From an interview on Good Morning Pee Dee with Aundrea Loftley, MD McLeod Endocrinology Associates
An endocrinologist is a specialist dealing with hormone imbalances in the body – primarily thyroid issues and diabetes.
THYROID ISSUES – TOO MUCH, TOO LITTLE
“The thyroid is a powerful gland,” says McLeod Endocrinologist Aundrea Loftley, MD. “It sits at the center of our neck and it’s tiny. Yet, the thyroid controls everything from the way we think to our metabolism and how our heart contracts.”
Many people spend their lives barely aware that they have a thyroid. Yet, a large portion of the population has to deal with a gland that’s overactive (hyperthyroidism) or underactive (hypothyroidism).
“Sometimes, the thyroid irregularity is triggered by your body’s own immune system,” says Dr. Loftley. “Other times it can be induced by medications or exposures (such as exposure to contrast used for radiology scans/procedures and exposure to radiation). There are a number of symptoms, although none are unique to the thyroid gland. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, see your personal physician for initial testing and a referral can be made if lab abnormalities are detected.”
Signs of thyroid trouble include:
Sudden weight gain or loss.
Sudden onset of diarrhea or constipation.
Memory problems in someone who is a highly functioning individual.
Other, less common symptoms, include: Chest pain, heart palpitations and unusual anxiety.
There are several types of diabetes.
The three types that we see most often are:
There is very little you can do to prevent Type 1. However, here are steps to help avoid the other types of diabetes:
Common symptoms include frequent urination, feeling very thirsty or despite eating and drinking a normal amount, extreme fatigue, blurry vision, slow-to-heal cuts and bruises, and tingling or numbness in your hands and feet.
“The good news is that – even if you have diabetes – you can control it with medication and lifestyle,” says Dr. Loftley. “The disease will still be there but you can slow its progress and extend your longevity.”
ACTION YOU CAN TAKE
If you have symptoms that you think might be either diabetes or thyroid problems, see your personal physician. They can take some preliminary tests and, if needed, refer you to an endocrinologist.
For more information on these topics:
US Center for Disease Control and Prevention