Hypothyroidism: when to see an endocrinologist

(Beth W. Orenstein/ Everyday Health) — Most people with hypothyroidism take synthetic thyroid hormone replacement medication to make up for what the body isn’t producing. Usually a primary care doctor can manage this condition, which is common and affects nearly five percent of Americans age 12 and older, according to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases.

But there are situations in which you may need to have an endocrinologist, a doctor who specializes in the endocrine system, oversee your care. An endocrinologist is particularly knowledgeable about the function of the thyroid gland and the body’s other hormone-secreting glands.

Tamara Wexler, MD, PhD, an endocrinologist at NYU Langone Health in New York City recommends seeing an endocrinologist at least once when you’re first diagnosed with hypothyroidism to review your condition, your test results, and your treatment plan. “After one or two visits, you may not need to keep seeing him or her regularly,” she says. That’s when your primary care doctor can usually take over. (…)

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