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Thyroid Disorders Are More Common In Malaysia Than You Might Think

Thyroid Disorders Are More Common In Malaysia Than You Might Think

The Malaysian Endocrine and Metabolic Society have just published their first clinical guidelines on thyroid disorders.

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The Malaysian Endocrine and Metabolic Society (MEMS) has published its first clinical practice guidelines on “Management of Thyroid Disorders.”

The thyroid is a small butterfly-shaped gland located at the base of your neck, just below the Adam’s apple. It is part of your endocrine system and secretes hormones that regulate your body’s metabolism.

Several different disorders can arise if your thyroid produces too much hormone (hyperthyroidism), not enough hormone (hypothyroidism), or is affected by other factors.

The initiative to develop the clinical guidelines for managing thyroid disorders was prompted by results of a national study conducted in 2017 on thyroid-related problems in Malaysia.

Symptoms of hyper and hypothyroidism. (Credit: Southern Hills Hospital)

Thyroid diseases are the most common endocrine disorder after diabetes mellitus. They are associated with increased morbidity and mortality; hence an early diagnosis and treatment are important to ensure the patients’ wellbeing.

Datuk Dr Norhizan bin Ismail Director, Medical Development Division, Ministry of Health Malaysia (MOH), representing the Director General of Health Malaysia.

The study found that 3.4% of Malaysians had hyperthyroidism, while 2.1% had hypothyroidism. The study also revealed that 9.3% of Malaysians had goitres, a noncancerous enlargement of the thyroid gland, and 3.6% had thyroid nodules, solid or fluid-filled lumps that form within the thyroid.

Most of the individuals with these thyroid dysfunctions were previously undiagnosed and the disease was only detected because of the study. They presented with no symptoms of thyroid dysfunction or any other visible signs that they were experiencing health issues.

The Clinical Practice Guidelines on the Management of Thyroid Disorders is a comprehensive publication with 270 recommendations to guide medical practitioners on the best way to treat the various thyroid disorders and ensure patient care is at the forefront of this treatment.

(From left) Dr Mohammad Arif Shahar, Professor Dato’ Dr Mafauzy Mohamed, Dato’ Dr Norhizan Ismail and Datuk Dr Zanariah Hussein flanked by members of the Development Committee of the CPG for the launch. (Credit: MEMS)

The official launch of the guidelines was held yesterday (3 October) at La Meridien Kuala Lumpur.

Officiated by Datuk Dr Norhizan Ismail, Director of the Medical Development Division in the Ministry of Health, the event was attended both physically and virtually by leading endocrinologists, medicine specialists, physicians, and medical officers from around the country. 

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