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World Thyroid Day 2018: 10 Quick Facts You Must Know About Thyroid Disease

World Thyroid Day 2018: Thyroid disease is more common than you think and a majority of those affected don't even know they have it.

World Thyroid Day 2018: 10 Quick Facts You Must Know About Thyroid Disease

World Thyroid Day 2018: Hyperthyroidism and Hypothyroidism can be controlled with medicines

World Thyroid Day is commemorated every year on 25th May globally by the American Thyroid Association (ATA) along with other International thyroid societies. Thyroid is an important gland found at the base of the neck that produces, stores and releases two important hormones which are Triiodothyronine (T3) and Thyroxine (T4).
 
world thyroid day

World Thyroid Day is observed on May 25 worldwide
Photo Credit: iStock



Thyroid disease is more common than you think and a majority of those affected don't even know they have it. If thyroid disease isn't diagnosed, it can lead to more serious problems such as cardiovascular disease, osteoporosis and infertility. While thyroid conditions are normally life-long issues, medical treatments can help you manage the symptoms so they don't develop into something more serious.

Here are 10 quick facts about thyroid disease:
  • Thyroid disease encompasses several disorders, but hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism are the two most common. While all hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism involve the same endocrine gland, their symptoms are completely different.
  • Hyperthyroidism refers to an increase in production of hormones by the gland. The symptoms are weight loss despite a good appetite, enlargement in your neck, an increase in heart rate, shorter menstrual periods, high blood pressure, increased sweating, frequent bowel movements, nervousness and trembling hands.
  • Hypothyroidism refers to a decrease in production of hormones by the gland. Some of the symptoms are weight gain or failure to lose weight despite a proper weight loss regime, enlargement in the neck, reduced heart rate, increased cold sensitivity, lethargy, numbness in hands, dry skin and hair, heavy menstrual periods and constipation.
  • For hypothyroidism, thyroid hormone pills are prescribed which one will need to take for life. For hyperthyroidism, one may be prescribed anti-thyroid medications and/or radioactive iodine. The doctor may also prescribe drugs to reduce symptoms like increased heart rate and tremors.
  • The factors that put you at risk of thyroid disease are a family history of thyroid disease, type I diabetes, age, stress, thyroid surgery performed previously and Down's or Turner's syndrome.
  • Women are more susceptible to thyroid problems than men especially during delivery and menopause, which are periods when there is a hormonal flux.
  • Thyroid is diagnosed by tests like Thyroid profile which measure your Thyroid stimulating hormone or TSH. High TSH levels indicate hypothyroidism, and low TSH levels indicate hyperthyroidism.
  • After the age of 35, you should ideally get screened for thyroid dysfunction once every five years. If you exhibit any of the symptoms or risk factors mentioned above, then you should get yourself screened more often.
  • If you are diagnosed with thyroid disease, it is important that you take it seriously and follow whatever instructions the doctor gives you. If left untreated, thyroid problems can lead to stroke, heart disease, infertility, Alzheimer's and ultimately death.
  • In order to keep your thyroid gland in the best condition, eat foods rich in nutrients like Iodine and Selenium. You can do so by eating iodized salt and seafood. Vegetarians can add spinach, garlic and sesame seeds in their diet instead. Foods like fish, meat, mushrooms, sunflower seeds and soybeans can fulfil your selenium requirement.

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