About 11% of Indian population suffer from thyroid disorder and about 76% of the remaining population suffer from the ignorance of the same. Thyroweight, which is the most common symptom of thyroid disorder, often goes undiagnosed and untreated, especially in women.
I happened to attend an informative bloggers meet last month which aimed to create awareness about thyroid imbalance in women. Stressing upon the need to #ruleoutThyroweight, the event threw light on various facets of thyroid disorder and busted a few myths that we hold around this problem.
Renowned endocrinologist Dr Shehla Shaikh gave her valuable insights on the importance of women health and talked about Thyroweight which is the most common symptom of this problem. She shared how women tend to ignore small weight changes in their body and ignore the fact that it could be something related to thyroid disorder. Stressing upon the need of timely examination, she highlighted the best preventive measures women can take to curb this health condition.
Gorgeous actress Juhi Chawla too graced the event and added her views on how thyroid impacts a person emotionally and mentally. Having closely seen her husband, father-in-law and the hair stylist from her team suffering with thyroid disorder, she stressed on the importance of thyroid medication. Simply by being regular with medicines one can easily cope up with this problem and live life to the fullest.
The event involved a lively discussion session wherein bloggers could ask various queries to the expert panel and clarify their doubts concerning this issue. With so many eye-opening facts, relevant questions and insightful answers, I had my own set of learning from the event.
Before I share my key take-aways from the event, let me first tell some facts about this most misinterpreted and often neglected health disorder.
What is Thyroid
Thyroid is a small butterfly-shaped gland that’s present at the base of our neck. This gland produces thyroid hormones which have an effect on nearly all the tissues of the body.
These hormones control our body’s metabolism in multiple ways, including how fast our body burns calories and how fast our heart beats. They also influence growth, overall development and reproduction.
The production of thyroid hormone gets affected if the thyroid gland doesn’t function properly. A disfunctional gland could lead to 2 situations-
- Hypothyroidism – caused due to insufficient thyroid hormone production.
- Hyperthyroidism – caused due to excess thyroid hormone production.
Depending on how little or how much hormone is produced by our body, one may often feel tired or restless, or may gain or lose weight. Mood swings, extreme hair loss, fatigue, etc are some of the basic symptoms of thyroid imbalance. The most common indication is Thyroweight.
What is Thyroweight
Thyroweight is the weight change experienced due to thyroid imbalance. There is a close association between thyroid gland and body weight. Thyroid gland plays a critical role in body’s metabolism and since patients with hypothyroidism have low metabolic rate, they often experience weight gain or face difficulty in losing weight. An unexplained weight gain along with lethargy and tiredness is the biggest indication of thyroid imbalance. Thyroweight is often confused with normal weight gain and hence easily ignored. In order to #ruleoutThyroweight, every small or drastic weight gain should be taken seriously and be discussed with the health care expert. For more information please visit http://thyroidindia.com/
How does Thyroid Problem Affect Women
Do you know women are more likely than men to suffer from thyroid disorder?
Thyroid diseases can can lead to multiple problems in women health-
- Issues pertaining to Menstrual Cycle– Thyroid helps to control the menstrual cycle and so an imbalance in the production of thyroid hormone can lead to irregular periods, excessive or light flow.
- Problems in Conception– Since thyroid diseases affect menstruation period, they also have an impact on ovulation, which can create difficulties for women to conceive naturally.
- Difficulties During Pregnancy – Thyroid during pregnancy can cause various health problems to both mother and the baby, if not diagnosed and treated timely.
- Early Menopause– If thyroid disease is caused by our body’s immune system, it can affect other glands too, apart from ovaries, and may lead to early menopause (which is before the age of 40)
Common Myths Versus Facts About Thyroid Disorder
The butterfly-shaped endocrine gland is quite a misunderstood part of our body as problems related to thyroid are quite challenging to diagnose.
Here are some pointers that will help separate fact from fiction and bust a few common myths related to this disorder.
Myth #1 – Thyroid Problem is easy to diagnose
Fact 1- The symptoms related to thyroid disorder, like fatigue, anxiety etc are more vague and less specific and so they arent diagnosed easily at an early stage. In many cases, women ignore the small weight changes that they experience in their body and attribute it to lifestyle and other factors. ‘Thyroweight’ can be a great way to identify the problem of thyroid at an early stage if women understand it’s seriousness and do not confuse it with normal weight gain.
Myth #2 – Thyroid Health Issues Are Only Hereditary
Fact 2– Thyroid problems are not just hereditary. They can affect you, even if your parents have never suffered from it.
Myth #3 – A Disfunctional Thyroid is a Life-long Problem
Fact 3– Thyroid conditions may not be easy to treat but its treatment isn’t too complicated or impossible. Hypothyroidism can be treated and controlled with simple medicines. With regular medication one can easily manage the condition and can lead an otherwise normal life.
Myth #4 – Obese Thyroid Patients Cannot Lose Weight
Fact 4- Hypothyroidism does lead to a evident weight gain but doesn’t cause obesity. Weight gain can be controlled with proper exercise and clean eating habits.
Myth #5 – Thyroid has no role to play in children
Fact 5– Thyroid hormone is essential for the normal brain development. For Pregnant women, their thyroid gland supplies the developing baby the thyroid hormone in the first trimester which aids proper growth and development.
Myth #6 – Consuming extra Iodine will help improve Thyroid Health
Fact 6 – It is true that thyroid needs iodine to function properly. However excess iodine can trigger thyroid disfunction. It’s overdose can disrupt the balance and lead to an overproduction of thyroid hormone.
Myth #7 – Only Older Women are prone to Thyroid Problems
Fact 7– Thyroid issues can affect men and women at any age. It is true that hypothyroidism is more likely to develop in women after menopause. However young women too can suffer with this condition. There are various genetics and environmental factors that play a role in this.
Key Take Aways From The Event
Amongst all the worldly responsibilities that we women carry on our shoulders, our health usually takes a backseat. We tend to ignore the basic symptoms and changes that we feel in our body on everyday basis. It’s time we become a little more conscious about Thyroweight and other the symptoms of thyroid disorder and take timely measures to prevent it.
Here is all you can do-
- Be aware of your health condition and consult your doctor immediately if you experience any symptoms.
- Do not ignore, even if you experience mild weight gain. Consider small weight gain as a possible thyro-weight and discuss with your doctor.
- Be regular with your thyroid medicines. Do not skip in any case.
- Take the dosage as prescribed by your endocrinologist and do not change the brand or dosage without doctor’s consultation.
- Get yourself screened timely, as advised by your doctor.
- For pregnant women, thyroid test should be done as soon as the pregnancy is confirmed.
- Incorporate a consistently healthy lifestyle- exercise regularly and eat a healthy diet.
- Stress worsens the problem of thyroid. So stress less and be positive in all situations.
- Most importantly, find time to take care of your health and body.
While it is true that every eight out of ten women are prone to issues related to thyroid, it is also true that they can easily conquer this health problem with proper awareness and right medical guidance. I personally know a woman-hero, my childhood friend, who has been suffering from hypothyroidism since past many years. With regular medications and expert help, she not just is able to overcome this health condition but also live a normal, healthy and happy life. Perhaps, early detection and understanding of symptoms like Thyroweight helps! The key is to be aware and rule out the possibility of Thyroweight with timely examination.
Attending this event on Thyroweight awareness propelled me to make my health a priority and start taking it seriously. I am ready to take all the necessary steps to #ruleoutThyroweight and lead a fit and healthy life. Are you?
Disclaimer: I attended a discussion on thyroid awareness facilitated by Abbott India Limited. Any opinion expressed in this blog is my personal opinion and not the opinion of Abbott India Limited. Abbott India Limited does not assume any liability for the content of the blog. The blog post is not meant to be a replacement for a doctor consultation, nor is it a medical recommendation or prescription of treatment for people having thyroid problems. Any reader of this blog suffering from thyroid problems should specifically consult his/her doctor for the same and follow the suggested course of treatment.
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