Doctors Who Specialize In Hypothyroid Disorders

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. QUESTION:
    thyroid problems? what does it do to your body? ?
    i went to the doctors the other day and she told me i might have something wrong with my thyroid and to get blood work done. i know its not a big deal im just confused on what that would mean if there was something wrong? i learned about it in biology but im still confused. help!

    • ANSWER:
      She is checking to see if you are either hypothyroid (under active thyroid) or hyperthyroid (over active). She likely has an idea of what it is but is running labs to confirm and see how much function your thyroid has. Hopefully she is running a full thyroid function panel including T4 and antibodies. It's important to check for antibodies in a hypothyroid patient to check for Hashimoto's Thyroiditis, which could be causing the hypothyroidism. (I had this and it was not diagnosed until I had my first surgery, 3 years later)

      If you are hypothyroid, you have probably been fatigued lately, gaining weight (or trouble loosing it), noticed dry skin, brittle nails, been in a brain fog (hard time remembering things), and other possible symptoms. If you are hyperthyroid, you have probably been loosing weight, have a racing heart, possibly have increased interocular pressure, hunger, and other symptoms. Each can be controlled by taking a small pill...hypothyroid with levothyroxine (Synthroid or other brand) and hyperthyroid with an anti-thyroid drug (or sugery or RAI if hard to control).

      Chances are she is checking for hypothyroidism which is usually easy to control. Make sure that you get your bloodwork done at least once a year to make sure the dose is still correct. Once you start taking Synthroid (or other levothyroxine product), make sure that you take it the same way, EVERY day. Ideally it's best to take it at least 30-60 prior to a meal and 4 hours before any other medication (vitamins, etc). But as long as you are taking it in the same manner each morning, your dose should be right on.

      If you do have a thyroid condition, I recommend you find an endocrinologist that specializes in thyroid disorders/dysfunction. You will receive more specialized care for your thyroid and the endocrinologist will be up to date on all the latest research for thyroid disease. Your doctor should be able to answer any other questions you have. In the meantime, check out these sites to learn more:

      www.endocrineweb.com
      www.thyroid.org
      www.thyroidfoundation.org

      One more thing, if she was concerned about thyroid cancer, you'd likely have an ultrasound and fine needle aspiration done of a nodule on your thyroid. So no need to worry about that!

      Good luck to you!

  2. QUESTION:
    Can a underactive thyroid go back to normal if...?
    I don't take ANY medication to cure it? Last yr I was diagnosed with an underactive thyroid. That explained why I was so tired all the time, anyway I only took it once and stopped. I know how dumb. I went in last wk & the doc said it's all better now....? I told her that I'm still super tired all the time & she told me to go to starbucks...:(

    • ANSWER:
      Your doctor cannot know if it's "all better" unless she does a blood test. I suggest that you make an appointment with an endocrinologist, (they specialize in thyroid and endocrine disorders). What you have is called hypothyroid and it can get very serious and messed up if you do not treat it. I skipped out on my meds and now my symptoms are a lot worse. You have to see an endo and get your T3, T4, and TSH levels tested in addition to your cortisol levels and be checked for polycystic ovary syndrome and Hashimoto's thyroiditis. Thyroid conditions are SERIOUS and you should NOT take them lightly. The med for hypothyroid is usually Synthroid and that is the best one. Make an appointment with an endo asap. If your GP does not give you a referral, get a new doctor and then get a referral if you need one and GO TO THE ENDOCRINOLOGIST! If you have underactive thyroid and you don't treat yourself, you will not only feel tired all the time but your thinking and digesting will be slowed, you will gain weight and have no metabolism, your hair will fall out and become dry and brittle, your skin will get super dry and flaky and thin and weak, your bones will become frail and you will become deficient in vitamin D (also ask to get vit D levels tested), your eyelids will become puffy and so will your face (called moon face), you may become infertile, your periods will be irregular and much heavier and painful, your life will basically SUCK so please go get yourself treated. All of that can be prevented by simply taking the med every day and there are no side effects from the med!

  3. QUESTION:
    My Thyroid? TH levels? Under activity?
    My doctor did fasting blood tests on me and said to me that my thyroid was slightly under active, however not enough to warrant thyroxine. She said that i would need to repeat these blood tests with TH counts in 2 months time.

    But I'm feeling so tired all the time and i feel really worn down.

    What does she mean? What's going on with my body?
    Trees:
    I have all of these...
    Weakness
    Fatigue
    Weight gain
    Depression
    Muscle or joint pain
    Thin, brittle hair
    Paleness

    • ANSWER:
      Okay, I'm speaking from experience - I'm not a doctor. Consider getting a second opinion on this. I had my doctor tell me the same thing as yours. Eventually (due to no treatment) I developed a thyroid disease. All the while, I felt terrible and had the symptoms of an underactive thyroid. My doctor wanted to keep waiting and that's what I did. I wish I'd gotten a second opinion. Maybe your doctor is right - but please, see another doctor for a second opinion.

      You can also see an endocrinologist that specializes in thyroid problems.

      In the meantime, do some searches on hypothyroid or under active thyroid on yahoo and google. Just watch where the information is coming from. You want a legitimate medical site, not someone pushing their particular cure all. These links can get you started.

      I've included a symptoms list from the medline pluse site:
      This is their link:
      http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/000367.htm#Symptoms

      Early symptoms:

      Weakness
      Fatigue
      Cold intolerance
      Constipation
      Weight gain
      Depression
      Muscle or joint pain
      Thin, brittle fingernails
      Thin, brittle hair
      Paleness

      Late symptoms:

      Slow speech
      Dry flaky skin
      Thickening of the skin
      Puffy face, hands, and feet
      Decreased sense of taste and smell
      Thinning of eyebrows
      Hoarseness
      Menstrual disorders

      http://thyroid.about.com/od/hypothyroidismhashimotos/Hypothyroidism_Underactive_Thyroid_Hashimotos_Disease.htm

      http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/000367.htm#Symptoms

      http://www.mayoclinic.com/print/hypothyroidism/DS00353/DSECTION=all&METHOD=print

  4. QUESTION:
    Thyroid problems??
    Hi I'm 19 and I went to the doc recently a Gasterologist and he is giving me a blood test next week because he thinks I may have thyroid problems. Ive been doing alot of research and I find I have most of the symtoms for Hypothyroid...looking at other peoples answers they said they went to an endocrinologist. What exactly is that compared to a Gasterologist can they find the same thing or should i just go see the endocrinologist? thanks for the help all the info you can give me would be greatly appreciated

    • ANSWER:
      An endocrinologist is a doctor who specializes in glandular (among other) disorders. A gastroenterologist can do the same test which is a TSH and T4 to determine the levels of your thyroid hormone. He/she can also prescribe Synthroid to help bring your thyroid level up to normal.

      If you have hypothyroidism (low thyroid) you have to be patient as the medication causes your thyroid to improve slowly. It takes a few months before you are completely up to normal but you will begin to feel better after about 4 weeks. Low thyroid makes you feel as if you have no energy and it can also affect your memory.

      I have hypothyroid as a result of the removal of my thyroid gland. One Sunday morning I was playing piano in church and lost my place and couldn't find the repeat until the chorus was almost over. I couldn't remember which page I was supposed to be playing from. I've never been so embarassed in my life but, surprisingly, the congregation thought I intended for the chorus to be sung acapello. I knew I was extremely tired but didn't think about my thyroid level being low because I was taking Synthroid.

      Pay attention to details and important matters because you can become forgetful. I hope you find out what your problem is so you can get better soon.

  5. QUESTION:
    Hypothyroidism questions...Need advice....Should I change doctors?
    This is a two-part question. First off, I just got my semi-annual TSH levels drawn. It ended up being 4.8/5.5. I know I shouldn't be that high, but my doctor insists that since it's "normal" I shouldn't change my Synthroid dose. I disagree with this point since I've had big drops in the past. We know stress is a trigger for me and I am about to enter a stressful situation (grad school). Should I get a second opinion? If so, does anyone know of an endocrinologist or primary care physician in the Chicago area (north suburbs if possible) that specializes in thyroid disorders? I'm tired of not getting the care I need.

    Also, my cholesterol levels especially my triglycerides are high. I understand that it will always be high. My doctor suggested that I need a diet of whole grains and less refined sugars. The problem is that I am virtually broke, and this kind of food is expensive. Also, my parents do the grocery shopping and I am stuck with what is in the house (cheapest bread, etc.). Another factor is that I am always at my fiance's house and there is never any food there so we carry-out a lot. Any suggestions on how I can have a hypothyroid diet on a budget?

    • ANSWER:
      a 2nd opinion is always valuable to the patient -request a referral to an endocrinologist. good food doesn't have to be expensive. help your parents plan the menu & participate in the shopping.

  6. QUESTION:
    Ladies pls answer this to the best of your knowledge (Thyroid)?
    I was diagnosed with hypothyroid a year back, and I just started meeting a specialist, he took blood work and checked my thyroid levels, and said my dose was a little higher so he put me on 0.88mcg
    Yesterday I had a CAT scan for abdomen - (recommended by him) but I don't understand what does thyroid hv to do with abdomen.
    Me and my husb are planning for a baby this year end, I am very worried ..does hypo-thyroid condition affect being pregnant??? (main concern)
    I am 26 yrs old /5-5 and 146lb (Pls share ur comments)

    • ANSWER:
      I've had hypothyroidism for over 8 years now. I've never had an endocrinologist, or my doctor suggest a CAT scan for anything in reference to the thyroid disorder, so I'm not sure what that it all about.
      But now for some good news. I've had 2 children while having hypothyroidism. It had no effect on my ability to get pregnant. Now in terms of a pregnancy when you have a thyroid problem, here in the state on Florida, you're immediately tagged as "high risk" since it's a chronic condition. That turned out to work to my advantage, since I needed an ob/gyn that specialized in high risk pregnancies, and my insurance covered a great doctor that I would not have been able to afford otherwise.
      Best of luck to you and your hubby...have fun trying!

  7. QUESTION:
    I have fibromyalgia, I don't feel like my doctors are really helping me?
    I have the option to change from my family doctor (an MD) to another local doctor who is a DO. I think I want to take the steps to change, but even as I read the things online that tell me the difference between an MD and a DO.

    Does anyone have any advice for me?

    My understanding is that a DO will specialize in muscular skeletal disease and muscle/joint pain.

    Thank you!
    Red Angel... Thank you I was listing my understandings about a DO not fibro.... if you read again I said both MUSCLE and joint pain.... fibro is sever muscle pain. thanks.

    • ANSWER:
      Hi,
      It sounds like you may be suffering from more than one condition which is common in people with fibromyalgia. It took over three years for doctors to determine I not only had Fibro, but Osteo-arthritis Hypothyroid and premature menopause, which all cause joint pain. I had pain all over my body. I would recommend you see a Rheumatologist who is knowledgeable about fibromyalgia and other connective-tissue disorders. He/She will be able to diagnose the different types of pain you are experiencing after running blood tests, xrays, mris etc... Make sure they test your estrogen, thyroid and vitamin D levels. I would also suggest testing your Immunoglobulin levels.
      Gook luck to you and try to keep a positive attitude,
      Erica

  8. QUESTION:
    What would cause this to happen?
    I have been in college for two years now ( part time ) and I got a cosmetology license right out of high school. I lost interest in cosmetology while in college to persue a career that I feel passionate about, and recently, I took a CNA course because I thought it might be a rewarding job while I continue to stay in school, and I passed my boards, got my license, and now I have lost interest; furthermore, my fiancee helped pay for the course, and I am currently unemployed because I quit the shop I was working at, but yet I feel so unmotivated to do anything, even though I want to contribute something. I have a medical condition. I suffer from hypothyroid, and I also have bad anxiety these days. I see a doctor every month right now and he keeps changing my scripts plus does bloodwork frequently. I have been feeling really down and hopeless lately, and I'm always tired. My physical symptoms are frequent dizziness and heart palps, sometimes an irregular heartbeat. As far as the lack of motivation goes, that's not like the old me at all. What would cause this to happen? :(
    yes I need to see an endocrinologist. I have had bad anxiety since I became ill with hypo. I don't think many people realize how debilitating it can be. Maybe I haven't really lost interest ; I am depressed and feel overwhelmed. I talk to my girlfriend's but I will talk to a professional asap. Thank you both for responding. I am pretty sure it's my thyroid that is wreaking havoc on my life right now. I feel like I'm losing my mind, at least temperarily

    • ANSWER:
      Hi, alot of times hypothyroidism can cause some really serious symptoms, not only physical but mental as well. Is your dr. specialized in endocrine disorders? If not, you need to find a board certified endocrinologist who can order the necessary bloodwork and tweak your medications as needed. Dosages vary by patients and you need the levels to be checked frequently. It probably wouldn't hurt to speak to a counselor also. There is nothing wrong with seeing someone to talk over your problems. If more people did that this world would be a much better place. Find one that you can bond with and don't settle for someone that you just don't jive with. It's important to feel comfortable with whomever you choose. Taking time to relax and think about your future helps also. Try some meditation techniques, relaxing music, a long walk, mild exercise, anything that helps. Also being a CNA is a tough job, i know I did that for many years. You may want to examine your job options and then make the decision on what your heart tells you to do. Trust your instincts. Hope this helps and good luck!

  9. QUESTION:
    What is wrong with me? Hypothyroidism? Pituitary hypothyroidism? Hashimoto's? Leukemia? ?
    I'm 19, about 5 feet tall, 116 lbs. African-American.
    History: Most of the symptoms I have I've had for years, but being raised in a family that pushed me to “just deal with it” whenever I complained about feeling sick Iwas forced to push myself. I'm in a much better situation, but since I've been here my health has consistently been declining and I've developed anxitey which keeps getting worse. Life before this year was pretty close to unbearably stressful including freuqent sporadic bouts of homelessness all throughout my life as well as other traumatic events. I thought maybe it could be ptsd or GAD, but the anxitey just began now that I'm removed from the stressful situation and placed into a stable one, same with my body pretty much breaking down. Through-out my developmental years I abused a variety of pills (Been clean for awhile.) as well as ingesting mass amounts of soy (vegetarian for eight years) and starting birth control at 14. Family has a history of cancer, diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, addiction. Possibly a history of hypothyroid, but only one family member is officially diagnosed ,four people total with parallel symptoms though.

    Symptoms including, but not limited to: Dry, brittle hair & scalp, hair loss, dry skin, several different kinds of recurring headaches (center of head between ears mostly), weight flucuations ,Hirsutism, irregular periods, infertility, acne, visual disturbances (three dots in a triangular formation), bleeding gums, tooth decay, sporadic dizziness, loss of motor control, slurred speech, fevers (past 2 month), menstrual irregularities, infertility, sinuses hurt constantly throughout ears and face, several serious sinus infections over the years, "lump stuck in throat” feeling, swelling under her chin sometimes, heartburn, stabbing chest pains (really painful almost incapacitating), heart palpitations, back & shoulder pain (excruciating, chronic), trouble digesting food, no appetite, possible gall bladder problems, daily nausea, muscle weakness, joint pain, chronic yeast infections over the years (generally very prone to infection), "tingling" in limbs kind of like they fell asleep but more intense of a pins & needles feeling, lack of energy, shortness of breath., lump on her arm about a centimeter or so high, what feels like carpal tunnel, insomnia, serious anxiety. Temperature. is very low in the morning and high at night. She's extremely sensitive to cold, sensitive to light(sometimes it causes her to vomit or pass out)
    We're worried that the ranges of normality might be off considering she's a pretty tiny person and i guess wouldn't have the same range of normality as someone who is of average height and weight or someone that hasn't been on birth control on and off since they were 14

    Theories have been put forth that it could be either depression in general (it absolutely isn't), 1.pituitary or secondary hypothyroid, 2.Adrenal failure originating in the pituitary gland( due to what seems like bouncing between hyperthyroid and hypothyroid) 3. Leukemia (due to her wbc being on the high end and her rbc being on the low end) or some Autoimmune disease (due to her lymphocyte count being on the high end and her monocyte count being on the low end)
    Doctors are just pretty much refusing to listen to her tell them her symptoms or perform tests, especially if they know her history. Or they tell her it's anxiety or depression because her results are “within range”.
    Here are a lot of test results, if you can make any sense out of them I'd really appreciate it:
    BUN/Creatinine Ratio 13
    Alkaline Phosphatase, S 48 (IU/L)
    LDH 115 (IU/L)
    AST (SGOT) 15 (IU/L)
    ALT (SGPT) 14 (IU/L)
    pH 6.0
    Free T4 1.28 (ng/dL)
    TSH 1.051 (uIU/mL)
    Thyroid Peroxidase (TPO) Ab <10 (IU/mL)
    free t3 3.3 (pg/mL)
    antithyroglobulin ab siemens (DPC) ICMA Method <20 IU/ML --40
    WBC 8.6 (x10E3/uL)
    RBC 4.13 (x10E6/uL)
    Hemoglobin 12.3 (g/dL)
    Hematocrit 36.2 (%)
    RDW 12.7 (%)
    Platelets 344 (x10E3/uL)
    Neutrophils 46 (%)
    Lymphs 49 (%)
    Monocytes 4 (%)
    Eos 1 (%)
    Basos 0 (%)
    Neutrophils (Absolute) 4.0 (x10E3/uL)
    Lymphs (Absolute) 4.2 (x10E3/uL)
    Monocytes (Absolute) 0.3 (x10E3/uL)
    Eos (Absolute) 0.1 (x10E3/uL)
    Baso (Absolute) 0.0

    I forgot to clarify a few things. The tooth decay is recent, most of the enamel on my teeth is gone. I don't have insurance at all. I can't work and I can't go to school. And I'm no longer a vegetarian as of one year ago.
    Also, I've been all over the vitamins situation. All kinds of D, B, B12, A and some other multi as well as iron supplements.

    • ANSWER:
      Hello...your test results mean nothing to us if you don't include the lab ranges. Thats because every lab has a different method of testing and have different ranges. So I am unsure what is low or high.

      I have a pituitary condition AND Hashimotos. Before I was able to find a Dr. that would listen, I had many of the symptoms you describe and was told I was just depressed. I found a good Dr. that realized I might have the 2 conditions and combined they were making some of the lab results look normal (one condition was pulling them down, the other up). And he said "OF course your depressed, your very sick!" Why isn't IGF 1 including in your test results? Thats a very important test to determine pituitary functioning. All your symptoms point to a pituitary problem. You need to find a good Endocrinologist who specializes in pituitary disorders. Go to www.pituitary.org and look through Dr. listings. I'm not sure what you should do about the financial issue but maybe someone can help you out.

  10. QUESTION:
    Thyroid question - I had a thyroid function test, came back normal, but...?
    Basically I've been overweight, severely depressed, sluggish, for a good few years and no matter what I do nothing seems to change it (I'm only 19).

    Then in the last 3 months, I lost 2 stone out of nowhere, became a lot more upbeat and excitable but very anxious with a fast heart rate (100 per minute) and have been having episodes of psychosis - I basically am so irritable that I just lose it and freak out. My sister booked me into therapy because of one of these episodes. I can't sleep at night and feel sick and lightheaded and dizzy all the time.
    I also get hot flushes after eating and can't stand heat at all - my skin turns red and patchy instantly.

    I had a thyroid function test but it came back normal so does this mean I don't have a thyroid problem?

    I was reading the hashimoto's symptoms - periods of hypothyroid with hyperthyroid in between - I have every single one in there!

    But the TFT makes me think I must be wrong, My doctor's haven't been able to help me at all. My aunt had severe thyroid problems for years before being diagnosed.
    Please help. Thank you.

    • ANSWER:
      Personally, I would demand to see an endocrinogist as thyroid problems commonly go undiagnosed and they specialize in disorders. Make sure to mention your family history And all detailed symptoms.

  11. QUESTION:
    Could this be Hypothyroidism?
    For the past 6 weeks I had thought that I was pregnant. But test after test after test came up as a big fat negative. I was tested for cysts, fibroids and a UTI. All negative. Needless to say, I was upset and frustrated at not knowing what was wrong with me.

    I'm a 20 year old woman who doesn't have the energy to act like one. I'm always exhausted from morning to night. I can barely find the energy to get out of bed sometimes.
    I suffer from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and thought I was just depressed all the time because of it, but sometimes I don't have any reason at all to feel so bummed out all the time. And my happiness is very short lived.
    I also suffer from a partially failed kidney. I don't make enough potassium, but I was anorexic when I was younger and thought that was why. No one ever told me how or why or how severe it is, just that I have a kidney problem.
    As of late my hair has been falling out in the shower a lot. Clumps of it, and the ends of my hair are very course and dry, even after I get the dead ends cut off.
    I'm Egyptian, so I have an olive skin tone. But also I've been getting pale patches of skin on my arms that are very dry. I have eczema and have suffered for many years with it.
    Now my period is a disaster. I miscarried last year, I had unprotected sex still didn't get pregnant and now Aunt Flo is among the missing.
    I'm gaining so much weight, and no matter what I do it doesn't change! I've tried everything.

    Please someone help me. When I tell my doctor he doesn't do anything about it. He tells me to drink juice and it'll sort itself out. That I'm probably coming down with something. He's been telling me that for the past 6 years! I don't know what to do anymore.

    Could this be a thyroid problem? What kind of doctor can I see that will actually listen to me? Help me please!

    • ANSWER:
      From all the symptoms you have mentioned, it's safe to say that you might be suffering from hypothyroidism, yes. Here is a web site that you can go to that will tell you all about it, and what kinds of other symptoms you may be experiencing as well as what to expect.

      http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/hypothyroidism/DS00353

      I am also hypothyroid, and understand the condition. Be sure to see an endocrinologist, which specializes in thyroid complications.

      Although TSH is the most common method to diagnose low thyroid, having "normal" TSH levels does not automatically rule out hypothyroidism. In addition to the TSH test, a more complete thyroid panel should also include free T3, free T4, and possibly TPO antibodies, and reverse T3. Although these are the best tests to evaluate thyroid function, these tests are often not performed because they are more expensive than the common tests and may not be covered by your insurance companies. When choosing a doctor to treat your possible thyroid problem, ask your doctor what tests they include in their thyroid panel.

      ~Michelle

doctors who specialize in hypothyroid disorders