What is an Endocrinologist?

The endocrine system is responsible for producing and regulating hormones in the bloodstream to control bodily functions.
Endocrinologists work with patients who suffer from diabetes, thyroid problems, and other diseases of the endocrine system.
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  • Written By: Mary McMahon
  • Edited By: O. Wallace
  • Last Modified Date: 21 October 2014
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An endocrinologist is a doctor who specializes in conditions related to the endocrine system, the complex network of hormone-secreting glands in the human body. Hormones are critical to healthy function, and a number of conditions can be caused by under or overproduction of hormones, an inability to process certain hormones, and other problems with the endocrine system. Endocrinologists tend to start out in pediatrics, gynecology, or internal medicine, branching out into endocrinology as their medical training progresses.

Your body produces large numbers of hormones every day which regulate everything from puberty to the function of organs. Endocrinologists study how hormones are made, how they travel through the body, how the body processes them, and how they break down. They use tools like blood tests and medical imaging to assess the health of the endocrine system in their patients, and to look for conditions related to malfunctions of the endocrine system.

There are a number of reasons to need the services of an endocrinologist. Sometimes, people approach an endocrinologist directly, as in the case of transgendered people who want to take sex hormones as part of their transitioning process. In other instances, a patient may be referred to an endocrinologist for a condition which appears to be related to a problem with the endocrine system, and endocrinologists also work as members of medical teams treating patients with complex medical problems.

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Diabetes and thyroid problems are two of the most common conditions endocrinologists deal with in their work. They may also work with people experiencing infertility issues, menopause, pituitary tumors, adrenal disorders, and numerous other conditions. The goal of the endocrinologist in any form of treatment is to determine the source of the problem, and to develop a treatment plan which will address it. Some endocrine disorders are chronic, meaning that a patient may require life-long care from an endocrinologist, sometimes including life-long use of supplementary hormones.

One advantage to this branch of the medical profession is that the hours tend to be predictable and regular, with very few emergency situations requiring the services of an endocrinologist. The rate of pay for this medical specialty also tends to be quite good, especially for people who specialize in issues like infertility. An endocrinologist can work alone, out of a hospital, in a clinic, or as part of a cooperative medical practice, allowing patients a number of different ways to work with endocrinologists.

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surfNturf
Post 2

Mutsy - That is good to hear that your sister was able to find the right endocrinologist specialist.

I understand that not producing enough hormones can be a really frustrating situation because no matter how hard you try to lose weight, the weight does not come off.

Also, the lack of energy with this condition does not help. Restoring the hormonal balance makes you feel happy which is something that a person with his type of hormonal imbalance does not feel.

I also read that this type of problem tends to run in families.

mutsy
Post 1

I just wanted to add that if you find an endocrinologist that is really good they can be worth their weight in gold.

My sister had problems with her thyroid. She had a hypothyroid which caused her metabolic rate to slow down as a result of the lack of hormones her body was producing.

This hormonal imbalance caused her to gain weight, have no energy, maintain a level of irritability, and develop courser skin. This condition can also made her a little depressed.

The first endocrinologist specialist she saw wanted to treat her with homeopathic remedies that were not effective.

The second endocrinologist prescribed medication, had a nurse administer vitamin B shots, and significantly alter her diet to eliminate foods containing white flour, as well as sugary foods and those high in carbohydrates.

She lost forty pounds with these measures and now feels great.

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