January National Health Observances

january health awareness month

Kick off the new year with some great national health observances. Your thyroid can impact numerous aspects of your health, and this month serves as a time to familiarize yourself with what your thyroid does and what symptoms you should watch out for. 

Glaucoma and cervical cancer are also highlighted this month as their respective screenings can make a difference in early detection.

Your home even plays a role in your house. The dangerous gas, radon, can be found in Minnesota homes and increases your risk of developing lung cancer – even if you do not smoke. Having your home tested can help determine if it is necessary to take action to lower the radon level in your home.

Learn about January’s national health observances so you can get important reminders, and interesting facts, and make small changes for your health this month!

National Glaucoma Awareness Month

national glaucoma awareness week

Glaucoma is an eye disease primarily affecting individuals over the age of 40. National Glaucoma Awareness Month raises awareness for this disease that can eventually cause blindness if left untreated.

When someone has glaucoma, there is a build-up of fluid in their eyes that is unable to effectively drain.

There is currently no cure for glaucoma, but treatment can greatly slow the damage from worsening if caught early enough.

Thyroid Awareness Month

thyroid awareness month

Your thyroid is a small gland in your neck. According to NCBI, the thyroid “plays a major role in the metabolism, growth, and development of the human body. It helps to regulate many body functions by constantly releasing a steady amount of thyroid hormones into the bloodstream.”

Because the thyroid is tied into so many body functions, Thyroid Awareness Month highlights this often overlooked gland.

Integracare has several female providers who have special training in women’s hormones if you would like to delve deeper into your hormones with a blood test. This blood test can also check for Hyperthyroidism (overproduction of hormones) or Hypothyroidism (underproduction).

National Radon Action Month

Besides smoking cigarettes, radon exposure is the second leading cause of lung cancer in America.

Radon is an odorless gas that can be present in as many as 40% of Minnesota homes – the only way to know if your radon is in your home is to have your home tested.

If you discover your home does have radon, fortunately, there are devices you can have installed in your home to decrease the radon levels. If your home has never been tested, consider having your home tested this month.

Cervical Cancer Month

Cervical Cancer Awareness Month spreads awareness for this preventable form of cancer.

Early on as cervical cancer develops, you may not recognize any symptoms. However, with annual visits to your primary care provider, you can stay on top of your health and ideally prevent cervical cancer.

The CDC estimated that as much as 93% of cervical cancer cases can be prevented through screenings and use of the HPV vaccination. This is because almost all cases of cervical cancer occur in patients who have HPV. 

These screenings, both for HPV and cervical cancer are crucial because the public often is not aware of HPV and the dangers surrounding it. According to data from the Kaiser Family Foundation, an estimated 70% of American adults have never heard of HPV. This is where annual medical visits can help keep patients up to date on this information.