Thyroid ScanThis year, I am bound and determined to take better care of myself. I know by putting my health high on the list of things that are important, not only am I being smart, ensuring that my engine is always running in top condition, but I am also showing love to my family and friends. A healthy me is what they want to have around. And a “healthy me” makes my life more productive, and more fun because I feel good and have energy to do the things I love to do.
So, as I contemplate things to be aware of, one of these is my thyroid. Yes, I know most people contemplate their navels, but I am choosing to contemplate my thyroid at this time. I have two dear friends with thyroid “issues” and I am thinking it might be important to be sure everything is running smoothly in this area.
WHAT DOES YOUR THYROID DO?First – what is the thyroid and what does it do? Your thyroid is a small gland that is located in the front of your neck. And naturally, it makes thyroid hormones. It turns out, thyroid hormones travel all throughout your body, and help all of your organs work well; thyroid hormones also affect your metabolism rate which has a big impact on how fast or slow your heart, brain and muscles work, as well as how efficiently you convert food into energy.
Having trouble gaining or losing weight? You might consider your thyroid as a possible culprit. And, if your thyroid hormones are off, you won’t feel well. For example, if you have too much thyroid hormone, you might often be really warm compared to everyone else, have trouble sleeping, or feel nervous, or irritable. I know this for a fact; I used to be bothered because one of my friends would get really short and cross unexpectedly (irritable), which was totally out of character. And yes, she has a hyperthyroid condition; too much thyroid hormone production.
On the other hand, if you have too little, then parts of your body work too slowly, and you might feel tired, lethargic, and cold, and your skin might be dry. You might also have a puffy face, or consistent hoarseness. These are just some of the potential symptoms that might be indicators. Too little thyroid can even cause impaired memory.
So, the most common thyroid problems involve abnormal production of thyroid hormones; either too much which results in a condition known as hyperthyroidism; or too little thyroid production which leads to hypothyroidism.
The good news is that even though the side effects as mentioned above are not wonderful, most under or over production by the thyroid gland can be pretty easily treated and managed with the proper detection and diagnosis. And you’d also be surprised, as I was, as to how common a hyper- or hypo- thyroid condition is. And, in talking to my friends, how wonderful it is when the condition is managed properly and they, as a result, feel great.
So, what am I going to suggest you do (and I do) and everyone do to avoid missing a potential thyroid problem? Why of course, I suggest you come in for a thyroid health screening. Let me explain how this works. It’s really pretty easy, fast, and not “scary” at all.
WHAT A THYROID HEALTH SCREENING INVOLVES – A THYROID ULTRASOUND: HOW IT WORKSA thyroid ultrasound scan is a non-invasive and painless imaging method to view your thyroid gland. Remembering that your thyroid gland is in your neck, therefore, with a thyroid ultrasound we will be imaging your neck area.
So, how exactly does it work? I don’t know about you, but I always prefer knowing exactly what a procedure involves and what to expect before I go through it. However, I hesitate to even call it a procedure because that word evokes negative thoughts in a medical sense, but I am not sure what other word to use; maybe checkup?
First, what is an ultrasound scan? It is a painless way of using sound waves to create images of the inside of your body; in this case, your neck.
How we do it:
- You will lie down comfortably with your neck supported by a pillow.
- We will put a water-based gel on your neck that helps transmit and amplify the sound waves.
- And we will ask you to fully extend your neck; kind of like you are trying to see something above your head.
- We will move a wand (called a transducer) back and forth gently over your neck area. It is the wand that gives off the sound waves.
- The sound waves go through your neck and bounce off of your thyroid gland (did I mention you do not feel this).
- A computer looks at and analyzes the sound waves bouncing back and creates an image from the waves.
Filed Under: Health Screening, Weight Gain
Tags: Ultrasound Scan