Thyroid Care at Hanson Diabetes Center
Dr. Lenita Hanson is qualified to provide complete thyroid and parathyroid care. Conditions treated at our center include:
Thyroid Function Problems
- Diagnosis and management of under-active and over-active thyroid
- Interpretation and management thyroid test results
- Management thyroid problems in pregnancy
- Interpretation, diagnosis and management of calcium and parathyroid disorders
What are some of the reasons to consider a thyroid evaluation?
- Family history: A familiar place to look for thyroid disorder signs and symptoms is your family tree. If you have a first-degree relative (a parent, sibling or child) with thyroid disease, you would benefit from thyroid evaluation. Women are much more likely to be thyroid patients than men; however, the gene pool runs through both.
- Prescription medications: If you are taking Lithium or Amiodarone, you should consider a thyroid evaluation.
- Radiation therapy to the head or neck: If you have had any of the following radiation therapies, you should consider a thyroid evaluation: radiation therapy for tonsils, radiation therapy for an enlarged thymus, or radiation therapy for acne.
- Chernobyl: If you lived near Chernobyl at the time of the 1986 nuclear accident, you should consider a thyroid evaluation.
Procedures done by Dr. Hanson in her office are:
- Thyroid nodule assessment and management
- Ultrasound guided fine needle aspiration of thyroid nodules
- Thyroid cancer pre- and postoperative medical management
Thyroid disease diagnosis and treatment
Screening for thyroid dysfunction is done by evaluating medical history, physical examination and laboratory testing.
- An ultrasound may be helpful in order to get a better look at the anatomy of the thyroid if the thyroid is felt on physical exam or a nodule is incidentally discovered.
- Radioactive iodine uptake helps to diagnose an overactive thyroid and to look for under or over-functioning areas of the thyroid. The test also helps screen for thyroid cancer along with a CT scan of the neck.
- A fine needle aspiration is used to gather thyroid cells for examination under the microscope.
- A thyrogen stimulation test and whole body scan is used as part of the evaluation and treatment of thyroid cancer.
Thyroid disease prevention
Thyroid disease cannot be prevented. Making healthy lifestyle choices, like not smoking, may decrease risk of cancer. That said, you can KNOW your risk factors. Some of these include:
- Gender: Women are more prone to thyroid disorders
- Age: thyroid disorders are more common after age 40
- A family history of auto-immune disease
- Pregnancy or menopause
- Certain medications and radiation exposure
Thyroid Neck Check: to check if you have an enlarged thyroid gland or a thyroid nodule that should be checked and evaluated, you can perform a simple test at home. Instructions on this Flyer
Thyroid Sonography is performed with Ultrasound scans. Ultrasound scans are high frequency sound waves too high for humans to hear. After the Titanic hit an iceberg and sank in 1912, scientists researched ways to find underwater icebergs. During this time, SONAR (sound navigation and ranging), which uses ultrasound, was developed.
Ultrasound waves sent to the part of the body being examined are reflected, refracted, or absorbed at the interfaces inside the body. Echoes that return in this way carry information about the size, distance, and uniformity of internal organs. This is displayed on a monitor to create an ultrasound image.
During thyroid sonography, a hand-held device called a “transducer” is placed on the area being examined and moved around. This transducer generates ultrasound and sends it through the body. It also detects the returning echoes and transmits them as electrical signals. Because one transducer continuously generates many ultrasound waves while detecting echoes, a real time image can be produced on a viewing monitor. These images can be recorded on videotape, or images can be frozen and recorded on to film.
Plenty of lubricating gel is applied on the skin during thyroid sonography so that the transducer can be moved around to produce real time images. Ultrasound is similar to audible sound in that it can pass through water and human organs easily, but it can’t pass through air or bone. So gel is applied between the transducer and the skin to bridge the gap, and effectively send the ultrasound waves.
Because US images are real time images, blood flow, blood vessels, and the movement of internal organs from breathing can be seen. Facts about Thyroid Sonography
How This Procedure Is Performed:
- You may be asked to remove your clothing and necklace, and put on a hospital gown.
- You will be lying down on an examination table with your neck hyper extended.
- A lubricating gel is applied to your neck.
- An apparatus known as a transducer is placed on the neck area and moved around to get real time images.
- After the examination, the gel is cleaned off and you can change back into your clothes.
- Examinations usually take 10-30 minutes.
Preparation For This Procedure:
- No special preparation is needed.
- You should wear comfortable, loose-fitting clothing.
- You may need to take off you clothes and jewelry, and put on a hospital gown.
- Tell the sonographer, sonologist, or physician sonologist conducting the examination about any pain, bleeding, or any other symptoms you might have. Also, telling the examiner about past ultrasounds and surgeries is helpful, and sometimes it is crucial information.
Results From This Procedure:
The image recorded on film or videotape is interpreted and analyzed by a radiologist (a physician specialist experienced in ultrasound and other radiology examinations). The official report is sent to the practitioner who requested the examination.Your personal physician’s office will inform you when the results are in, and what they mean. The doctor will use the results as a reference in evaluating and treating you.
Risks Of This Procedure:
There is no known risk to humans relating to diagnostic ultrasound.
Unlike X-ray examinations, ultrasound does not use radiation. Pregnant women and fetuses can be examined safely.
Limitations Of This Procedure:
Ultrasound does not penetrate air or bone. So if an abnormal part is behind the trachea (wind pipe), spine, clavicle, sternum, or ribs, it may not be discovered. When the thyroid gland becomes enlarged or thyroid cancer leads to a thoracic cavity, it is difficult to evaluate the whole mass because it is obstructed by bone. In this case, a CT scan or an MRI must also be taken. To evaluate bone lesions, other imaging modalities (X-ray, CT scan, MRI, radioisotope scan) should be done.
Ultrasonography is an operator-dependent, subjective test. So the more experience the operator has, the better the patient listens to the operator’s instructions. And the more the operator knows about the patient’s past medical history, current medical history, and the results of other radiological and laboratory tests, the better the examination will be.
Advantages Of This Procedure:
- Safe, painless, easy, fast, and widely available
- No radiation
- Real time imaging — ultrasonography can be used to guide invasive procedures such as biopsy, and to visualize moving organs such as blood vessels, the esophagus, and blood flow.
- In case of an emergency, bedside sonography can be done without particular patient preparations.
Conditions That Can Benefit From This Procedure:
- Pain in the anterior neck
- Swelling in the anterior neck
Common Conditions Revealed By This Procedure:
- Cysts of the thyroid
- Tumors of thyroid (such as adenoma) and parathyroid
- Cancer of the thyroid and parathyroid
- Congenital mass in the thyroid gland/anterior neck — thyroglossal duct cyst, branchial cleft cyst
- Hashimoto’s thyroiditis
- Goiter (enlarged thyroid)
- Graves’ disease
- Infections, abscess
- Enlarged lymph nodes around thyroid
- Multiple endocrine neoplasia
Symptoms of abnormal thyroid hormone:
- Hypothyroidism — fatigue, cold intolerance, weakness, depression, hair thinning, weight gain, muscle cramps
- Hyperthyroidism — nervousness, inability to sleep, tremors, sweating, heat intolerance, weight loss, palpitation
Symptoms of abnormal parathyroid hormone:
- Hypoparathyroidism — muscle spasm, irritability, lack of energy
- Hyperparathyroidism — kidney stone, weight loss, muscle weakness, numbness