How Do Doctors Treat Thyroid Problems
Standard treatment for hypothyroidism involves daily use of the synthetic thyroid hormone levothyroxine . This oral medication restores adequate hormone levels, reversing the signs and symptoms of hypothyroidism.
Who is the best doctor for thyroid nodules?
If you have been diagnosed with a thyroid nodule, the first step is to see an endocrinologist a doctor who specializes in conditions of the endocrine glands, such as the thyroid. Most thyroid nodules are benign and cause no problems if left untreated.
Do ENT doctors treat thyroid?
Many people do not associate an Ear, Nose, and Throat doctor with thyroid issues. However, problems with the thyroid, such as thyroid nodules, are commonly seen by ENTs. After all, the thyroid is located in the throat, and ENTs are throat experts!
What Doctor Do I See For Hyperthyroidism
An endocrinologist, a specialist in hormone-related conditions, can help diagnose and treat hyperthyroidism.
Can gynecologist treat thyroid?
Thyroid disease is a common disorder faced by women of all ages. Because of its high incidence in women, recognizing and treating thyroid dysfunction often becomes the responsibility of the obstetrician/gynecologist.
Can ENT doctors diagnose thyroid problems?
The most important thing to do if you think that you have hyperthyroidism, or any issues with your thyroid, is to contact an ENT doctor at National Allergy and Associates. These specialized doctors will be able to correctly diagnose any issues that you may be having due to an overactive thyroid.
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.
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Types Of Thyroid Conditions
Developing a thyroid condition can impact your everyday life in so many ways, as your thyroid gland plays a crucial role in your metabolism, growth and development. While there are different kinds, the most common conditions include thyroid nodules, thyroiditis, hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism. All these require treatment from ENT specialists to reduce their long-term risks. Discussed below are some of them.
Advanced Treatment For Thyroid Disorders
An important part of the endocrine system, the thyroid gland produces hormones that help the body regulate metabolism and the rate at which different cells work, including cells in organs such as the heart.
UT Southwestern Medical Centers dedicated endocrinologists and endocrine surgeons treat thyroid gland disorders that include:
- Goiter: Enlarged thyroid gland
- Hyperthyroidism: Too many thyroid hormones are produced this can be caused by Graves disease, an autoimmune disorder
- Hypothyroidism: Too few thyroid hormones are produced
- Thyroiditis: Swelling of the thyroid
- Thyroid nodules: Noncancerous lumps in the thyroid
- Thyroid cancer: Cancer that arises in the thyroid gland
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You Have A Noticeable Lump In Your Thyroid Gland
If you have a known problem with your thyroid gland, palpate the area to make sure no lumps or nodules have formed. If you do happen to find a growth on your thyroid gland, that will require the attention of a specialist to properly diagnose and treat it. Strange lumps may be due to a goiter, an enlargement of portions of the thyroid gland, or a complete enlargement of the whole gland. Most of the time, these nodes and lumps are benign, but there is a chance they may be the cause of certain thyroid conditions, and they may even be cancerous. An endocrinologist must observe them to determine why they have formed and if there are any negative effects.
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
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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.
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 Care, Fewer Visits
Coming back and forth to the doctorâs 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.
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Comprehensive Thyroid Cancer Care
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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 I Take Thyroid Hormone
Your doctor might suggest that you take this drug in the morning when your stomach is empty. Having food in your stomach can prevent thyroid hormone from fully absorbing. Some medications and supplements can interfere with the absorption of thyroid hormone. Its usually recommended to take levothyroxine four hours before or after taking these.
Can I Switch To Another Thyroid Drug
Several different brand names and generic versions of thyroid hormone replacement are available. Still, its a good idea to stay on the same medicine. Even though all of these drugs contain the same active ingredient, they can also contain different inactive ingredients that might affect your treatment.
When To See A Thyroid Specialist
Tamara Wexler, MD, PhD, an endocrinologist at NYU Langone Health in New York City recommends seeing an endocrinologist at least once when youre first diagnosed with hypothyroidism to review your condition, your test results, and your treatment plan. After one or two visits, you may not need to keep seeing him or her regularly, she says. Thats when your primary care doctor can usually take over.
Other times it’s smart to see an endocrinologist are when:
Symptoms of hypothyroidism dont get better despite treatment. If you’ve been taking medication to replace your thyroid hormone for a while but your symptoms persist, you might want to see an endocrinologist for a second opinion, says Cathy Doria-Medina, MD, an endocrinologist with HealthCare Partners Medical Group in Torrance, California. Some people with hypothyroidism have a more difficult time finding the concentration of thyroid hormone medication that works best for them. In these situations, a specialist often can help, she says.
You have a thyroid nodule or lump. Your thyroid gland is located in the front of your neck, just below your voice box. If you have a lump, nodule, or other growth on your thyroid, an endocrinologist should examine it. Most are harmless , but once in a while a more serious change is happening. Five percent of thyroid nodules are cancerous, according to the Cleveland Clinic. And sometimes though its rare thyroid nodules actually cause hypothyroidism.
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When To Seek Out A Second Opinion
What if you are already working with a doctor and you arent sure what to do next?
I realize that its not always as easy as just finding a new doctor.
Looking for a new doctor takes a lot of work, it often requires extra time and energy, and may be quite expensive.
Because this task can be daunting, many thyroid patients are reluctant to do it!
I totally understand that perspective but let me ask you a few questions.
These questions should help you decide if your current doctor is worth sticking with or if its time to try someone else:
Has your current doctor helped you to feel better in any way?
Does your current doctor actually listen to you?
Does your current doctor take your symptoms seriously?
Does your doctor dismiss your symptoms or suggest that they are in your head or due to depression or due to aging?
Does your current doctor look at more than just your lab tests?
Does your current doctor support you in seeking out additional information on the internet or from other sources?
Does your current doctor support you if you want to take a natural approach to manage your thyroid?
Does your current doctor support the use of thyroid support supplements?
Does your doctor actually know and remember who you are? Are you more than just a chart or a number on a computer screen?
Is your doctor willing to look at new research and change their beliefs based on evidence?
Before you do anything, take some time to reflect on these questions.
What Experience And Training Do Endocrinologists Need
Endocrinology is a subspecialty of internal medicine. Endocrinologists are healthcare providers who have trained in the information and techniques needed to diagnose and treat endocrine conditions specifically.
To become an endocrinologist in the United States, a person must obtain or complete the following:
- A bachelors degree .
- Approximately four years of medical school.
- A two- to three-year residency in internal medicine or pediatrics.
- A two- to three-year fellowship in endocrinology, diabetes and metabolism.
- Pass an exam to become board-certified in internal medicine through the American Board of Internal Medicine.
- Pass an endocrinology, diabetes and metabolism exam to become board-certified as an endocrinologist.
Endocrinologists and all healthcare providers also partake in yearly learning and training courses known as Continuing Medical Education to stay up to date in their medical field.
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How To Choose The Best Doctor For Thyroid Treatment
There are different glands in the human body from where various kinds of hormones are secreted, which helps in stimulating various important functions in the body. Among them, the thyroid gland needs special mention. The thyroid gland is a butterfly-shaped gland, which is located right at the base of the neck. There are various functions that are controlled by this gland in the body. However, there might be problems in this gland leading to various health disorders. The thyroid can be underactive or overactive . To treat these problems, it is important to see a doctor at the earliest. The next question that arises is how to choose the best doctor for thyroid problems. The following article will give you the complete information of how you can choose the best doctor for thyroid and even can also get the information of the specialists who deal with problems of endocrine glands and they are the best people to consult with these kinds of problems.
What Is Thyroid Disease
The thyroid is a butterfly-shaped gland at the front of your throat. It produces hormones that are crucial to many bodily functions, including growth, development, and metabolism. These hormones are called thyroxine and triiodothyronine . Thyroid function depends greatly on another glandthe pituitary, which monitors hormone levels and tells your thyroid how much to produce.
The pituitary exerts this control over the thyroid with the aptly named thyroid-stimulating hormone . When thyroid hormone levels drop, the pituitary releases more TSH to stimulate the thyroid to increase production.
In thyroid disease, you can end up with either too much thyroid hormonehyperthyroidismor too littlehypothyroidism. Hyperthyroidism speeds up your body’s systems and processes, while hypothyroidism slows them down, leading to opposite symptoms.
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Thyroid Nodules Or Cysts
Thyroid nodules or cysts are solid or fluid-filled lumps that form within the thyroid. Most are not serious and dont cause symptoms. Some thyroid nodules can become large enough to be visible and make swallowing or breathing difficult. Only a small number of nodules are cancerous and most are slow growing and effectively treated. Even if you dont have symptoms, your doctor may suggest routine imaging to monitor thyroid nodules or cysts.
Thyroid disorders are common and quite manageable. With appropriate medical treatment, most people with a thyroid disorder live a healthy life.
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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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.
When To Seek A Second Opinion
Some situations warrant a referral to an endocrinologist, a hormone specialist. You should ask for a referral from your primary care doctor if you find yourself in one of these situations after you or someone you’re close to is diagnosed with thyroid disease:
- You’re pregnant or trying to get pregnant.
- The thyroid disease is in a newborn or child.
- You’re diagnosed with thyroid nodules or an enlarged thyroid gland .
- You have any type of hyperthyroidism, including Graves’ disease.
- Your hypothyroidism is caused by a problem with the pituitary gland.
- You’re not feeling better despite treatment.
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Seeking A Second Opinion For All Your Thyroid Problems
In spite of getting treatment for your thyroid problems, you can also get the medical second opinions from the best online doctors to make sure that the treatment you are getting is the right one or not. There are many doctors who claim to provide the best thyroid treatment, but when a second opinion is sought, it might be found that the treatment done was not right. In most cases, there is a complaint regarding the dosage of the medicine that is recommended. And this is where an expert opinion comes handy. An expert endocrinologist will study all the reports and suggest the right dosage of medicine. In fact, he will also suggest doing the tests after a few months to understand the progress. He will adjust the dosage of the medicine accordingly depending on the test results.