Thyroid Statistics & Facts

Millions of people have been diagnosed with hyperthyroidism (overactive thyroid) and hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid). Many more are still undiagnosed. Unfortunately, most of us do not realize the serious role the thyroid plays in our overall health. Thyroid conditions, left untreated, can cause serious health problems and sometimes death.

Consider this:

  • According to The Rotterdam Study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, “Older women with subclinical hypothyroidism were almost twice as likely as women without this condition to have blockages in the aorta. They were also twice as likely to have had heart attacks.”
  • The latest poll suggests that 63.1% of Americans are either overweight or obese.Thyroid dysfunction often leads to obesity, which in turn causes diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, high cholesterol.
  • Pregnant women – low thyroid levels can cause babies with mental retardation.  Hypothyroidism in pregnant women can also cause miscarriages, preeclampsia, or preterm delivery.
  • Some studies show that up to 50% of depression is caused by an undiagnosed thyroid condition. Thyroid problems can lead to serious depression and ongoing mental illness.
  • Hypothyroidism can cause Hashimoto’s encephalopathy which attacks neurons in the brain possibly leading to confusion, psychosis, coma, seizures, dementia, and speech difficulties.

These conditions are life threatening – in fact, several are the leading cause of death in this country today.

  • Obesity is rampant in this country today and it will shorten your life, one way or the other, because being obese leads to so many other serious medical conditions. When obesity is caused by the thyroid you may not eat that much, but still gain weight.  Researchers claim that more than 300,000 people die every year from obesity and that number is growing.
  • Diabetes, a chronic illness which is difficult to control, can be caused by hypothyroidism.  Diabetes never gets better.  In the United States, approximately 190,000 die from diabetes/diabetes-related illnesses each year.
  • Heart disease is an umbrella term related to several diseases affecting  the heart and is the leading cause of death in this country, from heart disease stemming from high blood pressure to valvular heart disease and just general heart failure, this is a very serious condition. Statistics show that 250,000 die every year in this country from heart attacks.
  • Depression and mental illness are at a record high today. You may not have ever thought about depression being life threatening, but it kills people everyday. Approximately 58 million people in the United States live with depression.  In the United States, approximately 33,000 people will commit suicide this year.

How much of this could be diminished if your thyroid is working properly?