Your Thyroid and You
Hellman and Rosen Endocrine Associates
Your Home for Diabetes and Endocrine Care
Photos by Matthew Anderson
Who would believe that such a little part of our body – a tiny, butterfly-shaped organ normally weighing slightly less than one ounce, located just over our larynx (or voice-box) – could be so important, but it is key to our health and well-being.
Without the normal functioning of our thyroid gland, normal growth and development of a fetus during pregnancy or of our young children will not take place, and for adults there are many thyroid disorders that can affect our health and well-being and even threaten our life.
Disorders of the thyroid can occur at any age, but become increasingly common as we get older. These problems often masquerade as problems unrelated to the thyroid and as a result go undetected. An underactive thyroid leads to a condition called hypothyroidism, a condition that is often undiagnosed for many years, despite the suffering of the person. One of the reasons why the diagnosis is missed so often is that there is no single symptom that can only be due to hypothyroidism. Although fatigue, weight gain, depression, and hair loss are common symptoms of hypothyroidism, there are many other causes of those problems, and, surprisingly, one can be hypothyroid and have no symptoms at all. On the other hand, the thyroid can also become overactive, causing a condition named hyperthyroidism. As we age, the symptoms of hyperthyroidism, which in the young are commonly associated with heat intolerance, tremors, anxiety, and a rapid heartbeat, may be very different, and shortness of breath, weakness, even depression may be more likely to be the symptoms people experience. It is no surprise that the diagnosis of hyperthyroidism is often missed for up to one year and can become a life threatening disorder. The treatment of hyperthyroidism may be quite complex and needs careful management by skilled specialists in this area. It is particularly important since some of the methods of diagnosing disorders of the thyroid are laboratory tests which can be affected by many factors unrelated to the actual thyroid problem, and many health care providers are not aware of the traps and pitfalls that occur with thyroid hormone testing.
Many people are also unaware that thyroid cancer, after skin cancers, is the cancer that is most rapidly increasing in frequency in the United States. Although most forms of thyroid cancer are curable, it can become deadly if neglected.
Unfortunately, we live in an age where misinformation about the thyroid is so widespread that many people are seriously misled about what is due to a thyroid disorder and what has another cause. We turned to our expert endocrinologists at Hellman and Rosen Endocrine Associates to help guide you through the sometimes wild claims about the thyroid that are often confusing to many people and seem to be everywhere, just a few clicks on the internet away.
At Hellman and Rosen Endocrine Associates, located on the campus of the North Kansas City Hospital, 2790 Clay Edwards Drive, Suite 1250, North Kansas City, Missouri 64116, our three endocrinologists, Dr. Richard Hellman, Dr. Howard Rosen, and Dr. Avin Pothuloori, are very experienced in the diagnosis and treatment of thyroid disorders, both common and rare, and provide compassionate and expert care to help you deal with any of the problems and complications that may be either due to or related to the thyroid condition. Because we have a broad experience in both diabetes, a condition in which thyroid disorders are more common, as well as other endocrine conditions which can be related to or caused by thyroid disease, we, together with our experienced and supportive clinical staff, which includes a registered dietitian, will help you through the challenges you may face. We are proud to provide the most up-to-date and scientifically based methods to evaluate and treat thyroid disorders. We are happy to work with your physicians in a collaborative way, because our goal is focused on your well-being.
Richard Hellman, MD, FACP, FACE
Dr. Richard Hellman, our founding endocrinologist, received his undergraduate degree at the New York University and his medical degree at the Chicago Medical School. His post graduate training, which included his internship and residency in Internal Medicine and a Fellowship in Endocrinology, were all at the University of Kansas Medical Center. He is widely known, both locally and nationally, for his expertise in diabetes care. He is also proficient in the care of all endocrine disorders, particularly thyroid disease. Among his many scientific publications are articles on thyroid disease, including his research in hyperthyroidism, which were published in important medical journals. In addition, for several years he spoke nationally on both TV and radio and was interviewed by print publications in his role as a spokesperson for the American Thyroid Association and the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists in their efforts to promote thyroid awareness nationwide. He is board certified in internal medicine and in endocrinology. He is also a national leader in quality of care issues and has received awards for his efforts in both this area as well as in diabetes and endocrinology.
Howard Rosen, MD, FACE, ECNU
Dr. Howard Rosen has worked with Dr. Hellman for more than 25 years and is a widely recognized expert in the thyroid as well as in diabetes and other endocrine disorders. He was the first endocrinologist and is still one of the very few in our metropolitan area to receive the prestigious ECNU certification (Endocrine Certification in Neck Ultrasound) for his expertise in thyroid ultrasound and fine needle aspiration of the thyroid, both essential tools for the expert thyroidologist and the gold standard in the diagnosis of thyroid cancer. Many people develop thyroid nodules, but only a small percentage of them prove to be malignant. Thyroid ultrasound is the best way to separate the thyroid cancers from the many benign thyroid nodules and together with fine needle aspiration of the thyroid, when indicated, help avoid unnecessary surgery with the associated costs, discomfort and risks. Dr. Rosen is also board certified in both internal medicine and endocrinology. He was born in Philadelphia Pennsylvania, received his undergraduate degree at the Johns Hopkins University, and his medical degree at Pennsylvania State University College of Medicine. His training in endocrinology was obtained in a fellowship in endocrinology at the University of Michigan. He is widely recognized as one of the premier experts in the evaluation of thyroid nodules and the management of thyroid cancer. He brings the most current information to our patients and provides reassurance to patients in whom a careful investigation has shown that they do not have a thyroid cancer.
Avin Pothuloori, MD
Dr. Avin Pothuloori, a mid-westerner since early childhood having grown up in Lincoln, Nebraska, came to our practice more than one year ago, directly following a prestigious fellowship in Endocrinology at the Dartmouth Medical School’s teaching hospital. He is board certified in Internal Medicine and is Board Eligible in Endocrinology. He is also expert in both diabetes care and endocrinology, and also expert in thyroid ultrasound techniques.
At Hellman and Rosen Endocrinology Associates, we believe that thyroid ultrasounds should be performed by those who are most knowledgeable in thyroid disorders, which are the endocrinologists.
Both Dr. Rosen and Dr. Pothuloori perform all of our thyroid ultrasounds and, with the assistance of our clinical staff when needed, the fine needle aspirations of the thyroid.
At Hellman and Rosen Endocrine Associates we have a full-service endocrine laboratory that regularly receives the highest marks for excellence from the agencies that oversee laboratory quality. This is important in the diagnosis and management of thyroid disease as well as other endocrine problems, including diabetes. This excellent resource allows our endocrinologists to accurately and rapidly assess the thyroid function of our patients and provide assurance that the care we provide is the right care for the patient, particularly when the problem is severe and needs to be urgently resolved.
We are committed to bringing the most expertise to our patients in a caring and timely manner, and respectfully answering all of your questions. Many patients have told us how helpful it has been to have us help separate facts about thyroid disease from the misinformation which is so prevalent, and helping our patients deal with their unique problem. We look forward to working with you regarding any problems that may be either due to endocrine or metabolic problems, and we hope this information about thyroid conditions is of help to you and your family and friends.
For more information on thyroid disease or on Hellman and Rosen Endocrine Associates, call 816-421-3700, or visit www.nkcendo.com. Or visit us on face book at: https://www.facebook.com/HellmanRosenEndocrine. Or visit our offices at Hellman and Rosen Associates, 2790 Clay Edwards Drive, Suite 1250 North Kansas City, Missouri, 64116