Video:Guide to Thyroid Clinical Evaluationwith Dr. Mary Ann Block
Not sure what to expect when you visit the doctor regarding a possible thyroid condition? Watch this video from About.com see learn about what you can expect.See Transcript
Transcript:Guide to Thyroid Clinical Evaluation
Hi, I'm Dr. Mary Ann Block, Physician, Author and Medical Director of The Block Center in Dallas/Fort Worth. I'm here for About.com. In this video, I'll explain what happens at a clinical evaluation.
Thyroid Conditions and Diagnosis
An important part of diagnosing your thyroid is the clinical evaluation. This is done by a trained practitioner. When your doctor suspects problems with your thyroid, he or she might do the following:
- Feel your neck. By paplating, your doctor can feel your thyroid, which is located just below your adam's apple. Your doctor is trying to detect whether it's enlarged for example, or if there are any thyroid nodules. If so, you might need a thyroid ultrasound to rule out thyroid cancer.
- Your doctor might also test your reflexes with a reflex hammer for example. Hyper-responsive reflexes could be an indicator of hyperthyroidism - when your thyroid is overactive. And slow reflexes could be the result of hypothyroidism, an under-producing thyroid.
- Another important part of the clinical evaluation is checking the functioning of your heart: your heart rate, heart rythm and your blood pressure. Many thyroid patients have heart and blood pressure problems.- Your doctor will also examine your eyes: bulging eyes can be a symptom of autoimmune hypothyroidism.
- He or she will observe your hair: looking at its quantity and quality. Many thyroid patients experience hair loss.
- Your skin, nails and hands will probably also be evaluated. When your thyroid doesn't produce enough hormone, your skin tends to get dry and flaky - and your nails tend to get brittle. If your thyroid produces too much hormone, the skin tends to get more moist, and oily.
Other Parts for Clinical Evaluation for Thyroid Problems
Another important part of the clinical evaluation is your weight. Unexpected weight gain despite a healthy diet can be a sign of hypothyroidism. Unexpected weight loss despite a healthy diet, on the other hand, can be a symptom of hyperthyroidism.
And finally, your doctor will measure your body temperature. Low body temperature could be a sign of an underactive thyroid, and high body temperature could be a symptom of an overactive thyroid.
For more on thyroid diseases, visit Health.About.com. Thanks for watching!