World Thyroid Day is observed on 25th May. On this day here is everything you need to know about thyroid and the need to take prevention steps for the disease.
World Thyroid Day is recognized globally as a thyroid awareness day, held on 25th May, every year. In the year 2018, different types of Thyroid disorders were found in almost forty-two million Indians, while many still remain undiagnosed.
What are Thyroid Disorders?
These disorders are typically caused by over or under-function of the thyroid gland. The most common thyroid disorders include hyperthyroidism (abnormally increased thyroid activity), hypothyroidism (abnormally decreased thyroid activity), thyroiditis (inflammation of the thyroid gland), Goiter, and thyroid cancer.
Thyroid diseases are easy to diagnose, easy to treat. Even a slightly swollen thyroid gland is visible and should be met with the utmost care. If and when it is identifiable, the patient should immediately consult a physician. Early diagnosis and treatment is the cornerstone of thyroid management.
Women are More Prone to Thyroid Disorders
Thyroid problems are increasing in India, especially in women. It is due to the fact that a woman’s body is more prone to hormonal imbalances than her male counterpart. Women are more sensitive to hormonal changes and any sign of Iodine deficiency can further complicate the female thyroid system.
A pregnant woman is more exposed to thyroid disorders, particularly if the thyroid is overactive or underactive. The imbalance in hormone levels may have the following effects on a woman’s body – Abnormal menstruation, imbalanced or non-existent ovulation cycle, cyst formation, postpartum thyroiditis, miscarriages, preterm delivery, stillbirth, postpartum hemorrhage, and early onset of menopause.
Iodine deficiency can be easily avoided through dietary control and regular exercise. To prevent thyroid issues, the recommended daily intake of iodine is 150 mcg per day for most adults. For women who are pregnant or nursing, the requirements are higher.
Symptoms of Hypothyroidism
Hypothyroidism occurs because the thyroid gland starts producing an insufficient amount of thyroid hormone. It develops due to problems within the thyroid gland, pituitary gland, or hypothalamus. It can also result in the formation of a goitre, caused by the enlargement of the thyroid gland. Some of the common symptoms of hypothyroidism are:
- Poor Concentration
- Dry Skin
- Feeling Cold
- Fluid Retention/Weight Gain
- Muscle and Joint Aches
- Hair Loss
- Prolonged or excessive bleeding in women/Scanty or very less periods
- Amenorrhea (a rare condition caused by hormone imbalance) can cause your periods to stop for several months or longer
Symptoms of Hyperthyroidism
Excessive production of thyroid hormone results in hyperthyroidism, a less common condition than hypothyroidism. Symptoms of hypothyroidism usually relate to increased metabolism. In mild cases, there may not be apparent symptoms. Hyperthyroidism can also result in the formation of a goitre. Some of the common symptoms include:
- Fast heart rate
- Intolerance for heat
- Increase in bowel movements
- Unintentional weight loss
- Diagnosis of Thyroid Disorders
In addition to the physical exam, some specialized tests are used to diagnose thyroid disorders. Blood tests are typically done to measure levels of thyroid hormones and TSH (Thyroid Stimulating Hormones). Taking the levels of thyroid hormones and TSH test is highly recommended upon experiencing any of the aforementioned symptoms.
In most cases, thyroid disorders can be well managed with medical treatment and are not life-threatening. Some conditions may require surgery. The outlook for most people with thyroid cancer is also good, although patients with thyroid cancer that has spread throughout the body have a poorer prognosis.
Inputs by- Dr. Sajid Mir, Consultant, Medical Team From Docprime
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