Ultrasonography detects thyroid disorders more clearly
The thyroid is an important hormonal gland in our body that performs a variety of metabolic functions. Unfortunately, the metabolic organ is also susceptible to diseases and dysfunctions. According to estimates, about one in three people in Germany suffers from a thyroid disorder or disorder. An expert presents various ultrasound procedures that help to identify and differentiate diseases better.
The symptoms of a thyroid gland can be multiple. In addition to a swollen thyroid gland, it can lead to the development of nodules in the formation of malignant tumors. Even more often there are functional disorders such as hypothyroidism or hyperthyroidism. Furthermore, there is also the autoimmune disease of Graves' disease, which is often confused with a malfunction.
The thyroid affects many processes in the body
Prof. Dr. med. Josef Menzel leads the medical clinic II of the Ingolstadt hospital. Explain why our thyroid is so important and how various thyroid diseases occur. "The thyroid forms, among other things, hormones containing iodine T3 (triiodothyronine) and T4 (thyroxine), which influence metabolism, circulation and mood," says the expert in a press release.
What are the different thyroid symptoms?
"Hyperactivity causes hair loss, irritability, excessive sweating (heat intolerance), tremor, high blood pressure, rapid heartbeat, birthmarks, diarrhea and muscle weakness," says the professor. A subfunction is highlighted by hair loss, depression, cold sensation, slowed pulse, low blood pressure, weight gain, constipation, high levels of lipids in the blood and muscle weakness. In addition, there are also more than 600,000 predominantly female patients suffering from the autoimmune disease of Graves' disease, which is often confused with hyperthyroidism or hypofunction. Emotional vulnerability, hair loss, inner restlessness, sweating, tremors and diarrhea are the guiding symptoms here.
Graves' disease is often not recognized
"Normally, the body's own immune cells produce antibodies against bacteria or viruses, but in an autoimmune disease like Graves' disease, they attack the body cells," explains the specialist. This leads to uncontrolled reactions of the thyroid hormones. If there is such an autoimmune disease, according to the antibodies of Menzel they bind to the cells of the thyroid gland. As a result, some receptors are stimulated or suppressed. This could lead to symptoms of hypofunction or hyperfunction.
How the individual disease differs
"To find out clearly whether a patient actually suffers from Graves' disease or another thyroid disease, the doctor performs various tests," reports Menzel. For this purpose, various diagnostic methods are used. In addition to a physical exam and a blood test can provide important information. The expert emphasizes the diagnosis by ultrasound.
Use of ultrasound to make quick and safe diagnoses
"With the help of ultrasound, we can make the diagnosis quick and safe," emphasizes Professor Menzel. With the so-called color Doppler ultrasound you can represent the structure of the fabric in a very precise way. From this it was possible to draw conclusions on the fact that, for example, there is a mass blood flow of the typical organ of the disease.
Suction with thin ultrasound needle
"The specialist obtains ultimate safety with the simple, safe and fast suction with a fine ultrasound needle," says the specialist. Under ultrasonic surveillance, a small piece of tissue is removed, which can then be examined in the laboratory. So clearly the current illness can be determined. "In addition to clinical symptoms and laboratory parameters, ultrasound examination is therefore an important pillar in the diagnosis of thyroid diseases", summarizes Menzel.
How is Graves' disease treated?
As a rule, Graves' patients initially receive drugs, so-called antithyroid drugs, which reduce the activity of the thyroid gland. "If there is no lasting improvement after a period of about a year and a half, the thyroid must be reduced in the long term both by surgery and by radioactive iodine treatment (radioiodio therapy)", explains the director of the clinic. (Vb)