022.


Date of preparation: February 2022