All about Hypothyroidism
Dr K K Aggarwal
· An underactive thyroid gland or hypothyroidism is a new epidemic of the society.
· Hypothyroidism causes weight gain, loss of energy, cold intolerance and menstrual irregularities in women.
· All people who are 50+ should have their thyroid profile done as screening test for thyroid deficiency.
· Tests to detect hypothyroidism are TSH and T4. TSH (thyroid-stimulating hormone) is the most important and sensitive test for hypothyroidism. An abnormally high TSH means hypothyroidism.
· In younger people, thyroid deficiency should be investigated for in the presence of infertility, menstrual irregularity, pregnancy, weight gain.
· Thyroid deficiency is treated by thyroxine or synthetic T4 hormone replacement.
· Patients who develop hyperthyroid symptoms at any time during thyroxine supplementation should have their TSH tested. If TSH is low, then T4 dose needs to be reduced.
· Even mild thyroid deficiency during pregnancy can affect the growth or fetus. Therefore, thyroid supplementation dose is much higher in pregnancy than in non-pregnancy.
· In the elderly, thyroid supplementation is always started in low dose than in adults.
· If left untreated, thyroid deficiency can result in osteoporosis and atrial fibrillation. Osteoporosis may lead to recurrent fractures and atrial fibrillation with stroke.
· Iodized salt is used to prevent thyroid deficiency.
· Non-iodized salt is only used in two conditions, firstly in patient with thyroid inflammation and secondly while doing Jalneti in naturopathy and yoga related nasal wash technique.