A study by SRL Diagnostics, also owned by Singh brothers of Fortis, showed that 32% of Indians are suffering from thyroid disorders including thyroid nodules, hyperthyroidism, goiter, thyroiditis and thyroid cancer, with symptoms such as unusual weight gain and hormonal imbalances.
It has also thrown light on sub-clinical hypothyroidism, which is the most prevalent form of thyroid disorder and mostly affecting the North Indian region compared to the South.
“The data shows a vital map of how thyroid abnormalities are present all across the country in its various forms,” Avinash Phadke, President Technology & Mentor (Clinical Pathology) from SRL Diagnostics said in a statement.
Based on Fortis Hospitals in-house data collected from over 33 lakh adults from 2014 to 2016, where all three thyroid panel markers, namely TSH, T4 and T3 were included to produce a comprehensive data analysis, out of which 68 per cent of reports were normal, it said.
“Genetics play a crucial role in both determination of thyroid hormones and TSH concentrations, and susceptibility to autoimmune thyroid disease. People who have a history of thyroid problems in their family would be predisposed to thyroid abnormalities. Thus, it is important to be aware of your family’s medical history because it will directly influence yours,” Phadke said.
Ironic but another revelation making rounds in WhatsApp is that the intake of iodised salt has some effect on inducing thyroid-related diseases. The iodised salt, a waste product from chemical factories is increasingly making it to stores for sale. It was during the Rajiv Gandhi period that ocean salt-making was banned and factory-made iodised salt was allowed.
Whether iodised salt is really found beneficial or not, the byproduct certainly helped the business conglomerates to popularise the new salt, replacing India’s traditional naturally-made crystal salt. Still many homes in the south prefer to use natural crystal salt instead of iodised salt, especially in making pickles.
Some unconfirmed messages on social media have pointed out that increased use of iodised salt has resulted in increased incidence of thyroid in India but no serious study has been made so far to prove or disprove it.