An interview with MUDr. Richard Sotorník will explain the types of thyroid disease, the associated symptoms as well as how the diseases can be fought.
What are the most common diseases that fall under the medical field of endocrinology?
The most frequent problems are disorders of the function and structure of the thyroid gland. Further, a very common problem is osteoporosis, particularly concerning women following their menopause. All such problems are dealt with at Canadian Medical Care’s Osteology and Endocrinology practice. Much less often, we encounter parathyroid problems or adrenal/pituitary disorders. In the field of gynecological endocrinology, polycystic ovary syndrome is a common problem that we deal with. This particular disease is associated with an absence of menstruation, cessation of ovulation, infertility and hair growth in unusual places.
Let’s focus on thyroid disease. How do patients know they are suffering from the disease and how does it manifest itself? What are the most common causes of the disease?
Various manifestations of thyroid disorders can occur alongside other diseases with otherwise healthy individuals. However, it may not necessarily be thyroid disease. While determining whether it is a thyroid disease, it is essential to consider comprehensive clinical findings. Such decisions must be made at the hands of a specialist or initially signaled by a general practitioner.
Simply said, it can be said that hyperthyroidism is accompanied by excessive sweating, heat intolerance, heart palpitations, psychological changes including agitation, nervousness, insomnia, frequent bowel movement, muscle weakness as well as weight loss. Sometimes, people suffer from swelling eyelids, eye pain, protrusion of the eyes (bulging eyes) and double-vision.
Hypothyroidism is often detected in advanced stages of the disease. It is characterized by fatigue, sleepiness, feeling cold, constipation, dry skin and other related problems. Due to routine tests to measure the levels of TSH (a hormone produced by the pituitary gland), we commonly encounter the disease in its early stages where patients are not even aware of it.
The last symptom of thyroid disease is its enlargement. In such a situation, a goiter (enlarged thyroid gland of various consistency and size) can be detected. However, under certain anatomical circumstances, even a large goiter may not be apparent.
What is thyroid disease?
Basically, it is a thyroid function disorder and changes in the structure of the organ. These can include enlargement of the gland, lesions and in the vast majority of cases nodes or pseudocysts of benign nature.
What group of patients is under the greatest risk?
Thyroid disease clearly affects more women than men and there is a congenital predisposition link as well. External factors include the use of certain drugs or exposure to radiation to the neck. This group of patients is usually already undergoing thyroid disease treatment.
How is the thyroid examined?
The examination is carried out in four stages. The first stage involves speaking with the patient in order to identify potential signs and symptoms of thyroid disease. The next step is a full clinical examination of the patient, followed by a third phase involving laboratory verification of the thyroid function. Finally, ultrasonography assessment of the size and structure of the thyroid is carried out. In case a lesion or anomaly is detected, a biopsy is carried out using a thin needle.
Is it possible to prevent thyroid disease?
Thyroid disease due to iodine deficiency can be prevented effectively. Iodination of salt in the Czech Republic ensures that the general population has a sufficient intake of iodine. Complications associated with iodine deficiency during pregnancy can also be prevented easily by an increased intake of iodine through tablets. However, under certain circumstances, excessive intake of iodine may actually be responsible for causing thyroid disease. It is therefore not recommended to take iodine supplements for the general population in the Czech Republic.
How is hypothyroidism (decreased thyroid activity) treated?
Reduced thyroid activity is treated by replacement therapy – administering hormones of the thyroid through tablets. Increased thyroid activity is treated by calming medication that block the formation of hormones produced by the thyroid. Depending on the progression of the disease and other factors, doctors then choose between surgical removal of the thyroid gland or the application of radioactive iodine. The basis of cancer treatment rests in surgery. Following this, radioactive iodine is administered and long-term replacement-suppression treatment with thyroid hormones is employed. Benign goiter swelling is monitored via ultrasonography and often accompanied by administering thyroid hormones.
What treatment procedures are available at Canadian Medical Care?
We carry out comprehensive endocrinological examination of the patients. With regards to the thyroid gland, we carry out clinical, laboratory and ultrasonography evaluations. In cases where it is needed, we also carry out a biopsy where we take samples of tissue using a thin needle (to eliminate the risk of a malignant tumor). When surgery is required, we send our patients to proven partner clinics that carry out surgery at specialized clinics which deal with thyroid related surgery.
How are patients treated at Canadian Medical Care?
At our clinic, each patient is allocated sufficient time to carry out a complex examination and the required consultation of the results. We explain the diagnosis to the patient and following consultation, we explain further treatment. Thanks to a precise planning process of individual visits, you do not have to wait for hours at the waiting rooms and instead book a particular time. While undergoing treatment, including long-term treatment, we monitor and book patient visits, always informing them through the Client Zone via their smart phone.
CMC has two branches in Prague. Our central branch is situated in a small chateau in Prague 6 – Veleslavín and the second one can be found in Prague 4 – Chodov. The practice is open up to three times a week. Patients can book their appointments by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or can call our call center on +420 235 360 133.