How common is hypothyroidism?

Michael Rosenberg
Michael Rosenberg

Specializes in translating complex information into readable, engaging content.

General breakdown

Hypothyroidism is one of the common medical disorders in the world. Statistical data and surveys reveal that about 4.6 percent of natives of the United States of America are victims of hypothyroidism. Such patients are twelve years of age and up. From the macro perspective, almost 10 million people in the USA are living with this disorder. With the passage of time and increase in age, the chances of developing hypothyroidism get increased. Senior citizens who are more than 60 years of age are more likely to develop this disorder. As compared to men, hypothyroidism is more common in women. Studies and surveys show that one out of eight women in the USA can be a victim of hypothyroidism.

The reason behind the surge in hypothyroidism

Medical researchers claim that the number of the affected individuals has grown a lot as compared to the previous reports. There are several reasons behind this dramatic increase in the patients of hypothyroidism, especially in the USA. One of the prominent reasons is the initial vague symptoms such as fatigue and changes in body weight. Usually, people do not ponder over such symptoms as they are quite common and sometimes do not prove to be an alarming sign. Hypothyroidism develops faster with the increase in age. As it is the slowing down of the thyroid functioning that further disturbs and hinders other systems including the digestive, nervous and reproductive system as well; with aging of the body, organs start losing their functionality and different mild and severe disorders in the body start taking place. 

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Hypothyroidism and older people

Studies unveil that hypothyroidism is frequently higher among old people and the reason behind this claim might be the loss of the credibility of different parts of the body with growing age. Also, people label every symptom as aging and do not ponder over them from the perspective of some serious disorders such as hypothyroidism. This results in high severity of the disorder among older people. The other symptoms of hypothyroidism such as constipation, higher cholesterol level, and lower heart rate also resemble some patterns of old age. That is how hypothyroidism surrounds older people much efficiently. Sometimes, with the growing age, a disorder of the immune system develops in the older people in which one’s own immune system starts attacking one’s own glands. This promotes hypothyroidism among older people who develop this disorder over time. The decline of reproductivity is also seen in some older people and it leads to hormonal imbalance that is also linked with this very disorder.

Hypothyroidism and younger population

Not only older people but young adults are becoming the victims of this disease. The causes behind this spread of hypothyroidism among young adults might include higher stress levels, hormonal changes associated with daily life abnormal practices and unsafe use of drugs, etc. Psychologists and medical experts claim that high-stress levels affect the normal functioning of the body by affecting the glands and organs of the body. The reason for the increasing hypothyroidism among young adults is the increasing depression and stress which makes their glands work abnormally.

Impact of lifestyle

Depression is one of the symptoms of hypothyroidism. It can be said that factors like depression can be in the initial or the latter part of the disease. Unhealthy daily life activities of people are also contributing a lot to the rise in hypothyroidism. Such activities include disturbed dietary habits and no or insufficient exercise etc. Some medical experts assume that watching porn or staying in such thoughts for a longer time can also affect the proper functioning of the thyroid glands among young people and adults. Those who tend to adopt such hobbies and activities usually end up with medical, psychological, social, or other disorders and hypothyroidism is one of the medical consequences of such activities. 

The use of drugs is getting common among youngsters and most of the time such use is unsafe. The intake of such chemicals and drugs can seriously affect the functioning of the thyroid glands of the individuals and it can also leave harmful impacts on the immune system of the individuals leading to the disorder in which the immune system starts attacking the very own glands and parts of the body. 

Exposure to radiation is also a reason behind the common spread of this disease. Individuals tend to opt for unnecessary surgeries and exposure to radiation while following the trends which sometimes turns out to be dangerous for their health. Hereditary factors are also contributing to the increase in the spread of hypothyroidism.

Hypothyroidism and its increasing ratio in women

Hypothyroidism is more common among women and according to studies, one out of eight women in the USA can be a victim of hypothyroidism. The increasing ratio of this disorder among females is associated with the complexity of the hormonal changes and reproductive system of females. Moreover, many biological and socio-economic factors are contributing to the increase of this disease among females.

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Hypothyroidism, Hyperthyroidism and Thyroid Tests


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