Thyroid problems are becoming more and more common. The conditions often go undiagnosed and untreated, since the symptoms are also common to other medical issues. Hypothyroidism (or too little thyroid hormone) is the most common thyroid problem. Some of the symptoms are a slow metabolism, depression, constipation, forgetfulness and thinning hair. Hyperthyroidism (or too much thyroid hormone) will have symptoms such as diarrhoea, dizziness, insomnia and a pounding heartbeat. If you think you have either of these disorders, you will need to see an endocrinologist for an accurate diagnosis.
- Skill level:
- Moderately Easy
Ask your primary care physician for an endocrinologist recommendation. Your physician will only be able to do preliminary testing for thyroid problems, but often will be able to recommend an endocrinologist for further testing and diagnosis. You will want to add any recommendation you receive to your list of prospective endocrinologists.
Solicit names of endocrinologists from your friends and family. Thyroid problems are quite common. It is very likely that your friends and/or family have either seen an endocrinologist, or know of someone who has. Additionally, personal recommendations are the only way to find information on a doctor's "bedside manner" and personality. Ask them for names and opinions of any endocrinologist they have heard of, and document any responses you're given.
Understand the endocrinologist credentials. You will be looking for a board certified endocrinologist. A doctor will complete their residency in internal medicine while going through medical school. After their residency, they will complete a fellowship in endocrinology to become an endocrinologist. After this training and passing a certification examination, they will be considered board certified in internal medicine and endocrinology.
Research the endocrinologists on your list, and choose with whom to make an appointment. Now that you have a list of doctors and their certifications, you will be able to begin your research. You can search the American Board of Internal Medicine website for the doctors on your list to verify their certification. You will want to place those that are board certified in Endocrinology, and those who you have received a positive personal recommendation on the top of your list.
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