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In the complex symphony of human health, the thyroid gland performs a vital role that often goes unnoticed until something goes awry. As we observe Thyroid Awareness Month, according to Dr Vijay Panikar, Diabetologist and Endocrinologist, Lilavati Hospital, it is crucial to bring attention to thyroid disorders - a silent epidemic affecting millions worldwide.

The Unseen Orchestrator: The Thyroid Gland
Situated in the neck, the thyroid gland resembles a delicate butterfly, yet its impact on the body's functioning is far from delicate. This small but mighty gland produces hormones that regulate metabolism, energy levels, growth, brain development, and reproduction. It's the unsung hero orchestrating a myriad of bodily functions.

The Alarming Unawareness
In a large-scale survey conducted across India in 2021, about 7.3 per cent of the respondents suffered from thyroid-related problems. However, approximately 50% of individuals with thyroid disorders are blissfully unaware of their condition. This lack of awareness is concerning, considering the profound impact thyroid issues can have on one's overall health and quality of life.

Gender Disparities: A Noteworthy Trend
Women bear the brunt of thyroid disorders, being five to eight times more likely than men to experience these issues. This gender disparity underscores the need for targeted awareness campaigns and early detection strategies, especially for women's



health.

Recognising the Red Flags: Signs and Symptoms

Thyroid disorders manifest in various ways, affecting both men and women. Signs such as unexplained weight fluctuations, menstrual problems, infertility, low libido, erectile dysfunction, fatigue, brain fog, depression, and anxiety should not be dismissed lightly. Recognizing these red flags is the first step toward seeking timely medical attention.

 
The Importance of Regular Monitoring and Testing

Similar to screenings for other health conditions, regular monitoring and testing for thyroid health are paramount. Proactive health management allows for early detection and intervention, preventing the progression of thyroid disorders and their potential complications.

Lifestyle Choices: Nurturing Thyroid Health
Beyond medical interventions, lifestyle choices are crucial in maintaining thyroid health. A balanced diet rich in essential nutrients, regular exercise, stress management, and optimal weight contribute significantly to overall well-being and can positively impact thyroid function.

Breaking the Stigma: Mental Health and Thyroid Disorders
Undiagnosed thyroid conditions often lead to mental health challenges, such as depression and anxiety. Breaking the stigma surrounding mental health and thyroid disorders is essential for fostering a holistic approach to healthcare, addressing both the physical and emotional aspects of well-being.
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