Thermology is used effectively today in medical diagnosis and treatment of several conditions. Abnormal thermal behaviors which can be depicted during these scan often represent a physiological dysfunction as opposed to an anatomical dysfunction. They can offer physicians great insight into the abnormalities which may be occurring in the human body to aid in diagnosis and treatment.
What is Thermology
Thermology is a technique that is noninvasive which provides imaging using an infrared camera to generate images of the body radiating heat. These studies require no physical contact. It is mostly used as a tool to diagnose a multitude of medical conditions but studies also show it beneficial for treatment as well.
Uses of Thermology
A thermal study of the body can generate a great amount of very interesting information. Often when no other signs are visible to the naked eye early warning of infection or inflammation can be identified can because the thermal imaging camera can pick up variations in skin temperature. The skin temperature can also be affected by the nervous system, the vascular system and metabolism. With this technology it allows early detection to problems affecting these systems. The thermal study combined with physical or mental symptoms can further define diagnosis.
Thermal studies have proved useful in early detection of breast cancer. Changes in temperature around breast tissue can be observed with thermal scanning. Due to the changes in the circulatory system caused by the malignant growth the body temperature surrounding the breast changes and this is not detected by the human eye. In the same principle patients undergoing allergy testing such as with a food challenge may experience mild reactions on the skin which are only visible on a thermal image.
Thermal imaging is used during vascular and reconstructive surgeries, kidney transplants and open heart surgery because it provides immediate real time values on perfusion of organs.
The Future of Thermology
Thermology is readily available in most hospitals, doctor offices and clinics. Many outpatient facilities also have the necessary equipment.
Surprisingly, the development of clinical applications for thermal treatments on skin has been slow considering it is basically risk free, cost effective and could be applied to a very large multitude of clinical situations. Thermal imaging is expected to be used extensively for the diagnosis and management of arthritis, liver disease, diabetes mellitus, dermatology and neurological disorders in the future. All of these functions can be monitored to identify thermoregulatory dysfunction indicative of potential problems.