Last month I visited a diagnostic center in Delhi for a routine check-up. While waiting for the radiologist, I managed to lay hands on a book by Rijuta Diwekar, who is India’s most loved fitness professional and celebrity fitness coach. Apparently she got fame when Kareena Kapoor Khan began receiving public acclaim for handling her career and motherhood gracefully. After reading a few pages of the book, I thought to myself, “She is the one I should start reading now”. After this, I visited Gulshan Books Store and laid my hands on another book by the same author. I quickly took the book and started reading it. The book talks in length about issues that afflict a large number of the female population of Kashmir valley, i.e. PCOD (Poly Cystic Ovarion Disease) and Hypothyroidism. According to a survey conducted in 2018, the overall prevalence of hypothyroidism in valley was found to be 16.18 per cent. Prevalence of hypothyroidism was more among rural population (18.45%) as compared to urban population (11.63%). Prevalence of hypothyroidism was more as age of patients increased. It was more among females than males.
The name “thyroid” is derived from Greek and it means shield. Undoubtedly it has shielded us from growth and developmental abnormalities when we were still in womb but a small imbalance leads to a battery of problems like diabetes, heart diseases, sleeplessness, painful menstruation, constant fatigue, low bone density, low vitamin D levels and most importantly weight gain in case of hypothyroidism. Many females who have thyroid malfunctioning develop PCOD/PCOS. This article is not about either of the two because every woman in Kashmir knows about it and most of them suffer from it. A huge section of population come to know about it when they are trying to get pregnant but instead are told to pop down loads of pills. That won’t work in the long run, only healthy lifestyle can. It is very important to maintain a disciplined life with loads of exercise and yes, standing for hours in the kitchen does not count. Sitting is the new smoking and ladies need to come out of this sedentary lifestyle to keep their hormones well in balance.
Most of the time when we are not able to figure out what is wrong with our bodies, it is important to get our hormones checked. Instead of blaming them, work towards getting them back on track. Every drug that has an effect comes with a side effect too, so the choice is ours, whether we balance our hormones or continue taking pills. Thyroid PCOD is a lifestyle disorder and can be overcome with sheer determination and discipline.
—The writer is working on a project with National Commission of Women, Delhi, and CUK.