IS IT MY THYROID?
The specialists at Desert Endocrinology treat thousands of patients with thyroid disorders every year. We take pride in the care we provide, as well as our high approval ratings on patient satisfaction surveys.
The thyroid gland is a butterfly-shaped gland in the lower neck that regulates many aspects of the body’s metabolism. Approximately 12% of Americans will have a thyroid disorder at some point in their life. There are many forms of thyroid disease including goiter, thyroid nodules, thyroid cancer, hypothyroidism, hyperthyroidism and thyroiditis. Fortunately for the 20 million Americans with thyroid disease, it is highly treatable.
We see many patients that come to us with persistent symptoms of hypothyroidism despite “normal thyroid function tests” according to their healthcare provider. Similarly, many patients have symptoms of hypothyroidism when their thyroid tests are interpreted as “normal” by their healthcare providers. This is one of the most frustrating situations any patient will ever encounter. In some cases, after a careful review of the patient and in-depth thyroid testing, we are forced to conclude “it’s not your thyroid.” However, in many cases it is the thyroid. Still, in other situations it is another unrecognized endocrine disorder.
Several issues may contribute to misdiagnosis and suboptimal management of thyroid disorders.
Lab Values vs. Symptoms
It is increasingly common for healthcare providers to rely more on laboratory testing than on a medical history and examination. This relates to the pressure healthcare providers are under to see more patients in a shorter period of time. In such cases, compelling symptoms are dismissed if the thyroid function tests are “normal” and the patient is sent on their way. There is no room for discussion; no time to dig into the problem beyond a superficial assessment.