HYDERABAD: In an alarming revelation, healthcare professionals reveal that thyroid disorders are on the rise across the Telugu states of Telangana and Andhra Pradesh, especially among urban men.
Thyroid disorders, which are most commonly associated with women, are affecting men as well with serious consequences leading to heart problems, mental health issues, infertility etc.
Hypothyroidism, categorized under the cluster of iodine deficient disorders (IDDs), is highly prevalent in India with one out of 10 people in the country being diagnosed with the condition. It has been estimated that about 200 million people suffer from thyroid disorders worldwide and amongst those 42 million are in India.
The situation is equally grave in Telangana and Andhra Pradesh, as a recent study from global diagnostic chain SRL Diagnostics, reveals that nearly 30 per cent of men in the age-group of 31-45 are at a risk of thyroid dysfunction. In Andhra Pradesh, samples of more than 50 per cent of men in the age-group of 31-45 were found with abnormal TSH (Thyroid Stimulating Hormones) levels.
Thyroid diseases are different from other diseases in terms of their ease of diagnosis, accessibility of medical treatment, and the relative visibility that even a small swelling of the thyroid offers to the treating physician.
Early diagnosis and treatment remain the cornerstone of management. Even as problems associated with abnormal production of thyroid hormones continues to grow significantly, awareness about the disease in the country among men remains shockingly low.
“There is a significant need for reaching out and making people aware of the causes, symptoms, treatment and importance of testing for thyroid problems.
Our in-house data analysis on thyroid tests assesses the nationwide abnormalities in test results in men residing in various cities that represent diverse geographic origin, occupation, socio-economic status and food habits,” said Dr BR Das, president, Research and Innovation, SRL Diagnostics.
A recent survey conducted by the Indian Thyroid Society depicts awareness for the disease ranked ninth as compared to other common ailments such as asthma, cholesterol problem, depression, diabetes, insomnia and heart problem. The prevalence of hypothyroidism in the developed world is estimated to be about 4 to 5 per cent.
According to the survey, the disease is more prevalent between the age group of 46-54 years.
The symptoms of the disease are often confused with other disorders, thus making thyroid one of the most under-diagnosed with no permanent cure. However, experts reveal that with medication and proper treatment, thyroid can be controlled thereby helping patients to lead normal lives.
Several experts, however, felt that while thyroid disorder is a serious issue, one must not read too much into statistics and get alarmed by them. “Only people who may have symptoms of thyroid disorders will get tests done so naturally, the numbers will be high. Also, a lot of samples could be from the same person and there’s no guarantee that all samples are from different individuals.
Sometimes numbers can be misleading. But there’s no doubt that there is a severe lack of awareness for thyroid disorders and that is something we must address,” explained Sri Nagesh, endocrinologist at Care Hospitals.