Thyroid diseases are among the most common in the world: more than 1.6 billion people are at risk of them. By the age of 60, hypothyroidism is detected in 17% of women and 8% of men.
A lack of thyroid hormones is called hypothyroidism. In this state, a person feels constant fatigue, drowsiness, decreased performance, memory, dry skin, brittle nails, swelling on the face and limbs, constipation. In addition to external manifestations, hypothyroidism leads to the early development of atherosclerosis, which threatens serious vascular complications, such as myocardial and braininfarctions . In addition, the lack of hormones causes anemia, gastritis and colitis.
Causes of thyroid hormone deficiency:
- autoimmune disease,
- damage to the thyroid gland,
- surgical removal of the thyroid gland,
- excess or deficiency of iodine in the diet,
- radiation therapy.
Reduced thyroid activity is more common in women than in men, and the prevalence of this disease increases with age.
In turn, with an excess of thyroid hormones, there is an acceleration of metabolic processes in the body, which manifests itself in the form of excessive heartbeat, tearfulness and irritability, sleep disorders, fever, feelings of heat, sweating, trembling of the limbs. A condition in which there is an increase in the level of hormones, called thyrotoxicosis. In severe cases, thyrotoxicosis leads to cardiac arrhythmias and heart failure.
Increased thyroid activity is ten times more common in women than in men. It most often develops at the age of 20-40 years, but can be observed at any age.
Methods of diagnosis of thyroid diseases.
Diagnosis of thyroid diseases is based primarily on determining the level of hormones in the blood and identifying structural changes in the organ, up to studies at the level of tissues and cells.
To detect changes in the structure of the organ, palpation and ultrasound are used – ultrasound:
- makes it possible to assess the uniformity of the echostructure of the thyroid gland, its size, contours, detect nodular formation and clarify its characteristics.
- allows you to calculate the volume of the thyroid gland with great accuracy.
- the method is simple, safe and has almost no contraindications.
Another method of examining the thyroid gland is radioisotope scanning (scintigraphy):
- allows you to determine the location, size and shape of the gland
- evaluate its functional activity,
- identify focal formation and metastases of cancer,
- diagnose a congenital absence of the thyroid gland.
In this method, radioactive iodine, technetium, caesium, and selenium are used.
Recently, in the diagnosis of thyroid diseases, modern radiation imaging methods are used – X-ray computer and magnetic resonance imaging:
- you can determine the volume formation of the thyroid gland,
- evaluate the nature of the contours, detect the lymph nodes,
- high information content and the absence of radiation exposure are significant advantages of MRI.
To confirm a thyroid tumor, a study of the thyroid tissue under a microscope is used. A thin-angle biopsy is performed under the control of ultrasound-a relatively safe procedure. It allows you to diagnose malignant and benign thyroid tumors with a probability of up to 97%.
Timely diagnosis and treatment of thyroid diseases can significantly improve the quality and life expectancy of patients.
Diagnosis and treatment of thyroid diseases should take place with the participation of an endocrinologist and an endocrinologist surgeon in a specialized department.