Lakhs of people in India suffer from thyroid issues, the majority of them without even being aware of it. Complications associated with thyroid are more commonly seen in women than in men and some studies show that 1 in 8 women will develop thyroid-related problems in their lifetime.

On World Thyroid Day, we want to spread awareness about thyroid problems so that you
have all the information you need. The thyroid gland is a relatively small organ in the body
(only about two inches long), located below Adam’s apple, across the front of the
windpipe.

It is chiefly responsible for hormone production that regulates metabolism. Other
important functions include heart rate, menstrual cycles, and regulation of body
temperature. Thyroid problems are usually a result of other conditions such as
Hashimoto’s thyroiditis and Graves disease.

Two thyroid conditions are the most prevalent: Hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism. In
the former, the gland produces abnormally high amounts of the thyroid hormone
(thyroxine). Symptoms of this are unexplained and sudden weight loss, rapid/irregular
heartbeat, fatigue and increased appetite among others.
In Hypothyroidism, the gland produces low amounts of the thyroid hormone. It’s symptoms
are changes in the menstrual cycle, dry hair and hair loss, greater sensitivity to cold
temperatures, constipation and unexplained weight gain among others (Source) Studies
show that in India, hypothyroidism rates are much higher in those states that are inland as
compared to coastal ones.

While there is no scientifically proven way to prevent either hyperthyroidism or
hypothyroidism, knowledge of its existence is of vital importance. Thyroid related
problems can affect both your physical and emotional well being and early detection by a
certified medical professional will prove beneficial for you. Maintaining an overall healthy
lifestyle by eating healthy and exercising regularly are also excellent ways to manage these
conditions.

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