Srinagar: A new study has revealed that 13.75 percent population is suffering from thyroid disorder in Kashmir.
Owing to the fact that most of us lead stressful lives, one that has been exacerbated in the pandemic, lifestyle disorders have become quite common. The thyroid is a hormonal issue that affects a lot of women and men in Kashmir, regardless of age.
The thyroid is a butterfly-shaped gland, a small organ, located in the front of the neck, visibly wrapping around the windpipe (trachea). Just like other glands in the body, the thyroid also makes hormones — mainly thyroxine, which acts to increase metabolic rate, regulating growth and development — that help control many vital functions of our body.
When the thyroid gland does not function properly, it can impact our health. If your body produces too much thyroid hormone, one can develop a condition called hyperthyroidism, and if it produces too little, it can lead to hypothyroidism.
To gauge the extent of thyroid in the valley, a study titled, `Prevalence of thyroid dysfunction in valley’ was conducted in Central Kashmir which includes three districts: Srinagar, Budgam, and Ganderbal. District Srinagar represented the urban population. Budgam and Ganderbal represented the rural population.
The 2021 study was published in the Indian Journal of Applied Research. It was conducted on a total of 2800 subjects including 1429 males and 1371 females greater than 45 years of age for a period of two years.
“The prevalence of thyroid dysfunction in the study was found to be 13.75% of which 12.4% had hypothyroidism and 1.3% had hyperthyroidism. Among the hypothyroidism, 11.2% had subclinical hypothyroidism and 1.2% had overt hypothyroidism,” the study said.
Dr. Auqfeen Nisar, Medical Officer J&K Health services, who runs a campaign on menstrual health `Panin Fikr’ said thyroid hormones play vital roles in growth, neuronal development, reproduction, and regulation of energy metabolism.
“Hence, thyroid hormone disorders will significantly impact a person’s well-being and quality of life. Thyroid disorders affect people of all ages,” Nisar said.
Nisar said thyroid disorders may affect the menstrual cycle of women and adversely affect their fertility. “Thyroid problems during pregnancy can cause health problems for both the mother and the baby. Thyroid hormone is critical for brain development in the baby hence women’s thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) should be tested as soon as pregnancy is confirmed.”
She said that fertility isn’t just a feminine issue. “Thyroid problems in men can influence a couple’s ability to conceive. Thyroid dysfunction can affect the quality and motility of sperm, making it harder for them to access the egg for implantation,” she said.
Nisar maintained that adequate iodine intake is important to ensure the healthy functioning of the thyroid gland and is an essential substance to maintain thyroid health. “Consuming an adequate amount of iodine may help reverse the effects of slow metabolism, as it can help the body produce adequate thyroid hormones,” she said.