Hyperthyroidism Diagnosis and Treatment
Hyperthyroidism Diagnosis includes:
History and physical examination. During the examination doctor determines the presence of a slight fingers tremor, its duration, overactive reflexes, eye changes, skin temperature and humidity, swallowing reflex.
Blood tests. Measure levels of thyroxine and TSH. High levels of thyroxine and low or non-existent performance of TSH indicate an overactive thyroid. These tests are especially needed for older people who have not seen the classic symptoms of hyperthyroidism.
If blood tests indicate hyperthyroidism, doctor may recommend one of the following tests to help determine the cause of overactive thyroid gland:
Radioactive iodine absorbing test. For its implementation patient takes a small dose of oral radioactive iodine. Eventually, iodine accumulates in the thyroid gland. 2, 6 and 24 hours to verify how much iodine absorbed thyroid.
Absorption of high level radioactive iodine indicates that the thyroid gland produces too much thyroxine. The most likely cause is either Graves’ disease or nodules hyper function.
Test radioactive iodine uptake does not cause discomfort, but subject to a small amount of non-hazardous radiation.
Thyroid scan. During this test the veins on the inside of the elbow or sometimes in an arm vein injected radioisotope. Then a special camera creates an image of your thyroid on a computer screen.
Time required for the procedure may vary depending on how long to achieve isotope moving thyroid. In neck may feel some discomfort.
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There are several types of treatment for hyperthyroidism. Method is determined individually for each patient:
Radioactive iodine. Entered into radioactive iodine absorbed by the thyroid gland, where it causes the gland to shrink and symptoms subside, usually within three to six months. Because this treatment causes a significant slowing of the thyroid gland and lead to hypothyroidism you may need to take thyroxine replacing drug every day. Radioactive iodine treatment is used in the world for over 60 years to treat hyperthyroidism and showed itself in general as a safe method.
Anti – thyroid drugs. These medications gradually reduce symptoms of hyperthyroidism by preventing the thyroid gland from producing excessive amounts of hormones. Symptoms usually begin to improve in a period of six to 12 weeks, but treatment with anti-thyroid drugs, usually keeps at least a year and often more. In some people it eliminates the problem completely, but some may experience a relapse.
Beta – blockers. These drugs are commonly used to treat high blood pressure. They do not reduce the level of thyroid hormones, but can reduce heart palpitations and help prevent it. For this reason, doctor may prescribe them to help you feel better as long as your level of thyroid hormone is far from normal.
Surgery (thyroidectomy). During pregnancy or intolerance to antithyroid drugs as well as the refusal of radioactive iodine therapy can be recommended for thyroid surgery, although this option is rarely used.
Thyroidectomy when the doctor removes most of the thyroid gland. Risks of this surgery include possible damage to the vocal cords and parathyroid glands (four tiny glands located on the rear panel of the thyroid gland, which helps control the level of calcium in the blood). In addition, you may need supplementation throughout life to supply the body’s normal amount of thyroid hormones. When removal of the parathyroid glands also need to maintain a normal level of calcium in blood.
When Graves ophthalmopathy, mild signs and symptoms can be controlled independently, avoiding the effects of wind and bright lights, and using lubricating gels. If the symptoms are more severe, doctor may recommend treatment with corticosteroids, such as prednisone, reduce swelling to the rear side of the eye. In some cases, it may be considered surgical intervention:
Orbital decompression. In this operation doctor removes the bone between the orbit and sinuses – air spaces next to the orbit. This procedure improves vision and provides a place for the normal position of your eyes.
Operation ocular muscles. Sometimes scar tissue from Graves’ ophthalmopathy may cause shortening of one or more of the ocular muscles, resulting in double vision. This operation can help correct double vision. This operation is aimed to achieve clear vision when you read and look straight ahead. In some cases, you may need more than one operation to achieve these results.