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What Is A Thyroid Doctor Called

Thyroid & Diabetes The Focus Of An Endocrinologist

How to Find a Thyroid Doctor

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.


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:


For more information on these topics:

How Long After My Thyroid Is Removed Will My Tiredness Go Away

Typically, you will be given medication to help with your symptoms right after surgery. Your body actually has thyroid hormone still circulating throughout it, even after the thyroid has been removed. The hormones can still be in your body for two to three weeks. Medication will reintroduce new hormones into your body after the thyroid has been removed. If you are still feeling tired after surgery, remember that this can be a normal part of recovering from any type of surgery. It takes time for your body to heal. Talk to your healthcare provider if you are still experiencing fatigue and other symptoms of thyroid disease after surgery.

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Symptoms like weight gain, cold sensitivity, dry skin, and fatigue might have sent you to your doctor for a diagnosis. Now that you know you have hypothyroidism an underactive thyroid gland you can focus on managing the symptoms and learning to live with the condition.

In addition to seeing your primary care doctor, you might also visit a specialist who treats thyroid disorders, called an endocrinologist. Because you only have a limited amount of time with your doctor at each visit, it helps to come prepared.

Use this list of questions to guide your exam, and make sure you learn everything you can about your hypothyroidism and its treatment.

Women are more likely than men to get this condition. You might have developed hypothyroidism if a disease or surgery damaged your thyroid gland and prevented it from making enough of its hormone.

Causes for hypothyroidism include:

  • surgery or radiation to your thyroid gland
  • Hashimotos thyroiditis a disease in which yourimmune system attacks your thyroid gland
  • thyroiditis or inflammation of your thyroidgland
  • certain medicines such as amiodarone, interferonalpha, lithium, and interleukin-2

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How Is Thyroid Disease Diagnosed

Sometimes, thyroid disease can be difficult to diagnose because the symptoms are easily confused with those of other conditions. You may experience similar symptoms when you are pregnant or aging and you would when developing a thyroid disease. Fortunately, there are tests that can help determine if your symptoms are being caused by a thyroid issue. These tests include:

  • Blood tests.
  • Physical exams.

Blood tests

One of the most definitive ways to diagnose a thyroid problem is through blood tests. Thyroid blood tests are used to tell if your thyroid gland is functioning properly by measuring the amount of thyroid hormones in your blood. These tests are done by taking blood from a vein in your arm. Thyroid blood tests are used to see if you have:

  • Hyperthyroidism.
  • Hypothyroidism.

The specific blood tests that will be done to test your thyroid can include:

These tests alone arent meant to diagnose any illness but may prompt your healthcare provider to do additional testing to evaluate for a possible thyroid disorder.

Additional blood tests might include:

Talk to your healthcare provider about the ranges for these thyroid blood tests. Your ranges might not be the same as someone elses. Thats often alright. If you have any concerns or worries about your blood test results, talk to your provider.

Imaging tests

An ultrasound typically takes about 20 to 30 minutes.

Physical exam

Thyroid Goiter: When Is A Ct Scan Ordered

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When physical examination and or ultrasound cannot completely determine how far the goiter actually goes, then a CT scan should be ordered. The CT scan will show areas that the thyroid goiter extends and prepare the expert thyroid surgeon their safe and effective approach to remove all of the goiter gland and spare all other structures. Even though a thyroid goiter may extend extensively below the sternum and go well into the chest, these goiters can almost routinely be removed through a relatively straight forward low collar incision in the lower neck. If your surgeon is telling you that they need to “split your chest” or “open your sternum”, make sure that you have identified a highly experience thyroid surgeon. Again, such approaches are almost never actually required.

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What Is The Thyroid

The thyroid gland is a small organ thats located in the front of the neck, wrapped around the windpipe . Its shaped like a butterfly, smaller in the middle with two wide wings that extend around the side of your throat. The thyroid is a gland. You have glands throughout your body, where they create and release substances that help your body do a specific thing. Your thyroid makes hormones that help control many vital functions of your body.

When your thyroid doesnt work properly, it can impact your entire body. If your body makes too much thyroid hormone, you can develop a condition called hyperthyroidism. If your body makes too little thyroid hormone, its called hypothyroidism. Both conditions are serious and need to be treated by your healthcare provider.

Why You May Need A Thyroid Ultrasound

Chances are, your doctor will order an ultrasound of your thyroid shows signs of disease. For example, your thyroid gland may change in size if you have hyperthyroidism or hypothyroidism .

Suppose you struggle with symptoms that indicate thyroid dysfunction. In that case, your doctor will likely start by palpating your thyroid and ordering a blood test. To palpate your thyroid, your doctor will stand behind you and gently massage the nape of your neck to feel for any enlargement or nodules. Sometimes, your doctor may only need to look at your neck to see that the gland is enlarged. This enlargement is called a goiter and can be in both hyper- and hypothyroidism.

Current recommendations suggest that a thyroid ultrasound is only necessary if a goiter is present or the thyroid feels lumpy. Thus, abnormal thyroid blood tests alone do not indicate a need for an ultrasound.

The primary purpose of a thyroid ultrasound is to detect thyroid cancer. Your doctor may suspect thyroid cancer if you have been exposed to radiation or have thyroid nodules. However, less than 5% of thyroid nodules are cancerous, meaning that most nodules are benign. Furthermore, studies show that people with hypothyroidism are not at a greater risk for thyroid cancer. Other reasons to perform a thyroid ultrasound may include difficulty breathing or swallowing.

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How Long Do Hemorrhoids Last: Gotham Gastroenterology

Best Hemorrhoids Doctor NYC Upper East Side Call (212 . Remember that while this might be a little embarrassing and uncomfortable, hemorrhoid exams are usually painless. This makes them susceptible to irritation. This procedure, called stapled hemorrhoidopexy, blocks blood flow to hemorrhoidal tissue. It is typically used only for internal.

Reasons To See An Endocrinologist

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Typically, youâll see an endocrinologist in an outpatient setting after being referred by your primary care doctor. However, an endocrinologist could be called in to consult during an inpatient visit if there are concerns about an underlying hormone-related disorder.

Patients see endocrinologists for reasons ranging from diabetes management to problems with their thyroid, certain types of cancer, adrenal disorders, and more. Your doctor will likely refer you when there are concerns about:Ã

Difficulty Managing Diabetes with Standard Treatments

Individuals with diabetes typically see a primary care doctor regularly and may take medication to help keep their blood sugar levels stable. However, if standard treatment doesnât get your blood sugar levels under control, your primary care doctor may refer you to an endocrinologist. An endocrinologist will look for additional strategies to help control your diabetes.Ã

Thyroid Disorder

Thyroid disorders can involve too much or too little of different types of hormones produced in the thyroid. You may be referred to an endocrinologist when a thyroid disorder is first diagnosed to review your condition and create a treatment plan. If there are no other complicating factors, youâll complete follow-up care with your primary care doctor.Ã


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About Dr Kelly Mandagereboulder Medical Center

Dr. Kelly Mandagere joined Boulder Medical Center in 2017 after practicing for over 10 years as an endocrinologist in Louisville, Colo. She was board-certified in endocrinology, diabetes and metabolism in 1998 and prior to becoming a physician, Dr. Mandagere earned a Master of Science in Nutrition. In the years leading up to medical school she worked as a registered dietitian, counseling patients and educating physicians and health professionals.

  • Call Dr. Mandageres office at

Can I Check My Thyroid At Home

You can do a quick and easy self-exam of your thyroid at home. The only tools you need to do this self-exam are a mirror and a glass of water.

To do the thyroid self-exam, follow these steps:

  • Start by identifying where your thyroid is located. Generally, youll find the thyroid on the front of your neck, between your collar bone and Adams apple. In men, the Adams apple is much easier to see. For women, its usually easiest to look from the collar bone up.
  • Tip your head back while looking in a mirror. Look at your neck and try to hone in on the space you will be looking once you start the exam.
  • Once youre ready, take a drink of water while your head is tilted back. Watch your thyroid as you swallow. During this test, youre looking for lumps or bumps. You may be able to see them when you swallow the water.

Repeat this test a few times to get a good look at your thyroid. If you see any lumps or bumps, reach out to your healthcare provider.

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Insurance And Payment Considerations

Taking the time to review your health insurance policy before making an appointment may end up saving you a lot of money. Many insurance companies cover a wide range of providers, but in different tiers, with lower copays and better coverage for first-tier providers. This doesn’t mean that you can’t see a second tier or out-of-network provider, but the cost of doing so will likely be higher.

Many of the more “open-minded” physicians when it comes to thyroid disease operate on a self-pay only basis. If you can afford it, just a few visits with a truly knowledgeable thyroid doctor could mean returning to wellness sooner than you might under the care of another physician. That said, if you are being treated and feel that the treatment is successfully controlling your symptoms, sticking with your insurance coverage is probably a wise financial decision.

How To Prepare For An Ultrasound

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Little preparation is necessary for an ultrasound. If you are concerned about cost, it can help to go through your doctorâs billing department or your insurance carrier to see what an ultrasound will cost. Generally, thyroid ultrasounds are covered by insurance at little to no additional cost to you.

Unlike other imaging procedures, an ultrasound requires no preparation. When you meet your ultrasound technician or doctor on the day of your scan, you will lay flat on a table with your head and neck extended. The health care worker will then apply some gel on your neck and rub the probe over your thyroid. The procedure does not hurt and takes little time.

If abnormalities are on your scan, you may have to return for an additional ultrasound procedure called a fine needle aspiration biopsy. A radiologist usually performs this procedure. The doctor will numb your skin and insert a needle into the area in question to pull fluid out to send to a lab. This fluid indicates whether a nodule is benign or cancerous. They may take a few different samples.

Once your doctor finishes with the biopsy, they will apply a small Band-Aid over the area, and you can go about the rest of your day. Unless there are complications, the whole procedure takes about 30 minutes.

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Thyroid Goiter: When Is A Radioiodine Scan Ordered

If you have a thyroid goiter and your blood tests also demonstrate that your thyroid hormone level is too high , this is the only instance that a radioiodine scan is indicated. In these cases, the thyroid stimulating hormone will be very low and in cases of Grave’s disease, the thyroid stimulating immunoglobulin will be very high. The thyroid goiter patient may or may not have recognized symptoms of their hyperthyroidism.

During the thyroid scan, the patient will be given a small amount of radioactive iodine in a pill and a special imaging camera is utilized to determine how much iodine is taken up by the thyroid gland and if the thyroid goiter takes up iodine throughout the thyroid gland or whether there is a single “hot” area in the thyroid , relative to the remainder of the thyroid gland . If a thyroid nodule has less iodine uptake than the rest of the thyroid gland, then the thyroid nodule is called a “cold nodule”. In patients with multinodular goiter, frequently several of the nodules of the thyroid will be cystic and filled with fluid. These cystic areas of a multinodular goiter are expected to take up less iodine than the rest of the gland and appear “cold”.

Hot nodules are almost always non-cancerous but the preferred management of hot nodules is frequently surgery since it is a clear, safe and 100% effective therapy for the hyperthyroidism.

What Are The Treatments For Thyroid Goiter

  • Observation
  • If the ultrasound with or without biopsy suggests that the patient has benign small thyroid goiter and there are little to no symptoms, the doctor may suggest simply watching the patient and the goiter. The duration of observation is however somewhat arbitrary. Observation usually implies repeating thyroid blood tests, ultrasound, and physical examination in approximately one year. If the thyroid goiter should increase in size or establish symptoms, another intervention may be indicated. Small thyroid goiters that don’t change over a period of years may never require any treatment whatsoever.
  • Thyroid Hormone Therapy
  • If you have hypothyroidism , your doctor will prescribe you thyroid hormone in the form of a pill or capsule. There are different types of thyroid hormone pills that doctors may prescribe to deal with low hormone levels. In theory, prescribing thyroid hormone can lower the thyroid stimulating hormone production of the pituitary gland and thus decrease the stimulation to growth of thyroid tissue. In many instances, when patients have been hypothyroid, this may result in a decrease in the size of the thyroid goiter.
  • Radioactive iodine therapy
  • Surgery
  • Continued observation of your thyroid goiter
  • Radioactive Iodine Therapy
  • Used in circumstances where the thyroid goiter is associated with excess thyroid hormone production
  • Taken orally
  • RAI treatment frequently results in reduced size of the goiter
  • Surgery
  • The thyroid goiter is large
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    What Is A Thyroid Function Test

    A thyroid function test is a blood test to check the levels of the hormones made by your thyroid gland. The test also checks the level of a hormone made by the pituitary gland in your brain, which acts on your thyroid gland.

    The two hormones, thyroxine and thyroid-stimulating hormone , work together and are usually in balance. In a healthy person the brain produces just the right amount of TSH to keep the thyroid gland ticking over. The thyroid gland then produces just the right amount of thyroxine.

    This is called a feedback loop: if the thyroid gland makes too much thyroxine it will feed back to the brain to make less TSH. This diagram shows the feedback loop between the thyroid gland in your neck and the pituitary gland in the brain:

    See the separate leaflet called Thyroid Problems for more details.

    Evaluating Your Current Doctor

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    Once you see a doctor for your thyroid condition, itâs 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 wonât be able to get everything you want in one thyroid doctor, so itâs helpful to decide what is most important to you, as well as what is realistic.

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