“But he/she is always sick” , “she is so lethargic,, why doesn’t she loose some weight?” have you felt this way about someone in your life? I feel terrible as I write this because I have felt this way about someone really close to me.
So one of the most common reasons why a person could probably be fatigued, tired, or be gaining weight (also known as Thyroweight) is because of Thyroid disorder.
Now, let’s step into that person’s shoes who has been accused of being tired at all times or worst been body shamed for weight gain. How frustrating and heartbreaking would it be for a person to hear or be made to feel that he/she lacks energy. How difficult would it be for a friend to turn down mountain hikes, bike rides and dance nights. Even worse what about the mom who has to turn down her kids who are excited to play with her but she cannot move herself off the couch.
Unfortunately, many with thyroid disorder deal with guilt from disappointing family, friends and especially kids way too often.
Why am I talking about Thyroid?
It is because I recently attended a Blogger’s meet aimed at creating awareness about Thyroid. What I learnt there was no less than an eye opener for me! The lively and informative discussions that happens at the event made the audience ponder upon one of the neglected symptom of Thyroid – Thyroweight.
At the event Dr. Shehla Shaikh explained the A to Z of Thyroid and busted a zillion myths and misconceptions floating around it. Also present at the event was actress Juhi Chawla who shared her experiences related to the disorder.
Expert endocrinologist Dr Shehla Shaikh gave her valuable insights on the importance of women health and talked about Thyroweight which is the most common symptom of this problem. She pointed out how women tend to ignore small weight changes in their body. Most of us tend to ignore the fact that it could be related to thyroid disorder. Stressing upon the need of timely examination, she highlighted the best preventive and curative measures women can take to curb this health condition.
Actress Juhi Chawla graced the event with her presence and shared her views about how thyroid disorder affects a person not just physically but also mentally and emotionally. She, spoke about her near and dear ones she admires for being able to battle this health disorder with success. Her husband has been a thyroid patient for eleven years and her father in law takes a thyroid pill everyday. Her hair stylist who works with her closely is a thyroid patient yet leads a normal life with simple medication.
In this post I have consolidated all the information I gained there, and I think each one of us must know this –
* 1 In 10 Indians suffer from Thyroid disorders
* Women are more prone to Thyroid disorder (8 out of 10)
* People aged 35 years and above are at a higher risk of thyroid disorders
* It is also observed that Thyroid disorders run in the family
Hence we can conclude that, Thyroid disorder is one of the most common endocrine disorders in India. However, Hypothyroidism is a common yet an under diagnosed disorder because of its non-specific clinical presentations.
Where is the Thyroid Gland? And How Does It Function?
The thyroid gland is a butterfly-shaped organ located on the front side of your neck, along the windpipe.
What do these hormones do ?
– They have an effect on the metabolic rate, which is a measure of how fast or how slow your brain, heart, muscles, of other parts of your body work
– These hormones also influence growth, development and reproduction
What is a Thyroid Disorder ?
When the Thyroid Gland is dysfunctional, it leads to abnormal thyroid hormone production which causes:
– Hypothyroidism- Insufficient Thyroid hormone production
– Hyperthyroidism – Excessive Thyroid hormone production
What is Thyroweight
Thyroweight is the change in weight and tiredness experienced due to thyroid imbalance. The thyroid gland and one’s body weight are closely associated.
Thyroid gland affects the body’s metabolism and since patients with hypothyroidism have lowered metabolic rate, they often experience weight gain or face difficulty in losing weight. An unexplained weight gain with lethargy and tiredness is the an indication of imbalance in the thyroid gland. People often confuse thyroweight with normal weight gain and so it is easily ignored. In order to #ruleoutThyroweight, even the smallest of weight gain shouldn’t be ignored and be discussed with a health care expert.
For more information please visit http://thyroidindia.com/thyroweight/
How does Thyroid Problem Affect Women?
Thyroid diseases can lead to multiple problems in women health-
Issues pertaining to Menstrual Cycle – Thyroid helps to control the menstrual cycle and so an imbalance in the production of thyroid hormone can lead to irregular periods, excessive or light flow
Problems in Conception – Since thyroid diseases affect menstruation, they have an impact on ovulation cycle, which can lead to difficulties for women in conceiving naturally.
Difficulties During Pregnancy – Thyroid disorder can cause various health problems to both mother and the baby during pregnancy, it is a must to diagnose and treat thyroid during pregnancy.
Early Menopause – If thyroid disorder is caused by our body’s immune system, it can affect other glands along with the ovaries, which may lead to early menopause (which is before the age of 40)
If Thyroid Disorder is left untreated it could have an impact on many organs of like- brain, liver, kidney, intestines, heart, and the reproductive system.
Hypothyroidism And Pregnancy
Pregnancy has a profound impact on the thyroid gland and thyroid function since the thyroid may encounter changes to hormones during pregnancy. The diagnosis and treatment of thyroid disorder during pregnancy and the postpartum is extremely crucial for the health of the mother and her baby.
Few reports suggest that upto 14% pregnant women may be diagnosed with Hypothyroidism.
Severe untreated or inadequately treated Hypothyroidism may have an impact on the pregnant woman and the foetus. Untreated Hypothyroidism in pregnancy can lead to certain complications like elevated blood pressure, loss of blood during and after delivery and sometimes even reduction in intelligence of a child.
What Should We Do ?
We must get our thyroid test done at regular intervals.
One must not ignore common symptoms such as
Common symptoms of Hypothyroidism include:
Thyroweight(weakness and weight gain)
coarse and dry hair
confusion or forgetfulness (often mistaken for dementia in seniors)
dry, scaly skin
fatigue or a feeling of sluggishness
Common Symptoms Of Hyperthyroidism include :
Fatigue or muscle weakness
Nervousness or anxiety
Trouble with sleeping
Increased frequency of bowel movement
Light periods or skipping periods
To Conclude, these have been my take aways from the event :
● One must prioritise their health and keep a close check on any kind of imbalance in the body
● A woman must get her thyroid test done as soon as she learns of her pregnancy.
● In case we notice symptoms of thyroid disorder we must get ourselves examined.
● Even slight weight gain must not be neglected
● If you have been diagnosed with Thyroid Disorder, you must take your medicine as prescribed by the doctor
● One must not change the brand or dose of Thyroid medicine without consulting a doctor.
● Don’t hesitate to ask your doctor as many questions as you’d like
● Maintain a healthy lifestyle by eating right and exercising
● Thyroid is common and a condition that we must be empathetic towards.
Thyroid disorder is a common disorder that we have heard of. But unfortunately moste are still unaware of what it really means. The event ended with some awesome women sharing their experiences about being thyroid patients and emerging out of the physical and mental trauma it caused. It was heart rendering to hear the stories of these real heroes. They may have not walked on the dias with a cape but were so inspiring.
My mother had been a thyroid patient and she pops the pill every morning. She has gained weight but she takes a walk every evening and is enthusiastic about yoga. She is my real hero. With regular medications and help from the experts, she has not only been able to overcome this health condition but also leads a normal, healthy and happy life.
All it takes is to be aware of the changes that take place in one’s body. Being aware of symptoms like Thyroweight, it’s early detection and timely examinations are definite to help conquer this problem.
Disclaimer: I attended a discussion on thyroid awareness facilitated by Abbott India Limited. Any opinion expressed in this blog is my personal opinion and not the opinion of Abbott India Limited. Abbott India Limited does not assume any liability for the content of the blog. The blog post is not meant to be a replacement for a doctor consultation, nor is it a medical recommendation or prescription of treatment for people having thyroid problems. Any reader of this blog suffering from thyroid problems should specifically consult his/her doctor for the same and follow the suggested course of treatment.’