The most common thyroid problems are caused by abnormal production of thyroid hormones. Overproduction of this vital hormone results in a condition known as hyperthyroidism. Insufficient hormone production leads to hypothyroidism. Some of the key risk factors for thyroid disease include:
1. Women are at greater risk than men.
2. Age over 50 years poses the highest risk of thyroid disease, though it can strike at any age.
3. A personal or family history of thyroid and autoimmune disease increases risk.
4. Surgical removal of all or part of the thyroid or radioactive iodine treatment to the thyroid
5. Current or former smoker.
6. Recent exposure to iodine via contrast dye (used for diagnostic procedures) or surgical antiseptic.
7. Living in an iodine deficient area.
9. Radiation exposure to neck area.
Test for thyroid disease at our thyroid clinic incorporates various aspects such as clinical evaluation, blood tests, imaging tests, biopsies and other thyroid tests.
Clinical Evaluation: As a part of thyroid detection our endocrinologist will conduct a thorough physical examination. This includes feeling (also known as palpating) your neck, listen to your thyroid using a stethoscope, test your reflexes. It will also include checking your heart rate, rhythm and blood pressure, measure your weight, measure body temperature, examine your face and eyes. The doctor will look for the general quantity and quality of your hair, examine your skin, examine your nails and hands and review other clinical signs.
Thyroid blood tests: Blood tests or thyroid function tests are conducted to check the levels of thyroxine (T4), triiodothyronine (T3), Thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH), antibodies against the thyroid, etc
Thyroid imaging tests: A number of imaging tests are performed for diagnosis of various thyroid conditions. These tests include
1. Thyroid Ultrasound: to evaluate nodules, lumps and enlargement of your gland. Ultrasound can tell whether a nodule is a fluid-filled cyst, or a mass of solid tissue.
2. Nuclear Scan or Radioactive Iodine Uptake: which can tell whether a person has hyperthyroidism, toxic nodule/ multinodular goiter or thyroiditis.
3. CT scan/MRI /: is rarely required.
Thyroid Biopsy/Aspiration (FNAC): In a needle biopsy, a thin needle is inserted directly into the lump. Some cells are withdrawn and they are evaluated for thyroid cancer. It is ideal to use ultrasound while conducting a biopsy in order to ensure that the needle goes into the right position
Thyroid antibody test: It is ordered to help diagnose an autoimmune thyroid disease and to separate it from other forms of thyroid diseases. It may be ordered to help investigate the cause of a goiter or performed as a follow-up when other thyroid test results (such as T3, T4, and/or TSH) show signs of thyroid dysfunction.
Our thyroid specialist thoroughly examines each patient’s symptoms, thyroid test results and family history and then offers suitable treatment.