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Alarming! 32 Percent of Indian Population Suffers from Thyroid

A recent survey by SRL Diagnostics revealed that 32% of Indian population is affected by various kinds of thyroid disorders. The survey was based on in-house data collected in the year 2014-16 from over 33 lakh adults across India. Also, it indicated that the disease is more common in women.

Thyroid issue, be it an excessively active or underactive one, considerably impacts an individual’s quality of life. Regrettably, many people who witness the symptoms of thyroid don’t seek out medical care due to hefty thyroid treatment cost. Good news is, the diagnostic costs of thyroid issues can be covered by a health insurance which enables the patients to seek immediate treatment to address the symptoms. Well, we will come to this point later. Let’s gather a brief idea of thyroid and its symptoms.


What is Thyroid?

The thyroid is an important organ of our body which produces thyroid hormones to maintain the metabolism. When thyroid malfunctions, it produces excess or too little of these hormones, which disturbs the metabolic function of our body. It obstructs the way our body uses energy. Due to this, visible weight fluctuations, depression, or low energy levels can be experienced. When the metabolic levels speed up due to an excessive production of the hormone, a person develops a disorder called Hyperthyroidism. On the other hand, a disorder that slows down your metabolism is called Hypothyroidism. And, treating any of these disorders can be expensive.

It is advised to get checked if you notice any changes in your body, as a thyroid problem can put you at a high risk of developing a host of certain health issues such as obesity, hypertension, fatigue, anxiety, hair loss, infertility, sexual dysfunction etc. Hence, understanding thyroid symptoms and cure is the only way to tackle this disorder.

Understanding Thyroid

As it is so sensitive, a few auto-immune conditions can easily influence the thyroid gland to malfunction. Moreover, existence of nodules, over-exposure to iodide, inflammation, malfunctioning of pituitary gland, etc. could be another reason for the development of thyroid disease.

Some Common Symptoms of Thyroid

Fatigue: When you’re unable to do daily tasks and feel lazy and drowsy even after a complete night’s sleep and constantly require a nap through the day, this could be due to a potential malfunctioning thyroid.

Body Weight Fluctuates: When thyroid under-produces hormones, you will experience weight gain, despite eating healthy. This means that you’re affected by hypothyroidism, and you will constantly gain weight. In hypothyroidism, it seems difficult to reduce weight despite following a healthy eating and exercise. So, don’t ignore sudden weight change- it may indicate a malfunctioning thyroid.

Anxiety & Depression: In case you are depressed or anxious or all of a sudden experience an onset of panic attacks, it’s better if you go for a thyroid test.

Steady Cholesterol Levels: If you notice no change in your cholesterol levels despite rigorously and religiously working out and also with proper intake of diet and medicines, it is high time you get your thyroid tested. It could be a symptom of hypothyroidism. However, if you notice the unusually low level of cholesterol, it is possible you may have hyperthyroidism.

Family History: Chances are high that you will gradually develop thyroid-related diseases if any of your family members have had thyroid related complications.

Changes in Periods Circle and Fertility-Related Issues: Keep an eye on your menstrual cycle- sudden irregularities need your utmost attention as they could be a sign of thyroid malfunction. This could also lead to fertility issues in future.

Bowel Issues: On the onset of hypothyroidism, the patient experiences frequent and long-term constipation. Whereas with hyperthyroidism one will have IBS, or Irritable Bowel Syndrome, & diarrhoea.

Skin & Hair Witness Severe Changes: You will experience hair loss in both hypo- and hyperthyroidism. Your skin also suffers a lot. In hyperthyroidism, there will be excessive sweating and the skin would be moist and warm to touch. The skin may thin out at some parts while becoming thick at the others. Hypothyroidism usually causes dry and scaly skin and leads to low sweat production.

 Changes in the size of the Neck: ‘Goiter’ is another issue caused by an enlargement of the thyroid gland. If you notice any swelling in your neck, experience uneasiness while wearing an outfit which covers your neck, or notice huskiness in your usual voice, you should see a doctor.

Body Pain: When you notice any unusual pain in the muscles and joints, it could be an indicator of a thyroid condition.

How to Diagnose a Thyroid Problem

There is no hard and fast rule that one will develop all the symptoms of thyroid. For proper prognosis, a comprehensive thyroid test is essential. Those who are above 35 years of age need yearly body screening. Women are more prone to this disease, especially if they are in their 60s or have a family history of the illness. So, don’t just rely on the tell-tale signs, and get yourself tested by a medical professional because it is the only way to get a sure-shot answer for thyroid treatment.

Why Do You Need Health Insurance

Getting a proper diagnosis is the only way to know whether a person has thyroid or not. The process starts with the physician asking full medical history of the patient, frequency of the symptoms, medicines being taken for any other health issues, and any family history of the illness. The next step is to go for a blood test. Blood test helps in evaluating the precise level of thyroid in the blood. Only a good physician can understand that a person may have thyroid despite the blood test result coming out normal. Therefore, it is necessary that the doctor evaluates both, the person’s symptoms and tests results, before coming to a conclusion.

Typically, this may cost you an arm and a leg. As you shouldn’t compromise on the quality of treatment, with a health insurance plan, you can be covered for such expenses. Thyroid diagnostic tests are covered by health insurance policies. Moreover, the cost of thyroid-specific medicines, in the long run, will also cost you a huge amount. Some insurance companies also cover medicines for thyroid. However, in order to limit your out-of-pocket expenditure, make sure that the insurance company covers that particular illness.

Final Word!

Thyroid is among the most common endocrine illnesses worldwide. India is no exception. As per various studies, it has been approximated that 42 million Indians suffer from thyroid-related issues. These illnesses differ from others in terms of their ease of diagnosis, the convenience of medical treatment or visibility of its symptoms, i.e. a simple swelling may compel you to see a physician. However, treating thyroid at its early stage is the best way to get rid of many complications.

Written By: PolicyBazaar - Updated: 11 May 2020

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