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Myths And Facts Of Hypothyroidism

Written and reviewed by
Dr. I. P. S. Kochar 90% (26 ratings)
MAMC, MRCPCH, MD - Paediatrics, MBBS
Pediatrician, Noida  •  39 years experience
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Hi,

I am Dr. I. P. S. Kochar, paediatric, endocrinologist and diabetologist. Today I'll be telling you something about the thyroid gland. As you can see here the thyroid gland is a very important gland found in front of the neck. It's like a butterfly like shaped gland. It's very important, produces thyroxine hormone T4 and T3 which is required for all of metabolic functions of the body. So to carry on the metabolic function, the thyroid gland with the help of the pituitary gland and the hypothalamus keeps in coordination to keep all the levels normal so all the body metabolic functions occur normally. So today I will be telling something about myths and facts about the thyroid. The first thing is that it is said that you know once children with thyroid deficiency cannot live normal adult life while actually that's not true. If the patient is taking right dose of thyroxine and right regular treatment, we can achieve normal height and normal puberty development and can lead a normal adult life in the future. Next very common myth is that you know I am overweight, so I have a thyroid problem.

More than 90% of the overweight population has normal thyroid function so that's not true. Then another myth very common myth is once you get thyroid dysfunction it is forever. It's not always true because you know there are many cases condition like subclinical hyperthyroidism, patient who have critical illness on thyroxine medicine, patient who are on drugs will get some abnormality. So they will not be having a permanent hypothyroidism. Now another very common myth is that hyperthyroid mothers or thyroxine treatment deliver abnormal children. That is not at all true. If the mother is taking proper thyroxine medicine and she is taking medicines regularly, the children born are all normal.

Nowadays a policy to you know they are always doing screening for mother for thyroid before their pregnancy occurs. So that's another thing to be understood very common myth. Then another very common myth is when a woman becomes pregnant she has to discontinue all medicines including those for the thyroid. That is not that's not true. You have to continue to take your medicines of thyroid as long as a pregnancy, in fact some time you might have taken higher dose of thyroxine during that time. So there is nothing like this. So another myth very common myth is a woman with hypothyroidism will give birth to hypothyroid child. No, it is never like that. There is no genetic transmission of this disease. So it's not that if mother is hypothyroid, child will definitely be hypothyroid. So yes screening is being done otherwise universal screening is done for all the babies who are born; even mother is hypothyroid or not thyroid, they are doing it. So therefore there is with testing you know understood.

Then very common myth is hypothyroid patients cannot have children. So that's another big myth. So there is not true that you know that hyperthyroid mother can also. Once it's treated with thyroxine and give a thyroxine they become ok. They are like any other lady that can get pregnant. But they have to take thyroxine throughout the pregnancy, maybe the doses will change depending upon the TSH value during the pregnancy. So this also myth has to be removed. Then use of you know hypothyroid if detected in pregnancy like this is very common myth the third fourth trimester you know then they have to have a termination. No, there is nothing like that.

The most of the studies have shown that you know once if they are starting with thyroxine in 3rd month of pregnancy they'll deliver normally. So there with this myth is also wrong. Another very common myth is that you must do all the tests for thyroid function tests in the morning empty stomach. No, there is nothing like that. TSH can be done empty or not empty stomach. But yes if you are doing the T4 then that should be done before the medicine is taken. So therefore irrespective of medicine taken, irrespective of fasting you can do thyroid especially the TSH test. Then another very common myth is using of you know steroids for infers like thyroiditis. So this also is not necessary. No need to do anything of that, no need of steroids, need for thyroid, it's an auto-immune phenomena and it'll just need to give replacement with thyroxine. Very common myth along with this myths are that you know the body is going is no if I do not lose weight because I have hypothyroidism. So I cannot loose, that is not that's true.

Hypothyroidism the gain of weight is 3 to 4 kgs only. So if that 3 or 4 kgs weight is gained that's enough. So therefore there're lot of myths which are going on with hypothyroidism because I have hyperthyroidism and I am overweight, because hypothyroidism cannot become pregnant, I cannot have children, if I have hyperthyroidism I cannot my child will be abnormal. So we have to get rid of all these myths. So once once you know that the hyper there's a treatable condition of thyroid is hyper and once you take your drugs properly, there is no need to get worried about this. More and more awareness has to be created in the society that this is a treat condition. You just need to replace with medicine and it is not a disease to get to be get worried or worried about.

Thank you.

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