Hypothyroidism: When To See An Endocrinologist
Your primary care doctor should be able to help you monitor your condition most of the time. However, there may be situations when you need the care of a thyroid specialist.
Most people with hypothyroidism take synthetic thyroid hormone replacement medication to make up for what the body isnt producing. Usually a primary care doctor can manage this condition, which is common and affects nearly five percent of Americans age 12 and older, according to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases.
But there are situations in which you may need to have an endocrinologist, a doctor who specializes in the endocrine system, oversee your care. An endocrinologist is particularly knowledgeable about the function of the thyroid gland and the bodys other hormone-secreting glands.
Find The Right Doctor
Identifying the signs that you need to see an endocrinologist is one thing, but finding a suitable doctor to treat your condition is another. Make sure you find a doctor who is conveniently locatedsomeone you can reach quickly in an emergency and with whom you feel comfortable. Dr. Philip Rabito is considered among the best endocrinologists in New York City. He has extensive training and experience in diagnosing and treating thyroid disorders.
Why Is It Essential To Visit An Endocrinologist For My Thyroid Problems
An endocrinologist is basically referred to a doctor who specializes in treating conditions of the endocrine system. Endocrinology is the study of the endocrine system which generally refers to a collection of glands that produce hormones which are used in the regulation of various day to day activities such as metabolism of the body, growth, reproduction and other sexual functions. Major endocrine glands include the pituitary glands, hypothalamus, thyroid gland, pancreas and reproductive glands like the testes in males and ovaries in females. There are several other glands like the parathyroid glands or the adrenal glands which are also part of the endocrine system.
Endocrinologists are normally concerned with treating people suffering from hormonal imbalances, generally of the endocrine glands. The primary objective of the treatment is to restore the proper functioning of the endocrine glands, thus restoring hormonal balances in the body.
Thyroid gland is an endocrine gland, located in the throat cavity which is concerned with secreting hormones that regulate your blood pressure, temperature of the body, body metabolism as well as heart rate.
When should you go to an endocrinologist?
Any sort of irregularities in functioning of the thyroid gland can give rise to a number of thyroid gland problems, since the hormones produced from the thyroid gland control several key functions in your body.
Read Also: Over The Counter Thyroid Booster
The First Step Find The Right Type Of Doctor
If you have any thyroid condition then you know just how frustrating it can be trying to get your doctor to see eye to eye with you.
While doctors have undergone training to help people with various types of problems, it isnt always the case that whatever doctor you are seeing is the best option for you.
And, as a thyroid patient, you may not be aware that there are MANY options available to you.
You dont have to stick with your primary care doctor or your endocrinologist, especially if they dont seem to be helping you.
There are doctors that specialize in other areas of medicine that are often better at treating hormone imbalances such as thyroid problems.
So if your doctor really isnt willing to work with you or isnt interested in hearing about your problems, you do NOT need to settle.
But before you run out and swap doctors, lets talk a look at the various options available.
In this article you will learn:
- How conventional doctors differ from integrative doctors
- How various types of doctors can help treat and manage thyroid problems
- Why some doctors are better at managing thyroid problems compared to others
- When you should look outside of the traditional insurance based model
- How naturopaths, chiropractors, and health coaches can help you feel better
- And much more
Foods to Avoid if you Have Thyroid Problems:
Ive found that these 10 foods cause the most problems for thyroid patients. Learn which foods you should avoid if you have thyroid disease of any type.
More About Diagnosing Thyroid Diseases
Val Jones, MD, is the CEO of GetBetterHealth.com , a compilation of the best of the medical blogs. A transcript and the full audio podcast of this conversation can be found there.
Recommended Reading: Stop The Thyroid Madness Com
Treatments For Thyroid Disorders
Although the effects of a thyroid condition can be unpleasant, most thyroid problems can be managed well if properly diagnosed and treated. Your doctor may prescribe medication or recommend surgery depending on your condition.
Mercy Health has a team of endocrinologists who specialize in the diagnosis and treatment of thyroid conditions, such as hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism. Our skilled doctors and clinicians will help you manage your condition in a way that allows for an active, healthy life, keeping you well in mind, body and spirit. Find a Mercy Health endocrinologist and make an appointment today if you have concerns about your thyroid health.
Expert Explains Thyroid Diagnosis Treatment And Common Red Flags
The estimate that 25 million people have thyroid problems would double if the normal range was adjusted, as some medical societies suggest. In this Web-only feature, Victor Bernet, FACP, the author of MKSAP 15’s chapter on disorders of the thyroid gland, offers his insights into management.
Victor Bernet, FACP, is Director of the National Capitol Consortium Endocrinology Fellowship at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, D.C., and the author of MKSAP 15’s chapter on disorders of the thyroid gland. He recently offered his insights on why thyroid disorders go undiagnosed, what alternative treatments are available, and how primary care physicians and specialists can work together to manage thyroid disease.
Q: It is estimated that more than 25 million Americans have thyroid disease, and as many as half the people with thyroid problems don’t even know it. In your view, what are the main reasons why so many thyroid disorders go undiagnosed?
A: I think the number is large because it includes mild cases of hypo- and hyperthyroidism as well as nodules that don’t necessarily have symptoms, and when they do, they come on so slowly that people misattribute them to other things. Take for example an elderly person with hypothyroidism. They may attribute their fatigue to normal aging.
Q: Should thyroid self-exams be recommended to the general population? What are the chances that a self-exam will turn up something clinically relevant?
Read Also: Thyroid Cancer In The Neck
What Is An Endocrinologist
An endocrinologist is a medical specialist who treats people with a range of conditions that are caused by problems with hormones, such as diabetes, menopause and thyroid problems.
Hormones are part of theendocrine system, series of glands that produce and secrete hormones that control many different bodily functions. The endocrine system includes:
- the pituitary gland
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Our surgeons and endocrinologists work closely with oncologists, radiologists and other specialists to create personalized treatment plans for all forms of thyroid cancer, at any stage. We are proud to be part of Columbias Herbert Irving Comprehensive Cancer Center, one of only a few programs in the country to earn the National Cancer Institutes official comprehensive cancer center designation.
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How Can I Book An Appointment Online With A Doctor For Endocrinology Consultation
Zocdoc is a free online service that helps patients find doctors for Endocrinology Consultation and book appointments instantly. You can search for doctors for Endocrinology Consultation or any other visit reason. Then, enter your desired appointment location and choose your insurance plan. Based on that information, youll see a list of providers who meet your search criteria, along with their available appointment slots.
Who Treats Thyroid Disease
Several types of healthcare providers can play a role in managing thyroid disease and its symptoms. Some people only see one healthcare provider for thyroid-related issues, while others have a medical team they work with to manage their disease. The types of healthcare providers you may want to consider include:
- Primary care doctors
- Holistic thyroid practitioners, including naturopaths and chiropractors
When To See An Endocrinologist For Thyroid Disorders
Through the hormone it produces, the thyroid influences almost all of the important processes in your body, including breathing, heart rate, digestion, and temperature. These systems fluctuate depending on the amount of thyroid hormone being secreted. Problems occur if the thyroid makes too much or too little hormone. When functioning improperly, the thyroid can cause a range of problems, including drastic changes to your weight, energy, digestion, or mood.
Mrs. Temple Simpson, MPAS, PA-C, an endocrinology PA at Magnolia Endocrinology, recommends seeing an endocrinology provider when youre first diagnosed with a thyroid disorder to review and understand your condition, your test results, and your treatment plan. Patients benefit from an endocrinology visit to ensure their diagnosis is accurate and the treatment plan will achieve maximum resolution of symptoms, says Temple Simpson. We opened Magnolia Endocrinology to provide rapid access to an endocrinology provider as well as the benefits provided by our advanced treatment technologies. We believe that listening to the patient is an important component of our highly experienced teams successful outcomes.
We recommend seeing an endocrinologist for these additional concerns if:
Some common symptoms that can perpetuate if you have untreated or improperly treated hypothyroidism or hyperthyroidism include:
Medical School: Medical University of SC, Charleston SC
Reasons To See An Endocrinologist
Typically, youâll see an endocrinologist in an outpatient setting after being referred by your primary care doctor. However, an endocrinologist could be called in to consult during an inpatient visit if there are concerns about an underlying hormone-related disorder.
Patients see endocrinologists for reasons ranging from diabetes management to problems with their thyroid, certain types of cancer, adrenal disorders, and more. Your doctor will likely refer you when there are concerns about:
Difficulty Managing Diabetes with Standard Treatments
Individuals with diabetes typically see a primary care doctor regularly and may take medication to help keep their blood sugar levels stable. However, if standard treatment doesnât get your blood sugar levels under control, your primary care doctor may refer you to an endocrinologist. An endocrinologist will look for additional strategies to help control your diabetes.
Thyroid disorders can involve too much or too little of different types of hormones produced in the thyroid. You may be referred to an endocrinologist when a thyroid disorder is first diagnosed to review your condition and create a treatment plan. If there are no other complicating factors, youâll complete follow-up care with your primary care doctor.
Endocrine Gland Cancer
How To Find A Thyroid Doctor
There are many ways to find healthcare providers to consider, but personal recommendations are a great place to start. If you have friends or family members with thyroid problems, you can ask about their experiences. Online thyroid communities may also yield suggestions of healthcare providers who treat thyroid disease in your area. People in these forums are often passionate about thyroid conditions and familiar with the healthcare providers who are, too.
To broaden your search even further, consider referencing databases provided by professional organizations, which allow you to search by specialty and location:
If you have thyroid cancer, especially an uncommon type such as anaplastic thyroid cancer, you may need to travel to a larger cancer center to find a specialist who is considered a thyroid cancer expert.
Uses & Safety Information
As with any prescription medication, talk to your doctor about any existing medical conditions, and let your doctor know immediately if you experience any side effects.
Tell your doctor if:
- You have any food or medicine allergies.
- Youre pregnant, trying to conceive, or breastfeeding.
- You are taking any other prescription or over-the-counter medications, or if you start or stop any medications while on WP Thyroid® and Nature-Throid®.
- You suffer from any medical conditions other than hypothyroidism, particularly heart disease, clotting disorders, or adrenal or pituitary gland problems.
- You have diabetes. Monitor your blood and/or urinary glucose levels as directed by your doctor and immediately report any changes.
- Youre taking anticoagulants .
- Let your dentist know you are taking WP Thyroid® and Nature-Throid® before any surgery.
- You experience any of the following symptoms: rapid or irregular heartbeat, chest pain, shortness of breath, leg cramps, headache, nervousness, irritability, sleeplessness, tremors, change in appetite, weight gain or loss, vomiting, diarrhea, excessive sweating, heat intolerance, fever, changes in menstrual periods, hives, skin rash or any other unusual medical event.
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WP Thyroidand Nature-ThroidTablets ARE PRESCRIPTION MEDICATIONS. You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit www.fda.gov/medwatch or call .
The Difference Between An Endocrinologist Thyroidologist And Osteopathic Doctor
An endocrinologist is probably going to be your first choice in top thyroid doctors when you are looking for a purely medical approach to treatment. Endocrinologists treat diseases associated with the hormone systems in the body. The thyroid is a major player in the body’s hormone production.
A thyroidologist is more specific. They specialize only in thyroid function and disease and are often surgeons who can perform the delicate thyroid surgery needed to remove tumors or nodules on the thyroid gland that can cause hypothyroidism.
A doctor of osteopathy is a more all-around physician who is trained to consider the patient’s whole health when making a diagnosis. In many ways, those who find traditional thyroid testing incomplete or inaccurate to diagnose their thyroid problems will have a more positive outcome from a doctor who isn’t focused on a single type of test to diagnose a thyroid condition.
|Facts About Thyroid Disease|
Once you have narrowed down your choices near you, it is important to make the best choice for you. Even the best thyroid doctors may not be a perfect fit for you or your personality.
Make an initial consultation appointment.
During this meeting, you should seek information from the doctor regarding his philosophy of treating hypothyroidism. This isn’t an examination or testing. Don’t expect, or even request blood tests at this time. As the doctor how he evaluates possible thyroid problems.
Evaluating Your Current Healthcare Provider
Once you see a healthcare provider for your thyroid condition, it’s a good idea to step back and decide whether or not this is the healthcare provider you wish to continue seeing.
Having a list of questions to ask yourself can sometimes make this decision a bit more objective. You probably won’t be able to get everything you want in one thyroid doctor, so it’s helpful to decide what is most important to you, as well as what is realistic.
Insurance Vs Cash Pay
You should be aware that many of the best doctors typically do not accept insurance for their services.
This can be a frustrating thing to hear for many patients but that is the reality of the situation right now.
The reason is simple:
Insurance usually compensates doctors based on complexity and time. In order to get the most out of that time, doctors need to see a huge number of patients every single day.
To meet the demands of staff and salary this usually means no more than 5-10 minutes per patient per day.
Its just simply not possible to have a meaningful conversation about eating habits, exercise routines, how someone is feeling, and diving deep into a complex medical history in that timeframe.
But you certainly can look at the TSH and adjust thyroid medication as necessary in 5-10 minutes.
So guess what happens?
Doctors lean towards the quick visit with minor adjustments to thyroid medication and neglect the other more important areas mentioned above.
Doctors that break free of the insurance reimbursement model can spend much more time with thyroid patients.
When I was practicing, my initial visit was 60 minutes and every follow up visit was 30 minutes. I also ensured that I didnt overload my total patient list so that I could spend enough time with each of my patients.
And this isnt uncommon! Other practitioners spend up to 90 minutes or more on initial visits so they can really understand their patients.
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