Thyroid Evaluation Q & A
What does the thyroid do?
The thyroid is an endocrine gland found in the front of a person’s neck. The thyroid houses and makes hormones which control the function of practically every organ in the human body. The thyroid hormone manages the regulation the metabolic rate and is connected with changes in energy levels and body weight. Problems with the thyroid can affect an individual’s mood, how he or she digests and uses food, and sexual performance.
What is done during a thyroid evaluation?
During an assessment of the thyroid, the doctor will check for signs that the organ is not functioning properly. The evaluation typically starts with feeling the patient’s neck. Since the thyroid is located here, the doctor can feel for physical changes including lumps, changes in size, and goiters. The physician also uses a stethoscope to listen to the thyroid for increased blood flow, medically known as bruit. A reflex test is also used because hypersensitive reflexes can be a symptom of hyperthyroidism and the reverse can be a symptom of hypothyroidism. The physician listens to the patient’s heart as a very slow or fast heart can also indicate disease. External signs also checked include:
- Loss of hair
- Excessive weight gain
- Jaundiced or yellow-looking skin
- Tremors or shaky hands
- Excited or jerky movements
- Edemas or swelling
- Slowed down movements and speech
How is thyroid disease treated?
When treating thyroid disease at Premier Family Medical, whether under or overproduction of thyroid hormones, medications and surgery typically are used. Changes to diet and exercise can also assist in restoring hormonal balance. If the thyroid is overproducing hormones, it can be reduced or alleviated through radioactive iodine therapy, medications, or surgery. If the thyroid is underproducing hormones, the patient needs to take thyroid replacement hormones, such as levothyroxine, on a regular basis. For more information or to schedule an appointment with the doctor for treatment, contact Premier Family Medical today.