What to do to help improve the diagnosis of thyroid disease

VSit is generally said that people understand each other by speaking to each other, but for this it is also necessary that everyone speaks the same language. And that they know what they are talking about. In order for patients with thyroid disorders, doctors and other healthcare professionals to share this understanding, International Thyroid Week, an initiative supported by the Association of Thyroid Diseases (ADTI), by the Portuguese Society of Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism (SPEDM) and for Merck, launches the challenge: to communicate about this gland and the problems associated with it, with the aim of reinforcing the importance of the doctor-patient relationship.

“Having a good doctor-patient relationship is essential, but it’s also essential that people know what thyroid is, ask if they’ve ever heard of thyroid, this because thyroid diseases are, on the one hand, very widespread and, on the other hand, another, many of them are easy to treat”, explains João Jácome de Castro, president of the SPEDM, in a press release.

However, adds the specialist, “we can only treat what we can diagnose, we can only diagnose what we think about; and we only think of what we know”. “And this is as true for endocrinologists, who are dedicated to the subject of the thyroid, as it is for general and family doctors and for patients.”

“In fact, the general public should be aware that thyroid and thyroid diseases do exist, that they usually have some type of complaints, that when diagnosed early they are easily treatable in most case, that the therapy, namely hypothyroidism, is very close to perfection. It all starts with knowing what the thyroid is…that the thyroid exists and it’s important. That’s the first step,” he points out.

The second step, he insists, is to be alert to complaints that may be associated with thyroid disease, because “thyroid hormones can interfere with a wide range of bodily functions and, therefore, can manifest as changes in many devices and systems: cardiovascular system (changes in heart rate, blood pressure), changes in weight, mood, by hard to explain fatigue, skin and hair problems (dry skin, hair loss) , complaints in the field of gynecology, gastroenterology, changes in body temperature, appetite, weight changes, among others”.

Knowing about these manifestations is important because “it can prevent, for example, not only for the general public, but also for colleagues in general and family medicine, that the person has to go to the cardiologist because his heart is beating slowly, to the gastro -enterologist because you suffer from constipation, at the dermatologist because you have dry skin, at the gynecologist because you have irregular periods, etc. “. “Maybe sometimes it’s worth thinking that it could be hypothyroidism, which is easy to diagnose,” he says.

The specialist also defends the existence of a more important screening for hypothyroidism. “Physicians should think more about thyroid disease and link some patient complaints to thyroid dysfunction.” “Although there is still some controversy on the subject, I believe that regular TSH measurement over the age of 50 is warranted by the high prevalence of thyroid dysfunction (particularly subclinical hypothyroidism) in this age group. An easy and cheap analysis) before conception.”

The communication between the doctor and the patient “is also essential so that after the diagnosis, the treatment is correctly administered”. As such, it is the motto of the annual campaign, an initiative which, for the 14th year, asks the question, in the form of a challenge: “Do you speak the thyroid language?”.

Also read: These foods are the worst enemies of the thyroid

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