Recently, we hear a lot from doctors and the media that it is necessary to check the thyroid gland, that it must be done regularly and almost universally. But it’s not always normal for a normal person to understand why this is so, why the thyroid gland, and not some other one, and what is threatened by inattention to this recommendation of doctors.
– Anna Iosifovna, let’s try to understand why it is so important to control the work of the thyroid gland?
“The thing is that the thyroid gland produces very important hormones for the work of the whole organism, therefore it is rightly considered to be a” conductor “of many processes in the body, and violations in its work are reflected in the work of the whole organism as a whole.
For example, “thyroid” affects the work of the cardiovascular system, the gastrointestinal tract, the reproductive system, both in women and men, and even on the mood!
– Lately, much has been said about the fact that the wrong operation of the thyroid gland is one of the causes of infertility in women.
– Yes, indeed it is. Incorrect thyroid function is one of the most important causes of infertility and menstrual irregularities in women.
– Anna, why is it important to monitor the functioning of the thyroid gland in children, especially school age?
– In children, the improper functioning of the thyroid gland affects school performance, the ability to concentrate on new material and successfully memorize it. That’s why we recommend that you check regularly whether the thyroid gland is working properly. And both adults and children.
– What kind of examination is necessary to check the functioning of the thyroid gland?
“There is one moment,” says Anna Ryzhenkova, “in addition to the fact that the thyroid itself produces hormones, its entire work is” managed “by the controlling hormone, which is produced in one of the brain regions. It is called “thyroid-stimulating hormone”, or abbreviated TSH. The main “task” of TTG is precisely the regulation of hormone production by the thyroid gland and maintenance of their content in the body at a normal level. For this reason, by checking the level of only this controlling hormone – TSH, we can make a fairly complete picture of whether the thyroid gland is working well overall.
Often, a doctor to make the most complete picture of the condition and work of the thyroid, asks you to perform not only a study on TTG, from which the entire thyroid gland always begins, but also supplement it with the study of the thyroid hormone itself – free thyroxine (T4 in the medical abbreviation ) and the determination of the level of antibodies (most often for this purpose, a study called “antibodies to thyroid peroxidase”, or, if abbreviated, AT TPO) is performed.
– How often should I take tests for TSH?
– Unfortunately, thyroid diseases are very common, and in many cases for their treatment the doctor is forced to prescribe hormonal treatment or even even recommend to remove the thyroid gland. In such cases, periodic monitoring of the TSH level becomes simply a vital necessity. Since it is determined by its level whether the dosage of the drug prescribed by the doctor is sufficient, or whether it is necessary to increase it or, conversely, reduce it. But for prophylactic purposes, the level of TSH for children and adults should be carried out once a year.
– Whether it is possible to replace US the analysis of a blood on TTG?
It is very important to understand why it is not always possible to replace the study with hormones by ultrasound. These two methods of examination of the thyroid gland nevertheless characterize the state from different positions, supplementing each other, but not replacing them.
Ultrasound can reveal a structural pathology that changes the normal form of the organ – for example, changes in the shape and volume of the organ, its internal structure. But the question can not answer the question whether the organ, which is not changed in a normal manner, functions normally. But tests can. At the stage when there are no visual changes in the organ, laboratory changes can reveal changes in the hormonal balance or the structure of metabolism.
Often on ultrasound, the thyroid gland looks completely normal, and according to the results of laboratory tests, serious violations of the hormonal balance are revealed, which require the attention of the attending physician. This circumstance is important to remember when the study is for a small child – any mom wants to regret the baby and resort to performing ultrasound, rather than taking blood for analysis.