House Call: How to Diagnose and Treat Thyroid Disorders
Thyroid hormone helps the body use energy, stay warm and helps maintain proper function of the brain, heart, muscles, and other important organs throughout the body.
Therefore, when symptoms of a thyroid issue present, it is important to get the proper testing and diagnosis.
When a thyroid issue is suspected, certain blood tests are ordered to check for hormone levels related to thyroid function, such as T4, T3 and TSH levels.
Doctors may also check for levels of thyroid antibodies in the bloodstream to see what may be causing the thyroid issue.
If a patient is diagnosed with hypothyroidism, they are commonly treated with a single, daily dose medication that helps return the thyroid balance to normal.
Patients with hyperthyroidism are often treated with one or a combination of treatment options, including radioactive iodine, antithyroid drugs, surgical removal of the gland and/or additional options.
Thyroid cancer must also be properly diagnosed and treated to increase successful outcomes.
Treatment of thyroid disease varies greatly among the many conditions, and must be individualized to each patient’s needs.
- Hormone Health Network: www.hormone.org
- American Thyroid Association: www.thyroid.org
- EmPower: http://www.empoweryourhealth.org/thyroid
Cone Health has an exceptional network of primary care physicians, endocrinologists, surgeons and other related healthcare providers dedicated to properly diagnosing and treating individuals in the community with thyroid conditions.
Dr. Stephen “Steve” South is a board certified endocrinologist and member of Cone Health Medical Staff. Dr. South is a 1987 graduate of Bowman Gray School of Medicine. He completed his residency in Internal Medicine at Roanoke Memorial Hospital and completed his fellowship in Endocrinology at University of Virginia Medical Center.