More than half the women of America complain of low sex drive at some point or another, and most don't know that the thyroid may be to blame. And men with sexual problems and/or hair loss may also be suffering from an undiagnosed thyroid condition. These are all important parts of the thyroid story that don't get told, but could help change the media perception of thyroid disease.
And all the Baby Boomer women going through perimenopause and menopause who are agonizing over decisions whether to take potentially risky hormone treatment to deal with symptoms? A sizeable number of them could resolve symptoms like fatigue, sleep disruptions, weight changes, depression, and memory problems by starting getting their thyroid problems properly diagnosed and safely treated. They may never even need other hormone therapies to have a comfortable, healthy menopause!
Second, we need to become more aware of what the government is doing in terms of research. Write to your representatives and ask why more research isn't focused on thyroid disease. Urge the NIH to dedicate more efforts to providing information and funding research on thyroid conditions. Here's a handy page online where you can easily find online and regular mail information to write your representatives.
Third, fight the stigma. If you hear an advertisement that disparages thyroid patients, write the advertiser, write the media outlet that ran the ad, and let me know. I'll help publicize it, and we may be able to get the advertiser to change their approach - AND increase awareness while we're at it. If you see someone Twitter that pathetic Emo Phillips joke (and believe me, there's always someone who "rediscovers" this joke and feels it necessary to Twitter it incessantly) and tell them it isn't funny. Tell your family, friends, neighbors, and coworkers that you have a thyroid problem, and help educate them, because chances are, some of them have a thyroid condition, but they just don't know it yet.
Fourth, don't fight it alone. There is strength in numbers. Join with other thyroid patients at the About.com Thyroid Forum to share your thoughts, ideas, support, and information on how to feel and live well.