You'll likely start by seeing your family doctor or a general practitioner. In some cases, you might be referred to a doctor who specializes in the body's hormone-secreting glands (endocrinologist).
Here's some information to help you get ready for your appointment and know what to expect from your doctor.
What you can do
- Be aware of any pre-appointment restrictions. At the time you make the appointment, be sure to ask if there's anything you need to do in advance.
- Write down any symptoms you're experiencing, including any that might seem unrelated to the reason for which you scheduled the appointment.
- Write down key personal information, including any major stresses or recent life changes.
- Make a list of all medications, vitamins or supplements you're taking.
- Take a family member or friend along, if possible. Someone who accompanies you might remember something that you missed or forgot.
- Write down questions to ask your doctor.
Preparing a list of questions will help you make the most of your time with your doctor. For postpartum thyroiditis, some basic questions to ask include:
- What is likely causing my symptoms or condition?
- Are there other possible causes for my symptoms or condition?
- What tests do I need?
- Is my condition likely temporary or chronic?
- What is the best course of action?
- What are the alternatives to the primary approach you're suggesting?
- I have these other health conditions. How can I best manage them together?
- Are there restrictions I need to follow?
- Should I see a specialist?
- Is there a generic alternative to the medicine you're prescribing?
- Are there brochures or other printed material I can take with me? What websites do you recommend?
Don't hesitate to ask any other relevant questions you have.
What to expect from your doctor
Your doctor is likely to ask you a number of questions, including:
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- When did you begin experiencing symptoms?
- Have your symptoms been continuous or occasional?
- How severe are your symptoms?
- What, if anything, seems to improve your symptoms?
- What, if anything, appears to worsen your symptoms?
- Do you have a prior history or family history of thyroid disease?
- Burman KD. Postpartum thyroiditis. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed May 29, 2013.
- Cunningham FG, et al. Williams Obstetrics. 23rd ed. New York, N.Y.: The McGraw-Hill Companies; 2010. http://www.accessmedicine.com/resourceTOC.aspx?resourceID=46. Accessed May 29, 2013.
- Todd CH. Management of thyroid disorders in primary care: Challenges and controversies. Postgraduate Medical Journal. 2009;85:655.
- De Groot L, et al. Management of thyroid dysfunction during pregnancy and postpartum: An Endocrine Society clinical practice guideline. Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism. 2012;97:2543.
- Stagnaro-Green A, et al. Guidelines of the American Thyroid Association for the diagnosis and management of thyroid disease during pregnancy and postpartum. Thyroid. 2011;21:1081.
- Stagnaro-Green A. Approach to the patient with postpartum thyroiditis. Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism. 2012;97:334.
- Hale TW. Medications and Mother's Milk 2012: A Manual of Lactational Pharmacology. 15th ed. Amarillo, Texas: Hale Publishing L.P.; 2012:673.
- Halter JB, et al. Hazzard's Geriatric Medicine and Gerontology. 6th ed. New York, N.Y.: The McGraw-Hill Companies; 2009. http://www.accessmedicine.com/content.aspx?aID=5133014&searchStr=hyperthyroidism. Accessed June 4, 2013.
- Postpartum thyroiditis. The American Thyroid Association. http://www.thyroid.org/postpartum-thyroiditis/. Accessed June 4, 2013.
- Nippoldt TB (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. June 5, 2013.