Thyroid diseases are, arguably, one of the most common chronic endocrine disorders in India and worldwide. A small organ located in the front of the neck, the thyroid gland wrapped around the windpipe (trachea) just like that of a butterfly. This endocrine gland serves the most critical function in the human body  — releasing and controlling thyroid hormones that regulate metabolism.

The most common types of endocrine disorders are as identified –

  • Thyroiditis
  • Thyroid nodules
  • Goitre
  • Hashimoto’s disease
  • Graves disease
  • Thyroid cancer

Who is at a greater risk of developing thyroid disorders?

  • Patients with a family history of thyroid disease
  • People suffering from chronic conditions such as pernicious anaemia, Type 1 diabetes, primary adrenal insufficiency, lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, Sjögren’s syndrome and Turner syndrome.
  • Patients on medications with higher iodine levels, like Amiodarone
  • Women more than 60 years of age
  • Patients who have undergone treatment or surgery recently (thyroidectomy)

From an epidemiological perspective, India currently has over 42 million suffering from thyroid conditions. While 50% of citizens are reportedly unaware of their condition, thyroid conditions affect women 5-8 times more likely than men. Hypothyroidism is the most common thyroid disorder affecting 1 in every 10 men and women. In congenital hypothyroidism, infants are born with a thyroid gland that fails to develop or function properly.

It would be wise not to overlook or neglect the following symptoms as they can be life-threatening:

  • Confusion or loss of consciousness
  • Low blood pressure or heart rate
  • Depression or anxiety
  • Dehydration
  • Severe vomiting and diarrhoea
  • Severe fatigue or weakness
  • Dryness, irritation, pressure or pain in the eyes
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Nerve numbness

Iodine deficiency significantly affects the health of millions, resulting in mental retardation, cretinism, hypothyroidism and goitre, among other severe conditions. Therefore, it is wise to get TSH levels tested through Thyroid Function Tests, which can serve as early warning signs of possible thyroid defects and deficiencies. Thyroid condition is usually treated with hormonal replacement therapy, thyroid gland transplant, and prescribed medication that helps reduce symptoms.

The flip side with thyroid conditions is that problems are undetected as most of the symptoms are non-specific. Often mistaken for other health issues and ignored, it amounts to fatalities and unusual complications. Regular check-ups with the best endocrinologist in India for thyroid problems could play a key role in keeping the metabolic hormone in check. SeekMed is one of the leading telemedicine apps in India that helps people connect with the best endocrinologist in India online. Get accurate diagnosis confirmation, explore affordable treatment options, and improve your health with expert advice from award-winning doctors in India.