The thyroid gland is located just below Adam's apple and is responsible for producing the hormones thyroxine (T4) and triiodothyronine (T3). T3 helps regulate metabolic rate by stimulating protein synthesis and increasing muscle strength, while T4 helps regulate body temperature. There are two types of thyroid disorders:
Hypothyroidism; when the gland is underactive and secrets a lesser amount of hormone.
Hyperthyroidism; when the thyroid gland is active and secrets excessive hormones.
There are many myths and rumours regarding thyroidism, so let's dig in to clarify the misconception around thyroid disease.
Myth 1: The symptoms of hypothyroidism can be detected easily.
Fact: Hypothyroidism symptoms are similar to typical symptoms we develop due to stress or anxiety. In most cases, people ignore the sign at the first step because the symptoms of underactive Thyroid take a while to develop. The beginner-level symptoms are:
-increasing bad cholesterol
-sensitivity to cough and cold
-slower heart rate
-thin hair lining
-anxiety and depression
Myth 2: You can go for surgery if the conditions are not developed through medications.
Fact: Surgery is always a complicated and cumbersome option for the human body. Especially in hormonal changes, lifestyle modifications and a disciplined routine is the only way to control the changes. Keep this as a note in mind that "operating your thyroid gland is not going make it easy for you. If possible, it might increase your trouble in future." Generally, doctors suggest a daily dose of levothyroxine to fulfil the lack of thyroid hormones. Myth 3: Thyroidism won't affect your heart or cardiovascular system.
Fact: One of the biggest myths that can ever exist in this universe. Thyroid symptoms affect your heart condition; if neglected, you might also have to go for surgery. Also, hypothyroidism can lead to high blood sugar and cholesterol levels. Insufficient thyroid hormone can slow down your heart rate. Due to insufficient thyroid hormone, the artery walls become less elastic, and blood pressure increases in running the other body functions.
Myth 4: People with hypothyroidism should avoid soy products.
Fact: Completely avoiding soy is not an option, but you can have it in moderation. Avoid eating soy daily because it can reduce your body's ability to absorb hormone replacement medications. If you are eating soy products like soy milk or edamame, it is better to consume it a few hours after your daily dosage.
Myth 5: Thyroid disorder can affect women's health.
Fact: While thyroid symptoms in women are easily detectable due to hormonal changes, men are not eliminated from this list. In fact, thyroid issues are harder to detect for men, mostly because thyroid symptoms are quite regular, like fatigue, tiredness, weight gain, hair loss, sleeplessness, etc.
Myth 6: Synthetic thyroid medicines will have some significant side effects.
Fact: This is partially true; the side effects totally depend on the dosage, medical history, and that individual's body type. While it's always possible to have side effects from medications, the chances of having significant side effects are pretty low. If you face insomnia, palpitation, or appetite changes, you need to change your dosage. Consult your doctor and get your TSH level checked again.
Myth 7: Thyroid conditions happen in mid and late life.
Fact: No evidence or data shows that the younger generation is safe from thyroid disorders. Thyroid disorder can happen due to several causes, including family heredity, food habits, lifestyle, etc. Unfortunately, today's young generation is all about working and rushing 24x7 leaving the importance of fitness behind. So, there is a high chance that people in their late 20s or early '30s can also be diagnosed with hypo or hyperthyroidism.
Myth 8: Don't eat broccoli if you have an underactive thyroid.
Fact: No need to worry, Broccoli fans, because you don't need to give up your favourite veggie or any of its cruciferous family members (Broccoli, kale). It is okay to eat these veggies occasionally and in moderated portions. Broccoli consists of a substance called glucosinolate that can interfere with thyroid functions only if eaten regularly. Instead of eating them raw, try to boil and cook the veggies properly.
Myth 9: You can't take thyroid medications in pregnancy.
Fact: Thyroid medication with the right dosage is perfectly safe in pregnancy. Thyroxine is a crucial hormone for your baby's development, which is lacking in your body due to the disorder. Though you need to take extra precautions during pregnancy, you can check your thyroid level every 6-8 weeks.
Myth 10: You have to take hyperthyroid medicines for a lifetime.
Fact: This is a partially false statement. The prevention and cure of hyperthyroidism totally depend on your daily routine changes and lifestyle modifications. In addition, hyperthyroidism treatments are now easily available in several forms. You can even go for Ayurvedic remedies likeandMe'sThyrodiet tea. It is enriched with the goodness of Kanchar, Ashwagandha and Lemon peel, which balances your TSH level, and reduces inflammation and stress.