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Thyroid Day: Know 10 things about the disorder afflicting every 3rd Indian

Symptoms like hair loss, erectile dysfunction, decrease in sex drive are more frequently seen in men

BS Web Team  |  New Delhi 

Thyroid day: Know 10 things about the disorder afflicting every 3rd Indian

Are you feeling tired and stressed when it’s just the beginning your day? Or are you experiencing weight gain and forgetfulness with a low resistance to cold? You may be a victim of where your thyroid gland becomes underactive, leaving you susceptible to diseases. 

Our thyroid gland, a small butterfly-shaped organ which is situated at the foundation of neck, manages a host of metabolic functions in the body, underperformance of which can lead to hormonal imbalances and autoimmune thyroid diseases leading to weakness, fatigue, weight gain, depression and high cholesterol.

Though common statistics reports that men have up to eight times less chance of developing a thyroid disorder than women, one cannot remove it as a threat altogether. 

Symptoms of under-active thyroid are similar in men as they are in women, with weakness, fatigue, weight gain, depression and high cholesterol dominating day to day life. 

While genetics does play a crucial role in determining this threat, your lifestyle habits are essential too. This is precisely why nearly every third Indian suffers from one or the other kind of thyroid disorder. This analysis is based on an in-house data collected from over 33 lakh adults pan India from 2014-2016

As it is world’s thyroid day on 25th May, we bring you everything you know about the disease:

1. Generally, thyroid diseases are seen in elderly men but there are exceptions to the norm. Few symptoms like hair loss, decrease in muscular strength, even and decrease in sex drive are more frequently seen in men.

2. Regular exercise, avoiding smoking, managing stress and adhering to a balanced diet are crucial to maintaining good of the thyroid gland. 

3. High level of stress which affects our adrenal glands increases a stress hormone called Cortisol. This can not only lead to blood sugar imbalances but also has more direct impact on thyroid function.

4. Iodine which is obtained from the diet is vital for the production of thyroid hormones. Hence, be conscious of maintaining an adequate iodine intake. 

5. Older individuals with thyroid activity at the high end of the normal range had a substantially increased risk of developing depression over the course of an eight-year period compared to individuals who had less thyroid activity within the normal range.

6. Thyroid disorders are very common during pregnancy. Over 25 per cent women develop during the 6th week. When a mother's body fails to secrete enough of it against the demand, the risk of miscarriage, pre-term birth, low birth weight, and postnatal developmental issues become higher.

7. People with higher levels of thyroid hormones may be more likely to develop cardiovascular conditions such as heart attacks and strokes. This is because of atherosclerosis — hardening and narrowing of the arteries — silently and slowly blocks arteries, puts blood flow at risk.

8. Babies born to women with low levels of a thyroid hormone during pregnancy may be at an increased risk of being affected by neurodevelopmental disorder. A study showed that 11.8 per cent of people with schizophrenia had a mother with hypothyroxinemia, compared with 8.6 per cent of people without schizophrenia.
9. Subclinical hypothyroidism, a milder form of where the diagnosis is made unexpectedly, emerged as the most prevalent form of thyroid disorder across the country with maximum cases being present in the eastern part of the country.

10. Other possible indicators of the disorder are influence of age, gender, body mass index, total cholesterol, triglycerides, systolic blood pressure, diabetes, alcohol and tobacco intake, and the use of antihypertensive and lipid-lowering drugs in their statistical analyses