An endocrinologist and thyroid specialist is a physician who specializes in treating conditions caused by malfunctions of the endocrine system, the hormone-producing glands located throughout the body. The expectations of a client’s visit to an endocrinologist are often different than their reality. It’s essential to get a good understanding of what you can expect. Find out what you need to know, which may assist in preparing for your appointment.

1. What Should I Expect at the First Visit?

Most people expect to have their thyroid problems treated by an endocrinologist. In reality, less than one-third of people who need treatment for thyroid disease get it. Your chances of having your thyroid problem fixed with only a few visits to an endocrinologist are slim. Many thyroid specialist endocrinologists will recommend seeing a surgeon to remove your thyroid if needed.

2. Will My Endocrinologist Prescribe Me Medication Like Levothyroxine?

A few years ago, most doctors followed the old guidelines for treating hypothyroidism which recommended that those given this medication be watched closely. However, the policies were changed. Now, doctors are more concerned with the adverse effects of synthetic thyroid medications on the heart, liver, and brain.

Most endocrinologists today treat only a small percentage of patients with hypothyroidism with synthetic T3, triiodothyronine, or thyroxine medications.

3. Can I Get an Appointment Immediately?

It typically takes six to 12 months to get an appointment to see a thyroid specialist endocrinologist. During that time, you need to complete any ordered tests and prepare for the visit which will take place in a diagnostic facility like a hospital or a private practice office. At Lawler & Lawler Medical Services, we make it convenient to have your tests done and to set an appointment at a date and time suitable for your busy life.

4. What Tests Do I Need to Get?

Typically, you need blood tests to measure how your thyroid hormone is doing and how your body is responding to the medications you are taking. The interval test can be done in a couple of weeks after the medications are started. The interval test gives an idea of how well your thyroid gland is working and whether it needs medication adjustment.

A visit to the endocrinologist usually involves:

  • Blood and urine tests
  • Head-to-toe exam
  • Complete medical history
  • Explanation of your management plan

5. What Happens After My Tests?

Your endocrinologist will review your test result and talk to you about a treatment plan for managing your thyroid disease. If the initial treatment plan does not seem to be working well enough, a letter will be written explaining how your test results compare with what is usually expected. This letter will also be sent to your referring physician. 

6. What If I Don’t Like My Initial Treatment Plan?

Most endocrinologists will adjust your care if your initial treatment does not provide satisfactory results. If you have concerns about your care, talk to your doctor about the medical protocol for treating your thyroid condition so you can review it and decide whether it meets your needs and goals.

It is important to not let your expectations get the better of you. Thyroid disease can affect every organ in the body. If left untreated, it can be fatal. Contact Lawler & Lawler Medical today to schedule a consultation with Marion, IL endocrinologist and thyroid specialist.