Pros Of Radiologists: Imaging And Diagnosis Using Thyroid Scan And Thyroid Function Tests
- Thyroid scans can provide detailed images of the nodules, allowing radiologists to accurately diagnose the condition.
- Thyroid function tests can help determine if the nodules are producing hormones, which can be important for determining treatment options.
- Radiologists can provide guidance on which type of surgery may be necessary to remove the nodule.
- Working with a radiologist for thyroid nodule care can help ensure that you receive an accurate diagnosis and treatment for your condition.
Thyroid Nodule Treatment Options
Most nodules, benign or cancerous, are not an immediate health risk. However, as with most conditions, treating the issue early is less intensive and less invasive than waiting until it becomes serious.
The treatment your endocrinologist recommends will depend upon the nodule characteristics:
If you are diagnosed with a thyroid nodule, dont panic. The majority of thyroid nodules are benign, and most do not require surgery. See an endocrinologist to find the most effective treatment option for you and to get your questions answered.
To find out whether you or a loved one might benefit from a thyroid exam or a second opinion, call or request an appointment online.
How To Check Your Thyroid
This article was medically reviewed by Ricardo Correa, MD. Dr. Correa is a board certified Endocrinologist. Dr. Correa is the Program Director of the Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism Fellowship at the University of Arizona College of Medicine and was a previous Assistant Professor of Medicine at Brown University. He completed his MD at the University of Panama and completed an internal medicine residency at the Jackson Memorial Hospital – University of Miami. He has been voted one of the 40 Under 40 Leaders in Health by the National Minority Quality Forum in 2019.There are 11 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page. This article has been viewed 64,244 times.
The thyroid gland is located at the base of your neck. It is a very important gland that produces a hormone that helps regulate your entire bodys metabolism, temperature, heart rate, growth, and development. The thyroid gland can be functionally underactive or overactive. The thyroid can be enlarged, have benign nodules and, more rarely, malignant nodules.
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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?
Should I See An Endocrinologist For My Thyroid
Medically reviewed by
Natalie Bessom, D.O. Board-certified family medicine doctor with specialty training in nutrition, USA
Learn what an endocrinologist is, why you should see one regarding your thyroid, and what questions to ask an endocrinologist about your thyroid.
This article discusses:
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When To Be More Proactive
Although most thyroid nodules are benign, some can harbor thyroid cancer. And some types of thyroid cancer are more aggressive than others. You should be more proactive in seeing an endocrinologist if you have any of the following symptoms:
- A lump in your neck that appears to be growing
- Swelling or pain in the neck
- Persistent cough
- Trouble breathing or swallowing
Also see an endocrinologist if you have been diagnosed with a thyroid nodule and have any of the following risk factors for thyroid cancer:
- An immediate family member who was diagnosed with thyroid cancer
- Any kind of radiation exposure, especially to the head and neck area
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:
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Signs Its Time To See An Endocrinologist For Your Thyroid Disorder
Thyroid conditions can have far-reaching effects all over the body and result in serious deterioration of health. Knowing the signs its time to see an endocrinologist for your thyroid disorder can save you from serious illnesses and long-term debilitating conditions. Be aware of your body, its functions, and how it responds to stimuli that information can be invaluable when discussing possible treatment for your thyroid.
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.
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Finding The Right Specialist: Thyroid Eye Disease
What TED is and the specialists who can treat it
Editors note: This content is sponsored by Horizon Therapeutics.
Many people living with chronic disease refer to their experience as a journey, reflecting the ongoing nature of their condition and the different directions their lives may take. For people living with Thyroid Eye Disease , that journey can feel like a solo expedition in the dark, but the right medical specialists can act as guides to help navigate this complex disease.
TED is an autoimmune condition in which the immune system attacks the muscle and fat tissue behind the eye and causes it to become inflamed and swollen. TED often occurs in people who already have a thyroid disease, but sometimes the symptoms of TED will be the first reason someone visits their doctors office. TED is most commonly seen in patients living with Graves disease and despite these two conditions being distinct diseases that require different treatment, they often get confused. It can be especially confusing because up to 50% of people with Graves disease will also develop TED.
TED causes a range of symptoms, such as eye pain, redness, double vision, light sensitivity and eye bulging. Often, these symptoms are confused with allergies, dry eye, or other, less menacing conditions until they get worse and patients begin to experience long-term damage. Thats why its especially important for people with Graves disease or other thyroid conditions to take their symptoms seriously.
Techniques Used By Pathologists To Examine Tissue Samples
Microscopy: Pathologists use microscopes to examine tissue samples and look for abnormal cells.
Immunohistochemistry: This technique involves staining the tissue sample with antibodies that bind to specific proteins, allowing pathologists to identify cancerous cells.
Flow Cytometry: This technique uses fluorescent markers to detect and measure the number of cells in a sample.
Molecular Testing: Pathologists can use molecular testing techniques such as PCR to detect genetic mutations in the tissue sample.
Biopsy: A biopsy is a procedure where a small piece of normal thyroid tissue is removed from the nodule and examined under a microscope.
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Medicare Advantage Plan Hmos Vs Ppos
Another reason to contact your Medicare Advantage is to find a doctor within your HMO or PPO network.
An insurance company like Aetna can offer both HMO or PPO Medicare Advantage plans.
HMO plans have a specific network of preferred providers that they work with. If you see a doctor outside of this network, your insurance may not cover your claim.
Also HMO plans require that you obtain a referral from your primary care doctor before you see a specialist like an endocrinologist. If you have an HMO plan and see an endocrinologist without a referral from your doctor, your insurance company could deny your claim.
PPO plans on the other hand allow you to see doctors outside of their preferred providers. It is worth noting that if you have a PPO and visit a doctor or clinic outside of the preferred providers list your services will be more expensive.
Because of these nuances within Medicare Advantage it is important to contact your specific plan when searching for an endocrinologist in Houston. Here is how you would do that
What Is The Role Of Primary Care Doctors
A primary care doctor is your GP or the first doctor you consult when you start seeing symptoms. This doctor will be responsible for ordering tests to investigate symptoms you present with and may make a referral to an endocrinologist to confirm their suspicions of the disease.
Often, your primary care physician will work with the endocrinologists to help you create a management strategy to minimize the effect of your disease on your way of life and overall health.
Once your management strategy has been reviewed by the endocrinologist, you will likely maintain treatment with your primary care physician. This is to save you money, as your primary care physician will probably be less expensive than the specialist endocrinologist.
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Choosing A Healthcare Provider
Once you know what type of healthcare provider you wish to see, there are several things to consider before you make your appointment. This is an important decision for several reasons. Not only is thyroid disease something that often requires long-term care, but it isn’t always easy to treatand working to find an effective treatment can make a difference in outcomes.
Your Health & Endocrinology
In many instances, even medical specialists such as endocrinologists have difficulty understanding why patients feel unwell despite normal lab work. When patients fall within normal blood test ranges, many doctors, including some who practice endocrinology, tend to ignore complaints of still feeling tired, gaining weight, losing hair, feeling cold, having dry skin, and feeling mentally depressed. Or, some doctors feel that menopause should just be ignored and the deficiencies that take place that affect our health and how we feel should not require intervention. We dont believe women should suffer through it!
If you are suffering from symptoms, dont be afraid to seek out better helpbe it from another endocrinologist or a doctor who specializes in thyroid treatment and bioidentical hormones. By ordering more detailed hormone testing and making medicinal adjustments, doctors should be able to help patients FEEL BETTER, not just normalize labs.
This is precisely where Dr. Maturo finds her niche: helping people feel better by looking both at their blood work and their symptoms, and working with them until they are well again and back to feeling like themselves!! Dr. Maturo not only has a naturopathic medical degree, but has proven through years of hands-on practice to be one of the most experienced and committed doctors throughout phoenix area and throughout the country, in her field of endocrinology and hormone balancing.
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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.
Endocrinologists: Your First Line Of Defense
An endocrinologist is a medical doctor who specializes in diagnosing and treating conditions related to the endocrine system, which includes the thyroid gland. Endocrinologists are experts in understanding how hormones affect the body and can help diagnose and treat thyroid nodules. They can also provide guidance on lifestyle changes that may help manage symptoms associated with thyroid nodules, such as fatigue or weight gain. Additionally, they can order tests to determine if the nodules are cancerous or benign, and recommend treatment options such as medication or surgery.
In addition to consulting with an endocrinologist, blood tests and a thyroid scan may be recommended to further evaluate the nodules. Blood tests can help determine if the nodules are producing hormones, while a thyroid scan can provide images of the nodules. The majority of thyroid nodules are benign and do not require treatment however, if they are found to be cancerous or growing rapidly, then surgery may be necessary to remove them. Thyroid cells can also be tested for genetic abnormalities that could indicate a higher risk of developing cancer in the future. With expert care from an endocrinologist and other specialists, you can get the help you need to manage your condition and improve your quality of life.
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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.
How Does The Disease Progress
Thyroid diseases have different progressions depending on the cause of the disease. If it is genetic, it will have a different rate of progression to a thyroid issue caused by cancer or an environmental cause.
However, the diseases all follow the same general trends. To begin with, the disease is subclinical, and if not treated, it runs the risk of progressing to overt. These stage names are just terms clinicians use to classify the severity of the disease, which is usually related to how long you have had dysfunctional thyroid activity.
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How To Find An Endocrinologist In Houston
In this guide I will show you how to find an endocrinologist in Houston.
The endocrine care that is available to you will be based on the type of health coverage that you have. Obviously, the more medial coverage you have the better treatment you will receive, however, you might be surprised at the amount of help that is available even if you are uninsured.
Im Nick Bryant, founder of HoustonCaseManagers.com where I help medical professionals and citizens find the community resources like specialty doctors and low cost medical clinics to receive the treatment they need.
Today I will provide you with step by step instructions on finding an endocrinologist in Houston, no matter if you have health insurance or not. Before talking about the endocrinology treatment options available lets first discuss what is an endocrinologist?