The Role of a Thyroid Specialist in Managing Your Health

Your endocrine system, including the thyroid gland, creates hormones that regulate other organs. Temperature, blood pressure, metabolism, and heart rate can all be impacted.

Your healthcare provider will evaluate your thyroid condition with a physical exam and blood tests. They may then refer you to a specialist.

Endocrinologist

Often, primary care doctors refer patients with thyroid disorders to an endocrinologist for a second set of eyes. This can be for several reasons, including the fact that some conditions are very complex or that your physician wants to ensure they follow a best-practice approach to managing your condition.

A Thyroid Specialist Denver, CO will physically examine and palpate the thyroid gland to determine whether any nodules or lumps have formed. These abnormalities can be a sign of certain thyroid conditions and, in some cases, can even be cancerous.

Everyone wants a healthcare provider that they feel comfortable with. Some might choose a doctor close to home, while others might drive a long distance to see someone with a great passion for their care. That’s OK, and it’s a good thing to consider your options. Because your health is on the line, the right provider can help you get the best care possible.

Radiologist

The thyroid gland (medical name: thyrotrophin-releasing hormone) produces vital hormones that help your body use energy. It’s shaped like a butterfly, with two wide wings in the front of your neck that straddle and wrap around your windpipe (trachea).

If you have thyroid nodules, an ENT specialist can refer you to an endocrinologist for specialized care. These specialists may recommend blood tests and a thyroid scan.

The thyroid is part of the endocrine system, which includes glands and hormones that control important body functions, including heart rate, temperature, weight, nervous system, menstrual cycles in women, and cholesterol.

Surgeon

The thyroid gland secretes hormones thyroxine (T4) and triiodothyronine, which play a key role in metabolism. Suppose your doctor finds a thyroid nodule or suspects cancer. In that case, they will perform an ultrasound of your neck and order blood tests, such as TSH, thyroxine, triiodothyronine, and calcitonin levels, to check for abnormalities.

Many primary care healthcare providers, including family doctors and internal medicine physicians, are comfortable managing autoimmune hypothyroidism (Hashimoto’s thyroiditis). OB/GYN doctors may be particularly familiar with women’s hormonal issues.

While finding the right fit in a patient-provider relationship takes time, you should only feel stuck with your healthcare provider if you see eye-to-eye on the care you need. Look for a healthcare provider who listens and is open-minded, and you’ll know when you find the right partnership. The right physician will be compassionate, responsive, and able to help you achieve your health goals. You can also consider several other healthcare providers, such as naturopaths and chiropractors.

Pathologist

The thyroid is a small gland in the front of your neck, straddling your windpipe (trachea). It weighs less than an ounce and produces hormones that regulate how fast your heart beats, how rapidly you burn calories, and how your body temperature rises and falls.

If your doctor suspects you have a thyroid disorder, they will do a physical examination and order blood tests and imaging scans. Blood tests measure thyroid hormone levels to detect functional diseases such as hypothyroidism or hyperthyroidism. Imaging tests such as a thyroid ultrasound or radionuclide scan can provide information about the structure of your thyroid and any nodules.

Your physician may also use other laboratory techniques, such as immunohistochemistry and flow cytometry, to look for abnormal cells in tissue samples from thyroid nodules. These tests may help determine whether your nodules are cancerous. If they are, your surgeon will plan the surgery. If they are not, your endocrinologist can prescribe the right dose of thyroid hormone replacement.

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