Doctor’s Express: Patient/Doctor Q&A

-How do I know if my thyroid is underactive?

There are some physical signs and symptoms of an underactive thyroid, but they are fairly non-specific. The signs include fatigue; weight gain; skin changes; hair changes; irregular periods (in women, obviously); decreased sex drive; and possibly an enlarged thyroid gland (its found in the front of your neck).  The best way to determine thyroid problems is with blood tests that your family doctor or internist can do. If you do have an underactive thyroid, it can be easily treated with oral medication.


-I went to my doctor with an itchy rash and she says I have an insect in my skin called scabies! What is this disease?

Scabies are small mites (about 0.5 mm in size) that burrow into human skin and lay eggs into the skin. One catches them from someone else who is infected by direct skin to skin contact. Scabies do not cause any other illnesses and don’t transmit other diseases to people.  The infection is easily treated with topical creams containing permethrin (such as Elimite). It is recommended that close contacts with the patient also be treated to prevent the spread of the illness.




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