Fact: You Can Develop Ted Without Having Graves Disease
While its true that many people are diagnosed with Graves before being diagnosed with Thyroid Eye Disease , its not always the case. In fact, about 1 in 10 people with TED develop it without having Graves disease.
Its also not uncommon for people to be diagnosed with TED before, during, or even after getting diagnosed with Graves disease.
People diagnosed with TED may also be diagnosed with a different type of thyroid condition called Hashimotos disease or Hashimotos hypothyroidism .
Top Five Reasons To See An Endocrinologist
There are specialty doctors that are trained to diagnose and treat an array of diseases that affect an individuals glands and hormone secretions. These specialty doctors are called endocrinologists, and they play vital roles in their communities. Provided below is a list of the top five reasons to see an endocrinologist.
These glands secrete hormones, which play an essential role in an array of activities that are important to proper body function. Sometimes, an individuals glands and hormones do not function properly, and this can lead to a variety of health problems.
Endocrinology is an area of study concerning the endocrine system, which is a complex system of glands and hormones. The endocrine glands include the thyroid, parathyroid, pancreas, ovaries, testes, pituitary, hypothalamus, and adrenals.
How Does A Doctor Check Your Thyroid
Doctors 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.
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What Are The Symptoms Of Thyroid Nodules
Because many thyroid nodules are small, they may cause no symptoms. However, some nodules can cause the thyroid to grow , some can be overactive and lead to hyperthyroidism, and some can be thyroid cancers. If patients do experience symptoms they may include:
- A lump in the neck
- Difficulty swallowing
Your Thyroid May Function And Work On Its Own Again In The Future
Most conventional doctors will say that Hashimotos, and other thyroid diseases, are irreversible and require one to stay on thyroid medication for the rest of their life.
It is true that some individuals may find that along with addressing their root causes, they function best with thyroid medications, and may opt to use medications long-term to live their best life. However, it is also possible to recover thyroid function.
Research shows that once the autoimmune attack on the thyroid stops, the thyroid gland has the ability to recover function. It has also been shown that thyroid function spontaneously recovers in 20 percent of Hashimotos patients .
One case study examined the occurrence of three girls who spontaneously recovered from autoimmune hypothyroidism . None of them had excessive levels of iodine or goitrogens during the study investigation. The authors suggested that their recovery may have been due to their elimination of iodine , and/or not taking suboptimal medication that may have made them feel worse.
So what does this mean? Addressing the root causes behind the autoimmune attack on the thyroid, can reverse the autoimmunity!
If, at some point in your journey, you are interested in seeing whether you may be able to wean off thyroid medications, there is a test that you can do the test involves thyrotropin-releasing hormone to be administered by a doctor .
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What Does The Thyroid Do
Your thyroid has an important job to do within your body releasing and controlling thyroid hormones that control metabolism. Metabolism is a process where the food you take into your body is transformed into energy. This energy is used throughout your entire body to keep many of your bodys systems working correctly. Think of your metabolism as a generator. It takes in raw energy and uses it to power something bigger.
The thyroid controls your metabolism with a few specific hormones T4 and T3 . These two hormones are created by the thyroid and they tell the bodys cells how much energy to use. When your thyroid works properly, it will maintain the right amount of hormones to keep your metabolism working at the right rate. As the hormones are used, the thyroid creates replacements.
This is all supervised by something called the pituitary gland. Located in the center of the skull, below your brain, the pituitary gland monitors and controls the amount of thyroid hormones in your bloodstream. When the pituitary gland senses a lack of thyroid hormones or a high level of hormones in your body, it will adjust the amounts with its own hormone. This hormone is called thyroid stimulating hormone . The TSH will be sent to the thyroid and it will tell the thyroid what needs to be done to get the body back to normal.
Get Thyroid Treatment Online
If you have symptoms of an endocrine disorder an affordable and convenient place to start is with a primary care physician at PlushCare.
The doctor will work with you to determine the best medication for you to take and will check on you to ensure the care plan is working. If needed, you will be referred to a specialist such as an endocrinologist.
Common medications our doctors prescribe for endocrine disorders are:
You can book an appointment here, or download the free PlushCare mobile app. The average appointment lasts just 15 minutes and 97% of conditions are successfully treated on the first visit.
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Evaluating Your Current Doctor
Once you see a doctor for your thyroid condition, it’s a good idea to step back and decide whether or not this is the physician 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.
Fact: Ted And Graves Disease Need Different Treatments
Medicine for Graves disease wont work for Thyroid Eye Disease , and medicine for TED wont work for Graves disease. Thats because TED and Graves disease are different conditions and need different medicines.
Graves disease affects the thyroid, while TED affects the eyes. So, for Graves disease, you should see a doctor who specializes in the thyroid: an endocrinologist. For Thyroid Eye Disease, you should contact a Thyroid Eye Disease Specialist, who is usually an ophthalmologist with advanced training and experience treating TED.
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You May Have A Selenium Deficiency
A selenium deficiency has been recognized as a nutrition-related trigger of Hashimotos.
Selenium is a nutrient that is needed for thyroid function. Its crucial in our bodys conversion of the inactive thyroid hormone, T4, to the more biologically active thyroid hormone, T3. It also helps balance iodine levels .
Selenium deficiency is associated with symptoms such as anxiety, low mood, depression, and fatigue, to name a few.
This deficiency is one of the most common nutrient deficiencies that Ive seen in Hashimotos. One of the most common reasons why I see individuals become deficient in this nutrient is because they are on a gluten-free diet. While a gluten-free diet can be incredibly beneficial for the thyroid, it can be lacking in selenium, making an individual on this diet more susceptible to selenium deficiency.
A daily dose of 200 mcg of the selenomethionine form of selenium, has been shown to reduce thyroid antibodies by about 50 percent over the course of three months, in people with Hashimotos. Additionally, research has found that selenium supplementation, alongside myo-inositol supplementation, can help the thyroid revert to normal functioning .
In my experience, selenium can help people feel calmer, as well as improve energy levels and promote hair regrowth.
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?
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Who Treats Thyroid Disease
Several types of doctors can play a role in managing thyroid disease and its symptoms. Some people only see one doctor for thyroid-related issues, while others have a medical team they work with to manage their disease. The types of doctors you may want to consider include:
- Primary care doctors
- Holistic thyroid practitioners, including naturopaths and chiropractors
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:
Medical School: West Virginia University in Morgantown, WV
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Why Is It Essential To Visit An Endocrinologist For My Thyroid Problems
An endocrinologist is basically referred to a doctor who specializes in treating conditions of the endocrine system. Endocrinology is the study of the endocrine system which generally refers to a collection of glands that produce hormones which are used in the regulation of various day to day activities such as metabolism of the body, growth, reproduction and other sexual functions. Major endocrine glands include the pituitary glands, hypothalamus, thyroid gland, pancreas and reproductive glands like the testes in males and ovaries in females. There are several other glands like the parathyroid glands or the adrenal glands which are also part of the endocrine system.
Endocrinologists are normally concerned with treating people suffering from hormonal imbalances, generally of the endocrine glands. The primary objective of the treatment is to restore the proper functioning of the endocrine glands, thus restoring hormonal balances in the body.
Thyroid gland is an endocrine gland, located in the throat cavity which is concerned with secreting hormones that regulate your blood pressure, temperature of the body, body metabolism as well as heart rate.
When should you go to an endocrinologist?
Any sort of irregularities in functioning of the thyroid gland can give rise to a number of thyroid gland problems, since the hormones produced from the thyroid gland control several key functions in your body.
Expert Care For Thyroid Disorders In San Diego
Thyroid diseases affect more than 20 million Americans and occurs more often in women than men. Because the thyroid gland produces hormones that control important functions, such as heart rate and metabolism, thyroid problems may require treatment to help you get back to feeling good.;
The endocrinologists at Scripps diagnose and treat all types of thyroid disorders.
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Who To See Instead
So, what should you do if you can’t get results from an endocrinologist?
What kind of doctor should you go see, which doctors will actually listen to you?
Here’s how I would approach this problem:
First, you should always start with someone who takes insurance and who is local.;
Go see your family practice doctor or your local endocrinologist and talk to them.;
If you don’t find success or if they are unwilling to work with you, don’t be discouraged.;
Just move on and try to find a new doctor.;
You will probably find that some general practitioners are willing to work with you.;
The likelihood that your endocrinologist is willing to work with you on these things is probably closer to 1-2%.;
If this approach fails then you will probably need to seek someone with a different set of skills and training outside of the conventional medical system.;
I find that doctors with training in integrative medicine, anti-aging medicine, and doctors who specialize in bio-identical hormone treatment tend to work best.;
The only downside to these doctors is that they typically don’t accept insurance and they may not be local to you depending on where you live.;
But the extra price to pay for the right treatment will be worth it in the long run, at least in my opinion.;
I get asked this question a lot so I will address it here:
Top Reasons To See An Endocrinologist
Changes in your body can be subtle, such as slow but steady weightgain, or something more alarming, such as finding a lump that wasntthere before. Whenever you notice symptoms that lead you to believesomething may be wrong, see your doctor. There are several thingsyour primary care physician may find that could lead them torecommend you see an endocrinologist.
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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 Is Consultation With An Endocrinologist Indicated For Patients With Hypothyroidism
Indications for referral to an endocrinologist include any of the following :
A nodular thyroid, suspicious thyroid nodules, or compressive symptoms
Underlying cardiac disorders or other endocrine disorders
Age younger than 18 years
Secondary or tertiary hypothyroidism
Unusual constellation of thyroid function test results
Inability to maintain TSH in the target range
Unresponsiveness to treatment
Some patients with subacute or postpartum thyroiditis can develop thyrotoxicosis before developing hypothyroidism. These patients also may benefit from consultation with an endocrinologist.
Suspected myxedema coma is a medical emergency with a high risk of mortality, and it necessitates requires initiation of IV LT4 and glucocorticoid therapy before laboratory confirmation. An urgent endocrinology consultation should be obtained.
Rarely, an increase in size of a goiter in a patient with autoimmune thyroid disease could indicate a lymphoma. These patients should be evaluated by an endocrinologist.
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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.