Meet the Doctor: Endocrinologist

Are you scheduled to see an endocrinologist for the first time and aren’t quite sure about what they do? As your source for everything doctor related, Vitals is here to help.

iStock 000011495157XSmall 300x194 Meet the Doctor: Endocrinologist Photo

Get to know your endocrinologist before your first appointment.

Find out what endocrinologists specialize in, the parts of the body they’re experts on, and the conditions they typically treat below.

Endocrinologist
An endocrinologist is a physician with extensive training in understanding, diagnosing and treating conditions related to the endocrine system.

The endocrine system regulates the balance of hormones and is made up of the pituitary, pineal, thyroid, parathyroid, and adrenal glands, as well as the pancreas, testicles, and ovaries. Conditions of the endocrine system involve an over-abundance, or deficiency of a certain hormone.  While there is a range when it comes to the amount of a hormone that is deemed normal in a human, these specialists determine whether a person’s amount of hormone is indicative of a health concern.

Through blood tests and other diagnostic means, an endocrinologist will often diagnose and treat the following conditions:

  • Diabetes
  • Hypothyroidism/hyperthyroidism
  • Metabolic syndrome
  • Obesity
  • Thyroid cancer
  • Graves’ disease
  • Suspicious thyroid nodules
  • A goiter
  • Fertility problems
  • Polycystic ovary syndrome
  • Osteoporosis

Some symptoms that may prompt your primary care physician to refer you to an endocrinologist include:

  • Sudden weight loss or gain
  • Unexplained tiredness
  • Changes in your sex drive
  • Mood changes
  • Hair loss or excessive hair growth (in a woman)
  • Darkening or thickening of the skin
  • Excessive thirst or hunger
  • Frequent urination
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Vision changes

To find an endocrinologist who’s been rated highly by his/her patients, use the Vitals Doctor Finder (www.vitals.com).

Sources: thyroid.about.com, ehow.com, localhealth.com, becomehealthynow.com