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Tuesday 6 March 2018

Spreading Thyroid Awareness #RuleOutThyroWeight

There are quite a few women in my acquaintances that I am in awe of. One of them is my friend Sona (name changed), working mother of two. This lady is a bundle of energy and sunshine, always on her toes with a wide smile on her face. One day when she stayed over at my place on an official trip, I observed her popping a pill first thing in the morning. When I asked her about it, she casually mentioned that she suffers from hypothyroidism and has been on medication for years. On probing further she explained that in her late teens she suddenly started putting on weight and felt tired all the time. Despite following a strict diet, neither the weight nor her lethargy and fatigue decreased. Though the weight gain wasn't substantial, her parents were worried about it. A visit to the physician and a few tests later she was diagnosed with hypothyroidism and put on a lifelong dose for the same. The results of the medication were almost miraculous, she says and I can well believe it as I have seen her bustling about, juggling a family and a successful career, all with a cheerful smile. 

This revelation about my friend led me to wonder about Thyroid Disorders. It is baffling to know that 1 in 10 Indians suffer from thyroid disorders of which women are more prone to it. 
I was fortunate to attend a blogger meet organized to spread Thyroid awareness.

Eloquent and well-known endocrinologist, Dr Shehla Shaikh shed light on lesser known facts and bust some myths revolving around Thyroid disorders. 
The event received support from much loved Bollywood diva Juhi Chawla
Juhi shared her personal experience of her husband and father in-law and one of her staff members who lead perfectly healthy and fulfilling lives despite having a thyroid disorder.
The Thyroid gland, a butterfly-shaped organ located in the neck, secretes the hormones T3 and T4 which have an effect on almost all tissues of the body. The thyroid hormones affect the metabolic rate, influence growth, development and reproduction. 

A dysfunctional thyroid gland may lead to the more common hypothyroidism (insufficient thyroid hormone) or the less common hyperthyroidism (excess thyroid hormone).
So any imbalance in the thyroid hormone will affect all parts of the body and its activities like breathing, BODY WEIGHT, cholesterol, muscle strength, menstrual cycle, pregnancy etc.

Thyroweight is a unique concept that helps increase awareness about Thyroid disorders. In most cases when we experience small to moderate weight gain, we dismiss it as something normal, blaming it on factors ranging from heredity, sedentary lifestyle, improper diet habits etc. This is where 'thyroweight' should flash, we need to seriously consider that the sudden, small weight gain could be due to an underlying thyroid disorder.
Some symptoms of thyroid disorders:

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A timely simple blood test, the Thyroid Function Test (TSH) can quite easily detect and rule out if you are suffering from a thyroid malfunction. #RuleOutThyroweight is something which every person needs to resolve if faced by symptoms of small weight gain, along with fatigue, hair fall etc.

Dr Shehla informed us that thyroid levels tend to fluctuate in certain women during pregnancy. Hence it is important to get the thyroid test done as soon as a pregnancy is confirmed.

It is also important to understand that one does not need to become depressed or worry relentlessly about it. With medical advancements, thyroid disorders can be very effectively be managed, 
  • Through timely detection 
  • With the aid of medicines 
  • Following a routine healthy lifestyle
So dear friends, how often do you complain of fatigue, tiredness, lethargy, irritability, hair fall, weight gain along with changes in your menstrual cycle
If you do complain often then it's high time you made a trip to your physician/endocrinologist. It makes a lot of sense to get these symptoms diagnosed because these supposedly innocuous symptoms could well be because you are suffering from a Thyroid disorder. Give a thought to #RuleOutThyroweight if you are above 35 years of age, have a family history of thyroid disorders or have any of the above symptoms, just go and get yourself checked.

Our multi-tasking roles as mother, wife, daughter, employee, entrepreneur, etc. are not easy to pull off if we don't have good health. It therefore makes sense to not ignore these niggling symptoms and rule out a disorder like thyroid imbalance. And hey, the treatment is perfectly simple and treatable!
The earlier the better, why wait for conditions to worsen? 

Loving your family and doing your duties is good but keeping yourself healthy so that you can continue to effectively do your job is more important! 
You owe it to YOURSELF!

Having a Thyroid disorder should not dampen your spirits, energy or focus to succeed in any field or have a life as good anyone else!

'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.'

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