Champion Home Health Care in Stuart, FL
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Champion HHC Health Information Library

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Thyroid Tests

Your thyroid is a butterfly-shaped gland in your neck, just above your collarbone. It is one of your endocrine glands, which make hormones. Thyroid hormones control the rate of many activities in your body. They include how fast you burn calories and how fast your heart beats. Thyroid tests check how well your thyroid is working. They are also used to diagnose and help find the cause of thyroid diseases such as hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism. Thyroid tests include blood tests and imaging tests.

Blood tests for your thyroid include:

  • TSH - measures thyroid-stimulating hormone. It is the most accurate measure of thyroid activity.
  • T3 and T4 - measure different thyroid hormones.
  • TSI - measures thyroid-stimulating immunoglobulin.
  • Antithyroid antibody test - measures antibodies (markers in the blood).

Imaging tests include CT scans, ultrasound, and nuclear medicine tests. One type of nuclear medicine test is the thyroid scan. It uses small amounts of radioactive material to create a picture of the thyroid, showing its size, shape, and position. It can help find the cause of hyperthyroidism and check for thyroid nodules (lumps in the thyroid). Another nuclear test is the radioactive iodine uptake test, or thyroid uptake test. It checks how well your thyroid is working and can help find the cause of hyperthyroidism.

NIH: National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases

Tooth Disorders

What are teeth?

Your teeth are made of a hard, bonelike material. There are four parts:

  • Enamel, your tooth's hard surface
  • Dentin, the hard yellow part under the enamel
  • Cementum, the hard tissue that covers the root and keeps your teeth in place
  • Pulp, the soft connective tissue in the center of your tooth. It contains nerves and blood vessels.

You need your teeth for many activities that you may take for granted. These include eating, speaking and even smiling.

What are tooth disorders?

There are many different problems that can affect your teeth, including:

  • Tooth decay - damage to a tooth's surface, which can lead to cavities
  • Abscess - a pocket of pus, caused by a tooth infection
  • Impacted tooth - a tooth did not erupt (break through the gum) when it should have. It is usually wisdom teeth that are impacted, but it can sometimes happen to other teeth.
  • Misaligned teeth (malocclusion)
  • Tooth injuries such as broken or chipped teeth
What causes tooth disorders?

The causes of tooth disorders varies, depending on the problem. Sometimes the cause is not taking good care of your teeth. In other cases, you may have been born with the problem or the cause is an accident.

What are the symptoms of tooth disorders?

The symptoms can vary, depending on the problem. Some of the more common symptoms include:

  • Abnormal color or shape of the tooth
  • Tooth pain
  • Worn-down teeth
How are tooth disorders diagnosed?

Your dentist will ask about your symptoms, look at your teeth, and probe them with dental instruments. In some cases, you may need dental x-rays.

What are the treatments for tooth disorders?

The treatment will depend on the problem. Some common treatments are:

  • Fillings for cavities
  • Root canals for cavities or infections that affect the pulp (inside of the tooth)
  • Extractions (pulling teeth) for teeth that are impacted and causing problems or are too damaged to be fixed. You may also have a tooth or teeth pulled because of overcrowding in your mouth.
Can tooth disorders be prevented?

The main thing that you can do to prevent tooth disorders is to take good care of your teeth:

  • Brush your teeth twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste
  • Clean between your teeth every day with floss or another type of between-the-teeth cleaner
  • Limit sugary snacks and drinks
  • Don't smoke or chew tobacco
  • See your dentist or oral health professional regularly

Triglycerides

What are triglycerides?

Triglycerides are a type of fat. They are the most common type of fat in your body. They come from foods, especially butter, oils, and other fats you eat. Triglycerides also come from extra calories. These are the calories that you eat, but your body does not need right away. Your body changes these extra calories into triglycerides and stores them in fat cells. When your body needs energy, it releases the triglycerides. Your VLDL cholesterol particles carry the triglycerides to your tissues.

Having a high level of triglycerides can raise your risk of heart diseases, such as coronary artery disease.

What causes high triglycerides?

Factors that can raise your triglyceride level include:

  • Regularly eating more calories than you burn off, especially if you eat a lot of sugar
  • Being overweight or having obesity
  • Cigarette smoking
  • Excessive alcohol use
  • Certain medicines
  • Some genetic disorders
  • Thyroid diseases
  • Poorly controlled type 2 diabetes
  • Liver or kidney diseases
How are high triglycerides diagnosed?

There is a blood test that measures your triglycerides, along with your cholesterol. Triglyceride levels are measured in milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL). The guidelines for triglyceride levels are

CategoryTriglcyeride LevelNormalLess than 150mg/dLBorderline high150 to 199 mg/dLHigh200 to 499 mg/dLVery high500 mg/dL and above

Levels above 150mg/dl may raise your risk for heart disease. A triglyceride level of 150 mg/dL or higher is also a risk factor for metabolic syndrome.

What are the treatments for high triglycerides?

You may be able to lower your triglyceride levels with lifestyle changes:

  • Controlling your weight
  • Regular physical activity
  • Not smoking
  • Limiting sugar and refined foods
  • Limiting alcohol
  • Switching from saturated fats to healthier fats

Some people will also need to take cholesterol medicines to lower their triglycerides.

Tuberculosis

Tuberculosis (TB) is a disease caused by bacteria called Mycobacterium tuberculosis. The bacteria usually attack the lungs, but they can also damage other parts of the body.

TB spreads through the air when a person with TB of the lungs or throat coughs, sneezes, or talks. If you have been exposed, you should go to your doctor for tests. You are more likely to get TB if you have a weak immune system.

Symptoms of TB in the lungs may include:

  • A bad cough that lasts 3 weeks or longer
  • Weight loss
  • Loss of appetite
  • Coughing up blood or mucus
  • Weakness or fatigue
  • Fever
  • Night sweats

Skin tests, blood tests, x-rays, and other tests can tell if you have TB. If not treated properly, TB can be deadly. You can usually cure active TB by taking several medicines for a long period of time.

Turner Syndrome

Turner syndrome is a genetic disorder that affects a girl's development. The cause is a missing or incomplete X chromosome. Girls who have it are short, and their ovaries don't work properly.

Other physical features typical of Turner syndrome are:

  • Short, "webbed" neck with folds of skin from tops of shoulders to sides of neck
  • Low hairline in the back
  • Low-set ears
  • Swollen hands and feet

Most women with Turner syndrome are infertile. They are at risk for health difficulties such as high blood pressure, kidney problems, diabetes, cataracts, osteoporosis, and thyroid problems.

Doctors diagnose Turner syndrome based on symptoms and a genetic test. Sometimes it is found in prenatal testing. There is no cure for Turner syndrome, but there are some treatments for the symptoms. Growth hormone often helps girls reach heights that are close to average. Hormone replacement can help start sexual development. Assisted reproduction techniques can help some women with Turner syndrome get pregnant.

NIH: National Institute of Child Health and Human Development