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
Symptoms Of Thyroid Disorders
The hormones produced by the thyroid gland influence all of the metabolic processes in the body. It is no small wonder then that the symptoms of a thyroid disorder can be confused with other issues. Here are some of the things a patient may be experiencing:
- General fatigue and muscle weakness
- Unexplained weight gain and a puffy face
- Increased sensitivity to cold, itching or dry skin or hair loss
- Dry or hoarse throat
What Tests Do Doctors Use If I Have A Thyroid Nodule
If your health care professional finds a nodule or lump in your neck during a physical exam or on thyroid imaging tests, you may have a fine needle aspiration biopsy to see if the lump is cancerous or noncancerous.
For this test, you will lie on an exam table and slightly bend your neck backward. A technician will clean your neck with an antiseptic and may use medicine to numb the area. An endocrinologist who treats people with endocrine gland problems like thyroid disease, or a specially trained radiologist, will place a needle through the skin and use ultrasound to guide the needle to the nodule. Small samples of tissue from the nodule will be sent to a lab for testing. This procedure usually takes less than 30 minutes. Your health care professional will talk with you about the test result when it is available.
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What Blood Tests Do Doctors Use To Check Thyroid Function
Doctors may order one or more blood tests to check your thyroid function. Tests may include thyroid stimulating hormone , T4, T3, and thyroid antibody tests.
For these tests, a health care professional will draw blood from your arm and send it to a lab for testing. Your doctor will talk to you about your test results.
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How To Order Your Lab Tests
If your doctor is ordering thyroid labs for you, be sure to request a copy so that you can see them for yourself and ensure that they are interpreted correctly.
Additionally, I have included self-order options for most of the labs discussed, in case your current doctor wont order the labs for you.
The self-order options are discounted panels that I set up with Ulta Labs and can be ordered almost anywhere in the U.S. . You will receive a lab order that can be taken to your local lab, and the results will be sent to you electronically.
You can order each individual test that I recommend below, or you can order the entire discounted panel here.
In many cases, you can self-order the labs and then send the receipts for reimbursement to your insurance.
Now, lets take a look at each thyroid test and what they mean for your thyroid health.
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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
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.
ACP Internist addressed thyroid-related coverage from Internal Medicine 2009 here . The full audio of that session may be purchased here .
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What Is A Thyroid Disorder
The most common disorders of the thyroid are hypothyroidism , and hyperthyroidism . A patient may also have a goiter or nodules, when part of the thyroid gland becomes inflamed leading to coughing and difficulty swallowing or breathing.
Thyroid cancer can kill normally functioning thyroid cells and form tumors. Hashimotos is a more difficult condition in which the bodys immune system itself attacks the thyroid.
What Type Of Doctor Treats Hashimoto’s Disease
You may be asking yourself, “what are the top doctors for Hashimoto’s disease near me?” Or, “which specialist for Hashimoto’s disease should I choose?”
Figuring out what type of doctor to see for your Hashimoto’s thyroiditis can be a little confusing, as there is more than one type of doctor who can treat and manage this condition.
Doctors specializing in Hashimoto’s disease come down to two types: a primary care doctor and an endocrinologist .
Primary doctors are your first point of contact for an undiagnosed health problem and the continued management of various health disorders.
Endocrinologists are doctors who have special training in diagnosing and treating endocrine system disorders, including Hashimotos disease.
The endocrine system makes up your organs and glands that make hormones. These disorders include infertility, diabetes, along with adrenal, pituitary, and other thyroid gland issues like hyperthyroidism.
Along with performing a medical examination and taking your complete medical history, diagnostic procedures for this condition may include blood testing to detect levels of thyroid antibodies and thyroid hormones. Usually, a primary care doctor can manage this condition.
Your doctor may prescribe you a synthetic thyroid hormone replacement drug to help replace what your body isn’t producing. However, there are times when you’ll need to see a thyroid specialist and/or receive a second opinion.
When to get a second opinion
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What Questions Should I Ask My Endocrinologist For Thyroid
Doctor Discussion Guide: 15 Questions to Ask About Hypothyroidism
- What caused my hypothyroidism? …
- What treatment do I need? …
- How will you figure out my dose? …
- How often will I need to take the medicine? …
- How do I take thyroid hormone? …
- What if I miss a dose? …
- Can I switch to another thyroid drug?
A Note From Paloma Health
Paloma Health makes it easy to partner with a top thyroid doctor near you. You don’t even need to leave your home office or living room. Infact,you can access care anywhere you have a WIFI signal.
It is equally easy to have your lab tests checked from the comfort of your home. It is far more pleasant than going to a lab for a blood draw if we can say so ourselves. Our at-home thyroid test kits are comprehensive and only require a finger stick to get the information we need to give you the care you deserve.
We also believe in comprehensive, whole-body care when treating thyroid conditions, which is why we have thyroid nutritionists on our team. Healing from within with proper diet and nutrition is the cornerstone to treating a chronic thyroid condition like hypothyroidism or Hashimoto’s disease. You can schedule a nutrition consultation with any of our thyroid nutritionists to create a personalized thyroid-friendly diet that fits your lifestyle.
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Where Can I Find An Endocrinologist
You can ask your doctor or you can visit the healthdirect service finder. The Endocrine Society ofAustralia has a directory that allows you to search for endocrinologists based on location or the endocrinologists area of expertise.
Youll need a referral from your doctor to see an endocrinologist. You may also need to wait a while before seeing an endocrinologist, as specialists sometimes have long waiting times before you can get an appointment.
When you make a booking, you can ask how much the visit will cost, and how much you will get back from Medicare.
Generally, visits to specialists arent covered by private health funds.
Thinking About Taking Part In A Clinical Trial
Clinical trials are carefully controlled research studies that are done to get a closer look at promising new treatments or procedures. Clinical trials are one way to get state-of-the art cancer treatment. In some cases they may be the only way to get access to newer treatments. They are also the best way for doctors to learn better methods to treat cancer. Still, theyâre not right for everyone.
If you would like to learn more about clinical trials that might be right for you, start by asking your doctor if your clinic or hospital conducts clinical trials.
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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?
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.
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Choosing To Stop Treatment Or Choosing No Treatment At All
For some people, when treatments have been tried and are no longer controlling the cancer, it could be time to weigh the benefits and risks of continuing to try new treatments. Whether or not you continue treatment, there are still things you can do to help maintain or improve your quality of life.
Some people, especially if the cancer is advanced, might not want to be treated at all. There are many reasons you might decide not to get cancer treatment, but its important to talk to your doctors and you make that decision. Remember that even if you choose not to treat the cancer, you can still get supportive care to help with pain or other symptoms.
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It Might Be Difficult To Ascertain What Kind Of Health Practitioner Will Be Suitable For Dealing With Your Thyroid Issue
It is quite surprising that choosing the best doctor for thyroid treatment might not be an easy job to do. The process of finding the right doctor might be quite daunting and complicated. When thyroid problems are diagnosed easily, they can be handled by a general physician or medical practitioner. Regular blood tests need to be done to understand the levels of thyroid and the dosages of the medicine should be adjusted accordingly. In case the problem fails to come under control, the general physician might recommend visiting an endocrinologist for further check-up and investigation. You can also ask an endocrinologist online to get the second opinion or can consult online just by submitting all your medical reports.
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Your Symptoms Dont Improve
If you have been seeking treatment for your thyroid gland from your general practitioner, your treatment may have been limited due to a lack of specialization. This might not be enough to handle your condition, resulting in symptoms that dont improve over time and perhaps actually get worse. If you dont see the desired results from your treatment, its time to find an endocrinologist.
How Do You Feel When Your Thyroid Is Acting Up
If your thyroid gland is overactive, you may feel jittery with attacks of anxiety, irritability, and hyperactivity. You may feel nervous, experience mood swings, and have sleep disorders. Conversely, if your thyroid gland is underactive, you may experience low energy, often feeling tired and depressed.
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How Does A Healthcare Provider Check Your Thyroid
Healthcare providers check your thyroid with blood tests and imaging. Blood tests look at levels of:
- Autoantibodies, which indicate Hashimoto’s or Graves’ disease
Imaging tests, especially for hyperthyroidism, may include an ultrasound, thyroid scan, or a radioactive iodine uptake test to identify thyroid nodules and see how active the gland is.
What Foods Are Bad For Thyroid
Foods that are bad for the thyroid gland include foods from the cabbage family, soy, fried foods, wheat, foods high in caffeine, sugar, fluoride and iodine. The thyroid gland is a shield-shaped gland located in your neck. It secretes the hormones T3 and T4 that control the metabolism of every cell in the body.
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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.
What Is Hyperthyroidism
Hyperthyroidism occurs when the thyroid gland is overactive and can be caused by numerous factors. An overactive thyroid gland produces excessive thyroid hormones.
Hyperthyroidism is less common than hypothyroidism and usually occurs in people over the age of 60. The causes of hyperthyroidism include:
Tumors in the pituitary gland
Overactivity of the thyroid nodules
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Top Things To Look For
Find a surgeon who:
- Is board certified and specializes in thyroid removal surgery
- Has experience treating patients with your specific condition
- Practices at a hospital known to have high-quality outcomes
- Accepts your insurance
- You are comfortable talking with and who fully answers your questions
Here are five steps to finding the best doctor to perform your thyroid removal.
Highlights Of Our Center
More Care, Fewer Visits
Coming back and forth to the doctor’s office for multiple appointments is a burden, which is why we work with you to coordinate efficient and effective visits. See multiple specialists, get blood work completed and even have a procedure all in a single appointment. For added convenience, we have both a Manhattan and a Westchester location, and we offer video visits which can be done from the comfort of your own home. Need to be seen soon? We also do same-day consultations. Just call to be seen by the next available doctor on our team.
Dedicated Patient Navigator
Our on-site patient navigator is here to help make sure your experience with us goes as smoothly as possible. Theyll help you prepare for your appointment, coordinate appointments with other specialists, clarify any insurance and billing concerns, and will always be available to make sure your questions are answered.
More Surgical Experience and Better Results
Comprehensive Thyroid Cancer Care
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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Thyroid & Diabetes The Focus Of An Endocrinologist
From an interview on Good Morning Pee Dee with Aundrea Loftley, MD McLeod Endocrinology Associates
An endocrinologist is a specialist dealing with hormone imbalances in the body primarily thyroid issues and diabetes.
THYROID ISSUES TOO MUCH, TOO LITTLE
The thyroid is a powerful gland, says McLeod Endocrinologist Aundrea Loftley, MD. It sits at the center of our neck and its tiny. Yet, the thyroid controls everything from the way we think to our metabolism and how our heart contracts.
Many people spend their lives barely aware that they have a thyroid. Yet, a large portion of the population has to deal with a gland thats overactive or underactive .
Sometimes, the thyroid irregularity is triggered by your bodys own immune system, says Dr. Loftley. Other times it can be induced by medications or exposures . There are a number of symptoms, although none are unique to the thyroid gland. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, see your personal physician for initial testing and a referral can be made if lab abnormalities are detected.
Signs of thyroid trouble include:
Sudden weight gain or loss.Sudden onset of diarrhea or constipation.Hand tremor.Memory problems in someone who is a highly functioning individual.Other, less common symptoms, include: Chest pain, heart palpitations and unusual anxiety.DIABETES
There are several types of diabetes.
The three types that we see most often are:
ACTION YOU CAN TAKE
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