Does Hypothyroidism affect only older women? Debunking 10 Myths about Thyroid Disorders!
3 Min Read
This World Thyroid Day – 25th March, let’s debunk myths about Hypothyroidism.
Hypothyroidism is a common endocrine disorder that affects millions of people worldwide. Despite its prevalence, there are several myths and misconceptions surrounding this condition. In this article, we will debunk 10 hypothyroidism myths and try to understand the condition better and how to manage it.
Myth 1: Hypothyroidism only affects older women.
Fact: Hypothyroidism is more common in women. According to the American Thyroid Association, women are 5 to 8 times more prone to hypothyroidism than men. However, it can affect individuals of any age or gender. It is estimated that around 5-10% of women and 1-2% of men have some form of hypothyroidism. Additionally, it can develop at any stage of life, from infancy to old age.
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Myth 2: Hypothyroidism is primarily caused by iodine deficiency.
Fact: While iodine deficiency can lead to hypothyroidism in certain parts of the world, especially where iodine intake is low, the most common cause of hypothyroidism is an autoimmune condition called Hashimoto’s thyroiditis. Other causes include genetics, certain medications, radiation therapy, surgical removal of the thyroid gland, and congenital factors.
Myth 3: If your blood tests are normal, you cannot have hypothyroidism.
Fact: The diagnosis of hypothyroidism requires a comprehensive evaluation, including blood tests that measure thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH), free thyroxine (T4), and sometimes triiodothyronine (T3) levels. However, some individuals with clinical symptoms of hypothyroidism may have normal blood test results. In such cases, further investigation and monitoring may be necessary. Talk to an expert if you are in doubt.
Myth 4: Hypothyroidism can be cured with dietary supplements or alternative therapies.
Fact: Hypothyroidism is a chronic condition that typically requires lifelong management. While a balanced diet and certain nutrients like iodine and selenium are important for general health and thyroid health, they cannot cure hypothyroidism.
Myth 5: Hypothyroidism causes significant weight gain in all individuals.
Fact: Weight gain is a common symptom of hypothyroidism due to a slower metabolism. However, Weight gain may vary from person to person. It is important to understand that individual responses to hypothyroidism can vary.
Myth 6: Hypothyroidism causes infertility.
Fact: Hypothyroidism can affect fertility in some cases, especially if it is not properly managed. However, there are various causes of infertility, and hypothyroidism is just one factor among many. Seeking appropriate medical advice and treatment from a fertility specialist can help determine the underlying causes and develop an appropriate treatment plan. Also, women with hypothyroidism can successfully conceive and deliver a healthy baby with certain changes and medications, if needed.
Myth 7: Hypothyroidism only affects the thyroid gland.
Fact: While hypothyroidism is primarily a disorder of the thyroid gland, it can have widespread effects on the entire body. It can cause fatigue, depression, cold intolerance, dry skin, hair loss, constipation, and other symptoms. If left untreated, hypothyroidism can lead to complications such as cardiovascular disease, mental health issues, and problems during pregnancy.
Myth 8: Hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism are the same conditions.
Fact: Hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism are opposite ends of the thyroid dysfunction spectrum. Hypothyroidism occurs when the thyroid gland produces insufficient thyroid hormones, while hyperthyroidism is characterized by an overactive thyroid gland producing excessive thyroid hormones. These conditions have different causes, symptoms, and treatment approaches.
Myth 9: Hypothyroidism can be diagnosed solely based on symptoms.
Fact: Symptoms of hypothyroidism, such as fatigue, weight gain, and mood changes, can be non-specific and overlap with other conditions. To accurately diagnose hypothyroidism, medical professionals rely on a combination of symptoms, physical examination, and laboratory tests measuring thyroid hormone levels.
Myth 10: Once you start thyroid medication, you can stop it when you feel better.
Fact: Medications for hypothyroidism are usually lifelong. Once initiated, stopping the medication without medical guidance can result in a return of hypothyroid symptoms and complications. Regular monitoring of thyroid function and adjusting medication dosage as necessary is essential to maintain optimal hormone levels.
Understanding the truth behind hypothyroidism is crucial for accurate diagnosis, effective management, and overall well-being. If you or a loved one is diagnosed with hypothyroidism, join MFine’s Thyroid Care Program. It is an integrated care program designed by expert doctors to manage thyroid disorder effectively. It is customized as per one’s needs.
3-Month Thyroid Care Program – What’s included?
- 2 lab tests
- 4 consultations with top endocrinologists
- Weekly real-time consultations through meal plate images with dietitians to review meals
- One on one consultation with fitness coach
- Weekly aerobic & fitness sessions
- 24×7 access to Care managers online
Explore more or join the Thyroid Care Program today. Don’t let hypothyroidism affect your everyday life!
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