By Yekaterina Medvedskaya
Last year, over 60,000 thyroid ultrasound investigations were conducted, at various clinics around the Belarusian capital. Almost 14,500 of these diagnostic examinations were performed by endocrinologists at Minsk’s City Endocrinological Dispensary, with most being done for preventive purposes. According to the Dispensary’s Chief Doctor, Irina Bilodid, the attitude of patients has greatly improved in recent years, with their positivity reaping better results. Previously, many ignored their health unless they fell seriously ill; now, most go to the doctor with the idea of taking early precautions. “In talking to patients and in giving quotes to the press, doctors from our dispensary always stress that your health is in your own hands,” notes Ms. Bilodid. “As soon as even the slightest symptoms of disease appear, you should immediately go to your doctor, avoiding self-treatment.”
Demand for thyroid ultrasound scans has risen. In 2010, almost 80,000 outpatients were registered as having endocrine problems, with over 25,000 having thyroid irregularities. Minsk’s City Endocrinological Dispensary also accepts patients from outside the capital, with ultrasound examinations and endocrinologists’ consultations proving popular among those from neighbouring states. People from Lithuania, Ukraine, Turkmenistan and Tajikistan arrive in the Belarusian capital, unsurprisingly; our clinic boasts the most contemporary equipment, alongside professional doctors.
“German colleagues often attend our clinic to conduct seminars, sharing their latest developments. In turn, our specialists have undertaken training in Germany many times,” continues Ms. Bilodid. “From time to time, our endocrinologists also attend the Belarusian Academy of Medical Post-Graduate Education to update their knowledge.”
Undoubtedly, those diagnosed with illness experience a change in lifestyle; they must adapt to a new situation. Ms. Bilodid is confident that those suffering from thyroid pathologies can lead full lives, enjoying exercise and a balanced diet. “As a rule, soil where crops are grown contains very little iodine,” asserts Ms. Bilodid. “Sometimes, it can lack zinc or selenium, which can cause changes in the thyroid, but this deficiency can be compensated for by taking vitamins and mineral supplements.”
Back in 2001, the Council of Ministers of Belarus adopted a regulation to sell only iodised salt, which is a wonderful way of enriching food with iodine.