ZocdocAnswersHow are thyroid evaluations performed?

Question

How are thyroid evaluations performed?

I'm a 33 yr old woman, having some problems. I want to know do they take a blood test?

Answer

The thyroid is a gland located in the neck and is responsible for secreting thyroid hormone. The regulation of amount of thyroid that is secreted is based on amount of thyroid levels in the blood as well as levels of TSH (thyroid stimulating hormone) and TRH (thyrotropin releasing hormone) which regulate how much thyroid hormone is released. Dietary Iodine is needed to make thyroid hormone (often found in seafood and iodinated salt. Thyroid evaluations start with a good medical history and physical examination. After that, blood is drawn to look for levels of thyroid hormone, as well as TSH levels in the blood. Low TSH levels may suggest hyperhtyroidism (too much thyroid hormone), whereas High TSH levels may be found when not enough thyroid hormone is produces (hypothyroidism). Frequently included in the workup is an ultrasound examination of the thyroid gland. If an abnormal cyst or nodule is detected, this may need to be sampled with a needle -- a procedure called "Fine Needle Aspiration" or FNA. That sample is then sent to a pathologist who will look at it under a microscope and determine if it is normal or abnormal thyroid tissue. Based on all of these tests and results, the proper diagnosis and treatment can be proposed by your physician. I recommend consulting an endocrinologist or an Endocrine surgeon for evaluation of your thyroid.

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