Thyroid Problems (cont.)
IN THIS ARTICLE
Follow the medication schedule prescribed by your health care professional. Ask your doctor or pharmacists what side effects the medications may cause. Also discuss with your doctor the kinds of symptoms that would prompt a call to the doctor or a visit to the emergency department.
Thyroid Problems Prevention
There is no known way to prevent hyperthyroidism or hypothyroidism. In the United States, iodine deficiency is rare, so there is no way to prevent goiter or thyroid nodules. It is not recommended that a person take extra iodine. Instead, there is plenty of iodine in an adult multiple vitamin supplement if it contains iodine. Read the ingredient label to make sure the vitamin contains iodine.
Radiation will induce both benign and malignant thyroid nodules. Individuals should avoid excess radiation or unnecessary CT scans of the head and neck and use a "thyroid shield" when dental X-rays are performed.
Thyroid Problems Prognosis
Most people with either hypothyroidism, hyperthyroidism, and benign and malignant thyroid nodules, with proper diagnosis and treatment, can control their condition with no long-term effects and a normal life expectancy. However, those with undiagnosed disease may progress to hypothyroid coma or thyrotoxic crisis (thyroid storm), with death rates approaching 50%.
Graves' eye disease has been treated with corticosteroid medication, radiotherapy, and surgery with varying success.
Patients with thyroid cancer have a very low mortality rate (<5%) but the overall risk depends on age, type of thyroid cancer, and the extent of spread of the tumor. Endocrinologists will manage the evaluation and treatment of thyroid cancer, rather than an oncologist.
John A. Seibel, MD; Board Certified Internal Medicine with a subspecialty in Endocrinology & Metabolism
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 9/19/2016
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