Hypothyroidism Symptoms, Diagnosis, Treatment & Insurance | Royal Sundaram
What is Hypothyroidism?
Simply put, the underproduction of hormones by the thyroid gland results in hypothyroidism. Thyroid hormone ensures that oxygen is carried off and broken down to be absorbed by the body to produce & assimilate energy. It aids the body in regulating and using energy.
The lack of thyroid hormone inhibits the organs ability to utilize and regulate energy. Lack of enough thyroid will impact vital functions of your body from heartbeats to digestion. Deficiency of thyroid leads to poor growth, late onset of puberty, poor mental advancement, and late development of permanent teeth.
Hashimoto's thyroiditis, an autoimmune response occurs when the body's immune system sends protective cells to attack and destroy foreign or disease-causing cells. In situations where the body's immune system is compromised and abnormally targets healthy tissues, confusing them with foreign or disease-causing elements, if left untreated, could severely damage healthy organs and result in grave disorders, most commonly, hypothyroidism.
Overproduction of thyroid hormone leads to hyperthyroidism. When patients of hyperthyroidism are treated with anti-thyroid medicines or radioactive iodine, it may sometimes go out of balance, and this treatment can unintentionally reduce thyroid hormone production more than necessary, leading to an irreversible case of hypothyroidism.
Thyroid disorders are the most commonly occurring health problems among Indians. Hypothyroidism can be accompanied with vague symptoms and ones that vary from person to person. Hence, making it challenging to identify the conditions on the immediate onset. Hypothyroidism can even affect babies, and they may display only some of the following symptoms. Some major hypothyroidism symptoms are listed here:
- Sudden weight gain or difficulty losing weight
- Bowel Congestion
- Dry thinning hair and hair loss
- Dry, flaky skin
- Feeling of tiredness and fatigue
- Greater sensitivity to cold
- Slow heart rate
- Goitre- swollen thyroid gland
- Carpal tunnel syndrome
- Decreased sweating
- Elevated blood cholesterol levels
- Joint pain and weakened muscle accompanied by stiffness, aches, and tenderness
- Diminished memory
- Fertility issues or menstrual changes
The quickest way to diagnose hypothyroidism is through the combined means of analysing of the symptoms and blood screening tests. A certified medical professional would be able to identify the physical signs such as swelling, slower heart rate, dry skin, and slow reflexes. Presence or absence of other symptoms mentioned earlier would help the doctor arrive at a conclusion.
Once the doctor believes that you may be suffering from hypothyroidism, a definitive way to confirm is via blood tests. A thyroid-stimulating hormone or the TSH screening test will give more insights into your condition. High-level of TSH means that your body is trying to compensate for the low levels of thyroid hormone by producing higher levels of TSH.
These results can be verified by using a thyroxine level test. Thyroxine is directly produced by thyroid hormone directly indicating any imbalance in the same. A combination of these tests can accurately determine hypothyroidism.
Hypothyroidism Treatment and Cost in India
Standard hypothyroidism treatment involves routine oral ingestion of levothyroxine in the form of Levo-T, Synthroid etc. It is a synthetic thyroid hormone which flips the symptoms of the disorder and restores hormones to normal levels. A well-balanced diet, intake of dietary and selenium supplements, potassium iodide intake, taking sufficient precautions to avoid x-rays, systematic blood tests to monitor thyroid levels, avoiding perchlorates and refraining from smoking are some ways to reduce risks and ensure hypothyroidism prevention.
Since, this disorder necessitates lifelong medication to keep symptoms in check, regular testing and screening tests to monitor TSH hormone levels in the blood is advisable. Although the costs of medication aren’t too high, yearly expenditures could amount to a few thousand. Annual testing of thyroid from reputable laboratories, on the other hand, could be a pricy affair in India. This is where appropriate health insurance cover could prove advantageous.
Health Insurance in India
There are numerous medical insurance providers in India offering a range of plans. The best health insurance providers offer specific benefits and cover most disorders. If your health insurance policy covers full body annual check-up charges, you may not have to spend on your periodical tests to monitor your hypothyroidism. To ensure that your health insurance is useful in the time of crisis, it is essential for you to consider a few points before selecting any health insurance.
- The coverage amount – With rising healthcare costs, it is essential to ensure that the coverage amount will be sufficient to cover the hospitalization cost.
- Sub-Limits – The best health insurance policy in India comes with higher sub-limits for all your daily medical expenses.
- Higher Claim Settlement Ratio – You can buy medical insurance from an insurer with a higher claim settlement ratio. This ensures that chances of your claim being settled are higher.
Other Diseases in India
Constantly trying to outwit the competition and come out on top in the race to get ahead and do our best, we're surrounded by constant distractions and stress. Therefore, it's necessary to go the extra distance to keep one's health and psychological balance intact.
Some disorders and diseases that could overwhelm your health are: