Hyderabad: Thirty-two per cent of the Indian population suffers from different kinds of thyroid problems, according to in-house data collected from over 33 lakh adults by SRL Diagnostics from major cities between 2014 and 2016.
Sub-clinical hypothyroidism emerged as the biggest thyroid disorder. Sub-clinical hypothyroidism means there is mild thyroid and the thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) is higher than the normal range. It can be corrected with physical exercise which helps control TSH levels.
Most cases of hypothyroidism were seen in North India with Delhi registering 25 per cent of the cases. East India showed sub-clinical hypothyroidism with 20 per cent in Kolkata.
South and West India had 25 per cent cases of hyperthyroidism. Dr Avinash Phadke, senior endocrinologist, said sub-clinical hypothyroidism can’t be detected at the clinical level. “It is a silent disease and often, till the symptoms aggravate, can’t be identified.
Why do different regions have a higher incidence of a particular thyroid problem? Diagnostic centres and doctors said that further studies have to be taken up to understand the lifestyle and dietary habits of the people.
Dr K. Srinivas, senior endocrinologist, said, “What is actually causing dysfunction of the thyroid is not known. It’s an auto-immune disorder. Why the thyroid gland starts producing more or reduces its production is not understood. We supplement the chemical from outside, so that the levels are maintained and the body is able to carry out its functions properly.”
Thyroid problems are commonly seen in women which results in severe hair fall, fatigue, weakness, weight gain, mood swings, anxiety, high cholesterol, severe hormonal imbalances. Men are eight times less prone to thyroid changes than women, but there have been cases of men also suffering from thyroid imbalances. Senior endocrinologist Dr S.S. Shanker said genetics played a crucial role in determining thyroid levels.