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What to Do When Diagnosed With aThyroid Condition

Updated on December 27, 2014
A lot of symptoms of diseases related to the thyroid overlap each other. There are symptoms that are also included with other medical conditions and not necessarily a disorder of this body organ
A lot of symptoms of diseases related to the thyroid overlap each other. There are symptoms that are also included with other medical conditions and not necessarily a disorder of this body organ

For more information on this illness view these educational materials

A faulty thyroid gland is capable of being life changing in treatment and diagnosing

Having a thyroid problem is an issue touching millions of Americans. For the most part tons of people with hyperthyroidism, hypothyroidism or Graves Disease are not even aware a medical problem exists. After being diagnosed with a thyroid condition there are several things to do to make the journey down a long hard road easier.

This small organ located at the base of the throat controls numerous functions in the body and the symptoms of one functioning incorrectly is capable of being a mimic of other diseases and conditions. The ultimate diagnosis is generally made by combining several or more physical symptoms, lab tests and possibly diagnostic tests to diagnosis a patient with a disorder.

Anyone affected by one of these illnesses needs to understand there are a number of things to avoid to make a patient feel physically better. There are also other things which must be performed to aid in recovery or at least feeling better. Find out what these are and how to make progress for improved health.

Beware of bad advice

A patient feeling bad or under the weather always looks for a cure. Some people are willing to take advantage of a bad situation and offer a quick and easy fix. This easy solution comes at a cost. Sometimes the price is more than money. A number of these supposedly "short cut" to remedies are capable of being potentially bad for a patient's health and do more harm than good.

Be careful not to sacrifice physical health trying to find a quick fix instead of seeking medical treatment from a certified physician or medical provider to treat a condition related to this gland. There are no short cuts for a real recovery or home remedies for a cure.

Don’t Avoid Physician visits

Most patients dislike seeing a physician for any reason. Unfortunately, sufferers with this auto immune disease need to see a doctor chronically to manage the disease. This is a constant condition and will affect most people there entire lives. Therefore, make the most of the time spent with a physician. Never avoid physician visits. Management of the ailment is necessary through medical management.

Spend time during visits talking with a doctor about physical feelings. There are lab or diagnostic procedures used during an exam to help identify a sickness. Though a patient verbally telling a doctor how they feel is an invaluable tool for diagnosis.

Be prepared to have laboratory tests performed along with other medical procedures to validate the exact ailment with the organ. Medical personnel determine whether or not there are signs of an under active thyroid gland or an overactive one. This is key in how to make the patient feel better.

Underactive versus overactive

A thyroid not working or stimulating enough of the hormone produces different symptoms versus an overactive one creating too much. How the organ is working certainly shapes the treatment given to a patient. The diversity in improving a patient's condition involves a variety of medications and lifestyle advice. Prescriptions and other treatments are a definite benefit to living better with thyroid disease.

Keep away from any over the counter medications, vitamins or other supplements. Taking these are capable of affecting how the organ is behaving. Not sharing this info with doctors is dangerous. They are possibly changing how medications are behaving and laboratory test results. Delaying recovery and feeling better faster are hampered when some of these are mixed with medication treatment.

Get the Right Doctor

Seeing the right physician for dealing with symptoms and managing the illness is important. Why suffer needlessly with the incorrect medical management? The correct doctor for the condition is a must. A family physician typically identifies the problem, but passes the treatment to a specialist. An expert in the field is better equipped for any emergency situations connected with the disease. Dealing incorrectly with medication and other therapy holds the possibility of death in a worst-case scenario.

Look for a new physician is ailments are not taken "seriously" or brushed off. Some of complaints coming with this illness are anxiety and other grievances mistaken as hormonal. Seeing another medical professional is okay at any time. A second opinion is appreciated to confirm or deny a condition.

Endocrinologists are the medical specialty associated with these illnesses and the most educated when it comes to ailments of the auto immune system such as thyroid disease. Even among endocrinologists a patient needs a good fit. A comfort level is needed to discuss lots of complaints which are personal in nature.

Everything is Not Thyroid Gland Related

There is a slight tendency for some patients to go overboard with assuming everything is related to their defective organ. This is certainly not the case. Although a variety of grievances are tied to these type of disorders, some medical issues are not related to this organ.

Discuss complaints and make certain whether a symptom is a sign of an under active or overactive gland, another disorder or simply nothing to be concerned about. It is possible for an individual to have a heart attack and not know it because the assumption is a thyroid disease symptom versus heart ailment. Performing lab test also rule out other sicknesses.

An example of confusing diagnosis based on symptoms is hair loss. A gland producing too much thyroid hormone has a symptom of hair loss. However, hair loss is also a sign of another auto immune disorder such as alopecia. Treatment for a gland producing too much hormone will not cure alopecia. Both conditions need to be handled accordingly in order to see improved health. Additionally, it is possible for a patient to have both diseases. Yet they still require two distinct types of therapy.

Know Tests Results

A large part of handling this illness is performing routine tests to track the organ's function or medication levels. When laboratory tests are performed patients typically get feedback from physicians’ offices tests were “normal”. What does "normal" mean for test results?

Know what tests results came back each time to make certain they are indeed normal. Education is needed for which ones are performed, what they measure, what numbers are within normal range and which are not. More importantly discover what it means if the feedback received identifies numbers are falling outside of the normal range.This characteristically means a change in therapy is required.

Track results and ask for copies of labs. Education on what tests should be done and what numbers are considered okay is imperative as an educated patient. This permits an individual to be part of the cure. Being informed helps improve mental health as well. Less anxiety is experienced when it comes to labs and test done for anyone developing an expertise about a chronic ailment.

Thyroid tests

Four different functioning tests are performed to diagnoses what type of malfunction has occurred. Other tests for Graves Disease include diagnostic scans and ultrasounds. The TSH, T3 and T4 are the common labs in nearly every case.

Only performing a TSH test, but not a T4 or T3 gives an unclear picture of what the gland is actually doing and how well a patient is feeling. A normal TSH, but abnormal T4 or T3 indicates an unhealthy gland not functioning normally.

If only the TSH test was done the patient receives the news results were normal. In reality if the T4 or T3 were both done (which is correct) the outcome is abnormal. Medical action is needed because there is some form of trouble with this gland. The patient is generally complaining of ailments and abnormal results confirm this.

In conclusion

Hang in there. Symptoms are life altering for lots of folks. Countless patients have their sex drive, figure, fertility, physical appearance and numerous other factors of life touched negatively by thyroid disease. Although it is tempting to throw in the towel, don’t give up hope. Although there is no cure there is definitely treatment and a way to live with this sickness where life is once again enjoyable.

Keep away from quick fixes. They do not exist

The internet is an interesting beast. Countless sites are capable of giving up very attention grabbing and thoughtful info on any item. This includes the thyroid gland. The organ is complicated and remarkable because it is responsible for tons of functions around the body.

Any illness or diseased part of the body is capable of wreaking havoc on the human body, including this one. This is one of the reasons tons of individuals seek education about it when diagnosed with a thyroid condition. During the search for education and info some look for easy solutions to a complicated issue. There is no simple answer for this difficult situation.

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      C L Grant 5 years ago from United Kingdom

      If you believe you may have a thyroid problem, that is causing you problems, then I think you should insist on a referral to an endocrinologist.

      As you indicate in your hub, the thyroid tests can sometimes be ambiguous, when read in isolation, and many physicians may not be seeing the bigger picture.

      Very informative!