Endocrinology is a branch of the medical field that deals with diseases related to hormones and the glands that secrete them (endocrine glands). The glands that secrete the hormones include:
- Pancreas: A gland located in your abdomen that makes insulin and glucagon.
- Thyroid: A butterfly-shaped gland in your neck that controls your metabolism, energy, and brain growth and development.
- Pituitary gland: A pea-sized gland located at the base of your brain that controls all the other hormones.
- Adrenal glands: A pair of glands, one on each side of the abdomen, located on the top of your kidneys. They exert control on your blood pressure, metabolism, stress response, and sex hormones.
- Parathyroid glands: Four small glands in your neck that control the level of calcium in your blood.
- Hypothalamus: A small gland located at the base of your brain that controls body temperature, hunger, and thirst.
- Ovaries: Reproductive glands (gonads) in females that contain eggs.
- Testes: Reproductive glands (gonads) in males that contain sperms.
- Pineal gland: A gland found near the center of the brain that may be linked to sleep patterns.
- Thymus: A gland in the upper part of your chest that helps in the development of the body’s immune system during the early stages of your life.
What diseases does an endocrinologist treat?
An endocrinologist treats diseases due to the imbalance of hormones in the body. Endocrine diseases may be either due to an increase or decrease in the production or secretion of hormones.
The most common diseases treated by an endocrinologist include:
- Diabetes mellitus type 1 and type 2
- Thyroid disorders
Other diseases that an endocrinologist treats include:
- Polycystic ovarian disease (PCOD)
- Addison’s disease (deficiency of hormones of adrenal glands)
- Cushing’s syndrome (excessive production of the hormone cortisol which leads to weight gain and puffy face)
- Gigantism (a child whose bones and body parts grow abnormally fast)
- Dwarfism (abnormally short stature)
- Certain cancers of the endocrine glands
Why would you go to an endocrinologist?
You would be referred to an endocrinologist by your primary care provider, or you can visit him/her on your own if
- You are a diabetic and
- Your high blood sugar level has not been controlled by your doctor’s treatment
- Your doctor does not have experience in treating diabetes
- You are on many insulin shots or on an insulin pump
- You have developed complications of diabetes
- You have abnormalities found in your thyroid blood tests
- You have developed brittle bones (osteoporosis)
- You are a female with irregular periods
- If you have a short stature that does not match your age
- Usually mothers approach the endocrinologist for this problem in their children during puberty.
- You suffer from excessive hair loss (alopecia)
- You are a male whose breast size is increasing (gynecomastia)
What tests are used by an endocrinologist?
Your endocrinologist will ask you a lot of questions that may seem irrelevant to you, but these are necessary because an endocrine disease affects the whole body.
Tests usually asked for by an endocrinologist include:
- Blood sugar level
- Complete blood count
- Kidney function test
- Liver function test
- Thyroid function tests
- Thyroid antibodies test including thyroid peroxidase (TPO) antibodies
- Cortisol level
- Adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) level
- Prolactin level
- Testosterone level
- The doctor may order a urine sugar test if you have diabetes.
- Your endocrinologist may order the following radiological tests to ascertain a diagnosis.
- Ultrasonography (USG) of pelvis: To check abnormalities in your pancreas and reproductive organs.
- Doppler scan of thyroid
- X-ray of bones to check for osteoporosis
- Computed tomography scan
- Magnetic resonance imaging
- Positron emission tomography scan if the doctor suspects cancer
Endocrinologist in Jupiter
If you believe that you are suffering from any of these conditions or are experiencing any of these symptoms, it is best to find a reputable endocrinologist for an evaluation. Whether you are experiencing thyroid problems or testosterone deficiency, you can rely on the expertise of Dr. Angela Richter.
A board-certified endocrinologist, Dr. Richter is well-known for her holistic approach that takes into consideration the patient’s background, goals, and unique circumstances to tailor-fit a medical plan that will help each of her patients.
To schedule an appointment, contact us today at (561) 622-6111 or book directly through our website. We look forward to helping you enjoy a lifetime of health and wellness.