thyroid-problem-in-india

Thyroid is an endocrine gland in the human body, which is located in the inferior dorsal part of the neck region. The function of thyroid gland is the secretion of the thyroid hormones that play an important role in maintaining homeostasis within the human body. The thyroid produces various hormones such as thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH),  thyroxine (T4), and triiodothyronine (T3). The levels of TSH, T3 and T4 are measured to test the thyroid gland function. 

As per the statistical data available, thyroid disorders are the most common endocrine disorders around the world. This is also true for India. It is estimated that nearly 42 million people in India suffer from thyroid related disorders. The most widely known thyroid diseases are hypothyroidism, hyperthyroidism, goitre/iodine deficiency disorders and Hashimoto’s thyroiditis. Thyroid diseases are easy to diagnose, and the accessibility of developed medical treatment is also good.  Early diagnosis and appropriate treatment is crucial for managing thyroid related problems.

Prevalence of Thyroid Disorders in Kerala 

Kerala is a state in the southern part of India. It is geographically divided in two parts, the coastal region and hilly region. The hilly region, due to deficiency of iodine, is known to report cases of thyroid disorders. But studies have depicted that even the coastal regions are known to report higher cases of goiter. Therefore, a thorough analysis is required to understand  the failure of universal iodization program in this part of India

Prevalence of Thyroid Disorders in Jammu & Kashmir (J&K)

In India, states located inland are known to have reported more cases of thyroid disorders. The reason is less consumption of sea food which is rich in iodine. In the inland states the government has conducted universal salt iodization for nearly 30 years still the prevalence of hypothyroidism is not decreasing in the himalayan region such as Jammu and Kashmir (J&K).

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Prevalence of Thyroid Disorders in Delhi

The capital city of India, Delhi lies in the sub-Himalayan plains of India. This region  is known to have iodine deficiency in the soil and in the cultivated vegetables. The universal iodization program introduced the Iodised salt in 1983, which was almost 4 decades back. Still the population is deficient in iodine and develop goitre, and other thyroid disease. 

Reasons for Thyroid Disorder

The two main reasons that are cited for the increase in the cases of thyroid disorders are increased  awareness of the disease due to education, and autoimmunity, which is nowadays the most common reason for thyroid disorder. Stress is the factor attributed for the increase in autoimmune related cases of thyroid disorder. Genetic predisposition is also one of the reasons for thyroid disorder

Conclusion

There are numerous factors that cause thyroid disorders which include genetic, environmental, iodine deficiency, and stress-related stimuli. The key to manage thyroid disorders is to detect it early and adhere to appropriate medical and dietary interventions.

Ms. Srujana is Managing Editor of Cogito137, one of India’s leading student-run science communication magazines. I have been working in scientific and medical writing and editing since 2018. I am also associated with the quality assurance team of scientific journal editing. I am majoring in Chemistry with a minor in Biology at IISER Kolkata.

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