A study conducted by Metropolis Healthcare Ltd, one of the largest chains of pathology labs in India shows the presence of hyperthyroidism or hypothyroidism in a significant number of patients. Thyroid diseases are probably among the most common endocrine diseases globally and Delhi seems to be no different.
The Thyroid Gland is responsible for providing our bodies with energy as well as regulating the metabolism of our body. It also regulates our heartbeat and controls the digestive system. Thyroid produces tetraiodothyronine (T4) & triiodothyronine (T3) which are two crucial hormones controlling how our cells utilise energy. The Thyroid Stimulating Hormone itself is produced by the pituitary gland. The TSH stimulates the production of T3 and T4. Thus,
- A high TSH suggests your thyroid is underactive (hypothyroid) and not doing its job of producing enough thyroid hormone.
- A low TSH suggests your thyroid is overactive (hyperthyroid) and producing excess thyroid hormone.
A TSH test is ordered when symptoms of hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism is present.
The symptoms of hypothyroidism include sudden weight gain, fatigue, lowered heart rate, increased blood cholesterol, fertility issues and weak memory. In women, it can also affect the menstrual cycle. Timely blood tests can help detect any changes in the body. Hypothyroidism can be easily treated with medications.
The symptoms of hyperthyroidism include irregular heartbeat, lack of sleep, brittle hair, and breast development in men. Like hypothyroidism, hyperthyroidism is also curable through regular medication. Regular exercise, proper diet, timely diagnosis & treatment can help resolve thyroid problems completely.
A total of 1,22,498 samples were tested for thyroid stimulating hormone over the last 2 years by Metropolis Healthcare. As many as 16% were found to be suffering from hypothyroidism. The presence of hypothyroidism was found to be highest in the age group of 40-50 (23%) followed by 50-60 (22%) & 60-70 years (21%). 18% of all males and 16% of all females tested were found to be suffering from hypothyroidism.
The study also revealed that over 4% were found to be suffering from hyperthyroidism. Hyperthyroidism is when your body produces too much of thyroxine, which is the thyroid hormone, while hypothyroidism is when it is unable to produce the requisite amount.
Out of the 1,22,498 samples tested for a period of two years, the following are the statistics age group wise and gender wise.
Commenting on the study, Dr. Puneet Kumar Nigam, Chief Quality Officer, Metropolis Healthcare Ltd. said, “Globally, thyroid disorders continue to be a common, yet the most under-determined and ignored chronic health condition. Thyroid disorders affect the normal functioning of the thyroid gland, leading to abnormal hormone production that leads to hyperthyroidism or hypothyroidism. If left unattended, hyperthyroidism can cause heart problems, bone problems, mood elevations and a serious condition called thyroid storm. In pregnant women, hypothyroidism can cause placental abnormalities, as well as increased threat to the foetus.”
Dr. Nigam added, “Timely blood tests can help in detecting any change in the body. All thyroid disorders can easily be treated with medications that will help in the long term. Lifestyle modifications such as regular exercise, proper diet, timely diagnosis and treatment can help resolve thyroid problems.”
Biological Reference Interval for Thyroid-Stimulating Hormone (TSH)
Result below 0.45 mIU/L – Hyperthyroidism
Result between 0.45-4.50 mIU/L – Normal
Result above 4.50 mIU/L – Hypothyroidism.