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Thyroid: Diagnosis, Treatment and Recovery Explained

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Diagnosis, Treatment and Recovery for Thyroid Disorders

The treatment of thyroid disorders involves restoration of thyroid hormone levels. But to know which treatment option is suitable for you, you have to go through certain tests. Read on to know details about thyroid diagnosis, treatment and recovery.

Diagnosis of thyroid

This involves examination of the medical history of the patient and some physical exams too. But besides these, there are specialized tests for the required diagnosis. These are:

  • Blood tests:

1. To measure thyroid hormone levels and TSH levels. (Thyroid stimulating hormone is a chemical released by the pituitary gland).

2. To identify antibodies functioning against the thyroid tissue.

Thyroid Diagnosis: Blood Tests, Imaging Tests, Thyroid Scans
  • Imaging tests: Imaging tests are useful when there are thyroid nodules or gland enlargement. They help check the consistency of thyroid gland’s tissue and many times reveal calcifications or cysts.
  • Thyroid scans: These scans use radioactive iodine for the evaluation of thyroid nodules and their function. The patient takes in radioactively labelled iodine. Since thyroid is the only body part taking up iodine, the tests are able to show the taking up of this iodine by the thyroid gland. The observer thus gets to know if the nodules are hyperfunctioning or the opposite.
  • Fine needle aspiration and biopsy: This involves creating a sample of cells or tissue of the thyroid gland. A pathologist then carries out examination and diagnosis with the sample.
Thyroid Fine Needle Aspiration

A few points to note:

  • In case of hyperthyroidism, there are high thyroid hormone levels, low TSH levels. When there’s hypothyroidism, one has low thyroid hormone levels, high TSH levels.
  • A special blood test can be helpful in diagnosing one uncommon thyroid cancer type. It can do so by measuring calcitonin hormone levels, required to build bones.

Treatment of thyroid disorders

Medication, and/or surgery are suitable treatment options. However, it depends upon the type of thyroid disease the patient has.

  • Medications:

1. When there is hyperthyroidism: The doctor gives medication to decrease the production of thyroid hormone or prevent its release from the thyroid gland.

2. When there is hypothyroidism: S/he’ll give medication to replace the lack of thyroid hormone. The doctor may suggest synthetic thyroid hormone in the pill form.

In case of hyperthyroidism, medication for symptoms like increased heart rate may be given. If the symptoms still don’t go, the next option is radioactive ablation. It involves giving iodine doses labelled with radioactivity. These doses are to selectively destroy thyroid tissue.

  • Surgery: Surgery is necessary when:

1. We need to remove the large goiter or some hyperfunctioning nodule from the gland.

2. There’re chances of a thyroid cancer.

3. In case of Graves’ Disease. Thyroidectomy (thyroid removal surgery), RAI therapy as well as anti-thyroid medications are the options.

Some points to note:

  • There are some additional treatment options such as specific diet supplements, special exercises and herbal remedies. These can help relieve some discomfort and make the gland work better. 
  • One needs to tell the doctor all about everything one’s taking, such as antidepressants, medicines for diabetes and more. This is important as it can impact effects of the medications prescribed for thyroid disorder.
  • Thyroidectomy is done to treat thyroid cancer. It involves removal of the cancerous tissue or that of the complete thyroid gland.

Recovery after Thyroidectomy

Usually, people are able to start with their normal/regular activities the day the surgery is complete. However, they need to take precautions, such as avoiding physical activities and sports for days or weeks. It varies from person to person, and therefore, the patient needs to follow his/her doctor’s instructions.

Moreover, sore throat is a common phenomenon after thyroid surgery, for which pain medication is given. The doctor monitors the person’s thyroid hormone along with calcium levels after the surgery. And s/he should be consulted when experiencing hoarseness in voice or difficulty in breathing.

Outlook for Thyroid Disorders

Thyroid disorders are well-manageable in most cases with the help of medical treatment. They do not usually prove life-threatening. However, surgery may be the required option in some conditions. Most people with thyroid cancer are able to live better, although, those with cancer spread throughout the body go through much more difficulty dealing with the disease/condition.  

We at Medfin , the Surgery expert team, offer you access to latest and advanced treatment for thyroid surgery at most affordable costs. Our Personal Medfin assistants answer all your concerns related to surgery and ensure that your needs are met in your entire medical journey. 

To consult an expert Medfin surgeon near you, please call us on 7026200200. You can also WhatsApp us on 9986828963 (click here to initiate a whatsapp chat).

Useful link: What is Thyroid? Causes and Symptoms of Thyroid Disease

Author: Surbhi JainContent writer, who has experience in writing on varying niches, healthcare being one of her favorites. She's an MBA in finance and her other interests include dance, music and sports.

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