1. Which doctor should I visit to get a thyroid test done?
Thyroid tests are done in a pathology laboratory. You could ask your family doctor to recommend a laboratory to you. If the test is abnormal, you may have to visit an endocrinologist for treatment.
2. What treatment is recommended for thyroid disease?
Hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism are treated with the help of drugs. In hypothyroidism, thyroid hormone is replaced through medications. In hyperthyroidism, medications are given to reduce the production of thyroid hormone.
Radioactive iodine is recommended in some cases. Radioactive iodine gets concentrated in the thyroid gland and destroys the gland. Surgery is recommended in some cases, especially if the gland is large or if cancer is suspected.3. Which individuals are at high risk for developing thyroid dysfunction?
Elderly individuals, women post delivery, those exposed to high levels of radiation and patients with Down syndrome are at a high risk for developing thyroid dysfunction. Patients with conditions like diabetes, vitiligo, pernicious anemia and premature graying of hair or having family members suffering from these conditions are also at a risk. Drugs like amiodarone used for abnormal heart rhythms and lithium used for manic depressive psychosis could also result in thyroid dysfunction.