Thyroid detection camps nationwide

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Thyroid

New Delhi Jan 23: If your thyroid doesn't work properly, nor do you.

Aimed at increasing public awareness about thyroid disorders, presently affecting nearly 42 million Indians, the Indian Thyroid Society (ITS) has declared January 2008 as 'Think Thyroid month' and is conducting awareness camps in over 50 towns and cities across the country. The thyroid gland is part of the delicate endocrine system and is located in your neck, just under the Adam's apple. It produces hormones that help to regulate every cell, tissue and organ in your body.

Thyroid disorders are among the most common and yet most under-diagnosed of all disorders making thyroid a hidden disease.

It is projected that around 42 million Indians suffer from thyroid diseases.

''Our main endeavour is to raise awareness about thyroid disorders and get more people to get themselves tested. ITS is conducting awareness camps in over 50 towns and cities across the country and we hope to reach the maximum number of people through these camps,'' ITS President RV Jayakumar said.

Talking about the intiative Mr Jayakumar said, ''Thyroid and the conditions it causes can be easily managed with early detection and a little care. But most patients are not even aware of the problems the thyroid can cause hence the 'Think Thyroid' month to draw attention to this crucial gland among patients and their physicians.

Hypothyroidism is the most common thyroid disorder. The most common symptoms of Hypothyroidism, which constitutes 88 per cent of all thyroid disorders are fatigue, weight gain, intolerance to cold, sleepiness, depression, enlarged thyroid (goitre), dry, coarse skin and hair, hoarse voice, forgetfulness and constipation.

Serious health consequences such as elevated cholesterol, heart disease, osteoporosis, infertility, depression - even coma and/or death can result if a thyroid disorder is untreated for long.

Thyroid disease is more prevalent in women then men. Women are five to eight times more likely to get thyroid disease than men.

One in eight women develops thyroid disease in her lifetime.

ITS advocates consulting your physician about doing a simple blood test called the thyroid stimulating hormone, or TSH, test.

At home, you can perform an easy self-examination called the Thyroid Self Test to detect an enlarged thyroid gland. Step-by-step instructions on how to do the Thyroid Self Test are available at www.thyroidindia.com.

The ITS, formed in 2003, aims to provide a forum for all surgeons, endocrinologists, nuclear physicians and physicians with a special interest in thyroidology. ITS has over 350 members across India, with headquarters in Cochin, Kerala.


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