Endocrinology is the branch of medicine that deals with the study of the hormones and the endocrine glands in relation to their nature, production, and action. The endocrine glands are those that release their secretory product typically a hormone in the circulating fluids of the body such as in the thyroid, parathyroid, pituitary, pineal, thymus, adrenal, pancreas, interstitial, testicular, and ovarian gland.
What does an endocrinologist do?
An endocrinologist is a specialized doctor who deals with diagnosing and treating disorders affecting the endocrine glands in the human body and the diseases that stem from them.
What diseases are treated by an endocrinologist?
Diseases and disorders that can be treated include short syndrome, diabetes, metabolic disorders, infertility, thyroid disease, menopause, high blood pressure (hypertension), cholesterol issues, problems related to puberty (early or late), over or under production of hormones, osteoporosis and bone fragility, and tumors of the endocrine glands.
What are the procedures used by an endocrinologist?
An endocrinologist is a specialist able to make a diagnosis on a wide variety of pathologies and manage disorders of deficiency or excess of one or more hormones and substances that, in many cases, can also occur for a long period of time in the body.
The main tools used by an endocrinologist are laboratory tests. Many pathological conditions of the endocrine glands are investigated through stimulation of the operation of the gland by the administration of stimulating agents, or inhibiting the activity of the gland itself. The doctor will then take blood samples through specific tests to assess any changes caused by the substance administered.
An endocrinologist also uses diagnostic imaging that can reveal the presence of anomalies in the endocrine organs.
When should a patient visit an endocrinologist?
A patient should visit an endocrinologist in cases where laboratory tests detect anomalies that would suggest the presence of endocrine disruptions, or whenever previously diagnosed patients have new symptoms associated with their endocrine disorder. Another reason is in case a patient has coexisted with a disease for several years but is having problems in the management of the disease, or simply in the case where a patient would like a second opinion on the diagnosis and treatment of the endocrine disease they suffer from.