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Endocrinology

Assessment and treatment for all hormonal disorders and diabetes

Hormones help control things like our metabolism, regulation of sugar, salt and calcium levels, growth, puberty and reproduction. They play a vital role in our health, vitality and general well-being.

The human body contains a number of organs, known as endocrine glands. These glands secrete hormones into the bloodstream in order to maintain and regulate body function. If affected they may produce excessive or reduced amounts of certain hormones which may cause ill health.

Many symptoms may indicate a hormone disorders, including:

  • Weight loss
  • Shaking
  • Unusual sweating
  • Extreme tiredness
  • Dry skin
  • Frequent kidney stones
  • Various aches and pains in joints
  • Blood sugar levels irregularities

Endocrinology is the science and study of hormones and the hormone-producing glands. A doctor who specialises in this field of medicine is known as an endocrinologist.

At BMI The Alexandra Hospital, our Consultant Endocrinologists assess and treat all hormonal disorders and are available to help you. If you would like to book a consultation with them, please contact us, and we will arrange that for you at the earliest opportunity.

A hormone is a chemical messenger. The endocrine glands release hormones into the bloodstream, which then transports them to another part of the body. The hormones then cause a specific effect in this area.

The endocrine glands produce and secrete (i.e. release) hormones. The main glands are:

  • Hypothalamus
  • Pituitary – only very small (roughly the size of a large pea), the pituitary gland nonetheless has a significant effect on every part of your body
  • Thyroid – located in the neck, produces thyroxine and triiodothyronine 
  • Parathyroid – comprise four small glands which help regulate calcium levels in our body
  • Thymus – located behind your breastbone (sternum), between the lungs
  • Adrenal – located above the kidneys, produces a variety of hormones including adrenaline
  • Pancreas – helps regulate blood sugar
  • Ovaries – produce progesterone and oestrogen
  • Testes – produce testosterone.

Some of the common endocrine disorders/conditions that our Consultant Endocrinologists are asked to help with include:

  • Overactive thyroid (thyrotoxicosis)
  • Underactive thyroid (hypothyroidism)
  • Calcium disorders – including hyper- and hypo-parathyroidism
  • Adrenal Disorders – Addison’s disease (adrenal insufficiency) and Conn’s syndrome (production of too much aldosterone), pheochromocytoma (a tumour that produces too much adrenaline and noradrenaline)
  • Hypogonadism – diminished functional activity of the gonads. In a male, this means less testosterone is produced, in a female less oestrogen is produced
  • Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) – may cause a number of symptoms, including irregular periods
  • Pituitary Problems - including prolactinoma (a type of tumour) and non-functioning adenoma (a benign tumour in the pituitary gland)
  • Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes

At your first appointment, your consultant will take a medical history and discuss your symptoms with you. They may ask you questions like:

  • What symptoms do you have?
  • When did you first notice them?
  • Have they been getting worse over time?
  • Have you noticed any particular triggers (e.g. food, activities etc.)?
  • What effect are your symptoms having on everyday life? Are they limiting you in any way?

Depending on your symptoms and medical history, additional tests will often be needed to aid diagnosis. As well as blood tests, our on-site facilities include X-Ray, CT, MRI and ultrasound, so any of these can be quickly and easily arranged for you when required.

Blood tests can be particularly useful when investigating hormonal issues. There are a variety of blood tests that can be carried out to measure different things:

  • Hormonal levels
  • Cholesterol levels
  • Certain markers for diabetes control
  • Inflammation or other complications

Good laboratory support at The Alexandra ensures a fast turnaround of any tests carried out.

Ultrasound can be helpful to investigate the thyroid and parathyroid glands, while MRI or CT scans are helpful when assessing the pituitary and the adrenal gland. All these are available on-site at The Alexandra and are easily arranged for you when needed.

Once the results of any tests are back and a diagnosis has been made, your Consultant will discuss this with you and outline suitable treatments. Due to the nature of endocrine disorders, you will be monitored regularly to ensure your symptoms are well managed. Adjustments can be easily made by your Consultant if required to optimise symptom relief. 

People come to The Alexandra for assessment and treatment of their hormonal disorders for a number of reasons. As the largest private hospital in the country outside of London, we have a number of exceptionally experienced Consultant Endocrinologists working on-site who are available to help you.

Some people will have been referred by their GP, diabetes nurse, the Private GP Service on-site here at The Alexandra or another healthcare professional. Others will have chosen to self-refer based on their symptoms and their desire to get things looked at by an expert sooner.

Many of our patients live in or around Manchester, but due to the expertise of our Consultant Endocrinologists and their national profile, people also travel from much further afield for a consultation.

Regardless of how you’ve been referred to us or the distance you’ll be travelling to visit with your Consultant, at The Alexandra you will always benefit from:

  • Fast access to an experienced Consultant Endocrinologist – Hormonal disorders can significantly affect your quality of life and overall health. You’ll appreciate quick, easy access to an expert for help. The Consultant Endocrinologists working at The Alexandra are vastly experienced and would be delighted to help you.
  • Flexible appointment times - In addition to weekday appointments, we also offer evening and Saturday morning appointments, making it very easy to book an appointment for a time that’s convenient to you.
  • Patient Satisfaction – In an independent survey, 97.3% of the people we treated said they were likely or highly likely to recommend BMI The Alexandra Hospital to their family and friends. We know the impact a hormone disorder can have on many different aspects of life. We work hard to deliver the highest standard of care, support and treatment for everyone who visits us for help.
  • Bespoke treatment – There is no ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach to treatment of hormonal disorders and imbalances. Finding exactly the right balance can often take a bit of monitoring and adjusting treatment. With follow-up appointments and assessment, your Consultant will make sure you continue to receive treatment that is optimised to your specific needs. 
  • Remote consultations available – Consultations are routinely carried out in person at The Alexandra, but we can offer remote consultations by telephone or online video call if required and where clinically appropriate.
  • Multidisciplinary team: Your Consultant Endocrinologist is supported by a number of other healthcare professionals including gynaecologists, neurologists, diabetes nurses and radiologists to ensure you are expertly supported and cared for during your time with us.

Specialists offering Endocrinology

Dr Basil Issa

Consultant Endocrinologist

MB BCh MD, FRCP, MRCP(I)

BMI The Alexandra Hospital

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