Thyroid disorders, such as hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism, have a subtle but profound effect on the overall functioning of the body. Reports indicate that India carries a burden of more than 40 million thyroid cases and this number is continuously increasing. To control the prevalence of this disease, early detection of signs and symptoms is crucial, as timely interventions are paramount.
According to an interaction with Zee News English, Dr. Vahid S. Vermal, Consultant- Adult and Pediatric Endocrinologist, Vailal Amin General Hospital, Vadodara shares all about the subtle symptoms of thyroid problems and disorders that can silently affect your health.
Raising awareness about thyroid disease among the general public is very important. This involves educating individuals about the consequences of thyroid disease, the appropriate timing of screening, and identifying the right professionals for consultation. Various strategies, such as health talks conducted by experts, media articles and organization of specific camps focused on thyroid diseases, serve as effective means to achieve this goal.
Subtle symptoms of thyroid disorders
Often, thyroid disorders act discreetly, presenting as follows:
– Easy fatigue
– Body aches
– Dry skin
Fluctuations in weight and appetite
Left undiagnosed, these conditions can wreak havoc on various body systems, contributing to:
– Heart failure
– Higher heart attack risk
– Depression or mental illness
– Mental retardation
– Complications during pregnancy
Early detection is important
In the early stages of thyroid disease, symptoms can be subtle, affecting multiple body systems. For example, subclinical hypothyroidism increases the risk of heart attack, while subclinical hyperthyroidism increases the likelihood of arrhythmias. Early diagnosis is the linchpin for timely treatment and avoiding serious consequences. Thus, routine screening is essential, especially when subtle symptoms occur, or during important life events such as planning pregnancy, major surgery, having a family history of thyroid disease, or managing coexisting conditions such as diabetes or lipid disorders.
Lifestyle factors and thyroid health
Emerging research underscores the impact of lifestyle choices on thyroid health. Studies have shown that a diet rich in processed foods increases the risk of subclinical hypothyroidism. Choosing a healthy diet and consuming adequate but not excessive amounts of iodized salt is recommended, as excess iodine intake can exacerbate thyroid disease. In addition, smoking cessation is extremely important with the risk of hyperthyroidism and thyroid-related eye disease.