‘Thyroid, as serious as diabetes’

Say experts, urge govt for mandatory screening countrywide

It is urgent to test thyroid hormone status before pregnancy. Because, a healthy mother means a healthy baby, and hence, a healthy nation.

— Prof Md Farid Uddin Founder-chairman of Endocrinology Dept, BSMMU

Thyroid issues are as serious as diabetes because around five crore Bangladeshis have this easily treatable ailment, said doctors at a press conference yesterday.

Half of the people with this endocrine disorder, however, suffer unknowingly due to the lack of knowledge on the disease, they said at the event organised by Association of Clinical Endocrinologist and Diabetologist of Bangladesh (ACEDB) in Dhaka, marking World Thyroid Day 2023.

They also urged the government to introduce mandatory thyroid screening countrywide for every newborn within the first seven days of birth to end the disease.

Thyroid diseases occur when the human thyroid gland produces either excessive (hypothyroidism) or insufficient amounts (hyperthyroidism) of vital hormones. These conditions can affect individuals of all ages, including men, women, infants, teenagers, and the elderly. Thyroid disorders can be present at birth or develop later in life, often emerging after menopause in women.

Thyroid disorders impact several aspects of health, including fatigue, weight fluctuations, mood swings, sleep disturbances, affect heart rate, mood, energy levels, metabolism, bone health, pregnancy and brain function.

"We have to give importance to thyroid problem as its impact is almost as concerning as diabetes. It reduces human workability," said Prof Dr Md Ruhul Amin, endocrinologist and secretary general of ACEDB.

At the event, Dr AKM Aminul Islam, associate professor endocrinology department at Salimullah Medical College Hospital, presented a keynote on the disease.

He said the disease is 4-5 times more prevalent among women in Bangladesh and a mother's thyroid problem affects the newborn's physical and mental growth.

"Testing thyroid hormone status before pregnancy is a must. Everyone should also incorporate  adequate iodine in their diet for  the proper functioning of the thyroid gland," said Prof Dr Md Farid Uddin, founder-chairman of Endocrinology (Diabetes and Hormone) Department at BSMMU.

Prof Dr Indrajit Prasad of DMCH, said one of the main reasons behind infertility is thyroid disorders.


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