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Thyroid Life
Thyroid Life

Welcome to the world of Thyroid care

Making India Thyroid Aware


Thyroid and your body

Thyroid disorder may cause visible changes in your body

What is Thyroid Disorder?

The thyroid gland secretes hormones that are essential for several body functions.

The Importance Of Thyroid Gland

Thyroid is a small, butterfly-shaped gland in the neck. Thyroid hormones control metabolism, growth, body temperature, muscle strength and the health of your heart and other vital organs.1

Explore

Thyroid Hormonal Imbalance

The hormones produced by the thyroid gland play a major role in your body's metabolism. Any imbalance in these hormones affects your bodily function1. Watch this video to know more.

Source: TED Ed

What is Thyroid Disorder?
Thyroid Cartilage
Right Lobe
Thyroid Gland
Isthmus
Left Lobe
Trachea

Thyroid hormone affects several normal body functions1. Ignoring it could only add to the problem.

The thyroid gland plays a vital role in the everyday functioning of your body. It may also affect your pregnancy, the health of your children and the wellbeing of your entire family1. If you have symptoms of a thyroid disorder, consult a doctor and if suggested, get tested.

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A Bit about thyroid

A Bit about thyroid

The Role of
Thyroid Gland

The thyroid gland synthesizes and secretes 2 hormones - T4 (Thyroxine) and T3( Triiodothyronine)2.These hormones may affect metabolism, body temperature, body weight, menstrual cycles, functioning of the lungs, heart and bowels.3

Thyroid Gland Self Examination
Frequently
Asked Questions

Q. Is thyroid disorder hereditary?

A. If thyroid disorder runs in your family, you may be prone to it. However, it would be wise to consult the doctor & get yourself tested.

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Types and symptoms of thyroid disorder

Hypothyroidism3

A condition in which the thyroid gland produces lesser than the required quantity of thyroid hormone.

Symptoms of Hypothyroidism
Weight gain
Irregular menstrual flow
Puffy Eyelids
Fatigue
Constipation
Dry skin
Muscle cramps
Intolerance to cold
Hyperthyroidism3

A condition in which excessive thyroid hormone is produced.
 

Symptoms of Hyperthyroidism
Difficulty sleeping
Heat intolerance
Frequent bowel movements
Excessive hunger
Bulging eyes
Rapid and irregular heartbeat
Moist palms
Weight loss

Causes of Thyroid Disorder

Thyroid malfunction can be caused by several conditions.

Causes Of Hypothyroidism4,5,6,7,8

Hypothyroidism

Hypothyroidism occurs when the thyroid gland fails to produce essential hormones in the required quantity.

Medication
Medication

A number of medications can cause Hypothyroidism. Lithium, which is used to treat certain psychiatric disorders, can also affect the thyroid gland.

Genetic Dysfunction
Genetic dysfunction

The thyroid gland may be dysfunctional at birth, or may fail at some phase in adult life.

Thyroid Surgery
Previous thyroid surgery

Removal of a large portion or the entire thyroid gland may reduce or stop the process of thyroid hormone production.

Hyperthyroidism
Treatment for Hyperthyroidism

Treatment for Hyperthyroidism may sometimes result in Hypothyroidism.

Radiation Therapy
Radiation therapy

Exposure of the thyroid gland to radiation therapy for the treatment of cancers of the head and neck region may result in Hypothyroidism.

Pituitary Gland
Damage to the Pituitary Gland

The pituitary gland may be damaged due to disease or surgery which may result in decreased level of thyroid hormones.

Autoimmune Disease
Autoimmune Thyroid Disease

This is the most common cause of Hypothyroidism.This happens when the body's immune system produces certain antibodies that attack its own thyroid gland leading to a reduced thyroid hormone production.

Causes of Hyperthyroidism9,10

Iodine
Over medication of thyroxine
Pituitary problems
Thyroiditis
Graves Disease
Iodine

The thyroid gland uses iodine to make thyroid hormones. An excess intake of iodine may cause overproduction of these hormones.

Overmedication of Thyroxine

Overmedication of Hypothyroidism can also trigger Hyperthyroidism.

Pituitary Problems

Sometimes the pituitary gland, which controls the thyroid gland, becomes overactive leading to excess production of thyroid hormones.

Thyroiditis

This is an inflammation of the thyroid gland and may occur after a viral illness.

Graves’ Disease

It is an autoimmune disease where the body’s immune system produces some antibodies that cause inflammation of the thyroid gland.

Prevalence of Thyroid Disorder

Thyroid disorders are one of the most common endocrine disorders in India.11

Thyroid Disorder in General Population11,12,13

In India, a large number of people suffer from thyroid disorders. Previous studies reveal that almost 42 million Indians suffer from thyroid disorders. Unfortunately, awareness about the disease is low. A recent study across 8 cities of India revealed the prevalence of thyroid disorders in around 11 % of the urban population, with women being 3 times more prone to the disease than men.

1 in 10 adults in India suffer from Hypothyroidism

1 in 10 adults in India suffer from Hypothyroidism.11

Adults in the age group of more than 35+ are at risk of development of Hypothyroidism.

Adults in the age group of more than 35+ are at risk of development of Hypothyroidism.11

Hypothyroidism is 3 times more common in women.

Hypothyroidism is 3 times more common in women.11

1/3 of Hypothyroid patients are unaware of their condition.

1/3 of Hypothyroid patients are unaware of their condition.11

1 in 3 diabetic patients could have underlying thyroid disorder.

1 in 3 diabetic patients could have underlying thyroid disorder.14

Hypothyroidism is:
  • Highest in people above 55 years
  • Relatively low in people between 18-35 years
  • Most vulnerable in the age group of 46-54 years.
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Hypothyroidism and Diabetes

Coexistence of Hypothyroidism and diabetes may be a hindrance to proper glycemic control15. Hence consulting a doctor to avail a checkup of thyroid gland function & get the right treatment if diagnosed is the best practise.

Hypothyroidism
and Diabetes

Every 1 in 3 diabetics may have Hypothyroidism.
It is important for diabetics to check for symptoms of Hypothyroidism and consult a doctor. A TSH test should be done, if suggested.
Insulin resistance is associated with diabetes.
In Hypothyroidism, there may be some degree of insulin resistance.

Every 1 in 3 diabetics may have Hypothyroidism.13

It is important for diabetics to check for symptoms of Hypothyroidism and consult a doctor. A TSH test should be done, if suggested.15

Insulin resistance is associated with diabetes.14

In Hypothyroidism, there may be some degree of insulin resistance.14

Hyperthyroidism and Diabetes

Coexistence of Hyperthyroidism and Diabetes may be a hinderance to proper glycemic control. Hence consulting a doctor to avail a checkup of thyroid gland function & get the right treatment if diagnosed is the best practise.14

Hyperthyroidism
and Diabetes

Hyperthyroidism has long been recognized to promote high blood sugar levels.
Thyroid disorders are associated with abnormal insulin levels.
Hyperthyroidism is associated with alterations in the body's insulin levels.
Thyroid disorders in patients with diabetes may increase the chances of complications of diabetes.

Hyperthyroidism has long been recognized to promote high blood sugar levels.16

Thyroid disorders are associated with abnormal insulin levels.14

Hyperthyroidism is associated with alterations in the body's insulin levels.14

Thyroid disorders in patients with diabetes may increase the chances of complications of diabetes.16

Fatigue
Constipation
Dry Skin
Puffy Eyelids
Unexplained weight gain
Muscle cramps
Intolerance to cold
Irregular menstrual flow
Thyroid Disorder and Depression

Hypothyroidism is one of the prime causes of depression, which is a mental disorder and is accompanied by several similar symptoms like loss of interest, low self-worth, feeling of guilt, disturbed sleep, etc.

Depression affects around 340 million people globally and is the most common psychiatric disorder encountered in general practice. Around 1 in 10 patients in the primary care settings suffer from some form of depression.17 Hypothyroidism is one of the most important causes of depression. Patients of depression need to be screened for Hypothyroidism and treated. If you are diagnosed with depression and have symptoms of Hypothyroidism, please consult your doctor, and if suggested, get tested.

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An underactive thyroid gland
The body’s ability to process cholesterol slows down
In such a case, symptoms of Hypothyroidism develop with an elevated TSH level. This is also associated with an elevated cholesterol & lipid level.
If your tests continue to show high cholesterol levels, you could have associated Hypothyroidism.
An underactive thyroid gland
The body’s ability to process cholesterol slows down
In such a case, symptoms of Hypothyroidism develop with an elevated TSH level. This is also associated with an elevated cholesterol & lipid level.19
If your tests continue to show high cholesterol levels, you could have associated Hypothyroidism.19
Thyroid Disorder and High Cholesterol

If you have been diagnosed with high cholesterol, you could have associated Hypothyroidism. In Hypothyroidism the livers ability to process cholesterol and lipids slows down. Patients with high cholesterol or lipids and symptoms of Hypothyroidism should be tested and treated. If you have high cholesterol consult your doctor and if suggested get tested.19

Consult a Doctor

Pregnancy and Thyroid Disorder

Thyroid malfunction during pregnancy can lead to health problems in the mother and baby.

Premature Birth
Fl`tuating blood pressure
Anemia
Low birth weight
Miscarriage
Complications in the baby's growth and brain development
Premature birth23
Fluctuating blood pressure23
Anemia23
Low birth weight23
Miscarriage23
Complications in the baby's growth and brain development23
How does Thyroid disorder affect the mother and baby?20,21,22,23

During pregnancy, there are a lot of hormonal and other changes taking place in a woman's body and these changes can also alter the functioning of the thyroid gland.

During the first trimester in pregnancy, the foetus is dependent on the mother for the supply of thyroid hormones. As these hormones are essential for foetal development, supply of these hormones to the foetus should be ensured early in gestation.23

Various guidelines from India recommend screening all pregnant women as soon as pregnancy is confirmed.23

Consult a doctor in case you are
pregnant or are planning pregnancy.

Consult a Doctor

Hypothyroidism and Pregnancy

How is hypothyroidism diagnosed in pregnancy?23,29

A careful review of the symptoms followed by test of TSH and T4 levels and a review ‘by a medical practitioner’ can help diagnose thyroid disorder. Common symptoms include extreme fatigue, intolerance to cold, constipation, muscle cramps, and problems with memory.

How is hypothyroidism treated during pregnancy?

Hypothyroidism during pregnancy is treated with synthetic thyroid hormone. Women suffering from Hypothyroidism prior to pregnancy, should consult a doctor to ensure that their thyroid hormone levels are maintained throughout pregnancy.

Consult a doctor in case you are
pregnant or are planning pregnancy.

Hyperthyroidism and Pregnancy

Anemia
Cardiac Failure
Exacerbation of hyperthyroidism
Rise in blood pressure in late pregnancy
Still Birth
Miscarriage
Diagnosis for Hyperthyroidism:

Health care providers diagnose Hyperthyroidism in pregnant women by reviewing symptoms and conducting blood tests to measure thyroid hormone levels. Several symptoms of Hyperthyroidism can easily be confused with pregnancy symptoms. Therefore, a careful interpretation of the test result is mandatory.23

How is hyperthyroidism treated during pregnancy?23

Mild Hyperthyroidism during pregnancy may not need any treatment. In severe cases of Hyperthyroidism, treatment is done with anti-thyroid medications, which help in slowing down the production and secretion of the thyroid hormones.

Consult a doctor in case you are
pregnant or are planning pregnancy.

Consult a Doctor

Thyroid Disorder After Delivery

There could be an inflammation of the thyroid gland in women post-delivery.
This condition affects around 4 to 10% of women during the first year of giving birth.
Excessive thyroid hormones may leak out of the inflamed thyroid gland and increase hormonal levels in the blood.
Increase hormonal levels may lead to mild Hyperthyroidism which normally lasts for 1 to 2 months.
Following this, many women develop hypothyroiidsm which may last for about 6 to 12 months.
The doctor would usually recommend a blood test.
In such instances, Hypothyroidism becomes permanent and needs a lifelong treatment.
If symptoms of fatigue and lethargy develop , you should consult your doctor.
There could be an inflammation of the thyroid gland in women post-delivery.
This condition affects around 4 to 10% of women during the first year of giving birth.24
Excessive thyroid hormones may leak out of the inflamed thyroid gland and increase hormonal levels in the blood.24
Increase hormonal levels may lead to mild Hyperthyroidism which normally lasts for 1 to 2 months.24
Following this, many women develop hypothyroiidsm which may last for about 6 to 12 months.24
The doctor would usually recommend a blood test.23,24
In such instances, Hypothyroidism becomes permanent and needs a lifelong treatment.
If symptoms of fatigue and lethargy develop , you should consult your doctor.23,24
Many times hypothyroidism may become permanent and may need lifelong treatment.23,24

Hypothyroidism in New Born

Hypothyroidism in newborn infants is called Congenital Hypothyroidism and is usually present since birth. This happens because the thyroid gland fails to develop normally and produces inadequate thyroid hormone. Sometimes the thyroid gland is located at an abnormal location which affects its functioning.25

Blood test
Blood test

To check the levels of thyroid hormones, blood tests are conducted within 4-5 days of birth. This is then followed by a regular check up.25,26

Regular check up
Regular check -up25,26

Any delay in treatment of the new born for Hypothyroidism may result in complications later. The brain is critically dependent on thyroid hormones, therefore appropriate initial therapy and follow-ups are crucial for the child's brain development.

Thyroid Disorder and Infertility

If a woman fails to conceive while planning a pregnancy, it could be due to an imbalance of thyroid hormones. A proper functioning is essential for fertility, conception and a healthy pregnancy. In case a woman is suffering from symptoms of Hypothyroidism or Hyperthyroidism and is having difficulty in conceiving, she should consult a doctor. The doctor may recommend a simple blood test to understand the status of her thyroid function.27

Thyroid and Infertility
Thyroid and Infertility27

Women who have irregular menstrual period, or a family history of thyroid problems, or have had more than one miscarriage or have failed to conceive for a long stretch of time, should consult a doctor to evaluate their thyroid hormone levels.

Diagnosis & Treatment

Thyroid disorders can be treated easily 28

Diagnosis & Treatment
Treatment of Hypothyroidism28
A synthetic thyroid hormone containing Thyroxine Sodium is prescribed to the patient in the form of tablets.
After a few weeks of taking thyroxine sodium, usually the patient should notice a reduction in the symptoms.
Treatement of Hypothyroidism is usually life-long. It is recommended to change the thyroxine dose depending on certain patient factors like age, body weight and TSH levels.
Since different brands of Thyroxine have varying potency, it is important to let your doctor know if you are considering a change in brands.
Treatment of Hyperthyroidism28
Treatment of Hyperthyroidism varies as per the patient's age, physical condition and the severity of the disorder.
Anti-thyroid medications prevent the thyroid gland's ability to produce excessive hormones. Treatment generally lasts for almost a year but some patients may experience a relapse.
Radioactive Iodine Therapy is absorbed by the thyroid gland. This usually results in damaging or destroying the thyroid cells. The thyroid gland then shrinks and symptoms subside within 3-6 months.
Thyroidectomy is a surgical treatment in which the thyroid gland is removed partially or completely. This treatment is not used extensively because of several risks associated with it.

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News & Views

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Frequently Asked Questions

 

Hypothyroidism

Hyperthyroidism

Thyroid Disease and Pregnancy Overview

Postpartum Thyroiditis

Thyroiditis Symptoms

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Disclaimer: It is only in public interest that this list of doctors & laboratories has been provided. We are not biased towards any doctor or laboratory in this list. Through this list, Abbott India is neither promoting any doctor nor influencing these doctors to prescribe any of our medicines/products. Through this list, Abbott India is also not promoting any laboratory & is open to partnerships with other laboratories. If any doctor is interested to register himself on this site or any laboratory chain in India is interested to be a partner in this good cause & is ready to offer discounted tests of thyroid dysfunction to the public, they can write to us at thyrohealth@abbott.com. Abbott India will not be held responsible for change in address or contact details of any of these doctors or Laboratories & their services. The user is requested to verify these details at the time of using the services of the respective doctors & laboratory.

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Examine your Thyroid Gland with these simple steps.

  • Your thyroid gland is located below the Adam’s apple and just above your collarbone.

    Your thyroid gland is located below the Adam’s apple and just above your collarbone.

  • Tilt your head backwards while focusing on this area in the mirror.

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  • Now take a sip of water.

    Now take a sip of water.

  • As you swallow the water, check your neck for any protrusions or bulges.

    As you swallow the water, check your neck for any protrusions or bulges.

  • If you notice any protrusions, contact your doctor immediately.

    If you notice any protrusions, contact your doctor immediately.

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Disclaimer: It is only in public interest that this list of chemists has been provided. We are not biased towards any chemist in this list. Through this list, Abbott India is neither promoting any chemist nor influencing these chemists to prescribe or dispense any of our medicines/products. Any chemist who is interested to register his shop, can write to us at thyrohealth@abbott.com.Any chemist willing to remove his shops name from this list can similarly write to thyrohealth@abbott.com. Abbott India will not be held responsible for change in address or contact details of any of these chemists. The user is requested to verify these details at the time of using the services of the respective chemists.

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