HYDERABAD: The treatment for thyroid in different conditions is different, as people often pop in one pill for a long period of time. Experts say that evaluation in cases where there is constant fluctuation in the hormone levels is carried out every three to six months till it is stabilised. Those who are stable and on medication have to check once a year.
The categories which require extra care and appropriate treatment are:
Pregnant women: Even mild hypothyroidism has adverse effects for both mother and the foetus. There is increased risk of miscarriages, hypertension in pregnancy, preterm labour, and lowbirth weight babies, impaired neurological development in the foetus.
Infants: Thyroid hormone is very important for brain development in infants which is mostly complete by three years of age.
Non-treatment or inadequate treatment leads to permanent mental retardation. Universal screening of the newborn within seven days of birth is recommended.
Children: Thyroid hormone apart from maintaining metabolism is very important for growth and maturation. Untreated hypothyroidism leads to permanent short stature and maturation disorders (most commonly delayed puberty).
But is important to start at lower dose in children.
Aged: The dose requirements of thyroid medication decrease in older patients. Elderly people have co-morbid conditions which might get aggravated by overzealous treatment. Low doses are recommended for them to prevent adverse effects.
Cancer: Certain drugs used to treat cancers can cause thyroid disease. These patients are usually malnourished and have high inflammation which makes diagnosis a challenge. Once diagnosed, treatment is in low doses.
Obesity: Obese people tend to have mild hypothyroidism which is a result of obesity and not a cause for obesity. Most of these patients will have normal thyroid function by following good lifestyle and losing weight. All of them do not require treatment.
K idney disease Patients with kidney disease have signs and symptoms that resemble hypothyroidism. It is difficult to diagnose in these patients because of alterations in thyroid binding factors and chronic inflammation.
If hypothyroidism is confirmed, treatment can improve the kidney function.