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Thyroid Madness? You're Not Alone

I started off wanting to make a fun self-diagnosis map, but then I reread the instructions and realized I had to use numerical data. So I have two thyroid infographics for you.

1. Thyroid problems can be very tricky to treat, even for endocrinologists, so I thought it would be useful to make a map for the struggling, newly diagnosed hypothyroid patient. Start at the top, with the doctor who tells you that your TSH (thyroid stimulating hormone) and/or thyroid levels are normal and that you’re crazy for thinking you’re still unwell, don’t panic(!), and proceed on down the map until you hopefully stop feeling like Jabba the Hut. As simple and ugly as this infographic may be (and I might want to work in some more vectors on the right side), I would have liked to have something like this when I was trying to understand why I wasn’t feeling better while I tested out different thyroid meds for 2 years—I had to scour the net for suggestions instead and eventually learn to stop trusting my docs. Maybe I will elaborate on it and submit it to popular thyroid sites if I think it’s accurate enough. 

2. The other infographic is the official, numerical data one. I really wanted an excuse to use Wordle, so I used, the number one thyroid site, for the word collage. I made this graphic to show just how common thyroid problems are, and to also try to portray how many different kinds of things can go wrong with the thyroid—cancer, antibodies, hyper or hypo, adrenals, and so on—since people usually think of hypothyroidism first when they hear “thyroid.” Besides a generally out of it/tired look and a fluctuating waist size, it is usually impossible to tell if someone has a thyroid problem, but it’s an invisible illness that needs to get more press because so many people are suffering from it and doctors are so terrible at treating it.

While I’m not pleased with the look of the first infographic, I think this one turned out fairly well. I wanted to give off the feel that the woman was lost in her thyroid madness (as is the common phrase among patients on the web), thus the collage of thyroid words behind her and the irritating doctor to her left, slightly smaller than her to show his insignificance. I tried to stick to a color scheme—pink, brown, gray—and I think the information bubbles are well-spaced, not too cluttered. I also made it a point to fit a whole word behind the woman’s thyroid (grain—a thyroid medication measurement). I think white space is used well; I like the “open” feel of the graphic. Now that I’m looking back at it, though, I wish I’d put in the “10-15% of people with ‘depression’ probably have a thyroid problem” statistic, but I don’t want to clutter the graphic too much.

Both infographics are posted here:
Sources are linked to there.


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