Identifying issues of the thyroid gland can be difficult, mainly because the symptoms are often vague or merge with other common disorders. For this reason, it is important that anyone who is troubled with unusual or frustrating symptoms be checked out by a trusted physician, with experience treating thyroid function. Early detection of symptoms will ensure proper management of thyroid disorder.
Who should be evaluated for proper thyroid function?
- Those with a family history of thyroid disorder
- People taking prescription medications that can affect thy roid function, such as Lithium or Amiodarone
- Men or women who undergo radiation therapy to the head or neck
- Anyone with frustrating symptoms of hypothyroidism or hyperthyroidism, that cannot be attributed to a clear root cause
- Those struggling with stubborn symptoms that are resistant to treatment
One or more tests may be necessary to diagnosis a thyroid issue. To best determine the function of the thyroid gland, routine blood work will be used to check the TSH, T2, T3, and T4 levels. More detailed testing, such as a CRT scan or ultrasound, can provide a physical picture of the thyroid gland, detecting nodules or any unusual growth. A fine needle aspiration biopsy may be required to obtain additional information on an enlarged thyroid, determining if unusual growth is cancerous or benign.