Endocrine System Disease Diagnosis
1 AnswerPatients suspected of having primary hyperaldosteronism based on signs, symptoms, or resistant hypertension should be tested. The best screening tests to determine if a patient has primary hyperaldosteronism are simple blood tests that measure the levels of potassium, aldosterone, and renin in the blood. Patients with primary hyperaldosteronism will classically have high aldosterone levels and suppressed renin levels (very low). They will often also have low potassium levels. If the screening tests suggest primary hyperaldosteronism, then additional testing may be performed to confirm the diagnosis. The confirmatory tests involve trying to suppress (lower) the amount of aldosterone that is being made by giving the patient a medication through the veins (IV or intravenous fluid). If the aldosterone levels are still high and the renin levels are still low after these maneuvers, the diagnosis is confirmed.
1 AnswerIn most patients with primary hyperparathyroidism (80%), only one of the four parathyroid glands is diseased. Localizing tests are radiology tests designed to help identify which parathyroid gland(s) are hyperactive. One such localizing test is a sestamibi scan which involves injecting a small amount of special radioactive material into a vein and taking an X-ray image of the chest, neck, and head. The advantages of a sestamibi scans are their widespread availability and their ability to evaluate for diseased glands outside of the neck.
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1 AnswerIn the saline suppression test, the patient is given a salt solution through an IV, after which the levels of aldosterone and renin in the blood are measured. In patients with primary hyperaldosteronism, the level of aldosterone in the blood is still high and the level of renin is low even after this salt loading.
1 AnswerIn the 24-hour urinary excretion of aldosterone test, a patient eats a high-salt diet for 5 days before measuring the amount of aldosterone in the urine over a 24-hour period. In patients with primary hyperaldosteronism, aldosterone will not be suppressed by the salt load, and the level of aldosterone in the urine will be high.
1 AnswerA diagnosis of a glucagonoma is established with a significant elevation of glucagon levels in the blood. Other common laboratory abnormalities include elevated blood sugar and chromogranin A values, and anemia (decreased red blood cells). Symptoms of glucagonomas are often vague and may be evident for years before a diagnosis is secured. Consequently, the tumors may be relatively large (an average diameter of 4-6cm) when they are discovered.
1 AnswerAn inferior petrosal venous sinus sampling test involves threading a long, tiny plastic tube or catheter up through the veins of the body to measure the blood levels of ACTH directly from the veins that come from the pituitary. This is done through a small needle-stick in the groin area and is generally not painful.
1 AnswerJohns Hopkins Medicine answered
Hyperprolactinemia is a condition wherein your pituitary gland produces too much prolactin. Prolactin is the hormone which makes it possible for women to produce milk to breastfeed their babies.
Diagnosis is based on your symptoms and medical history. Your doctor will order a few diagnostic tests including magnetic resonance imaging, MRI, blood tests, and hormone tests.
2 AnswersVirtually all insulinomas are located within the pancreas. Because these tumors are usually small, sometimes only 1/3 of an inch in diameter, locating these tumors may be elusive even using the best modern-day techniques. Which and in what order localization methods are chosen often depends on the equipment and expertise available at any particular institution. A sequential manner is usually elected, proceeding from the least complicated and generally less expensive, to more complex methods that may require more cooperation by the patient and often are more expensive.
1 AnswerTo diagnose a thyroid nodule, a complete medical history and physical examination should be done by your physician. Pertinent signs and symptoms of the thyroid nodule should be discussed. The patient's neck should be inspected and then examined while sitting up at rest and again while swallowing. The firmness of the nodule and whether it moves easily should be noted.
To prepare for your appointment to diagnose an endocrine system disease you should do several things. You want to list your past history, family history, current history, and a list of questions that you want to ask the practitioner.
Past History should include the following:
- All previous and current illnesses and how you manage them
- Past operations or procedures
- Medications taken on a daily basis (include over the counter and supplements)
- Significant diagnostic and lab tests done in the past
- Any treatments or practices you are engaging
- Cultural Beliefs and Practices
- Social (alcohol, smoking, drug use)
- Past medical history of parents, grandparents, and siblings
- Manifestations and Symptoms
- Onset of symptoms
- Duration of symptoms
- Why you believe you have this disorder
- Previous doctor visits for this disorder
- Past or current treatment of this disorder (medications, therapy, etc)
- Results of any diagnostic tests (ideally bring reports with you to the visit)
Questions you may want to ask:
- What does it mean if I do have this disorder?
- What type of diagnostic tests will I have to undergo?
- How do I prepare for them?
- What type of medications might I need?
- What type of activity may I do or not do?
- What type of diet should I follow?
- What type of physical activity may I do?
- What are the potential complications?
- Is there a cure for this?
- What are the risks/benefits of treatment versus no treatment?
You may think of additional things to add but this should help. It always helps to bring a list and some blank paper and a pen so you can write down what the healthcare practitioner has told you about your disorder. It is also a good idea to bring a relative or friend for support.