Thyroid Diagnostics

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The thyroid gland is the powerhouse of our body, the engine of our metabolism. Our hormones affect our overall physical development, such as growth, weight, skin, hair, muscles, and the mental state depends essentially on the function of the thyroid gland. The disease or the malfunction of the SD does have a considerable influence on our body and our well-being.

 

 

About 30 percent of the population in Germany suffers from thyroid disease, but many of the men and women who suffer from a malfunction of the thyroid gland, do not even know about it. This is not necessary, because thyroid disease can today be recognized and treated very effectively.

The symptoms of a thyroid disorder vary, because the entire metabolism can be disturbed. Profuse sweating, drastic weight gain or loss, vertigo, nervousness, depression or high blood pressure is some of the frequently occurring symptoms. In persons older than 45 years of age, even every second person is concerned.

Women and men suffer from the disease with equal frequency, whereby the cause could be a thyroid dysfunction (positive and negative function), or inflammation (especially Hashimoto's thyroiditis) or thyroid enlargement (diffuse or nodular). Patients with thyroid cancer (only 1 case of benign thyroid carcinoma to about 6000 nodes) generally have a very good prognosis and in most cases chances of recovery. Once the diagnosis is established and depending on the stage of the thyroid carcinoma, it is followed by an individual treatment plan and a concept for follow-up care.  

By the way, about 90 thousand thyroid operations are performed in Germany every year, and this in addition to the 60 000 radioiodine therapies. These figures show how important it is to include a thyroid into preventive screening.  

When is a thyroid diagnosis indicated or required?

There are a variety of symptoms and ailments that require a thyroid diagnosis. This can for example be local discomfort in the throat area or various general discomforts. Often the treating physician notices an abnormality during routine examination, such as nodular changes, a malfunction (over-and underactive) or an inflammation (e.g., Hashimoto's thyroiditis) of the thyroid gland, all of which require further clarification. Because thyroid disorders are often inherited, a check by a specialist is useful. Even within the scope of fertility or pregnancy, a thyroid examination may be necessary. Examining the thyroid gland is also an important part of the ADD / ADHD diagnosis. Hyperthyroidism or sub-functions trigger some symptoms that strongly resemble ADHD. A malfunction of the thyroid gland must therefore be excluded in order to obtain a reliable ADD / ADHD diagnosis.

How is the examination performed?

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The medical history, medication taken, secondary diseases, and the clinical findings, as well as the age of the patient provide the basis for the type and sequence of the specific thyroid diagnosis.  The technical process is determined by the clinical diagnosis. Answered are questions concerning the thyroid function, thyroid size, and thyroid condition (nodes). The medical examination of the thyroid gland includes history, physical examination, ultrasonography, scintigraphy, and if necessary, laboratory tests, fine-needle aspiration or complementary measures. The necessary tests are neither painful nor dangerous. What procedures are actually used depends on the request of the referring physician, but also on the course of the examination. We will inform you conscientiously about all procedures and findings. A result is, however, only possible after evaluation of the blood test, and, if necessary, scintigraphic imaging. Your general practitioner will receive a final diagnostic report 14 days after the examination that includes detailed suggestions for treatment (if necessary). Please discuss the results with your treating physician.

What should you know before taking a thyroid test?

We ask for your understanding that appointments for a thyroid test can only be made by telephone appointment. Appointments can be scheduled for both mandatory insured patients (here a referral is needed) as well as for privately insured patients.  Please bring all previous findings (previous examination results) from previous thyroid exams or hospital stays. Please also bring a detailed list of all the medicines that you are taking or have been taking in the past. You do not have to come without eating or drinking on the morning you come for the examination, however, you should refrain from taking your thyroid medication since otherwise the blood test results can be affected.

We ask you to please select clothing that allows the neck area to be easily accessible. Necklaces should also be taken off before the examination.

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In the RATGEBER SCHILDDRÜSE (THYROID GUIDE), Professor Mödder, the founder and senior physician of our practice, provides in depth information on the structure and function of the thyroid gland, the various diseases, and studies of the thyroid as well as possible therapies. As a patient, you are welcome to download the entire book or individual chapters for private use in PDF format. 

 

Our questions to you

Please think about these questions prior to coming for the examination:

  • Are there any family members who have thyroid problems, if yes who?
  • Has your thyroid been examined or treated in the past? When, by whom, and how?
  • Do you feel discomfort in the throat or neck area? What kind of discomfort is it and how long have you experienced it?
  • Are you pregnant or could you possibly be pregnant? Has your menstruation cycle changed?
  • Are you presently taking medications on a regular basis, if yes, which medications do you take? Are you taking hormone medication or contraceptives?
  • Have you lately felt tired and down, nervous, or irritable?
  • Are you sensitive to heat or cold? Do you feel cold more often than in the past? Are you presently sweating more than in the past?
  • Has your heart rate (your pulse) been extremely high, even during rest periods or at night? Are there any cardiac conditions?
  • Has your appetite, your bowel movements, or your weight changed during the past months? Have you experienced excessive weight loss or weight gain?
  • Are your hands trembling? Do you suffer from concentration; have you experience a sleep disorder, headaches?  
  • Have you been seriously ill during the past months, if yes, how and when?
  • >Have you been x-rayed during the past months, if yes, with contrast dye infusions, such as a cardiac catheterization, kidney examination or computer-tomography?