When it comes to thyroid problems, it can be difficult to know who to turn to for help. While your primary care doctor can often manage your condition, there may be times when you need the care of a specialist. Endocrinologists are doctors who specialize in the endocrine system, and they are particularly familiar with the function of the thyroid gland and other hormone-secreting glands in the body. Thyroidologists are endocrinologists who specifically study, diagnose, manage and treat the thyroid gland.
It is estimated that 25 million people have thyroid problems, and this number could double if the normal range were adjusted as some medical societies suggest. Victor Bernet, FACP, Director of the National Capitol Consortium Endocrinology Fellowship at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, D. C., recently offered his thoughts 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. He noted that clinically significant cases of thyroid disease are often overlooked because we don't screen for thyroid disease in the U.
S. UU. The Preventive Services Working Group (USPSTF) concluded that screening asymptomatic people with blood tests such as TSH does not ultimately improve outcomes. However, some professional groups such as the ATA (American Thyroid Association) and the ACP (American College of Physicians) think it prudent to evaluate at-risk subgroups, such as the elderly, pregnant women, children with genetic syndromes such as Down or Klinefelter, or people with a family history treatment of autoimmune diseases thyroid disease (for example,.
The AACE (American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists) recommends thyroid self-exams and offers brochures to patients who want to have their necks checked. Thyroid armor (Forest Pharmaceuticals, Inc. However, the problem with Armour Thyroid is that the ratio of thyroid hormone T4 to T3 it contains can vary from batch to batch. I have had patients complain of palpitations and nervousness at times, and studies reveal that blood levels of T3 can fluctuate substantially with regimens containing T3 compared to levels seen in patients with normal thyroid function or taking T4 preparations.
As far as the thyroid diet is concerned, we have no evidence that any particular diet specifically helps thyroid function. Of course, people need to consume sufficient amounts of iodine or, otherwise, goiter may occur. Patients with Hashimoto's thyroiditis should be aware that they are at increased risk of other autoimmune disorders such as type 1 diabetes, lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, or adrenal insufficiency. If the patient has a couple of abnormal TSH levels and a family history of autoimmune thyroid disease, it would be appropriate to request an antithyroid antibody panel (TPOAb) before referring the patient to the endocrinologist.
We also like to see a CSC, Chem 20 and a lipid panel because everyone can be affected by hypothyroidism depending on their severity. The best doctor to go to for a thyroid problem ultimately depends on the nature of the thyroid condition and the treatment recommended. Alternative names include natural thyroid, thyroid extract, porcine thyroid, porcine thyroid; trademarks include Nature-throid and Armour Thyroid. In other words, the thyroid gland itself is fine, but it does not produce thyroid hormone if the hypothalamus does not tell it through the pituitary gland to do so. While endocrinology is the field most closely aligned with thyroid disease, endocrinologists differ in the scope of their practice, with some focusing more on thyroid disease and others focusing more on conditions such as diabetes, infertility or obesity. Whether you suspect you may have a thyroid condition, have been recently diagnosed, or have lived with the condition for some time, there are many factors to consider when choosing a health care provider.
This includes type of thyroid condition you have, your insurance coverage and your personal preferences. People with diabetes often see a primary care doctor regularly and can take medicines to help keep their blood sugar levels stable. However if standard treatment doesn't control your blood sugar levels your primary care doctor may refer you to an endocrinologist. An endocrinologist will look for additional strategies to help manage diabetes. So when it comes to finding a doctor for your thyroid problem it is important to consider all factors before making a decision.
It is also important to remember that while most primary care physicians are comfortable and able to monitor TSH levels and adjusting medications there may be times when you need an endocrinologist or even a specialist like a Thyroidologist who has additional training in studying and treating the thyroid gland. September is Thyroid Cancer Awareness Month and next month's feature article will be about when thyroid hormone levels drop and how primary care physicians and specialists can work together to manage this condition.