As a survey of the thyroid gland
Preventive examination of a thyroid gland it is recommended to take once a year. In the process of examination, the endocrinologist examines the structure and evaluates the functions of this body. The structure of the thyroid gland is examined with palpation. This method can estimate the volume of gland structure and the density of its tissue, the absence or presence of knots, etc. in cases of suspected pathology, the patient is prescribed additional ultrasound examination. With its help the structure of the glands is checked more accurately, defined by its volume. Norm is the volume of the breast up to 18 ml in women and 25 ml in men.
Normal thyroid gland increases in volume in teenagers, in women during pregnancy and in postmenopausal women. Ultrasound is used to detect the nodes to determine their size, to assess the echogenicity, contours, to identify the presence of fluid. This diagnostic method is completely safe, while conducting irradiation is absent, it can be performed even in pregnant women. To perform ultrasound shitenou gland requires no special training. To study the structure of this body is also used computed tomography, it allows a more qualitative survey. Usually a CT scan is prescribed in cases of extensive malignant lesions before surgery on the gland.
Thyroid ultrasound allows for further study of the blood flow, to examine lymph nodes in the neck.
The study of the thyroid gland
To evaluate the thyroid gland, prescribe a blood test for hormones. For this the patient must take blood from a vein (fasting). In the first stage of the study check levels of thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH), it is the regulation of thyroid function. If the TSH will be within normal limits, this means that the body produces the amount of hormones the thyroid as long as necessary. When hormone levels are above normal you suspect an underactive thyroid. TSH less than normal indicates excessive increase of the functional activity of the thyroid gland. If the result is less than or greater than normal values it is necessary to conduct additional studies of levels of thyroid hormones - triiodothyronine (T3) and thyroxine (T4).
In the diagnostic process is also carried out studies of the level of antibodies to structural components of the cells of the thyroid gland. Elevated levels of antibodies is a sign of a serious disease - diffuse toxic goiter.
If the T4 level has changed, and T3 will be normal, in any case, evidence of hormonal disturbance. If the levels of both hormones are too high, this suggests increased thyroid gland (hyperthyroidism). If the level of T4 below the normal, gland function is reduced, this condition is called hypothyroidism. According to the results of diagnosis and when indicated, the doctor prescribes the appropriate treatment and addresses the question of how often the patient will have to undergo examination of the thyroid gland.