When Should I See a Thyroid Specialist?

If you have a lump or nodule in your thyroid gland it's important to see an endocrinologist for proper diagnosis & treatment.

When Should I See a Thyroid Specialist?

You have a lump, nodule, or other growth in your thyroid, you should be examined by an endocrinologist. Most are harmless (benign), but occasionally there is a more serious change. Five percent of thyroid nodules are cancerous, according to the Cleveland Clinic. Your primary care doctor may be able to control your thyroid disease, especially if you are diagnosed with hypothyroidism.

This is because most primary care physicians are comfortable and able to monitor thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) levels and adjust thyroid hormone replacement medications accordingly. While primary care physicians can manage some endocrine conditions, such as hypothyroidism and diabetes, other conditions warrant an endocrinologist's care, such as pituitary or adrenal gland problems or hyperthyroidism. Kelly Mandagere participates in the study, diagnosis and treatment of endocrine system conditions. This network of glands and hormones has widespread effects on the body that include the regulation of growth, metabolism, reproduction and sexual development.

Combining her credentials as an endocrinologist with a lifelong passion for the science of medicine, a special interest in biochemistry and her training as a nutritionist, Dr. Mandagere provides a unique understanding of endocrine conditions, including hypothyroidism. In this session of the Q&A Boulder Medical Center, Dr. Mandagere answers questions about his approach to understanding the causes and management of this complex and often challenging disorder.

I also see patients who are already receiving treatment for hypothyroidism and their dose of medication changes or is fluctuating. Although these patients continue to be treated by a primary care physician, they come to me for a second opinion or when their doctor asks for help in regulating medication or addressing persistent symptoms. The simple modification of some factors can often improve the patient's symptoms. For example, the switch to Synthroid, the brand-name drug of levothyroxine or generic levothroid, has helped some patients.

This is because every time you buy Synthroid at the pharmacy, you get exactly the same product. You know that absorption and metabolism are very predictable. However, when you buy the generic brand, the pharmacy may give you a generic batch one time and a different batch the next. The active drug is the same, but the formulation (perhaps the coating of the pill) may be different and may affect absorption.

If you have a known problem with your thyroid gland, feel the area to make sure no lumps or nodules have formed. If you find a growth in the thyroid gland, that will require the attention of a specialist to properly diagnose and treat it. Extraneous lumps may be due to a goiter, an enlargement of portions of the thyroid gland, or a complete enlargement of the entire gland. Most of the time, these nodes and lumps are benign, but there is a possibility that they are the cause of certain thyroid conditions and may even be cancerous.

An endocrinologist should observe them to determine why they have formed and whether there are any negative effects. At the UCSF Thyroid Clinic, our experts diagnose and treat patients with various thyroid disorders. These include hypothyroidism, hyperthyroidism, thyroid nodules, and thyroid cancer. He 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.

Chiropractors are legally prohibited from prescribing thyroid medication, which means they cannot treat or cure thyroid conditions. While an integrative approach to thyroid health is attractive, DNs do not necessarily follow the guidelines recommended by professional societies such as the American Thyroid Association (ATA) or the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists (AACE). September is Thyroid Cancer Awareness Month and next month's feature article will be about 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. Thyroid nodules can actually be a cause of an overactive thyroid (hyperthyroidism) or in rare cases they can be cancerous.

So for example a ND can look at aspects of how nutrition affects thyroid disorders and ensure that you have a diet plan that works to support thyroid health. However chiropractors can provide supportive thyroid care such as nutritional guidance or ways to relieve musculoskeletal pain associated with underlying thyroid disease (such as carpal tunnel syndrome or joint pains). Imaging tests especially for hyperthyroidism may include an ultrasound a thyroid scan or a radioactive iodine uptake test to identify thyroid nodules and see how active the gland is. While an integrative approach to thyroid health may seem attractive know that diseases do not necessarily follow the guidelines recommended by professional societies such as the American Thyroid Association (ATA) or the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists (AACE).

So for example a ND can look at how nutrition affects thyroid disorders and make sure you have a diet plan that supports thyroid health.

Chester Lonabaugh
Chester Lonabaugh

Subtly charming twitter aficionado. Wannabe social media lover. Proud internet fan. Professional social media fan. Subtly charming coffee guru. Avid sushi junkie.

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