One of the best tools we have for spotting inflammation is thermography – and detecting it early could save your life! Inflammation is a precursor to many diseases – arthritis, heart disease, diabetes and cancer, just to name a few.
What Is Thermography?
Thermography is a “temperature map” of your body. It’s made by taking a series of scans with a state-of-the-art digital infrared camera. Just as radiologists read x-rays for abnormalities, thermographic images are read by licensed medical specialists.
Thermography is painless and radiation-free. There’s no contact with your body like the squeezing for mammograms. There are no confining spaces like those used for MRIs and CTs.
In addition to detecting inflammation, thermography is extremely useful for identifying neurological, vascular and circulatory dysfunction, and revealing injury to muscles and bones.
What the Images Show
Normal images show symmetrical patterns: temperatures will be the same on both sides of the body. Differences in temperature tell us that something is wrong.
Because the images are digital, there’s no guesswork involved. Cursoring over any part of the image gives the doctor its exact temperature. Archiving allows a doctor to follow conditions over time, with older images compared to new, pixel to pixel.
Important Information about Your Thermography Scans
We strive to provide the highest quality in thermography. We use a Meditherm camera and the newest WinTes3 software. The technology is ideal for looking for inflammation or areas of decreased circulation.
While some doctors might try to save money by reading the images themselves, we send your images to Electronic Medical Interpretation (EMI) for interpretation – just like a doctor taking an x-ray may send it to a radiologist for interpretation. EMI saves your images and has specialized software so newer images can be compared with the old. (It should be noted that it’s not illegal for an MD to read thermographic images they’ve taken themselves, but they lack the advanced software of EMI. And if a patient goes somewhere else for new images, the old images are not able to be viewed, as they were never sent to EMI.)
Once we send your images to EMI, WMDs who are trained to read thermographic images create a report that goes directly to you. All EMI doctors are licensed radiologists, oncologists, OB/GYNs, or family practice physicians.
No one in this office sees or reads these reports – although if you have a full body series done, we will ask for a copy so we can help you decipher the findings. There is just so much information. It can really be overwhelming!
You should share your reports with your MD, DO, or DC so they can interpret the findings and order additional testing if needed (e.g., blood work, doppler, ultrasound, EKG, etc.).
Although these reports are not designed for self-care, we urge you to read your report so you can have the fullest possible understanding of your current health.
Be aware that thermography is only a screening device. It is not used for diagnosis.
A Critical Tool for Breast Cancer Prevention
The ability to compare images in such detail is crucial to breast cancer prevention. In the early stages of inflammatory breast cancer, thermography can show the irregular heat patterns associated with this condition. It can also give a good view of any anatomical changes within dense breast tissue.
Because there is no radiation, monitoring for optimal prevention can safely start at any age. Because there is no contact with the body, there’s no risk of breast implant rupture. The screening is virtually risk-free.
Full Body Imaging
A thermal scan of your entire body can show other health problems in their very early stages – before many conventional screening methods are able to. Inflammation detected in the carotid arteries can guide a physician to request more specific tests or treatments, helping you prevent a stroke or heart attack. Thermal imaging of the joints may show early signs of arthritis that can be addressed sooner rather than later, preventing further degeneration.
Are you complaining of pain but your doctor can’t see it? Thermography can validate your complaints, as well as document the efficacy of therapies such as chiropractic, massage, healing touch, acupuncture and more.
Having a baseline full body scan can be useful even for the healthiest person – a standard for recognizing any injuries, pathologies or other changes that emerge over time.