Hypothyroidism: it even sounds weird – hard to pronounce and like something rare that only happens to the odd old person. But what if we told you that it even happens to radiantly beautiful and funny people like Sofia Vergara?
We probably don’t have to tell you she is. Whether you know her as the vibrant and lovely Gloria in Modern Family, or Madame Desdemona in Machete Kills, you can see her in your mind’s eye: beautiful, funny and looking like she could live forever.
It wasn’t always like that. At the age of 28, while having a routine check-up, Sofia’s doctor found a lump in her neck. Tests came back to show that she had thyroid cancer, and the gland had to come out.
Living Without a Thyroid Gland
“Is that such a big deal? People live without their appendix, don’t they?” you may ask. The thing with your thyroid gland is that it helps control many of your body’s vital functions, like:
- Temperature regulation
- Heart rate
- How vitamins like calcium are absorbed
- Your metabolism
To treat the cancer, Sofia’s doctors removed her thyroid gland and followed up with irradiated iodine treatments. It worked! The small price she’s had to pay for being cancer-free is living without a functioning thyroid gland: And that’s hypothyroidism.
Today she has to take a pill each morning to keep her thyroid levels straight, and gets them checked every 3 to 6 months. Now Sofia is the official face of the “Follow the Script” programme. The campaign encourages people with hypothyroidism to:
- keep track of their symptoms
- lead healthy lifestyles
- work with their doctors to find the correct medication dosage
The one thing Sofia wants everyone with hypothyroidism to know? You can live a normal life with hypothyroidism.