World Thyroid Day: 7 Facts About Thyroid That You Need To Know


The thyroid, a butterfly-shaped gland located at the base of the neck, releases hormones that regulate important bodily functions. Imbalances in thyroid hormone levels can cause hyper or hypothyroidism negatively affecting bodily functions and mood, and leading to symptoms such as an enlarged thyroid gland, fatigue, weight gain or loss, depression, and muscle weakness.

Thyroid disorders impact around 42 million people in India, with hypothyroidism being the most prevalent form affecting 11% of the population [1][2]. To recognize the burden of this disorder, every year on May 25, World Thyroid Day is celebrated to increase awareness and understanding about thyroid disorders.

In this article, we will explore seven important facts about the thyroid that everyone should know.

1. Thyroid sets your body’s pace: The thyroid gland produces hormones that have several important functions, including regulating metabolism, supporting growth and development, controlling heart, muscle, and digestive function, aiding in brain development, and maintaining bone health.

2. Your gland can get hyper or hypo: Hyperthyroidism occurs when the thyroid gland produces too much thyroid hormone, while hypothyroidism occurs when it doesn’t produce enough. These conditions have different symptoms, with hyperthyroidism causing nervousness, weight loss, and difficulty sleeping, while hypothyroidism causes fatigue, weight gain, and constipation.

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3. Thyroid disorders respond effectively to medications: Although thyroid disease can be controlled, it requires lifelong medication to maintain hormonal levels. For instance, hypothyroidism can be managed by taking a single tablet every morning before eating breakfast to balance thyroid hormone levels.

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4. Nutrition supplements are required by the thyroid: For proper functioning of the thyroid gland, iodine is essential as it is responsible for the production of thyroid hormones. Other nutrients like selenium, zinc, Vitamin D, and Vitamin B12 are also crucial for thyroid function. However, it is advised to consult your doctor before taking any supplements[3].

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5. Removing the thyroid gland is a feasible choice: In order to treat medical conditions like thyroid cancer, thyroid hyperplasia, solitary thyroid nodule, or other non-cancerous thyroid conditions, the thyroid may be entirely or partially removed. However, hormone pills can be taken to mimic the thyroid’s actions and keep hormonal levels balanced. This allows for proper bodily function[4].

6. Address thyroid disorders both before and during pregnancy: Hypothyroidism is the most common thyroid disease that can impact the growth of your baby’s brain and nervous system. In India, almost 11% of pregnant women have thyroid diseases which can lead to fetal discomfort, low birth weight, and other complications if not controlled[5]. Monitoring thyroid levels regularly during pregnancy is important to detect any issues.

7. Thyroid issues are more common in women than in men: Women are more prone to thyroid problems than men, with a likelihood of five to eight times higher. About one out of eight women will face a thyroid condition at some point in their life[6]. Hypothyroidism is the most prevalent disorder and can lead to symptoms such as tiredness, cold sensations, muscle weakness, and abrupt weight gain.

Note: Make sure to adhere to the prescribed medication dosage and avoid mixing thyroid medication with other drugs. If you are also taking hormonal pills, it is best to inform your doctor as they can impact the absorption of thyroid medicine.

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Final Takeaway!
Thyroid disease is a common hormonal disorder that many people are unaware of. It is essential to increase awareness about it, its symptoms, and its prevention as living with a thyroid problem can be challenging, but minor adjustments to daily habits can help manage the condition and enhance overall health. Regular medical check-ups, a nutritious diet, and a healthy way of living are all crucial for maintaining thyroid health.

(The article is reviewed by Monalisa Deka, Senior Health Content Editor)

1. Ambika Gopalakrishnan Unnikrishnan and Usha V Menon.Thyroid disorders in India: An epidemiological perspective.​Indian Journal of Endocrinology and Metabolism. Published online 15 July 2011.
2. Ambika Gopalakrishnan Unnikrishnan, Sanjay Kalra,Rakesh Kumar Sahay, et al. Prevalence of hypothyroidism in adults: An epidemiological study in eight cities of India. ​Indian Journal of Endocrinology and Metabolism. Published online 2013.,10.9%25%20of%20the%20study%20population.
3. Vinesh Dahiya, Neeru Vasudeva , Sunil Sharma and Ashok Kumar. Role of Dietary Supplements in Thyroid Diseases. Endocrine, Metabolic & Immune Disorders – Drug Target. Updated online 2022.
4. Andrew Biello, Eliezer C. Kinberg and Eric D. Wirtz. Thyroidectomy. StatPearls [Internet]. Published online Jan. 202.
5. Vikas Yadav,Deepti Dabar,Akhil D. Goel,et al. Prevalence of Hypothyroidism in Pregnant Women in India: A Meta-Analysis of Observational Studies. Journal of Thyroid Research. Published online 2021.
6. Prevalence and Impact of Thyroid Disease. American Thyroid Association. Available online

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