Unsurprisingly, one of the most common questions we hear from our patients – particularly those coming from referrals – is “So who is an endocrinologist, anyway?”
It doesn’t surprise us when people ask – endocrinology is not the most common area of medical specialty, and many people could potentially go their entire life without ever having to consult with an endocrinologist. So, in today’s blog, we wanted to simply answer the question “What is endocrinology?”
Understanding Why You’ve Received A Referral To An Endocrinologist
Endocrinology is the study and treatment of the human endocrine system, which is a network of glands throughout the human body. These glands release hormones into the bloodstream which control and regulate various functions of the body.
Some of these glands include:
- The pineal gland, which influences sleep,
- The pituitary gland, which regulates body functions like blood pressure,
- The ovaries and testes,
- The adrenal glands, which produce adrenaline, and
- The pancreas, which produces dietary hormones like insulin.
So, an endocrinologist is a specialist in these glands, the hormones they produce, and any diseases which may affect those glands and hormones. In fact, the human body utilizes more than 50 different hormones and dozens of hormone-producing glands, making this a very complicated field of medicine!
Types Of Endocrine Diseases
Broadly speaking, there are three different types of diseases which can affect the endocrine system:
- Endocrine gland hyposecretion: When a gland does not produce enough of its hormones,
- Endocrine gland hypersecretion: When a gland produces too much of its hormones, and
- Tumors and/or cancers which may develop in these glands.
The nature of each specific disease and the symptoms it causes depend entirely on the gland in question and how it’s being affected. For example, hypersecretion of the adrenal gland -that is, producing too much adrenaline- would often lead to high blood pressure, sweating, and nervousness. On the other hand, hyposecretion from the pancreas would lead to one type of diabetes, since the body is not producing enough insulin and other critical digestive hormones.
So, some of the most common issues treated by endocrinologists include:
- Growth disorders
Freeman Endocrinology – Making Endocrinology Comfortable
Our goal at Freeman Endocrinology is to make every patient who comes to us as comfortable as possible while producing the very best possible outcomes. To schedule an appointment, or learn more about the services we offer, please contact us directly.