Hypothyroidism is a very serious problem in India, where 1 in every 10 men & women suffer from hypothyroidism
Fatigue and weight gain are common symptoms of hypothyroidism. Credit:LibreShot
42 million people in India have thyroid disorders and hypothyroidism is the most common of thyroid disorders in India, affecting one in ten adults.
In hypothyroidism, your thyroid gland doesn't produce enough of certain important hormones. Think of thyroid as the furnace of the body – you need it to break down food, maintain metabolism. What happens when the furnace can’t function properly?
Obesity, joint pain, infertility and heart disease. But these develop later as in the early stages there are seldom any symptoms.
Women, especially those older than age 60, are more likely to have hypothyroidism.
Some of the most common symptoms are weight gain or inability to lose in spite of exercise, feeling cold, fatigue, dry skin, puffy face, among others.
The more severe your hypothyroidism, the more weight you are likely to gain.
The prevalence of hypothyroidism in India is 11%, compared with only 2% in the UK and 4·6% in the USA. This is possibly linked to long-standing iodine deficiency in the country, which has only been partly corrected over the past 20 years.
Apart from iodine deficiency, environmental factors can play a part in hypothyroidism. Exposure to cyanogenic compounds are said to have an adverse impact on iodine metabolism. Unregulated use of pesticides and exposure to endocrine disruptors, contaminated drinking water industrial pollutants can be likely causes.
If diagnosed with hypothyroidism, you can visit a doctor who may prescribe thyroid hormone replacement medication. The disease can be treated and early diagnosis is key to preventing damage, especially in children and pregnant women.
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