Endocrinology and Endocrinologists

Endocrinology is a branch of biology and medicine dealing with the endocrine system, its diseases, and its specific secretions known as hormones. It is also concerned with the integration of developmental events proliferation, growth, and differentiation, and the psychological or behavioral activities of metabolism, growth and development, tissue function, sleep, digestion, respiration, excretion, mood, stress, lactation, movement, reproduction, and sensory perception caused by hormones.

The endocrine system consists of several glands, all in different parts of the body, that secrete hormones directly into the blood rather than into a duct system. Hormones have many different functions and modes of action; one hormone may have several effects on different target organs, and, conversely, one target organ may be affected by more than one hormone.

This is a system of glands which secrete hormones. Hormones are chemicals which affect the actions of different organ systems in the body. Examples include thyroid hormone, somatropic hormone, parathyroid hormone, estradiol, testosterone, cortisol and insulin. The endocrine system involves a number of feedback mechanisms, so that often one hormone (such as thyroid stimulating hormone) will control the action or release of another secondary hormone (such as thyroid hormone). If there is too much of the secondary hormone, it may provide negative feedback to the primary hormone, maintaining homeostasis.

Endocrinology and Metabolism

Endocrinology is a branch of Medicine that deals with the diagnosis and treatment of endocrine glands. The endocrine glands are ductless glands whose secretions are directly secreted into the bloodstream and carried to the rest of the body parts. These secretions are called hormones. The malfunction of these glands can be from overactivity, underactivity or tumorous development within them. Hypothalamus, Pituitary, Thyroid, Parathyroid, Pancreas, Adrenals, Ovaries or Testes can be targeted by the malfunction.

Osteoporosis, Obesity and Lipid disorders are disordered metabolic conditions involving Bone, Adipose tissue and Cholesterol and Triglycerides respectively.

Who is an “endocrinologist”?

If your physician suspects that the underlying cause of a medical condition is related to hormone production, they may refer you to an endocrinologist, a doctor who specializes in endocrinology.

Endocrinologists have the training to diagnose and treat hormone imbalances, hormone diseases and hormone-related problems by helping to restore the normal balance of hormones in the body. The common diseases and disorders of the endocrine system that endocrinologists deal with include diabetes mellitus, thyroid disorders, calcium disorders, male and female hormone disorders, obesity, metabolic disorders, adrenal disorders plus hypglycemia, endocrine, hypertension and lipid disorders.

An endocrinologist aims to restore hormone balance within the body's systems.

Endocrinologists commonly treat the following conditions:

  • diabetes and hypoglycemia
  • osteoporosis
  • menopause and primary ovarian failure
  • metabolic disorders including metabolic syndrome and obesity
  • thyroid diseases
  • excessive or insufficient production of hormones
  • some cancers and, importantly, thyroid cancer
  • short stature and tall stature
  • infertility
  • hirsutism and PCOS (polycystic ovary syndrome)