Thyroid Specialist

Bethesda Endocrinology

Michael Emmer, MD

Endocrinology & Internal Medicine located in Bethesda, MD

In the United States, about 20 million people have some type of thyroid disorder. With medical care from Michael Emmer, MD, in Bethesda, Maryland, you can get a thorough exam, diagnosis, and treatment for your thyroid condition. At Bethesda Endocrinology, Dr. Emmer treats men and women of all ages and provides care for hypothyroidism, hyperthyroidism, and thyroid nodules, and he can diagnose thyroid cancer. Find out if your symptoms are caused by a thyroid issue today by calling or booking a visit online.

Thyroid Q & A

What conditions can affect the thyroid?

Your thyroid is a small gland located at the front of your neck that controls your body’s metabolism and hormones related to your energy levels, weight, and mental health. A number of conditions can affect the thyroid, such as:

Hypothyroidism

Hypothyroidism slows down the production of thyroid hormones and results in a slower metabolism. It’s sometimes called underactive thyroid.

Hyperthyroidism

Hyperthyroidism causes the production of excess thyroid hormones, which can lead to unexpected weight loss. It’s sometimes called overactive thyroid.

Thyroid nodules

Thyroid nodules show up as bumps or lumps on your thyroid gland and can impair its function.

Thyroid cancer

Thyroid cancer occurs only rarely, but it can cause widespread health issues as the cells in the thyroid gland grow out of control.

There are many subtypes of thyroid conditions. Dr. Emmer provides testing for all potential thyroid issues if you show signs or symptoms of a thyroid disorder or disease.

What are the signs of a thyroid disorder?

Symptoms of thyroid conditions vary depending on the function of your thyroid gland and the amounts of thyroid hormones it produces. A simple way to differentiate symptoms is to discuss underactive versus overactive symptoms.

Underactive thyroid symptoms

  • Weight gain
  • Feeling cold all the time
  • Fatigue and excessive sleepiness
  • Depression symptoms
  • Dry, rough skin
  • Constipation

Overactive thyroid symptoms

  • Weight loss
  • Feeling hot all the time
  • Insomnia
  • Anxiety symptoms
  • Hair loss or thinning
  • Diarrhea

All types of thyroid conditions can also cause changes to a woman’s menstrual cycle, or irregular moods, vision changes, and lumps, bumps, or bulges on the thyroid gland.

How are thyroid disorders diagnosed?

Dr. Emmer completes a thorough evaluation and physical exam if you show signs of a thyroid disorder. After he discusses your symptoms, he presses on your thyroid gland, checking for abnormal bumps or bulges and tenderness. Dr. Emmer then orders a series of blood tests to check your thyroid hormone levels.

For more complex cases, Dr. Emmer may order a biopsy of your thyroid tissue, which is a minor surgical procedure to remove a piece of your thyroid from your neck while you’re under a local anesthetic. This sample is tested for abnormal changes that may indicate cancer.

How are thyroid disorders treated?

Treatment for thyroid disorders depends on your diagnosis. In many cases, medications can manage your symptoms and regulate the production of thyroid hormones. Dr. Emmer has experience with all kinds of thyroid medications and works with you to determine which prescription is best for your needs.

To schedule a thyroid exam, call Bethesda Endocrinology or use the online scheduling tool now.