Diabetes and autoimmune diseases, which disproportionately impact Indigenous communities, are risk factors for developing hypothyroidism. Additionally, if left unchecked, hypothyroidism can increase the risk of developing diabetes.
According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, roughly 10 percent of women of childbearing age are impacted by polycystic ovary syndrome with even higher rates estimated among Native American and Hispanic women.
Ertz's Native American cultural and family connections run deep. She grew up in rural South Dakota, and her father is a psychologist as well. Watching him serve other people during her childhood influenced the decision to choose behavioral health.
Stress manifests itself both mentally and physically, effecting everyone in some form. The International Stress Management Association recognizes the first full week in November as International Stress Awareness Week.