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What is endocrinology?
Endocrinology is the field of medicine that studies, diagnoses and treats disorders of the endocrine system, the system that controls hormones. The endocrine system comprises of glands that produce and secrete hormones. The hormones act as messengers, controlling various bodily functions such as metabolism, sugar regulation, reproduction, growth, sexual development, respiration, sensory perception. The glands of the endocrine system are the pineal gland, hypothalamus, pituitary gland, thyroid gland, parathyroid gland, thymus, adrenals, pancreas, ovaries and testes.
Endocrine diseases develop when the glands don’t produce the right amount of hormones. Due to the importance of hormones in the human body, they are cause in many disorders: diabetes, thyroid conditions, appetite and obesity, cancer, bone problems, etc.
When you should see an endocrinologist?
Endocrinologists are diagnosing and treating hormone disorders by mainly restoring the normal balance in the body. Some conditions require the assistance of other specialties, e.g. working with a gynaecologist.
Some of the most common conditions treated by an endocrinologist are:
- Menopause disorders
- Growth hormone deficiency
- Cushing’s disease
- Addison’s disease
Due to the range of conditions caused by hormonal imbalance, the list of symptoms is quite extensive and differs from women to men. If you notice something is wrong, the first point of contact will be your GP, who will be able to assess your symptoms and conduct a set of tests (blood and urine) that will indicate if there’s a hormonal imbalance.
Some signs that you might be suffering from a hormonal imbalance if you are a woman are:
- Irregular periods
- Painful or lumpy breasts
- Vaginal dryness
- Mood swings
- Rapid weight gain
- Constantly feeling tired
- Chronic acne
For men, some of hormonal imbalance symptoms you should look out for are:
- Weight loss
- Loss of stamina
- Breast enlargement
- Hair loss
- Lower sex drive
- Erectile dysfunction
One of the most common conditions seen by an endocrinologist is diabetes. There are various types of diabetes which, with appropriate handling and treatment, need not substantially impair a sufferer’s life. The most common forms are insulin dependent diabetes which generally begins in teenage years and non-insulin dependent diabetes which usually occurs in mid-life onwards.
Diabetes is diagnosed by testing glucose levels in the blood or urine and can be managed by using a combination of drugs and dietary control.
Common treatments and tests
Endocrinologists use a range of diagnostic tests to pinpoint the issue, usually blood and urine also a physical exam.
Hormonal imbalances are treated through medication, which will aims to restore the balance in your body. Other conditions such as tumours in the glands, may require surgical treatment.
How can BMI Healthcare help?
Our consultant endocrinologists can help diagnose, treat or manage any hormonal imbalances in order to improve your quality of life. We also offer diabetes treatment for type-1 diabetes or type-2 diabetes.
We offer fast, direct and convenient appointments where the consultant can decide the best route for you and develop a tailor made treatment package.