Thyroid disorders have become common in Indians: Dr Rakesh


AMARAVATI: Thyroid disorders are one of the most common endocrine disorders affecting nearly 42 million Indians. Noted endocrinologist Dr Rakesh Bobba of Ramesh Hospitals group has observed that undiagnosed thyroid disease may put patients at risk for health conditions like cardiovascular diseases, osteoporosis and infertility. He said that World Thyroid Day is an annual awareness day celebrated on May 25, which focuses on increasing awareness of thyroid health and educating about prevention and treatment of thyroid diseases. ”The thyroid gland is a butterfly shaped gland located in the neck. It produces hormones that influence every cell, tissue and organ in the body; therefore, thyroid health is extremely important. Thyroid hormones play vital roles in growth, neuronal development, reproduction and regulation of energy metabolism. Hence, thyroid hormone disorders will significantly impact a person’s well-being and quality of life,” said Dr Rakesh.

He said that about 50 percent of those with thyroid disease are unaware of their condition and that women are five to eight times more likely than men to have thyroid problems. He said that WHO (World Health Organization) has identified iodine deficiency as the world’s most prevalent, yet easily preventable, cause of brain damage. “Iodine is an essential element in normal thyroid function. Since the body doesn’t make it, iodine must be ingested through the diet. Consequences of iodine deficiency include physical and mental retardation, cretinism, endemic goiter, hypothyroidism and poor outcomes in pregnancy,” he said.


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The WHO recommends iodine intake of 250 micrograms/ day during pregnancy to maintain adequate thyroid hormone production. Hence, pregnant and lactating women should receive a daily multivitamin/ mineral supplement that contains 250 mcg of iodine or ionized salt. This level of support is critical to assure normal brain development of the fetus and baby.


*The most common thyroid disorders include hypothyroidism (abnormally decreased thyroid activity), hyperthyroidism (abnormally increased thyroid activity), thyroiditis (inflammation of the thyroid gland) and thyroid cancer.

*Hypothyroidism, a condition that occurs when the thyroid gland does not produce enough thyroid hormone, is the most common thyroid disease. Symptoms include fatigue, depression, forgetfulness, irregular menses, and weight gain. Treatment of hypothyroidism is usually with a synthetic form of thyroid hormone called “levothyroxine”.

*Hyperthyroidism,”-the thyroid gland produces too much thyroid hormone. Symptoms include irritability, nervousness, muscle weakness, unexplained weight loss, sleep disturbances, vision problems and eye irritation. It can be treated with anti-thyroid drugs; radio iodine drops and surgery.

*The best way to initially test thyroid function is to measure the TSH level in a blood sample. Changes in TSH can serve as an “early warning system” – often occurring before the actual level of thyroid hormones in the body becomes too high or too low.

*A high TSH level indicates that the thyroid gland is not making enough thyroid hormone (primary hypothyroidism). The opposite situation, in which the TSH level is low, usually indicates that the thyroid is producing too much thyroid hormone (hyperthyroidism).

*Biotin supplements can interfere with the blood tests used to measure thyroid levels, so it is recommended to stop taking biotin containing supplements for 2-3 days prior to thyroid blood tests.


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