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Should I See An Endocrinologist For My Thyroid?

Should I See An Endocrinologist For My Thyroid?

Medically reviewed by

Natalie Bessom, D.O. Board-certified family medicine doctor with specialty training in nutrition, USA

Medically reviewed by

Natalie Bessom, D.O. Board-certified family medicine doctor with specialty training in nutrition, USA

Learn what an endocrinologist is, why you should see one regarding your thyroid, and what questions to ask an endocrinologist about your thyroid. 

This article discusses: 

What is the endocrine system?

The endocrine system is made up of different glands that produce and secrete hormones. Together, these hormones help coordinate the daily functions of the body. Hormones play a part in your body’s mood, energy, growth, metabolism, reproduction, and much more. 

Glands that are part of the endocrine system include:

Hypothalamus – This gland is responsible for the control of involuntary functions such as respiration, heart rate, appetite, sleep, temperature, and circadian rhythms and cycles.

Ovaries – part of the female reproductive system, the organ produces estrogen and progesterone. 

Testicles – part of the male reproductive system that produces sperm and testosterone.

Pancreas – secretes digestive enzymes and produces insulin to manage blood glucose levels.

Pituitary – known as the “master endocrine gland” because it secretes hormones that regulate the functions of other endocrine glands.

Thyroid – produces and secretes hormones that manage metabolism.

What is an endocrinologist?

A general health care physician provides medical care for day-to-day, ongoing care and coordinates any specialty care their patient may need. An endocrinologist is a physician that specifically provides care in treating issues related to the endocrine system. They can diagnose, manage, and treat diseases related to the glands and hormones that are part of the endocrine system.

Endocrinologists treat conditions such as: 

  • Diabetes
  • Thyroid diseases
  • Infertility 
  • Growth issues
  • Metabolic disorders
  • Osteoporosis
  • Adrenal Gland disorders
  • Pituitary Gland disorders

If you have been diagnosed with any of these conditions, your primary care provider will determine whether or not to refer you to an endocrine specialist. It is most common that your primary care physician and an endocrine specialist will work in tandem to provide you with the best healthcare experience.

How do endocrinologists treat thyroid conditions?

Part of the endocrine system, the thyroid is a small gland that regulates the body’s metabolism. In turn, it plays a part in functions such as your energy levels, mood, and weight. An undiagnosed thyroid condition can have lasting effects on many systems in your body and can put you at risk for other issues. 

An endocrinologist helps thyroid patients balance their thyroid hormones and hormone production through medication, diet, and lifestyle changes. The most common types of thyroid conditions that endocrinologists treat are:

What questions should I ask my endocrinologist?

Before your appointment with your endocrinologist, it’s important to be prepared. Have a list of symptoms you experience, specific reasons why your primary care doctor referred you to see an endocrine specialist, any medications, supplements, or treatments that you are taking, and any drastic changes in your life that might be causing you stress. 

To ensure you are getting the most out of your appointment, prepare a list of questions to ask your doctor. Some questions you might want to ask include:

  • What caused or is causing my thyroid issue? 
  • What are my next steps and treatment options? 
  • How often and for how long do I need to take this medication for? 
  • What kinds of food or other medication will affect my thyroid medication?
  • What are some side effects that I will experience? 
  • What diet and lifestyle changes should I make?

Key Takeaways

  • The endocrine system is made up of the glands that produce and secrete hormones.
  • These hormones help regulate the daily function of your body including mood, energy, growth, metabolism, reproduction, and much more.
  • Glands that are part of the endocrine system include: 
    • Hypothalamus
    • Pancreas
    • Pituitary
    • Ovaries
    • Testicles 
    • Thyroid
  • An endocrinologist diagnoses, manages, and treats diseases related to the glands and hormones that are part of the endocrine system. 
  • An endocrinologist helps thyroid patients balance their thyroid hormones and hormone production through medication, diet, and lifestyle changes.
  • It is best to prepare some questions to ask your endocrinologist during your appointment including: 
    • What caused or is causing my thyroid issue? 
    • What are my next steps and treatment options? 
    • How often and for how long do I need to take this medication for? 
    • What kinds of food or other medication will affect my thyroid medication?
  • What are some side effects that I will experience? 
  • What diet and lifestyle changes should I make?

Seeing a specialist and understanding how to manage your thyroid health can be overwhelming at times. For an easier way to manage your thyroid medication, supplements, weight changes, and symptoms, download the ThyForLife app today. 

Here at ThyForLife, we do our utmost to provide accurate information. If you require more detailed information regarding medical terms, conditions, and practices please consult your healthcare professional. Always listen to the advice of your healthcare provider. 

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