What you need to know about Thyroid: Thyroid is one of the most ignored and underrated issues that most women face.Affecting over 10 per cent women across the globe, it is necessary that more women are made aware of this problem. Be it irregular period or abnormal fatigue and weight gain, most of us tend to trivialise these issues, without paying much heed to them. While these symptoms are commonly credited to be the doings of PCOD, a lesser known cause might be at play – the thyroid. The thyroid is present just below our neck, in front of the larynx. Its job is to secrete thyroid hormones to the blood and body parts, while ensuring the metastasis of the body. The dysfunctioning of the thyroid gland can lead to other serious problems, such as heart disease and cholesterol, if not diagnosed at initial stages.
Thyroid problems may affect the heart, skin, fertility, bones, weight and brain. The over-functioning of the thyroid causes hyperthyroidism, which may cause weight loss, fatigue, sleep disorders, anxiousness, tremors, frequent bowel movements, and the enlargement in size of the of the gland. The under-functioning of the thyroid causes hypothyroidism causes fatigue, weight gain, weak hair, forgetfulness, depression, high cholesterol levels, low heart rate and constipation.
Because some of these symptoms are common to various other diseases, it can become difficult to diagnose thyroid disorders. A simple blood test to detect the TSH level can help diagnose thyroid malfunctions. Thyroid disorders affect women more that they affect men, and it is estimated that over 80 per cent of the total thyroid patients are women. Thyroid occurs when there is hormonal change, such as, during menopause or pregnancy. Menopausal women are at a higher risk of hypothyroidism than young girls. Hypothyroidism also affects fertility and may lead to miscarriages in pregnant women. In fact, to address the metabolic needs to the baby, pregnant women suffering from hypothyroidism need to have their thyroid hormone medication heightened to 1.5 times the regular dosage in their first trimester.
To avoid thyroid-related issues, one must keep their diet and lifestyle in check. Consumption of iodine-rich food is essential to regulate thyroid levels. It is recommended that 150 mcg of iodine is required per day, through food items such as fish, dairy, eggs, processed grains and food containing salt. It is also crucial to filter your water before drinking, as Perchlorate, a chemical found in unfiltered water obstructs the thyroid’s absorption of iodine.
After a diagnosis is made, it is recommended to get treatment as early as possible, as a delay in treatment can give rise to a hoard of other related problems. The most common form of treatment is the ‘burning out’ of thyroid using antithyroid medication. Radioactive treatment is also useful in some cases. Along with medication, it is also important that one gets ample exercise to up their metabolism, which regulates thyroid-related issues.