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At 'Illness to Wellness' awareness session, experts warn undetected thyroid diseases can lead to major health complications

IANS May 25, 2024

The ASSOCHAM CSR Council, under the Illness to Wellness initiative, hosted a panel discussion on the eve of World Thyroid Day titled ‘Thyroid Matters: In Health & Disease’ with the primary goal of greater awareness about thyroid diseases & the need to encourage early treatment of thyroid dysfunctions.

The panel comprised Dr. (Prof.) Chandrakant Sambhaji Pandav, Member, National Council on POSHAN Abhiyan and Former Head, Centre for Community Medicine, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, Delhi; Dr. Subhash K Wangnoo, Senior Consultant - Endocrinologist & Diabetologist, Indraprastha Apollo Hospitals, New Delhi; and Dr. Mudit Sabharwal, Consultant Diabetes & Endocrinology, Fortis La Femme Multi Specialty Hospital and Director and Consultant, Diabetologist,  NCR.

The session was moderated by Dr. Rajesh Kesari, Founder and Director, of Total Care Control, Delhi-NCR, and EC Member, RSSDI. Dr Pandav explained the importance of awareness in tackling the rise in thyroid diseases.

He also mentioned that adequately iodised salt is needed to stave off thyroid diseases. “Without awareness, you cannot move forward. Awareness is necessary to ensure early detection of thyroid diseases and can prevent major ailments. Historically, iodine deficiency has been a major cause of thyroid disorders.

Although iodization programmes have reduced goitre prevalence, iodine deficiency still exists in some regions,” he said. Anil Rajput, Chairperson, of ASSOCHAM National CSR Council, said: “The increase in the prevalence of thyroid-related health issues warrants heightened awareness and pro-active measures to be put in place with a greater sense of urgency to effectively address this challenge of significant proportions.

"Thyroid ailments affect both men and women with the latter reporting a higher incidence necessitating the need for gender-sensitive approaches to be looked at in greater detail. On World Thyroid Day, it is important to galvanise public awareness about thyroid disorders across all age groups and I am confident that together we can empower individuals, families, and communities to effectively address thyroid ailments and move towards a healthier and more resilient nation.”

Talking about the symptoms, Dr Sabharwal said there are two types of thyroid disorders -- Hypothyroidism (symptoms include- fatigue, weight gain, dry skin, cold intolerance) and Hyperthyroidism (symptoms include weight loss, heat intolerance, increased appetite)

“A simple exercise like Surya Namaskar can help control/prevent hyperthyroidism. After COVID-19, we have seen a rise in cases of hyperthyroidism. We must remember that cholesterol and diabetes are also linked to the thyroid, therefore, people should ensure a healthy lifestyle to prevent health issues like thyroid ailments,” he said. Dr. Wangnoo said unexpected weakness, postpartum depression in women, and lethargy are signs of thyroid dysfunction to watch out for.

“Thyroid does a lot of work to help metabolise and maintain blood pressure, body temperature and heart rate. Pregnant women also need to be very careful. Postpartum depression is something that women are vulnerable to due to thyroid issues. The intelligence quotient in babies may be affected if there is late detection,” he said.

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