Doctors recommend examining the thyroid gland once a year in the absence of complaints.
If the patient has an endocrinological disease, the doctor may schedule periodic examinations.
How is thyroid examination performed?
Prophylactic examination of the thyroid glandIt is recommended to go once a year. During the examination, the endocrinologist examines the structure and assesses the functions of this organ. The structure of the thyroid gland is examined by means of palpation. This way you can estimate the volume of the gland, the structure and density of its tissue, the absence or presence of nodes, etc. If there is a suspicion of pathology, the patient is additionally assigned an ultrasound examination. With its help, the structure of the gland is checked more accurately, its volume is determined. The norm is the volume of the gland up to 18 ml in women and up to 25 ml in men.
Normally, the thyroid gland increases in volumeIn adolescents, in women during pregnancy and in postmenopausal women. Ultrasound can detect nodes, determine their size, evaluate echogenicity, contours, reveal the presence of fluid. This method of diagnostics is absolutely safe, at its carrying out irradiation is absent, it can be spent even at pregnant women. To perform ultrasound of the thyroid gland, no special preparation is required. To study the structure of this organ is also used computed tomography, it allows for a better examination. As a rule, computed tomography is prescribed in cases of extensive malignant lesion, before surgery on the gland.
Ultrasound of the thyroid gland allows you to further examine the blood flow, examine the lymph nodes of the neck.
Thyroid function research
To assess the work of the thyroid gland, appointA blood test for hormones. For this, the patient must donate blood from the vein (on an empty stomach). At the first stage of the study, the thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) level is checked, and the function of the thyroid gland is regulated by it. If TTG is within normal limits, it means that the body produces the amount of thyroid hormones as much as necessary. With a hormone level above the norm, one can suspect a decrease in thyroid function. TSH less than normal indicates an excessive increase in the functional activity of the thyroid gland. If the result is less than or more than the normal values, additional studies of thyroid hormone levels - triiodothyronine (T3) and thyroxine (T4) - are necessary.
In the process of diagnosis,The study of the level of antibodies to the structural components of thyroid cells. Elevated levels of antibodies are a sign of a serious disease - a diffuse toxic goiter.
If the T4 level has changed and T3 is normal,This in any case indicates a hormonal disorder. If the level of both hormones is too high, this indicates increased thyroid function (hyperthyroidism). If the T4 level is below normal, the function of the gland is reduced, this condition is called hypothyroidism. According to the results of the diagnosis and in the presence of indications, the doctor prescribes appropriate treatment and decides how often the patient will have to undergo a thyroid examination.