My name is Dr Tanvi. I am a consultant endocrinologist practicing in Mumbai. Let me take a towards a couple of myths which are commonly associated when it comes to thyroid problem. I do come across a lot of patients coming to my chamber and on the very first visit they come and say "Madam, I have a thyroid." Now everyone of us has a thyroid. Thyroid is a gland which is located in our neck on the front side of our neck. Everyone one of us whether you are a small baby or you are an old person, whether you are male or female, everyone has a thyroid gland. What you can have are a thyroid problems. Some people have thyroid problems, some people who do not have. Those who have thyroid problem, they can have a hypothyroid or a hyperthyroid or a thyroiditis. A couple of myths which are associated with it, let me try and clarifying them one by one. The first common myth is that an if I have a thyroid problem, I will know immediately.
Yes, it can happen, it cannot even happen because sometimes it takes 6-8 weeks for your thyroid hormones to start showing its effect inside your body. And similarly if you take a medication which is prescribed by your endocrinologist, it's not necessary that all your problems from the day one you take a medicine and the second day you will start feeling better. Thyroid medicines are not like a painkiller which shows its effect immediately. Yes you do feel better after couple of doses but it takes minimum 6 weeks to 3 months for your thyroid to come back to normal and you feel better as you were before. Second myth associated is people feel that if I am taking a thyroid medicine, this dose will remain with me lifelong and that's the reason why most of the time they do not follow up with their doctors and once they come after one year or 2 year, there realise that your thyroid is completely out of normal level.
Yes, it does happen. Thyroid medications keep changing with time to time. As you age, your weight also changes, your age changes, for a woman especially if they are pregnant, the thyroid doses keep changing. So most important advice to all the people is please do not self medicate. Many people feel that my cousin or my mother is taking XYZ dose, I can also start the same dose. That's a very big problem which everyone is doing and because of that they put their thyroid into complete havoc. Realize that thyroid medications are hormonal medications. They should be taken at the right dose only by a prescribed endocrinologist and not self medication. Another myth associated with thyroid is that this medications are a lifelong medication. It depends on what is the cause of your thyroid problem. There are many conditions in which thyroid medicines are just required may be for 3 months or 2 years.
And in some cases yes they do require for a long period of time but as i told you earlier, the doses keep changing. Another common myth associated with the thyroid is problems are that these are only a women problems. How does a man get it? As per the studies yes women are more prone to get the thyroid problem, however, men are not immune to it. There are possibilities that there are a lot of men are developing thyroid problems. It has to do with their immunity. Another common myth associated with the thyroid medications are I am feeling perfectly alright now, I can stop my medications. This is a very common mistake, most of the thyroid patients do, thinking that all my symptoms are fine, I can stop the medicine. Please do not do that because thyroid medications are to be taken and to be stopped only as per your endocrinologist's advise. Do not self medicate.
Do not self stop it because thyroid hormone affects each and every body parts and that is a reason why if you are not having an adequate level of thyroid in your body, you can end up having heart problems, bone problems like in osteoporosis, you can have an even infertility issues when woman is finding it very difficult to concieve. Another common myth is that if I have a thyroid problem, I cannot eat cabbage or broccolis. Yes, in certain studies it is found that eating raw cabbage, raw broccoli or we call it as cruciferous vegetables do hamper your thyroid problems because it has a certain chemical called Goitrogens. However, if you have these foods in a limited quantity and especially in a cooked form which is most common practice in India, you can have these kinds of foods or at some point of time, you did not avoid it completely. If you have more queries, you can connect with me via lybrate and for more information, you can check out on my lybrate page.