Thyroid disorders on the rise in India

Doctors in India are puzzled as to why thyroid conditions are on the rise. Many cities are seeing a fourfold increase in hypothyroidism, the Times of India reports.

Most cases are being found among women who are between the ages of 20 and 40.

"We are still trying to find out why the incidence is going up," Dr Mohan Y Badgandi, department of diabetes and endocrinology at Manipal Hospital, told the news source. "There are some indications that it could be because of lifestyle disorders, viral infections, environmental factors or even diet-related issues like preservatives in food. One of these must be disturbing the autoimmune mechanism."

Dr Narasimha Shetty, director of Karnataka Institute of Diabetology, also confirmed an increase in the number of hypothyroidism cases. However, Grave's Disease - an autoimmune disorder that leads to overactivity of the thyroid gland - is still more common in Europe and the U.S. than in India.

According to the American Cancer Society, an estimated 450,000 thyroid biopsies are performed each year in the U.S.