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IMBALANCE Hormonal problems plague adults and teens alike.
Lifestyle change is the only solution

(c)HT, 26th June 2012

   After six hours of commuting to and fro from office each day, Namita    Narula, 23, assistant manager in a public relations firm, had little time   to eat and sleep. She ate out most days. Working late hours meant   hitting the bad at 2am.
   That was six months ago.” I was constantly fatigued and became very    short-tempered. Within a few months I gained weight, my complexion    grew dark and my periods got irregular,” says Narula.

   She was diagnosed with hypothyroidism, where the thyroid can not   make enough hormones to keep the body’s metabolism running   properly Hypothyroidism (underactive gland) causes weight gain,  fatigue,constipation,intolerance to cold and heat, irregular periods, and   hair loss.Hyperthyroidism (overactive gland ) causes unexplained   weight loss,palpitations and excessive sweating.
   Narula is not alone with an hormonal imbalance. While in her case,    unhealthy lifestyle was circumstantial, doctors say many young people    deliberately play with their health.

   Like many teenagers, Neha Munshi, 17, subsisted on potato chips,    French fries, pastries, cookies and colas. Two years ago, she developed    severe acne and excessive facial hair. When a dermatologist couldn’t   help,she was asked to undergo an ultrasound of the pelvis. It showed   markedly enlarged ovaries and cysts.
   One in three women between 12 and 45 years suffers from polycystic    ovarian syndrome (PCOS), which interferes with ovulation, leading to    infertility. The first line of treatment for lifestyle-related diseases   includes cutting down i=on refined food rich in sugar and carbohydrates   and regular exercise, at least 30 minutes of brisk wall daily.

  “There is no cure. It can only be controlled by eating healthy and   exercising regularly. In severe cases, mild doses of oral contraceptives   are prescribed,” says Dr Anuradha kapur, senior consultant, obstetrics   and gynaecology, Max Hospital, Saket.
   Narula, for one, has shifted to eating mostly home-cooked food;    increasing her fluid intake and going for walks each day. “It’s been six    months. Now I sleep better, my temper is well under control and the    tiredness has gone down. I weigh just fine now,” she says.
   Hypothyroidism cannot, however, be used as an excuse to explain being    overweigth, warn experts. “The weigth gain due to hypothyroidism is    minor, maybe not more then 5kg of a person’s body weigth. Unlike    diabetes, thyroid symptoms are reversible with treatment,” said Dr DK    Dhanwal, professor of medicine and endocrinology, Maulana Azad    Medical College and Lok Nayak Hospital, who is a part of a national    study on thyroid disorsers. “Simple blood tests such as TSH, T3, T4 can    detect the problem,” Dhanwal added

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