How Is Thyroid Eye Disease Diagnosed
If the patient already suffers from hyperthyroidism, the ophthalmologist will check for
- The functioning of the eye muscles
- The extent to which eyelids can be closed
- Range of motion in the eyes
- Visual acuity test
Other tests that are used to arrive at the diagnosis of thyroid eye disease include
If the affected person doesnt have thyroid disease, the doctor will ask for blood tests that check for
- The presence of antithyroid antibodies
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
Types Of Thyroid Disorders
The thyroid is a butterfly shaped gland in your neck. It produces and secretes a variety of hormones that affect the functioning of the body. If your thyroid secretes too little or too much thyroid hormone, you may experience some uncomfortable symptoms, such as weight loss or , and intolerance to heat or cold. Thyroid disorders can also contribute to the development of other health problems, including and .
Thyroid disease is common. According to the Cleveland Clinic, approximately 20 million Americans have some type of thyroid disorder. Learn more about the different types of thyroid disorders so you can identify symptoms and seek appropriate medical care and treatment if needed.
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What Are Treatments For Hypothyroidism
Dr. Mandagere: As I mentioned before, hypothyroidism cannot be cured. We can, however, prescribe medication that restores adequate hormone levels and reverses the symptoms. Standard treatment involves the daily use of the synthetic hormone, levothyroxine . After a simple blood test that measures thyroid function, we determine the appropriate dose of medication.
Its important to note that, because thyroid function will fluctuate and diminish over time, we need to monitor a patients medication throughout their lifetime. Dosage levels are increased or decreased depending on symptoms and results of blood tests. Medication will compensate for the weakened thyroid, eventually taking over when the thyroid ceases to function altogether. The process of destroying the thyroid gland is a slow one, which is why many people who have Hashimotos Thyroiditis can go years without symptoms.
For some, increasing their medication to compensate for reduced thyroid function happens over many years. Others go from no medicine to a full dose within six months. I reassure my patients that we will work together to find a dose of medication that will hold things steady at some point.
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 live a healthy life.
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Rachel Hill Thyroid Patient Advocate
Rachel Hill is the highly ranked and multi-award winning thyroid patient advocate, writer, speaker and author behind The Invisible Hypothyroidism. Her thyroid advocacy work includes writing articles, authoring books, producing her Thyroid Family email newsletters and speaking on podcasts, as well as being a founding board member for the American College of Thyroidology. She is well-recognised as a crucial contributor to the thyroid community and has a large social media presence. Her books include “Be Your Own Thyroid Advocate” and “You, Me and Hypothyroidism”.
Types Of Thyroid Doctors
There are two types of physicians who may specialize in any area of medicinemedical doctors and osteopathic physicians . Osteopathic physicians undergo training very similar to that of medical doctors, and the two are considered equal with regard to the ability to care for and treat patients. Some may specialize in endocrine conditions, like thyroid disease, while others may care for patients with these concerns as well as others.
With some thyroid conditions, your family doctor may be your best choice for your care, whereas, with others, you may need to see an endocrinologist or a surgeon who specializes in treating thyroid cancer.
MDs and DOs who may treat thyroid disease include:
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What Kind Of Tests Does An Endocrinologist Do
Your endocrinologist may request imaging exams to look at your endocrine system function. Thyroid ultrasound imaging may be used to look at your thyroids structure. A fine-needle aspiration can help rule out cancer in a thyroid nodule. A thyroid scan shows the size, shape and function of the thyroid gland.
Please Tell Your Thyroidologist That The Ata Referred You
The American Thyroid Association® does not guarantee and is not responsible for the services of physicians listed in this Find a Specialist resource. The physicians and surgeons listed have indicated their willingness to be listed in this section as accepting new patients. Listing in this section is not, and does not intend to be, an endorsement by the American Thyroid Association of the quality and competence of persons who are listed or not listed.
Patients who seek to identify a thyroid specialist may also use other professional websites to confirm the doctors professional licensure and board certification statuses. To find out if your doctor or a doctor you are considering is Board Certified by a Member Board of the American Board of Medical Specialties go to or call toll-free 1-866-275-2267. For internal medicine only, go to the American Board of Internal Medicine at www.abim.org.
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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.
Types Of Medical Practitioners You May See As A Thyroid Patient
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As a thyroid patient, there are a few different types of medical and healthcare professionals you may see for your management of your health and condition.
Some can be more useful in addressing different areas of the condition than others and different patients find different success with different types of doctors.
First of all, lets begin with an explanation on:
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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.
Conventional Medicine Vs Functional Medicine
There are generally two approaches to medicine, conventional and functional, the former being what it says on the tin conventional ways to treat a patient e.g. they come in with a symptom so theyre given a drug to help with that and functional medicine which looks at getting to the actual issue, the root cause of the symptoms, and fixing that, before jumping to treating just the symptoms with drugs.
Endocrinologists and GPs generally fall into conventional medicine, as well as some private doctors. However, I see a private GP who combines conventional and integrative medicine practises.
Whereas Conventional medicine looks at each symptom and health condition as a separate issue to treat, functional medicine is holistic and looks at the whole body, considering how one issue can have a knock-on effect and cause other things to go wrong, too.
Whilst also considering some drugs, functional medicine places importance on lifestyle factors such as diet what we eat and drink stress levels, exercise, chemicals, toxins and much more. For some people, conventional medicine works just fine for them and they return to good health on thyroid medication alone for their underactive thyroid, but for many others, they never quite feel right again, post-hypothyroidism diagnosis and conventional doctors prescribe multiple medicines for multiple symptoms that we are told, are issues.
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Care For Thyroid Disorders
Some 10 million Americans suffer from hypothyroidism, a common thyroid disorder in which the body doesnt produce enough thyroid hormone, leading to fatigue and weight gain.
Endocrinologists in the Sutter Health network specialize in caring for patients with hypothyroidism, hyperthyroidism and other thyroid disorders, including thyroid cancer and goiters. Although these conditions can be uncomfortable, most are highly treatable.
Endocrinologists often recommend a variety of services to treat thyroid disorders, including:
- Medications To balance hormonal levels.
- Thyroid Surgery To treat conditions including cancerous and benign thyroid nodules, large goiters and overactive thyroid glands.
- Radioactive Iodine To treat overactive thyroid due to Graves disease or toxic nodules.
- In-office Procedures These include thyroid ultrasound and ultrasound-guided fine-needle aspiration biopsy of the thyroid or parathyroid.
Is Cbd Oil Good For Hormones
CBD and the endocrine system The endocannabinoid system can be stimulated by the use of CBD, a cannabinoid produced by the hemp plant. As such, CBD could be used to influence major hormones including insulin, cortisol and melatonin, so is increasingly being cited as a natural treatment option for hormone problems.
Which Type Of Doctor Treats Thyroid Disease
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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.
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What Do I Need To Know About Taking Thyroid Medications
Dr. Mandagere: For my patients who are already being treated for hypothyroidism, I emphasize the importance of taking their medication in a consistent manner. If a patient Im treating comes to me with elevated symptoms, we sometimes find that it doesnt necessarily mean that their thyroid is slowing down.
This is where, with my passion for, and background in biochemistry and nutrition, things really get interesting in terms of problem-solving with my patients.
We may find that their body is not absorbing the thyroid medication efficiently or that the metabolism of the medication has changed for one reason or another. We talk about a proper dosing routine that includes taking their medication the same time every day on an empty stomach. Its also important that their thyroid medication is separated by at least four hours from certain vitamins and minerals including calcium, iron and fiber and some cholesterol medications. We also discuss other prescriptions or supplements that might be impacting their thyroid medication.
I prefer prescribing Synthroid for my patients but, of course, the brand is more expensive so a lot people do opt for the generic and sometimes that means more monitoring and adjusting. Its also true that sometimes people just feel better on one medication than another, and it could have to do with various chemicals in the formulation, so its hard to say what will work best for every patient.
Ask A Doctor For The Tests That Should Be Done To Diagnose The Thyroid Problem Correctly
To get the right treatment process you must choose the best doctor who is well experienced and who is updated with technology and all types of equipment needed for the treatment. Wher some doctors like to stick to old treatment methods for thyroid, while others will try new methods. They might ask for carrying out various kinds of investigations. Most doctors will only ask to do a TSH test. But a proficient doctor will ask to do Free T3, Total T3, Free T4 and Total T4 for overall thyroid testing. Investigating all the variables helps in getting the larger picture and proper treatment can be done. The best doctor for thyroid treatment will check all variables and then start treatment accordingly.
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What Is Thyroid Eye Disease
Thyroid eye disease, also known as Graves orbitopathy or Graves ophthalmopathy, is an eye condition that happens in a person with an overactive thyroid.
An overactive thyroid, known as hyperthyroidism, results from elevated levels of thyroid hormones in the blood.
The signs and symptoms of thyroid eye disease include
How Can I Manage My Life Now That I Have An Autoimmune Disease
Although most autoimmune diseases don’t go away, you can treat your symptoms and learn to manage your disease, so you can enjoy life! Women with autoimmune diseases lead full, active lives. Your life goals should not have to change. It is important, though, to see a doctor who specializes in these types of diseases, follow your treatment plan, and adopt a healthy lifestyle.
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What Diseases Does An Endocrinologist Treat
An endocrinologist treats diseases due to the imbalance of hormones in the body. The endocrine diseases may be either due to an increase or decrease in the production or secretion of hormones.
The most common diseases treated by an endocrinologist include:
- Diabetes mellitus type 1 and type 2
- Certain cancers of the endocrine glands
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
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I Want To Have A Baby Does Having An Autoimmune Disease Affect Pregnancy
Women with autoimmune diseases can safely have children. But there could be some risks for the mother or baby, depending on the disease and how severe it is. For instance, pregnant women with lupus have a higher risk of preterm birth and stillbirth. Pregnant women with myasthenia gravis might have symptoms that lead to trouble breathing during pregnancy. For some women, symptoms tend to improve during pregnancy, while others find their symptoms tend to flare up. Also, some medicines used to treat autoimmune diseases might not be safe to use during pregnancy.
If you want to have a baby, talk to your doctor before you start trying to get pregnant. Your doctor might suggest that you wait until your disease is in remission or suggest a change in medicines before you start trying. You also might need to see a doctor who cares for women with high-risk pregnancies.
Some women with autoimmune diseases may have problems getting pregnant. This can happen for many reasons. Tests can tell if fertility problems are caused by an autoimmune disease or an unrelated reason. Fertility treatments are able to help some women with autoimmune disease become pregnant.