Ryan is an experienced health writer helping educate and inform people on all types of important health topics. He lives in Salt Lake City, UT and can be found recreating in the local mountains.
Po-Chang Hsu, M.D.
Dr. Hsu received his medical degree from Tufts University in Boston, Massachusetts, and holds a Master’s of Science degree from both Harvard University and Tufts University. Outside of the medical profession, Dr. Hsu loves to write, learn new languages, and travel.
April 9, 2021
You should see an endocrinologist if you have concerns about your thyroid or any related glands. If you don’t know whether or not to be concerned with that, you’re not alone. Most often, endocrinologist visits come at the recommendation of another doctor or healthcare professional.
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An endocrinologist is a type of doctor trained to diagnose and treat conditions related to our endocrine system, which is the network of glands in our bodies that regulate hormones.
The kinds of diseases that an endocrinologist would treat are:
Other rare disorders that people have related to hormones and the glands that produce them, but the most common ones are listed here.
This group of diseases can affect a person’s energy levels throughout the day. It may also be responsible for sensitivity to temperature changes, fluctuating emotions, a weakness in the muscles, and weight control problems. Common thyroid diseases include:
Type I diabetes is a disorder where the patient has too much sugar in the blood, usually caused by insufficient insulin in the body.
Type II diabetes is a disorder when cells in your body become insulin-resistant, meaning that the body does not use insulin as effectively as it once did. Type II diabetes usually develops in patients with a chronically poor diet.
Another reason to see an endocrinologist is when the pituitary gland under or over-produces hormones. Out of balance hormones can lead to infertility, growth disorders, and menstrual disorders. Certain kinds of hypertension develop when the adrenal glands produce too much aldosterone. Endocrinologists can prescribe certain medications to combat hormonal imbalances.
Certain hormones affect the body’s ability to replace and maintain bone mass or absorb calcium into the body. Endocrinologists are also known for treating diseases of the skeletal system, such as Osteomalacia and Osteoporosis.
Osteoporosis is a common type of bone disease that is more common as people age. Millions of Americans have osteoporosis, and many more have low bone mass and are at risk. It is common in women who have gone through menopause to experience osteoporosis symptoms due to a sudden drop in their estrogen levels.
While obesity itself is not a hormonal disorder, these disorders can often cause obesity due to metabolic and hormonal conditions. It is not uncommon for a primary care physician to refer an obese patient to an endocrinologist for treatment.
Finally, lipid disorders, or disorders that cause people to have trouble maintaining a normal level of body fat, are also in the scope of an endocrinologist.
Under many circumstances, your primary care physician may recommend that you consult with an endocrinologist regarding some signs and symptoms that they are noticing. Don’t just leave it up to your doctor though!
Know the signs and symptoms of Hyperthyroidism so that you can identify it.
If you are experiencing some of these symptoms, it would be in your best interest to get guidance from an endocrinologist and perhaps request a thyroid test.
When you first go to an endocrinologist, you may not know what to expect, but it’s nothing exceptional. The first thing they will want to do is get all the information they can acquire about variables that could affect your potential disorder, including reviewing your complete medical history and a head-to-toe physical exam.
“The adrenal glands,” describes Endocrine.org, “can release four types of hormones in response to physiological stimuli: glucocorticoids, mineralocorticoids, catecholamines, and adrenal androgens.” An endocrinologist may choose to measure the levels of these hormones to determine any irregularities.
Once they have come to some conclusions, they will discuss a management plan for any disorder or disease that you have. In some instances, your endocrinologist may prescribe medication.
The symptoms associated with an endocrine disorder can vary in severity and number based on the conditions you may have.
Some common symptoms for Adrenal Insufficiency include:
Some hormonal disorders can trigger irregular growth patterns, such as:
Other disorders, like hypothyroidism, could cause someone to have:
Typically, no. Seeing an endocrinologist is usually a result of a referral from your primary care doctor or family physician. That does not mean, however, that that is the only way to see an endocrinologist.
A walk-in clinic can sometimes provide you with a referral to an endocrinologist; this is a good choice for those who cannot get in to see their family physician in a reasonable amount of time.
Some websites will allow people to consult with an endocrinologist online.
If you are experiencing several of the symptoms listed above, you may need to consult with an endocrinologist or your primary care physician to diagnose an endocrine disorder. Blood and urine tests are more conclusive identifiers of a gland or hormonal disorder.
EverydayDr recommends PlushCare for online healthcare visits. They are an award-winning telehealth company that can get you set up with a doctor appointment in as little as 15 minutes. Although they don’t currently have access to endocrinologists, they can treat many endocrine-related conditions (like diabetes and thyroid disorders) and provide referrals when necessary.
Book an appointment with PlushCare today.
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