Understanding The Role Of Ultrasounds In Hashimoto's Disease Treatment

Posted on: 16 August 2016

If you were recently diagnosed with hypothyroidism due to a disease called Hashimoto's, your doctor may suggest that you undergo a thyroid ultrasound on a regular basis. This ultrasound is particularly important if you've been experiencing sore throats, painful swallowing or the feeling of a lump in your throat. These symptoms can indicate that you may have nodules on your thyroid, which is common with Hashimoto's disease. Here are some things you should know about the ultrasound procedure before you go.

What Is Going To Happen? 

An ultrasound of your thyroid is a non-invasive procedure. There are no incisions required. The procedure relies on the use of sound waves through a small wand. The sonographer will apply a conductive gel to your skin at the base of your throat and will then place the wand in the gel to get the images. The pictures will provide your doctor with a real-time perspective on how your thyroid is responding to the disease.

Why Do You Need This?

Your doctor may suggest the ultrasound for many reasons. If he or she feels as though your thyroid is enlarged, the ultrasound is an easy way to determine if there are any concerns about cancerous tumors. It also makes it easier for your doctor to monitor any existing nodules to identify cancerous progressions before they become severe. It is important to identify these changes early so that you can diagnose and treat any thyroid cancer as quickly as possible.

In addition, you may need a thyroid ultrasound if your doctor has decided to conduct a biopsy. This usually follows changes in the growth of a nodule on your thyroid, and your doctor uses this test to rule out the development of cancer. The ultrasound provides visual tracking so that the doctor can ensure that he or she is drawing the tissue sample from the proper place.

What May Cause The Recommendation Of Biopsy?

If you have a thyroid ultrasound and your doctor suggests that you undergo a biopsy, it's usually because he or she has seen changes in the nodules over the course of several ultrasounds. If they are getting progressively larger, it may be the indication of a tumor. Since ultrasounds cannot distinguish between cancerous tissue and benign growths, the biopsy may be the only option.

Ultrasounds are a key component in monitoring the progression of Hashimoto's disease and its effect on your thyroid. Talk with your doctor today about the benefits of this procedure for you.