Thyroid self-examination is a method used to detect possible disorders in the gland, which is located in the lower part of the throat. The region is responsible for regulating the functioning of different organs – and changes in their functioning can affect the mental and body health.
Carlos Machado, a general practitioner specializing in Preventive Medicine, says that thyroid tests are recommended from birth, as there are conditions such as congenital hypothyroidism.
“Blood tests to detect thyroid function and the function of the brain hormone that stimulates the thyroid are called TSH, free T4, and T3. These are important tests, we can ask a child when we realize that there is a suspicion of some thyroid alteration up or down – hyperthyroidism or hypothyroidism “, explains the doctor.
Does the thyroid self-exam work?
According to Carlos, the Thyroid self-exam is not effective. This is because the technique only allows one late diagnosis, since only large nodules or a significant increase in the region can be observed during the method. The specialist says that most thyroid nodules are only detected with ultrasound, as they are between five millimeters and one centimeter.
“Let’s think about it this way: in a medical consultation, in which the doctor goes with his experience to palpate the thyroid region in the neck, he will only detect large lesions, very bulky thyroid or very bulky nodule, the size of a one or two centimeters”, explains Carlos.
In this way, self-examination, which is performed by observing the area with the help of a mirror, can only identify the presence of advanced nodules. This rules out other thyroid disorders, such as low thyroid hormones.
Importance of medical consultation
Routine medical consultation is the most effective method of detecting thyroid changes. According to Carlos, the ideal is that preventive exams are carried out between two and three times a yearwhether in babies, pregnant women, adults or the elderly.
“Nodules need to be detected by imaging tests when we know that we have a family history or that there is a suspicion”, says the doctor.
If it is not possible to carry out tests frequently, it is important to observe an increase or lump in the throat region, as well as other symptoms:
These signs may indicate thyroid changes, such as an increase or decrease in thyroid hormones. Therefore, it is important to seek medical help and perform an ultrasound in the region.
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Minha Vida Website – REF99827
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