THYROID

MYTHS & FACTS

Myths & Facts

Myth - Thyroid is a serious condition

Fact - Thyroid is not a serious condition until and unless you are taking prescribed treatment & medications regularly. If left untreated or neglected, then this disease will get progressive and in extreme cases it may become life threatening too. Hence, it’s better to keep a check on the levels of thyroid hormone (once in 4-5 months) and take prescribed medications on time every day.

Myth - Thyroid is a lifelong condition

Fact - Yes, thyroid is mostly a lifelong condition. Once you get detected with a thyroid condition, all you must do is to manage the excess or low levels of this hormone with daily medications, exercises and food habits. However, in some cases, it has been observed that thyroid levels get back to normal too.

Myth - Thyroid effects only women

Fact - No, it’s a complete myth. Thyroid does not only affect women, it affects men too. However, research states that women are more prone to thyroid related disorders as compared to men.

Myth - Thyroid causes infertility in men & women

Fact - No, this is not completely true. Hypothyroidism is a condition where the levels of thyroid are produced in low amounts. This can interfere with the release of egg from the ovaries during (ovulation) which may cause infertility issues. For women with hypothyroidism, treating this condition is an important aspect to correct infertility, whereas in men, studies suggest that low thyroid hormone levels can cause poor semen quality, low sperm count, reduced testicular function, erectile dysfunction and a drop-in libido. So, make sure to keep your thyroid levels under control before planning pregnancy.

Myth - Iodine deficiency is the only cause of thyroid disorders

Fact - No, iodine deficiency is not the only cause behind thyroid. The exact cause of thyroid and related disorders is still unknown, but family history, hormonal imbalance, stress and autoimmune deficiencies are some of the major culprits behind this disorder. Iodine is an important but a very minuscule part of thyroid conditions.

Myth - Symptoms like weight gain/loss, irregular menstrual cycle is obviously due to thyroid disorder

Fact - No, symptoms such as hair loss, weight gain/ weight loss, irregular periods are a few signs of many other diseases too. Some female related disorders such as PCOD and PCOS might also have similar symptoms. So, it’s better to get the tests done before jumping to any conclusions.

Myth - Experiencing lump in neck region means that you are having thyroid for sure

Fact - No, the lump in your neck region doesn’t always mean that you are having a thyroid condition. The lump may be due to many other reasons like injury, tonsils, certain infections, allergy etc. In some rare cases it may be due to cancer too. It is highly recommended to check with your doctor before self-assuming.

Myth - Consuming extra salt makes balance of irregular thyroid levels

Fact - No, consuming extra salt doesn’t make thyroid levels normal. Thyroid levels will get normal only by having thyroid medications along with lifestyle changes. Consult your physician and take the prescribed dosage without fail to maintain balanced levels of thyroid hormone.

Myth - Thyroid levels are always fluctuating

Fact - Fluctuations in thyroid levels are highly common. There could be many factors because of which one’s thyroid levels are not constant such as not taking medications on time & empty stomach, food habits, results of sampling done in the morning will be different from sampling done in the evening and lack of exercises. If the above conditions apply, then you need to discipline thyroid management. If despite all efforts the fluctuations persist, then notify your doctor without any delay.

Myth - Thyroid test should be done only with fasting blood sample

Fact - Previously, it was believed that fasting samples only gave accurate thyroid results. But with advancement in diagnostic testing, thyroid blood test can be done at any time even without fasting. A special note, one must give the samples around 5- 6 AM in the early morning to obtain the best results.

Myth - Thyroid medicine should be stopped during pregnancy

Fact - No, this is not true. In fact one may require a change of dose of thyroid medicine during pregnancy to provide enough supply of thyroid hormones to unborn baby. The dosage varies from one person to another. Don’t self-medicate, your doctor will prescribe required dosage after examining you.