Have you recently been diagnosed with a thyroid issue or are you currently waiting on results from thyroid testing? Learning you have a thyroid ailment can obviously be alarming and cause for concern especially if you’re not familiar with the different types of things that can go wrong with your thyroid. Knowing what to ask your doctor is imperative so you can feel better about your diagnosis, and make sure you take the correct steps forward for your health.
According to the American Thyroid Association, more than 20 million Americans have a thyroid condition. It is also believed that about 13 million have issues but are undiagnosed. What this means is that you aren’t alone, and there is plenty of information for you to learn. Here’s a look at the questions you’ll want to ask your doctor.
The Top Questions
Because it can be hard to think rationally in the moment, especially after receiving a thyroid diagnosis, it’s a good idea to prepare in advance. Write down a list of the top questions you should be asking and then either make notes during your appointment, or record your doctor’s responses with an audio recorder (you can even use an app on your smartphone). Here are the questions you’ll want to ask.
What are the indicators?
Your doctor will most likely name a number of indicators as thyroid conditions can cause all kinds of different symptoms depending on the conditions you have. These can include such things as a racing heartbeat, poor concentration, a tremor or nervous feeling, aches and pains, feeling bloated on a regular basis, feeling cold, always feeling hot, high levels of cholesterol, or weight gain.
If you haven’t been feeling yourself, many of the symptoms you are feeling could be due to a thyroid condition. It’s important to discuss your specific conditions with your doctor.
Is there some sort of blood test/level I can take?
There isn’t just one single test for thyroid disease, instead there are usually a few tests involved. These can include imaging tests, blood tests, a clinical evaluation by your doctor, and possibly a biopsy if you have a growth.
How can I search for a lump on my own?
Sometimes you may have a growth or lump on your thyroid which can be felt in a physical exam. More often than not though, these lumps will need to be detected by radiology.
What type of thyroid conditions are there?
The most common conditions are hyperthyroidism, hypothyroidism, or thyroid cancer. Thankfully all conditions are very treatable.
If it turns out that I have thyroid cancer what is the path forward?
ThyroSeq V3 is a brand new and extremely innovative procedure that is able to test for thyroid nodules and cancer. It’s able to provide personalized information and rule-in or rule-out cancer without having to remove the growth. This procedure can be well worth looking into. Of the patients who use this test, 60% of them are able to avoid surgery all together. Also, as with any illness, get a second or third opinion until you feel comfortable with the course of treatment recommended.
The good news is that most thyroid cancers are curable. Early detection is key. Treatment will most definitely include having your thyroid gland surgically removed. Radioactive Iodine can also be given to help treat the cancer, but this isn’t needed in the majority of cases.
While it’s certainly scary to get any kind of diagnosis that states you have a problem with your thyroid, asking these questions can help to make you feel much better.