Endocrinology is the science that studies hormonal diseases. The endocrinologist diagnoses and treats hormonal problems and their complications. Hormones regulate metabolism, respiration, growth, reproduction, sensory perception and movement, and hormonal imbalances are the cause of many diseases.
We have over 50 different hormones in our body. They can exist in very small quantities and yet they can have a significant impact on the body’s functioning and development. Poly-cystic ovary syndrome is one of the most common endocrine disorders in women, along with autoimmune thyroid disease.
When do you need an endocrinologist?
If your doctor suspects that your condition is related to the production of hormones, they may recommend an endocrinology consultation – the endocrinologist is the specialist who establishes the diagnosis and the treatment of diseases that affect glands and hormones. He/ she aims to restore balance in the body and frequently treats the following conditions:
- Thyroid disease
- Metabolic disorders
- Thyroid disease
- Too much or too little hormone production
- Some cancers
At the first visit, a hormone specialist near me will ask you a series of questions to establish the diagnosis. Questions may refer to:
- Your current medication
- Family history of any hormonal problems or imbalances
- Other medical problems, such as allergies
- Eating habits
Before the consultation, it is useful to write down any symptoms you have. The endocrinologist may ask you about symptoms that do not seem to have anything to do with each other; that’s because your hormone levels affect a multitude of systems in the body. Even minor changes in a gland can affect areas of the body that are far from where the gland is located.
A hormone specialist near me will measure your pulse and blood pressure and will analyze the condition of your skin, hair, teeth and oral cavity. He / she may recommend blood and urine tests, if deemed necessary, and also a thyroid ultrasound.
Thyroid ultrasound is a non-invasive method of investigation, which measures the size of the thyroid gland and assesses for changes or nodules. The doctor will need access to your neck and décolleté to perform the ultrasound. He / she will use a probe, which is moved on the surface of the skin using a special gel that helps the ultrasound to be processed and displayed as images, on a screen.
Periodic monitoring is the best thing you can do to ensure the health of your endocrine system and to prevent different conditions, as you age. How do you know if you should go to the doctor? What are the five signs that your hormones have gotten out of hand?
- Fatigue (not ordinary fatigue, but rather constant exhaustion, doubled by gaining weight, apparently without reason)
- Rapid hair growth
- Irregular menstruation
- Night sweats
The endocrine system is a complex chemical messenger, with feedback mechanisms between hormones produced by the endocrine glands. Their effect is systemic, throughout the entire body. Any disruption of this system can have repercussions, some even vital. The role of the endocrinologist is essential in diagnosing and treating dysfunctions, and interdisciplinary collaboration is essential.