January is National Thyroid Awareness Month. Thyroid disease affects as many as 30 million Americans, according to the American College of Endocrinology.

What is the thyroid?
The thyroid is a butterfly-shaped gland located in front of the neck, below the Adam’s apple. The thyroid gland produces hormones that control how the body functions – including heart rate, cholesterol level, body weight, energy level, muscle strength, skin condition and vision.

Thyroid disorders/diseases
If your thyroid is not functioning properly, it can produce too much hormone (hyperthyroidism or “overactive” thyroid) or too little hormone (hypothyroidism or “underactive” thyroid). Thyroid nodules are another type of thyroid disorder. The thyroid gland’s tissues can overgrow, forming a lump (nodule). Although most nodules are harmless, a small portion of thyroid nodules are cancerous, according to the American Cancer Association.

Click here for a short tutorial video on the proper way to do a “neck check”

Neck Check
Drinking a few sips of water in front of a mirror is a simple way you can check yourself for thyroid disease. A “neck check” is simple self-exam explained by The American College of Endocrinology. Get the step-by-step guide to this early detection method.

Thyroid imaging
If you have signs and symptoms of a thyroid disease, your healthcare provider will most likely have your thyroid levels checked with a blood test. If further testing is needed, Diagnostic Imaging Services has multiple options available such as:

An ultrasound can determine if a lump in the neck is from the thyroid or another structure, if the nodule looks cancerous, or if a nodule has grown in size.

Thyroid Uptake and Scan
A thyroid uptake and scan is a nuclear medicine exam used to evaluate the function of the thyroid and can detect abnormalities.

Thyroid Whole Body Scan
If you had thyroid cancer and had your thyroid removed, this type of nuclear medicine scan looks to see if there is any remaining thyroid tissue in the body.

Nuclear medicine studies are performed at select Capitol Imaging Services locations.

Capitol Imaging Services is the largest independent radiology practice of its type serving the southeastern United States. Not only do we perform the scan, we provide the radiology expertise to review test images and issue important findings to physicians and other health care providers.

Capitol Imaging Services is doctor trusted and patient preferred.