Diagnosis of a thyroid problem is made by a doctor or medical professional. This website provides details such as the diagnostic information found on this page, as well as other items like thyroid symptoms, but none of these details are intended to be used for self-diagnosis. Some thyroid problems can be especially serious in nature. If you are trying to receive a diagnosis of a potential issue with your thyroid, please talk with someone such as a physician (or emergency medical personnel if the case calls for that type of assistance).
Various thyroid problems are diagnosed using different tests and tools. For instance, the methods used to diagnose cancer are not the same as those employed when making a diagnosis of Graves' disease. With that in mind, below are some of the methods that are used:
This method is where sample of tissue from the thyroid (or other affected area) is collected. This may be used to try to discern whether or not cancer is impacting the patient. In some situations, rather than a conventional biopsy this may be the needle aspiration form, which is considered to be safer than the normal, open surgical, type.
This kind of test can be used to check the level of thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) level in the patient's blood. Elevated TSH levels might point to an underlying situation where the thyroid is underactive (hypothyroidism). On the other hand, THS levels that are lower than normal may indicate that the person's thyroid function is overly active (hyperthyroidism).
Radioiodine, commonly iodine-123, may be used for imaging in order to scan. Irregularities found in these scans can point to thyroid problems: underactivity or overactivity, or even tumor or cancer.
An ultrasound may be used to assist in determining whether thyroid nodules are cancerous. It is a form of imaging that does not use radiation.
Treatment of medical issues
Once a diagnosis has been given, the doctor may prescribe a method of treatment based upon the thyroid disease faced by the patient, and any other factors involved. As is the case with diagnosis, treatments given in various situations may vary wildly.