Thyroid is a butterfly-shaped gland found at the base of your neck and is an important part of the endocrine system that is responsible for producing, storing and releasing hormones so that they can reach various parts of the body. The thyroid gland uses the iodine derived from the food you eat to produce two hormones – Triiodothyronine (T3) and Thyroxine (T4). Thyroid disorders may occur due to overproduction of hormones (hyperthyroidism), underproduction of hormones (hypothyroidism), lumps, abnormal enlargement (goiter) or inflammation of the gland. Since the thyroid gland is controlled by the pituitary gland and hypothalamus, any abnormalities in these tissues can also affect thyroid functions.
According to a new report, published on the thyroid panel test by the global diagnostic chain SRL Diagnostics, almost 32 per cent of the Indian population is suffering from various kinds of thyroid disorders. The report also reveals that sub-clinical hypothyroidism which is a relatively mild form of hypothyroidism (underproduction of hormones) is the most prevalent form of thyroid disorder across the country. Sub-clinical hypothyroidism is a disorder in which the thyroid functions just below the normal level. It is a silent disease where the symptoms are subtle and may be often missed during diagnosis.
The report further states that people living in the Northern regions of the country have reported maximum cases of hypothyroidism as compared to the rest of the country. Thyroid diseases are more commonly seen in women and cause a number of problems, most notably, weight gain and hormonal imbalances. However, men are also at risk, though their chances of suffering from thyroid diseases are considered to be less as compared to women.
According to Avinash Phadke, President Technology & Mentor (Clinical Pathology) from SRL Diagnostics, “The data shows a vital map of how thyroid abnormalities are present all across the country in its various forms.”
This analysis has been based on in-house data collected from over 33 lakh adults from across India over a period of 2014 to 2016. All the three important thyroid panel markers – TSH, T4 and T3 were included to produce a comprehensive data analysis out of which 68 per cent of the reports were normal. Mr. Phadke explains that genetics plays a crucial role in the determination of thyroid hormones, TSH concentrations, and also the susceptibility to autoimmune thyroid disease. People who may have had a history of thyroid problems in their family could be at a higher risk of developing the same. Therefore, you must be completely aware of your family’s medical history as it can have a direct impact on your health.
Thyroid can be managed and controlled with the help of a good diet including foods rich iodine, protein-packed nuts and eggs, probiotics like yogurt and healthy fats such as desi ghee that help in balancing your hormones. According to Dr. Pushpa Saini, Yoga and Meditation Expert, “Thyroid can be curbed by practicing Ujjai Pranayam. Also, drinking a concoction of coriander seeds soaked in water is a good remedy for managing thyroid.”