An honorary consultant endocrinologist at the Lagos University Teaching Hospital, Idi-Araba, Dr Olufemi Fasanmade, has said that 75 per cent of cases of thyroid disease in Nigeria is due to iodine deficiency.
Fasanmade said this while giving a public lecture themed, Thyroid health and socio-economic well-being of Nigeria organised by the Thyroid Awareness and Support Initiative in Lagos on Tuesday.
He said the recommended dietary allowance for iodine was 50 centigrammes daily, while the optimal quantity was between 100 and 150 centigrammes daily.
“Goitre is one of the most common endocrine diseases affecting between 200 million and 300 million people in the world. About 75 per cent are due to iodine deficiency.
Almost a third of the global population that live in the riverine areas consume less than 50 centigrammes of salt per day. Such areas are goitre endemic and congenital hypothyroidism is common.
“When people consume too much cassava, yam and milk, it means they are consuming more carbohydrates and less iodine, thereby increasing their chances of contracting thyroid disease,” Fasanmade said.
He also said the symptoms of hypothyroidism included fatigue, lethargy, cramps, cold intolerance, constipation and dry skin.
The Convener of the event, Mrs Iruoma Ofortube, said the lecture was organised to sensitise, empower and educate the general public on thyroid health, thyroid disorders, related diseases and their consequences.
“The disease is rated as the second most common endocrine disease, yet no significant effort has been made to raise awareness of the disease and to educate the general public on its prevention, treatment, management and eradication in Nigeria.
“The disease is under-reported in Nigeria due to misdiagnosed cases. The result is the dearth of awareness, unavailability of standard and affordable medical facilities, scarcity of medical experts, policy action from government and relevant stakeholders,” she said.
Ofortube also urged women to go for regular thyroid checkups for early detection of the disease.