Indian Journal of Endocrinology and Metabolism

: 2011  |  Volume : 15  |  Issue : 6  |  Page : 121--126

Thyroidology over the ages

Asfandyar Khan Niazi1, Sanjay Kalra2, Awais Irfan1, Aliya Islam3 
1 Shifa College of Medicine, Islamabad, Pakistan
2 Bharti Hospital and BRIDE, Karnal, Haryana, India
3 International Medical College, Abottabad, Pakistan

Correspondence Address:
Asfandyar Khan Niazi
Shifa College of Medicine, H-8/4, Pitras Bukhari Road, Islamabad

Thyroidolody, the study of the thyroid gland, is considered to be a relatively new field of endocrinology. However, references to the thyroid gland and its diseases can be seen in the literature of ancient Greek, Indian and Egyptian medicine. Goiter has always been a disease of immense interest of the general population due to its widespread prevalence. It is one of the most common medical problems portrayed in ancient paintings. Owing to the lack of awareness and poor nutritious habits of the people in that era, diseases such as iodine deficiency goiter were common. Physicians, healers and philosophers had been attempting time and again until the 19 th century to come up with explanations of the thyroid gland and provide a reasonable basis of its diseases. Although the discovery of thyroid gland, its structure, function and diseases has been accredited to modern scientists who presented their work mostly in the 19 th and 20 th century, it is of significance to note that much of what we discovered in the 19 th and 20 th century had already been known centuries ago. This review attempts to explain the knowledge of thyroid gland, its function and diseases as held by the people in the previous centuries; and how this knowledge evolved over the years to become what it is today.

How to cite this article:
Niazi AK, Kalra S, Irfan A, Islam A. Thyroidology over the ages.Indian J Endocr Metab 2011;15:121-126

How to cite this URL:
Niazi AK, Kalra S, Irfan A, Islam A. Thyroidology over the ages. Indian J Endocr Metab [serial online] 2011 [cited 2021 Sep 19 ];15:121-126
Available from:;year=2011;volume=15;issue=6;spage=121;epage=126;aulast=Niazi;type=0