The thyroid gland secretes hormones in the bloodstream. These hormones, in turn, regulate the functions of the organs and the cells inside the body. The thyroid gland is mainly responsible for the hormones that regulate the body’s metabolic processes. It controls the way the body burns energy.
What is Hyperthyroidism?
Hyperthyroidism is a condition wherein the thyroid glands fail to work as functionally as designed. It secretes hormones excessively, disrupting the normal processes of the body. When this occurs, related health problems show. The most common ones associated with hyperthyroidism are Graves’ disease, goiter, toxic thyroid adenoma, and thyroiditis, among others.
Symptoms of Hyperthyroidism
Patients suffering from hyperthyroidism usually manifest signs such as:
5. Intolerance to heat
11. Weight loss problems
Thyroid Testing for Hyperthyroidism
Thyroid testing refers to the medical process of diagnosing whether a patient is suffering from hyperthyroidism or any other thyroid conditions. Thyroid testing for hyperthyroidism includes clinical evaluation, blood testing, biopsy, image testing, and the use of other applicable tests.
The clinical evaluation of thyroid testing for hyperthyroidism usually pertains to the physical exams conducted by the health expert. The doctor would look for signs such as lumps on the neck. The actions of the thyroid would be listened to using a stethoscope, along with reflex testing, heart rhythm, blood rate, and heart rate evaluations. The weight and the body temperature of the patient will be checked as well. Further examinations of critical body parts such as the face, eyes, hair, skin, hands, and nails would have to be performed as well.
To further see if the patient is suffering from thyroid problems, blood tests would have to be conducted. There are different blood tests that should be performed and these includes the thyroid stimulating hormone test, free thyroxine, total T3, Reverse T3, and thyroid receptor antibodies, among others.
Thyroid imaging tests are also crucial so that the disease can be determined easily. There are different imaging tests available, although only a handful can be used for thyroid testing for hyperthyroidism. These are:
1. Nuclear Scan – this test determines if a person suffers from Graves’ disease.
2. CT Scan – can diagnose large thyroid nodules and goiter.
3. MRI – this test can help doctors evaluate the shape and size of the thyroid gland.
4. Thyroid ultrasound – can check for lumps, nodules, and enlargements in the thyroid area. Ultrasound can also determine whether the gland is filled with solid tissue masses or fluid.
Biopsy is another procedure of thyroid testing for hyperthyroidism. Here, a thin needle will be inserted into the lump. The needle will produce a sample from the lump and it can be used to further evaluate the condition of the patient. The same sample is also checked for cancer.
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