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Endocrinology

Get your thyroid concerns diagnosed and treated rapidly

The body’s endocrine system helps to control your hormones, the ‘chemical messengers’ which send signals from one group of cells to another. Hormones help to maintain and regulate body function, playing an important role in things like our metabolism, growth, puberty, reproduction, and our regulation of sugar, salt, and calcium levels.

Hormones are produced in the endocrine glands, which can be found around the body and include:

  • Thyroid gland (located at the front of the neck)
  • Pineal gland
  • Hypothalamus
  • Pituitary gland
  • Parathyroid gland
  • Thymus (in the upper chest)
  • Adrenal glands (on top of your kidneys)
  • Pancreas
  • Ovaries (women) / Testes (men)

When something goes wrong in one of these glands, it can lead to increased or decreased levels of a specific hormone, causing significant health problems. Hormonal imbalances can present differently in men and women. In females, we tend to see:

  • Irregular periods
  • Painful or lumpy breasts 
  • Rapid weight gain 
  • Vaginal dryness
  • Mood swings
  • Exhaustion or constant tiredness
  • Bloating
  • Chronic acne

In males, the common symptoms include: 

  • Significant weight loss
  • Loss of stamina
  • Fatigue
  • Breast enlargement
  • Hair loss
  • Bloating
  • Loss of libido/sex drive
  • Erectile dysfunction 

In both sexes, we also sometimes see:

  • Excessive sweating
  • Dry skin
  • Kidney stones
  • Irregularities in blood sugar levels 
  • Joint pains

A combination of these symptoms can often signify a hormonal imbalance, indicating an issue with your endocrine system. If this is the case, you’ll want a diagnosis rapidly from reliable experts, as well as a clear treatment path to manage your condition and reduce your symptoms, all of which are on offer at Woodlands.  

Our consultant endocrinologists have extensive experience treating conditions such as:

  • Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes
  • Hyperthyroidism/Overactive thyroid (producing too many hormones)
  • Hypothyroidism/Underactive thyroid (not producing enough hormones)
  • Hyperparathyroidism/Hypoparathyroidism (Calcium disorders)
  • Adrenal Disorders – Addison’s disease (adrenal insufficiency) and Conn’s syndrome (production of too much aldosterone)
  • Hypogonadism (resulting in less testosterone produced in males, and less oestrogen in females)
  • Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) – can cause a few different symptoms, including irregular periods
  • Pituitary Problems such as tumours (both malignant and benign)
  • Thyroid issues such as Goitres (non-cancerous thyroid enlargement), lumps and nodules

One of the huge benefits of coming to see our specialists privately is avoiding the long NHS waiting lists. The current wait for an NHS thyroid clinic appointment is 6-10 weeks before seeing a specialist. At Woodlands, you can be seen within a week, meaning you won’t be left with uncertainty and anxiety for months. 

Efficient treatment is available to all patients with an endocrine condition, and many issues can be managed effectively without the need for surgery.

Lifestyle factors such as exercise and diet can be looked at to address Type 2 diabetes, and Type 1 diabetes can be managed by regularly monitoring your blood glucose levels and administering insulin when needed.

Overactive and underactive thyroids are typically controlled with prescription medication, which can be picked up from our dedicated on-site pharmacy. Hormone replacement medicines can also be considered.

Some issues with the thyroid will result in the need for it to be removed in an operation known as a thyroidectomy, such as non-cancerous thyroid masses, nodules, and goitres. A thyroidectomy involves removing some or all of the thyroid gland.

Consultants at Woodlands also specialise in advanced endocrine surgeries, such as minimally-invasive parathyroid surgery, which is seen as one of the leading surgeries to address hyperparathyroidism. This expert level of care by highly experienced surgeons is on offer to all patients at Woodlands needing surgery, ensuring you receive the highest standard of treatment. 

Your initial consultation at Woodlands will be based on getting a firm diagnosis promptly, and working out an appropriate treatment plan to treat or manage your endocrine condition.

When you come in for your first consultation with us, your consultant will take a thorough medical history, asking about the symptoms you’ve been experiencing, relevant risk factors, and any other issues you may have had in the past. They will likely want to know:

  • How long have you had these symptoms?
  • Are you in pain? If so, can you describe it – is it a stabbing pain? Constant or intermittent?
  • Has it got any worse recently?
  • Have you received any treatment previously? Are you on any medication?

Depending on your symptoms and medical history, your consultant may recommend additional tests to aid diagnosis. Blood tests will likely be arranged, and we have excellent on-site imaging facilities, including X-Ray, CT, MRI and ultrasound, all of which can be quickly and easily arranged for you when required.

Suspected thyroid conditions may require a biopsy (small tissue sample) to be taken, which is sent away for analysis. This simple procedure can be arranged at a time convenient to you.

Once the results are back and a diagnosis has been made, your consultant will be able to talk through treatment options with you. Endocrine disorders require regular monitoring to ensure treatment is adjusted as and when required in order to bring you optimal relief from your symptoms.

Choosing to have your Endocrine surgery done at Woodlands comes with a host of benefits, such as: 

Assessments ASAP – If you’ve noticed any concerning changes that may indicate a hormonal imbalance, you won’t want to wait for an appointment. By seeing patients rapidly, our highly versatile and experienced consultants can give you a thorough diagnosis and all the details you need in order to make an informed decision on your treatment options. 

Patient Satisfaction – 98.2% of patients in 2019 said they would happily recommend Woodlands Hospital to friends and family in an independent report, and we’re confident that you’ll agree. 98.3% also said that the quality of care here at Woodlands Hospital was either ‘very good’ or ‘excellent’. We aim to make your stay with us as comfortable as possible, and these results highlight our continued efforts to ensure this is achieved.

Personalised Care – Hormonal imbalances are often very specific to each individual, so there is no ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach when it comes to your treatment. At Woodlands, we tailor each experience to our patients’ needs and whatever may be best for you. This is regularly reviewed, ensuring you get the necessary treatment at every stage of your patient journey. 

A Multi-disciplinary Approach – Our teams at Woodlands work in tandem with each other to provide you with the best possible care from start to finish. Working closely with specialists in Diabetic Medicine, Neurology and Gynaecology, as well as a dedicated team of superb radiographers, physiotherapists, anaesthetists, and nurses, you have support from medical professionals every step of the way during your treatment.

Convenient Appointments – With flexible appointments available between 10am and 8.30pm Monday-Saturday, you are sure to find an appointment slot that suits your needs and availability.

Park with ease – We know that parking should be the least of your worries when attending hospital, so our car park has ample space to accommodate your needs. Alternatively, we are very close to Darlington Railway Station, should you wish to visit us by train.

If you’ve been struggling with a hormonal disorder, call our friendly reception team today to book a consultation. Our consultants can make a rapid diagnosis and outline all personalised treatment options for you promptly, arranging any further treatment or surgery if required.

For peace of mind and expert care, please contact Woodlands to book an appointment now. 

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Pay for yourself with our fixed price packages. This includes your pre-assessment, treatment, follow-ups and six months of aftercare.

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