Women at Higher Risk of Thyroid DiseaseBy Sofía Garduño | Wed, 05/25/2022 - 17:44
On World Thyroid Day, celebrated on May 25, the Ministry of Health of Mexico City (SEDESA) invited the population to consult a physician in one of the health centers located in the city to prevent thyroid problems. The ministry also warned the population on the consequences of thyroid diseases and raised awareness on the importance of preventing them.
“The consequences of not treating thyroid disorders can be severe, especially among the elderly population and pregnant women. However, if the disorders are diagnosed and treated opportunely, people can stay healthy and live a normal life,” said Rubén Silva, Director, Specialized Clinic on the Management of Diabetes.
The thyroid is an endocrine gland that produces and stores hormones that are in charge of managing fundamental processes, such as metabolism and the development of the human body. They are also essential in cardiac function, digestion, brain development and mood. The most common pathologies related to the thyroid gland are hyperthyroidism, hypothyroidism, postpartum thyroiditis and thyroid nodules.
Globally, over 700 million people suffer from a thyroid disease. Moreover, It is calculated that around 30 percent of the Mexican population suffers from this without noticing it. In April 2019, IMSS registered 30,993 people who suffered from a thyroid-related ailment. Around 8.7 percent of the adults suffer from hypothyroidism in Mexico. Hyperthyroidism commonly affects women as they have a 30 percent higher risk of getting it. In general, women in reproductive age have a higher risk of suffering thyroid diseases, as reported by SEDESA.
The loss of hair, weakness, anxiety, nervousness and loss of weight are some of the symptoms of hyperthyroidism. Meanwhile the loss of hair, weight gain, dry skin and depression are associated to hypothyroidism. Postpartum thyroiditis generates an inflammation in the thyroid. This condition is sometimes confused with postpartum depression, which increased after the COVID-19 pandemic, as reported by a previous article of MBN. Thyroid nodules originate benign or malign tumors that can cause cancer. Thyroid cancer has a prevalence of 10 percent of the tumors in the neck and head.
To treat patients with hypothyroidism, IMSS offers levothyroxine. For hyperthyroidism, the institute prescribes doses of radioactive iodine, antithyroid drugs or surgery, according to each case. To avoid getting to this point, SEDESA invited the population to seek medical attention if they present one of the aforementioned symptoms.
“The physician will perform a thyroid profile and will observe the gland structure to identify if something must be examined deeply to start an early treatment and prevent further complications,” added Silva.