■ Inspection of Graves’ disease
Inspection of Graves’ disease is mainly blood test. In the blood test, the primary purpose is to measure the amount of thyroid hormone in the blood and to check if it is excessive. If it is Graves’ disease, a special antibody (TSH receptor antibody) which stimulates the thyroid gland is detected in the blood. If this antibody is present, it is determined as Graves’ disease.
Many people have diagnosis by blood test, but some people do not have diagnosis by blood test alone. In that case, we will conduct an isotope (radioactive iodine) test. This is based on the property that iodine tends to gather in the thyroid gland, and if it is Graves’ disease, a large amount of radioactive iodine gathers in the thyroid gland to make a large amount of thyroid hormone. As an examination method, patients are asked to take iodine isotope (radioactive iodine), and if the isotope gathers throughout the thyroid gland, we diagnose Graves’ disease.
■ Precautions for Inspection
There is no particular need for caution in the case of blood tests, but when you receive an isotope examination, you should avoid foods with a lot of iodine from 7 days before the examination. Specifically, we will stop using seaweeds and medicines containing iodine ※, mouthwash etc. By limiting iodine in this way it is possible to obtain accurate test results and accurately diagnose.
* For medicines containing iodine, refer to the list on our website “Medicines containing iodine” page.
Since the fetus is susceptible to isotope, this test is not performed during pregnancy. Also, for patients with infants, when using 123I, breastfeeding should be discontinued for 3 days after examination.