What is thyroid and why is it so important? Thyroid is a small pear-shaped gland located just below your neck. It controls almost all the major functions in your body. It regulates how your body uses and stores energy. It is responsible to regulate your body's metabolic rate as well as heart and digestive function, muscle control, brain development, mood and bone maintenance. However, when this regulator doesn’t work, it causes thyroid problems. About 7.5 crore people suffer from thyroid diseases globally. 1 in 10 Indians suffers from it. The bigger concern is that most cases of thyroid disease go undiagnosed because people fail to recognize the early symptoms. 60% of women suffering from thyroid problems are unaware of their condition. This happens because the symptoms are often mistaken as occurring from other health conditions. For example, weight gain may mask thyroid disorder after pregnancy. The two common types of Thyroid dysfunction are Hypothyroidism, where the thyroid gland is under active and hyperthyroidism where the thyroid gland is over active.
The most common cause of hypothyroidism is Hashimoto's thyroiditis, an autoimmune condition where the body makes antibodies that destroy parts of the thyroid gland. Surgical removal and certain medications can also cause hypothyroidism. Other causes of hypothyroidism include pituitary problems and iodine deficiency, affecting nearly 2 billion people worldwide. Some babies are born with hypothyroidism - this is called congenital hypothyroidism. Diagnosis Our doctors will take a detailed case history of the patient’s complaints and know about their thyroid symptoms and its persistence. They may recommend a TSH test to check if its levels are within a normal range. There are times when an MRI may be recommended to rule out any suspicious growth.