Thyroid disease, the most common endocrine disorder with an increasing incidence rate, is twice as prevalent in women, especially of child-bearing age, as in men.
Abnormal thyroid functions have significant ramifications on health outcomes. Therefore, we conducted this survey to understand the doctors’ perception and present scenario of management of thyroid disorders.
Objective: Determining doctors’ perception of thyroid disorders
A total of 114 doctors participated in the survey – Obstetrician & Gynaecologist (31%), General practitioners (28%), Internist (12%), Ayurvedic doctors (11%), Pediatricians (10%), Others (8%)
36% of the doctors stated that they come across patients with thyroid disorders very often, followed by often (35%) and rarely (29%)
Maximum doctors (91%) stated that hypothyroidism is the most common type of thyroid disorder among their patients
Most of the doctors (47%) stated that diabetes is the most common comorbidity associated with thyroid disorders, followed by autoimmune disease (26%) and gastrointestinal disease (11%)
When asked which lifestyle changes they advise to their thyroid patients, 44% of doctors stated that they suggest regular exercise, followed by diet modifications (33%) and stress management (23%)
According to 42% of doctors, non-specific symptoms are most commonly related to delayed diagnosis of thyroid disorders, followed by lack of awareness (40%)
Maximum doctors (78%) believe that patient non-adherence to treatment affects the management of a thyroid disorder the most
Our survey reveals that the majority of doctors frequently come across patients with hypothyroidism. Doctors recommend their patients to exercise regularly and follow a customized diet plan to balance their hormone levels. According to doctors, patients’ non-adherence to treatment is the major issue related to the management of thyroid disorders.
Therefore, doctors can play a fundamental role in educating their patients about observing specific disease symptoms and the importance of adherence to the treatment regimen. They can also help the patients to identify the associated comorbidities and decide on a treatment plan accordingly. This will help in early diagnosis, identifying the cause, and progressive treatment of thyroid disorders resulting in better patient outcomes.
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