Top 10 Unknown Facts About Thyroid In India
A Picture Of The Thyroid Gland
“Science is not a collection of facts; it is a process of discovery”
The human body is an amazing thing. Imagine a small butterfly-shaped gland located just below your adam’s apple called the thyroid gland. It measures about 2 inches long and weighs between 20 and 60 grams. The thyroid has two symmetrical sides, like butterfly wings, called two halves or lobes connected by a bridge named isthmus in the middle. The thyroid gland is an important hormone gland. It plays a major role in metabolism, growth, development, and regulating body temperature, fertility, and digestion. This butterfly gland produces, stores, and makes thyroid hormones that stimulate other cells or tissues in the body to perform into action to keep you healthy. To know more about thyroid facts, continue reading this blog.
10 Unknown Facts About Thyroid In India
1. 1 In 10 Indians Are Getting Affected
The global burden of thyroid disease in the general population is increasing enormously. Iodine deficiency is still widespread in many areas of India despite the National Iodine Deficit Diseases Control Program (NIDDCP). Almost 42 million Indians are affected by thyroid disorders. Hypothyroidism is the most common form of thyroid that affects every 11% of the Indian population. The most common cause apart from iodine deficiency, environmental factors, pregnancy, and medications are also the leading cause of hypothyroidism. Since a large population gets affected by thyroid disease, it is important to spread awareness. Thyroid awareness month is an annual awareness celebrated every January, which focuses on increasing awareness of thyroid health, its prevention and management.
2. Women Are More Afflicted
One of the interesting thyroid facts is females are more affected by thyroid disorders than males. Especially if the thyroid is overactive (hyperthyroidism) or underactive (hypothyroidism), the thyroid's functions have a lot to do with a woman's reproductive system. An imbalance in thyroid hormones causes puberty or menstruation to occur abnormally, either late or early. It also affects ovulation and puts them at an increased risk of cyst development. Early menopause has also been reported in women with hyperthyroidism. Pregnancy is another crucial thing to be considered if you are affected by any thyroid diseases because it may affect the brain development of the fetus.
3. Bridge Between High-Fat Levels And Thyroid
Hypothyroidism is a state in which thyroid glands do not produce enough thyroid hormones to help regulate the body’s metabolism. When left untreated or uncontrolled, it causes other health problems. The most common health problem it causes is increased cholesterol level and heart problems. According to the findings of a comprehensive survey carried out in India in 2020, roughly 33% of those who had thyroid disorders also had high cholesterol concerns. Now there is a chance that after taking medicine to treat hypothyroidism, the cholesterol levels will naturally decrease. You might not even require lipid-lowering medication. However, this depends on how severe the thyroid hormone imbalance is.
4. Most Cases Went Unnoticed
We frequently consider the heart or the brain to be the "engine" of our bodies. These organs are essential for survival and regulate all bodily processes either directly or indirectly. While that may be the case, that tiny butterfly-shaped gland is just as essential and necessary to our health. Even though it's small in size, it ensures that all our systems are “in check.” The symptoms can occur at any time or at any age. It is important to check for thyroid and its symptoms. Almost 60 % of the population with thyroid disease is unaware of the condition. One of the reasons for unawareness is that thyroid disease symptoms go unnoticed because they are non-specific and gradual. Due to the lack of awareness, most thyroid cases go unnoticed and result in other severe complications.
5. The Interplay Between Thyroid And Liver
Liver diseases are frequently associated with abnormal thyroid tests and dysfunctions. In both health and sickness, the thyroid and liver have a complicated relationship. The liver serves an important physiological function in the transport, conversion, and activation of thyroid hormones. Thyroid hormones, on the other hand, have an impact on liver activities and metabolism. The primary site where T4 is transformed into active T3 is the liver. You won't have enough of the active thyroid hormone circulating in your body if your liver is overloaded for any reason, making it unable to do the task of converting these hormones. You will therefore experience sickness and tiredness, even if you are taking T4 hormone replacement therapy. If the thyroid is left untreated, it may end up in liver problems. Approximately 16.8% of the Indian population has a strong association between thyroid and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease.
6. Pregnancy In Thyroid
Hypothyroidism is the most common thyroid disease that is seen in pregnancy. The regular growth of your baby's brain and nervous system depends on thyroid hormones. Your baby depends on your thyroid hormone supply, which is delivered through the placenta during the first trimester, which lasts for the first three months of pregnancy. Your baby's thyroid begins to function independently at around 12 weeks, but it doesn't produce enough thyroid hormone until 18 to 20 weeks of pregnancy. Almost 11 % of pregnant women in India are prevalent thyroid diseases during pregnancy. If thyroid levels are not controlled during pregnancy, it results in fetal discomfort, low birth weight, early birth, perinatal death, impaired brain development, and spontaneous miscarriage. Detecting the thyroid in pregnancy may be difficult, so it is important to check for thyroid levels at regular intervals when you are pregnant.
7. India’s National Health Programs For Thyroid
One of the more obvious methods of directing the actions of the health sector is the identification of health objectives. Certainly, the Indian government and its main ministry, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, are responsible for implementing the health program. Certain available national health programs for the prevention and treatment of thyroid diseases are the National Newborn Screening Programme, Rashtriya Bal Swasthya Karyakram, National Guidelines for Screening of Hypothyroidism during Pregnancy, National Iodine Deficiency Disorders Control Programme and National Family Health Survey 3 and 4. Plans, strategies, policies, and programs do not exist for their own sake. They are a part of a bigger process that strives to best utilize all health resources available and balance India's health priorities with the requirements of the population in order for everyone to have access to high-quality healthcare and lead healthier lives.
8. Interconnection Between Thyroid And Diabetes
Since thyroid disorders and diabetes mellitus are both very prevalent illnesses, they frequently complicate one another. The strong association between diabetes and thyroid dysfunction was shown by the increased prevalence of thyroid dysfunction in diabetics compared to non-diabetics in India. Of course, autoimmunity is essential to understand the relationship between autoimmune thyroid diseases such as grave’s disease and Hashimoto thyroiditis, and type 1 diabetes. On the other hand, there is a connection between thyroid function and type 2 diabetes mellitus or glucose intolerance.
9. Make Way For Healthy Living
Thoughtless as it may seem, it is real. Living a healthy lifestyle is crucial as you recover and deal with your thyroid issue. Serious issues with other conditions might result from uncontrolled thyroid conditions. Heart disease and diabetes are two of the elevated risks. It's essential to treat your thyroid condition with medications if you want to avoid these issues. But so is leading a healthy life. Talk to your doctor about your illness, diet, exercise, and sleep patterns. It is necessary to learn and be aware of the condition, signs and symptoms, and your treatment.
10. Warehouse Of Hormones
The gland has an extremely big capacity for hormone storage. The thyroid is the only gland that can store and take up iodine. In addition to absorbing this element from food, the thyroid gland also stores a large number of iodinated tyrosines, a kind of amino acid, to keep thyroid hormone levels stable in cases of iodine deficit. A healthy adult body contains 15-20 mg of iodine, 70-80% of which is stored in the thyroid gland.
Alarm! Awareness! Action!
Thyroid disease is the most common endocrine disorder. Most of the population is unaware of the condition. It is necessary to take action in terms of awareness by knowing more about thyroid disease, its symptoms, prevention, and interesting facts about thyroid cancer. Learn these 10 mind-blogging facts about the thyroid this January - National awareness month of thyroid.