One of the biggest obstacles to proper diagnosing thyroid problems is that the symptoms mimic those of so many other common conditions. For example you may think that the weight loss may be due to your increasingly sedentary lifestyle or that the increasing fatigue or irritability you are experiencing is because you are feeling extremely stressed due to being overworked either in the workplace or even at home. However, sudden weight gain or weight loss, irritability, fatigue and muscle weakness are all also signs of thyroid conditions.
To best way to ascertain the root cause of the unusual symptoms you are experiencing is by going to your doctor and getting a thorough checkup.
Common Diagnostic Methods
In order to diagnose whether or not you have any problems with the gland, your doctor will focus on cardiac, neurologic, skin and vision findings. This is done using different types of tests and scans depending on the results of the initial findings.
The first test that is usually done is the TSH or thyroid- stimulating hormone test, which calculates the amount of hormones in the blood. Excessive amounts of hormones indicates that the problem is due to over-production whereas lower than normal amounts indicates that the gland is not producing enough hormones.
Other blood tests may include the Free T4, TSH receptor antibody or TSI and the Antithyroid antibody tests.
In addition to blood tests, your doctor may also do a nuclear thyroid scan by injecting or asking you to swallow a minuscule amount of radioactive iodine. An increase or decrease in iodine update could be an indication of hyper or hypo thyroidism.
Thyroid ultrasound is another exam that helps to determine the number, size and types of nodules that are present in the gland.
Fine-needle aspiration is another testing procedure, in which the doctor obtains a sample of issue using a fine needle. This is usually done using an ultrasound as guidance. The tissue that is obtained is then under a microscope to detect any signs of cancer.
Effective Treatment Options
There are no home treatments for this condition as most of the underlying factors are beyond the scope of home care. You must go to a doctor to get a proper medical evaluation and treatment.
Some of the more common non-invasive treatment options may include medication and treatment using radioactive iodide. In most cases, both of these treatment methods are very effective in suppressing or even completely halting the production of hormones. Sometimes, however, when more aggressive methods are required, the doctor may recommend surgery.