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FAQ'S on Thyroid

Questions Related To Thyroid

How does one know that he could have a thyroid illness?

Most of the times, people present with swelling in the neck which could be diffuse, multinodular or solitary nodule. Such people have to see a doctor immediately and get investigated. For that matter any swelling anywhere in the body has to be investigated.

When is a person diagnosed to have a thyroid problem?

Ans: Depending on the thyroid function, patients commonly present with either hypothyroidism or hyperthyroidism.
Patient suffering from hypothyroidism generally with following complaints: Weight gain, Constipation, excessive sleepiness, body pain.
Patient suffering from hyperthyroidism present with the following complaints: Weight loss, palpitation, tremors, lose stools, exophthalmos(occasionally).

What is the reason for thyroid problems?

Ans: Thyroid dysfunction could run in families or could be related to stress. It is difficult to pinpoint a reason.

Is thyroid curable?

Ans: Patients suffering from hypothyroidism have to be on thyroid supplements. It is a single tablet, the dose of which is to be adjusted according to one's body profile.
Patients with hyperthyroidism can be managed either with medicines or radioactive iodine therapy(RAI therapy).

Is RAI therapy risky?

Ans: Radioactive iodine therapy is had on an OPD basis in a Nuclear Medicine Department. It is not painful. In majority of cases, there is no risk factor involved if patients are selected properly.

Is RAI therapy contraindicated in young girls of marriageable age?

Ans: No, this is a myth. Hyperthyroidism is cause for infertility in many cases.
Post RAI therapy, girls can conceive and give birth to normal babies, if they take the guidance of a specialist.

What is thyroid Cancer?

Ans: Cancer can affect any organ in the body.
Differentiated thyroid cancer is considered the list dangerous of all cancers. This is to because, these patients can be cured completely.

What is the treatment for thyroid cancer? Does it cause hair fall like in other treatments?

Ans: Surgery followed by radioiodine ablation therapy.
Radioiodine therapy has minimal side-effects and does not cause hair fall or other side effects of chemotherapy. Radioiodine therapies for thyriod cancer are done only in those Nuclear Medicine Departments which have an approved facility by AERB.

Dr. Shefali Gokhale is senior Consultant in Nuclear Medicine at Inlaks & Budhrani Hospital, Pune.