Saturday, 29 October 2011

Thyroid-Myths and Realities.

Another disease under the banner of NCDs'.Thyroid disorders are extremely common worldwide effecting millions.Due to poor knowledge and sheer ignorance people are unable to judge about these disorders while confusing symptoms and signs with other better known diseases,till the time they realise,it is quite late,enormous harm has been done already. Thyroid is a butterfly shaped gland located just in front of the windpipe in the throat area. The function of this gland is to produce,store and release hormones-which have minor or major impact on each and every organ/part of the body. These hormones ignite the fire inside the cells for activation of metabolic process,i.e,regulate body metabolism.
    • Hyperthyroidism:-When hormones are secreted in excess.
    • Hypothyroidism:-When hormones are secreted less.
    • Euthyroidism:- Condition when Thyroid Gland functions normally  and its secretions are proper of constituents and amount.
Risk Factors.:-
        • Females more then 40 years.
        • females within 6 months of delivery.
        • History of Thyroid disorder.
        • Prolonged Depression.
        • Family history of Autoimmune Thyroid disorder.
        • Non Autoimmune disorders like Type1 diabetes,Addison's disease,Rheumatoid Arthritis,etc.
        • High levels of Cholesterols.
        • Medical investigations involving Radioactive contrast agents/contrast dye.
        • Radiotherapy for cancers and Hodgkins disorders.
Hypothyroidism:-Signs and Symptoms.
        • Fatigue.
        • Hoarse voice.
        • Weight gain.
        • Difficulty in swallowing.
        • Mood Swings.
        • Forgetfulness.
        • Intolerance to cold.
        • Dry skin and thin ill looking hair.
Hyperthyroidism:-Signs and Symptoms.
        • Heat intolerance.
        • Palpitations.
        • Nervousness.
        • Insomnia.
        • Respiratory distress.
        • Low and Absent Menstrual Cycle.
        • Fatigue.
        • High Heart Rate(Tachycardia).
        • Tremors.
        • Unusual weight loss.
        • Muscle Weakness.
        • Warm moist skin and hair.
        • Increased Urination.
Thyroid:-Myths and Realities.
  1. Thyroid Disorders are Contagious.
    • People often think on those lines as people in close net do suffer from thyroid disorders,it is actually due to prevailing conditions around,lets say in poor economies hypothyroidism is commonly noticed due to iodine deficiency so people linked it to affluence of neighbourhood as masses living in similar conditions might have common trend .But it is not a contagious disease,cannot spread by eating together,etc.
    • Iodine is necessary for normal function of the gland,it combines with Amino Acid of the gland to produceT3and T4 hormones.
    • It is actually a inherited disease,might run in a family tree.
  2. Patient suffering from Hypothyroidism cannot loose weight.
    • The main culprit is fatigue factor,a common cause in pals suffering from low function thyroid gland are forced to live some sort of sedentary lifestyle,once underline cause is treated and thyroid hormones levels are normal they can start a more active lifestyle and regular exercise will surely help them shed as that fatigue is not felt.
    • Second factor is fluid retention which also increases weight in hypothyroidism above explanation goes for this condition also.
  3. Patient suffering from Hyperthyroidism cannot gain weight.
    • Again one can gain weight back to normal or to desired levels as soon the thyroid hormones levels are normal.
  4. Blood Test are not reliable.
    • Levels of TSH(Thyroid stimulating hormone) is often sufficient to diagnose the condition but more conformation is done by measuring levels of T3(Triiodothyronin) and T4(Thyroxin) levels also and believe me these test done at some reliable lab  suffice.
    • These days some labs have started conducting test like freeT3 and freeT4 which in fact are more reliable.
  5. Post partum depression has no relation to Thyroid disorders.
    • Data suggest at least 10% of new mothers suffer from what is termed as post partum thyroid disorder,which includes females who have no history of thyroid disorders.
    • Most cases resolve by themselves few require medical intervention.
    • Thyroid test should be conducted in females suffering from depression.
  6. Thyroid disorders can/cannot be  cured.
    • Hypothyroidism is a condition which requires lifelong medication ,it can be controlled/managed but can't be cured completely.
    • Hyperthyroidism is at times cured completely when surgical intervention is done to remove portion of thyroid or when treated with radio active iodine.
  7. Alternative treatment therapies are more effective.
    • Some Yoga Gurus in India claim so,that with certain aasana (positions of Yoga) disease can be treated but lacks sufficient clinical evidence.

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