1 in 8 women at risk of developing thyroid disorder in their lifetime: Experts

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New Delhi, May 25 (IANS) Highlighting the critical need for increased awareness about the importance of thyroid testing in infants, pregnant women, and those planning pregnancy, experts on World Thyroid Day on Saturday said women are particularly at risk, with one in eight at risk of developing thyroid disorder in their lifetime.

World Thyroid Day is observed every year on May 25 to increase awareness among the public about thyroid diseases and the need to keep the thyroid gland healthy to ensure a healthy life.

According to Dr Rajesh Rajput, Director, Endocrinology & Diabetology, Medanta, Gurugram, the burden of thyroid disorders is significant in India.

"Alarmingly, one in every ten individuals has thyroid dysfunction and the majority of these cases are diagnosed in late stages. Most thyroid conditions are chronic, requiring lifelong medication, and they are ten times more prevalent in women than men," Rajput told IANS.

As per health experts, about 42 million people are believed to be suffering from thyroid disorders in India and the number of women affected by the disease is far greater compared to men. "Hypothyroidism" is more common in women.

"The level of thyroid hormones in the blood needs to be normal so that all the systems of our body can function normally. If there is a change in the level of thyroid hormones, either the level becomes high or the level becomes low, both conditions have many effects on our body," said Dr. Chandan Kumar Mishra, Senior Consultant, Endocrinology, Aakash Healthcare, Delhi.

The condition in which the level of hormones decreases is called hypothyroidism. It is mostly found in women aged 20 to 50 years, although it can happen in any age group, according to experts.

As per Dr. Praveen Gupta, Principal Director and Chief of Neurology at Fortis Hospital, Gurugram, thyroid disorders can significantly impact neurological health, leading to a range of complications that affect the nervous system.

"Cognitive sequelae associated with hypothyroidism consist of memory loss, problems with focus/concentration, and changes in intellectual facility. Some patients may also feel a lack of mental clarity or what is called 'brain fog' where one feels dazed or gets easily confused," Gupta told IANS.

"The effective treatment of these conditions often involves efforts of multiple specialists such as endocrinologists, neuropathologists, psychiatrists, and others," he added.

According to experts, increasing awareness of the symptoms of thyroid is crucial. Doctors should educate people about the symptoms to ensure timely treatment.

Increasing accessibility to thyroid testing and promoting regular check-ups can significantly reduce the incidence of undiagnosed cases

"By prioritising these actions, we can improve health outcomes and reduce the long-term impact of thyroid disorders on individuals and communities," said Dr. Rajput.