Thyroid diseases are common globally. India too carries a notable load of it. There have been a number of surveys in the last decade which have indicated the explosive rise of disorders related to it in India. Medicircle is conducting a Thyroid Awareness Series on the occasion of Thyroid Awareness Month with the purpose of increasing public knowledge about the importance of timely diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of this medical condition by speaking to specialists in this area.
Dr. Rakesh Prasad is the Head Senior Consultant who specializes in Diabetology and Endocrinology with close to two decades of experience in this realm. He has extensive expertise in diabetes, thyroid, and hormones. Dr. Rakesh has presented eight papers in reputed national and international journals. He is a national and international faculty in different scientific forums. He regularly writes articles on health topics.
Common types of thyroid disorders
Dr.Rakesh Prasad says, “Thyroid disorders are composed of many disorders wherein thyroid function is affected. The thyroid function can increase or decrease. They can be autoimmune or primarily due to deficiency in certain parts of the body. So in short, the thyroid is composed of a vast variety of disorders that can increase or decrease thyroid function. There are certain aspects of disorders that can lead to medical oncology like thyroid cancers. So there are two types of thyroid disorders mainly:
Hypothyroidism in which there is loss of function of the thyroid Hyperthyroidism in which there is an increase in function of the thyroid
Diet for thyroid patients
Dr Rakesh informs, “Diet has a lot of importance when we talk about thyroid. The thyroid dysfunction is directly associated with its related deficiency syndrome which leads to the appearance of goiter. Loss of function of thyroid leads to reduced production of thyroid hormones. To avoid the complications, there are certain types of foods that need to be avoided with thyroid medication treatment. Consumption of cabbage, soy, and soy products, which contains excessive chemical goitrogens that inhibit thyroid function. So, diet will affect the thyroid in multiple ways right from the requirement of thyroid hormone. The patient having goiter and deficiency disorders are very common n Himalayan belt river areas in our country also.
Prevalence of thyroid is more in females as compared to males
Dr. Rakesh says, “The prevalence varies from region to region. The hypothyroidism prevalence is 9 - 10 % in general society and the hyperthyroid prevalence is 4% in general society. Thyroid-related cancers have a prevalence of 4%. The commonest prevalence of thyroid disorder is subclinical hypothyroidism. Subclinical Hypothyroidism is a state where you don't have the manifestation of the thyroid. The thyroid disorder, in this case, is reflected as normal T3, T4, and slightly raised TSH. The prevalence is higher in females as compared to males in hypothyroidism, hypothyroidism, and subclinical hypothyroidism.”
COVID and thyroid disorders this pandemic
Dr.Rakesh states, “In this pandemic era, everybody is affected by the unwanted disease. The thyroid is one of the commonest disorders of this pandemic.
Subacute Thyroiditis: There is a condition called Subacute Thyroiditis. It is a condition wherein the virus affects the thyroid gland. This leads to a sudden release of the stored thyroid hormone into the blood and manifests the condition of thyrotoxicosis
This is one of the commonest presentations.
Nonthyroid Illness: This is documented only when investigating the T3, T4, and TSH but eventually recovered over a period of time.
Thyrotoxicosis: This is secondary to subacute thyroiditis. This happens in the COVID infection and takes time to recover for a period of 12-18 months.
So Subacute thyroiditis and Nonthyroid illness are common presentations of this pandemic."
(Edited by Dr.Rati Parwani)