Nepal | October 21, 2019

Cases of thyroid disorder on the rise, many lack awareness

Himalayan News Service

Kathmandu, May 25

Contrary to the misconception that thyroid problem occurs only in women, a number of men are found to be suffering from the disease. However, many people in the country still lack awareness.

A cross-sectional study carried out by Khem Raj Bhusal, a consultant physician, and his team in Green City Hospital, Basundhara, from January to March 2018 in 100 patients, found that 38.33 per cent female (23 out of 60) and 30 per cent male (12 out of 40) suffered thyroid dysfunction.

The study also shows that 39.58 per cent thyroid dysfunction patients were between 41 and 60 years of age. Hundred patients with diabetes mellitus that attended the out-patient clinic were included in the study. All the patients were above 16 years of age.

Thyroid gland is a butterfly shaped gland located behind the neck which releases hormone that controls metabolism.

Disorders of the thyroid gland are hypothyroidism — due to low level of thyroid hormone and hyperthyroidism — due to high level of thyroid hormone.

Though awareness is limited among patients, detection of the disease has been on the rise and the medical practitioners suggest test of the thyroid stimulating hormone when patients visit the hospitals complaining of high blood pressure, anxiety, weight loss or gain, hair loss, and depression, lack of energy, mood swing, aches and pains and legs swelling among many others, according to Dr Bhusal.

Hypothyroidism is seen more in women in comparison to men. “The awareness level of the disease is very low among men. “They come to know about the disease only when it is detected and they start taking hormone supplements,” said the doctor.

Arun Subedi aged 48, from Sinamangal started losing weight. “I started feeling fatigue too. So I went to a doctor and later I was diagnosed with hyperthyroidism. I thought that only women suffered from this autoimmune disease,” he said.

People should understand that it is not only a woman’s disease. Men should get their hormone levels tested when they feel lethargic, have high blood pressure and start losing weight. Timely detection of the disease is important for effective treatment, suggested the doctor.

Untimely treated thyroid can lead to accumulation of water in lungs and heart, and deteriorate blood pumping capacity of heart leading to stroke and heart attack, according to the doctor.


A version of this article appears in print on May 26, 2019 of The Himalayan Times.


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