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A look into Thyroid Disease 

Checking for Thyroid Disease

Checking for thyroid disease is similar to other kinds of medical evaluations. The doctor considers the patient’s medical history, examines the thyroid and may order a blood test or other diagnostic tests.

A standard physical examination of the thyroid gland is done by palpation – that is, feeling the thyroid gland. The doctor feels for the size and texture of the gland, and whether any masses or nodules are present.

Testing for Thyroid Function

There are two standard blood tests of thyroid function: the measurement of thyroid hormone, usually T4, and the measurement of thyrotropin (TSH). TSH is a hormone secreted from the pituitary gland that controls how much thyroid hormone the thyroid makes.

Abnormal blood tests usually reveal thyroid function problems and not the presence of thyroid nodules or cancer.

Testing for Nodules

If a nodule is found during the physical examination, a test called fine needle aspiration (FNA) biopsy may be done to help find out whether the nodule is cancerous or benign. In addition, a thyroid nuclear scan may help the doctor evaluate thyroid function or nodules. The scan is performed by giving the patient a radioisotope and taking a special picture to see how much of …read more.

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