Incidence amongst urban women in their early 30s is on the rise
Urban women, globally, are suffering from thyroid issues at a much younger age than before “In the past, it was unusual for women in their 30s to have a thyroid affliction. It was an ailment that mostly scourged older women. In recent times, however, the incidence of thyroid disorders amongst urban women their early 30s, has increased and is on the rise. Almost 30% – 35% of women belonging to this age group are affected.”
Younger women are also prone to thyroid problems
According to clinical data, the current trend of abnormal thyroid status in younger women is because the urban young women of today, though highly educated, in an attempt to make it big in their career or in order to follow the modern-day lifestyle, tend to neglect their health to the extent of criminal neglect. Not only is their diet improper (deficient in iodine) and unbalanced from the perspective of adequate and accurate nutrition, they also lack the required physical activity appropriate for their age.
Whilst they are in the hot pursuit of their career and changed stress-inducing lifestyle, there sets in a scenario where these women tend to turn a blind eye to symptoms such as obesity, failure to lose weight, tiredness, body ache, mood swings, excessive hairfall, balding scalp, irritability, menstrual disorders, difficulty in conception, repeated miscarriages etc., which typically point towards medical disorders, of which thyroid related ailments are the most common presenting with such symptomatology. Diabetic women are more prone to a disturbed thyroid profile. Also, over-burden of toxins caused by pollution through air, water, and food add fuel to the fire.
Women are 10 times more prone to thyroid problem than men
According to Indian Thyroid Society, in the year 2011, around 4.2 crore Indians suffered from thyroid disorders. The number has increased ever since. Sadly, most of these go undiagnosed say experts. “Thyroid problem is supposed to be the second most common endocrine disease next to diabetes,” says Dr Patil. In the past, the disorder mostly affected older women, especially the ones with hormonal imbalances such as the one occurring around menopause, or during pregnancy etc.
What young women should do to prevent this ailment
As the adage goes, ‘Prevention is better than cure’, so thyroid function should be screened every three to five years after the age of 35. An early diagnosis goes a long way in preventing this serious health disorder.
A high fibre diet to lose weight if overweight or obese, avoiding vegetables which tend to trigger thyroid problems in those who are prone, like cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, turnip and turnip greens. Soy or soy-enriched foods can aggravate and at times even trigger thyroid problems.
A change in lifestyle like a healthy diet, exercise, proper nutrition and stress reduction can help minimise the chance of developing thyroid disease. An underactive thyroid can respond to natural remedies such as acupuncture, yoga, panchakarma, ayurveda etc. Sea-kelp, selenium, flaxseed oil, zinc, multivitamins etc can help in hypothyroid cases.
Lifestyle changes that one should adopt…
-Follow a low glycemic index diet (a diet which doesn’t enable the immediate pouring of sugar in blood). Cut out energy sapping foods such as those with high sugar and fat content.
-Also, regular exercise is crucial. Exercise not only enables weight-loss benefits, but also releases ‘happy hormones’ in the body thereby reducing the stress levels by improving low moods and depression.
-Avoid smoking as the chemicals in cigarette smoke can decrease the secretion of thyroid hormones and reduce their effectiveness in the body.
-While the opposite of hypothyroidism viz. hyperthyroidism affects women five to ten times more often than men; as many as 15 percent of cases of hyperthyroidism occur in patients over 60 years old.
-An anti-hyperthyroidism diet helps in this case.