The field of endocrinology is vast. Endocrine News talked to a cross section of Endocrine Society members and asked them, “What made you choose endocrinology?” From Society past-presidents, to veteran physicians, to young researchers just starting their careers, find out why your colleagues chose to go down the same path you did. In the June issue of Endocrine News, our cover story was “The State of Endocrinology.” The overarching theme was that, yes, there are challenges to practicing this specialty, but those challenges pale in comparison to the rewards. Most of the time. As was cited in that article, a 2013 Medscape survey showed that 27% of U.S. endocrinologists make between $200,000 and $250,000 a year, while 17% make $100,000 or less. However, down the hall in the cardiology wing, the average cardiologist makes $357,000, with 23% making $500,000 or more. Since the typical medical school graduate gets a debt load of about $174,500 along with his or her diploma, according to numbers from the Association of American Medical Colleges, obviously endocrinology is not the choice if you are “in it for the money.” However, it is the obvious choice to a lot of practicing endocrinologists because progress in treating the human condition has been made year after year. In the research arena, new breakthroughs have been plentiful. Endocrine Society past-president Robert Vigersky, MD, director of the Diabetes Institute at the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center and professor of medicine at the Uniformed Services University of Health Sciences, Bethesda, Md., cites this progress as one reason why many enter the field in the first place. “The research advances that have occurred over the last two decades have extended endocrinology from a discipline that atte Continue reading >>
5 Reasons To See An Endocrinologist If You Have Diabetes
Last fall I didn’t want to go to my endocrinologist because I was worried about the possible results of my latest A1C test. Seemingly 5 pounds heavier than my last visit, I had no interest in being weighed. Although I fully know how important it is to take your blood sugar regularly when you have diabetes, I hadn’t been doing so, and when I did test it, I didn’t like what I saw. There were mornings when I woke to a spike in my glucose or late afternoons when, after skipping lunch, it dropped too low. If only I had exercised more. Or eaten fewer carbs. Or not stressed out about every little thing. I was ashamed that I hadn’t worked harder. How had I fallen so off track? What would my doctor think of me? The Benefits of Seeing an Endocrinologist for Diabetes Of course, endocrinologists who specialize in diabetes care aren’t there to judge patients. Their job is to go over your blood tests, particularly your hemoglobin A1C readings, which tell you the two- to three-month average of your blood sugar level. They’re there to check your feet, to make sure your circulation is healthy; to take your blood pressure; to respond to any problems you may have encountered since the last visit; and to fine-tune your diabetes care. Despite this knowledge, when it comes to my hesitation to visit my doctor, I have a feeling I’m not alone. But no matter about these worries, Eileen Sturner, manager of diabetes and outpatient nutrition at Abington Jefferson Health in Pennsylvania, has one message for her diabetes patients: Keep the appointment. “Whether it's the dietitian, the primary-care physician, or the endocrinologist, we’re all here to help patients achieve good care,” Sturner says. “So even if from the patient’s perspective they are not achieving what they want Continue reading >>
What Is Endocrinology?
Endocrinology is the field of hormone-related diseases. An endocrinologist can diagnose and treat hormone problems and the complications that arise from them. Hormones regulate metabolism, respiration, growth, reproduction, sensory perception, and movement. Hormone imbalances are the underlying reason for a wide range of medical conditions. Endocrinology focuses both on the hormones and the many glands and tissues that produce them. Humans have over 50 different hormones. They can exist in very small amounts and still have a significant impact on bodily function and development. Contents of this article: Here are some key points about endocrinology. More information is in the main article. Endocrinology involves a wide range of systems within the human body. The endocrine tissues include the adrenal gland, hypothalamus, ovaries, and testes. There are three broad groups of endocrine disorders. Polycystic ovary syndrome is the most common endocrine disorder in women. What is the endocrine system? The human endocrine system consists of a number of glands, which release hormones to control many different functions. When the hormones leave the glands, they enter the bloodstream and are transported to organs and tissues in every part of the body. Adrenal glands The adrenal, or suprarenal, glands are located on top of the kidneys. They are divided into two regions. The right gland is triangular, and the left is crescent-shaped. The adrenal glands secrete: corticosteroids, the steroids involved in stress responses, the immune system, inflammation, and more catecholamines, such as norepinephrine and epinephrine, in response to stress aldosterone, which affects kidney function Both men and women have some androgen, but men have higher levels. Androgens control the development of Continue reading >>
Diabetes & Endocrinology
Diabetes is a disease in which your body is unable to properly use and store glucose (a form of sugar). The specific causes of diabetes depend on the type of diabetes that you're diagnosed with. For more information on diabetes, click on Click here for the diabetes website , the website for the American Diabetes Association. Endocrinology focuses primarily on the endocrine organs, or those organs that may cause a "hormone imbalance". These organs include the pituitary, thyroid, adrenals, ovaries, testes and pancreas. This can be a complicated specialty. There are many glands and hormones in the body, each with their own jobs to do. It is a delicate chemical balance that keeps our bodies running smoothly with very little effort on our part. When the balance is upset, serious diseases and conditions can develop. Endocrinologists can help you manage your diabetes by prescribing insulin and/or medications, offering diet plans and helping you to keep a close watch on your blood glucose levels. Besides diabetes, Endocrinologists also diagnose and treat such issues as: The Benefis Diabetes Education Program offers resources needed to help keep your diabetes under control. In small groups or with individual counseling, you'll learn how to make positive lifestyle changes to live your life well. Recognized by the American Diabetes Association for quality Self-Management Education, this comprehensive program is facilitated by qualified staff dedicated to providing you with the best education and expertise. A series of three educational classes is held on Thursdays from 1-3 p.m. at Benefis Medical Office Building 12, Lower Level Classroom, 2800 11th Avenue South in Great Falls. For more information call (406) 731-8855. Lose weight, feel great and learn to live well for a lifetime! Continue reading >>
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Endocrinologist – Why See One?
There is more to treating diabetes than keeping your blood sugar levels healthy. Most people with diabetes have a health care team to help them manage. Discover why you may need to see an endocrinologist when you have diabetes. People with diabetes typically work with a health care team including a primary care physician, dentist, ophthalmologist, podiatrist, a diabetes nurse educator, fitness trainer and dietitian. Another person who may be part of your health care team is an endocrinologist. An endocrinologist has extra specialized training to diagnose and treat illnesses that affect your endocrine system, hormones and glands. Insulin is a central hormone the body needs to function and your pancreas is part of the endocrine system. Typically an endocrinologist treats people with diabetes, metabolic disorders, growth disorders, thyroid disease and other related conditions. Often your primary care physician will refer you to an endocrinologist if a specialist is required to help assist with your diabetes self-management program. Most people with type 1 diabetes are advised to see an endocrinologist especially when the condition is new and they are still learning. It may be difficult for the primary care physician to prescribe an insulin regime. People with type 2 diabetes may also be referred when they develop complications or have difficulty managing their condition. An endocrinologist can help you manage your diabetes in the best way possible. In certain situations, a general physician might not be completely comfortable caring for diabetes or could lack the resources to educate a patient. Endocrinologists provide patients with essential information about taking care of diabetes. This helps the patient to be well-trained and motivated to participate fully in their own Continue reading >>
Ask An Endocrinologist: Understanding&managing Diabetes
grkbfd: With Type 2 diabetes and polymyalgia rheumatica (PMR), how do these affect each other? Dr__Olansky: Polymyalgia rheumatica is usually treated with prednisone, but prednisone causes insulin resistance. This will raise the blood glucose in people with diabetes or prediabetes. mj22: What is the best treatment for ulcers on the leg resulting from Type 2 diabetes? Dr__Olansky: The best treatment for foot ulcers in patients with diabetes is to keep the ulcers clear, treat any infection with antibiotics and keep the pressure off the ulcer. This patient might need a special shoe if the ulcer is on the bottom of the foot. Crutches may be used and avoid bearing weight on that foot. In some patients, hyperbaric oxygen can help. sam500016: I have Type 2 diabetes and I have been on metformin (500 mg twice daily) for the past four years. It appears to agree with me and I am able to maintain my A1C level around six percent. However, my serum lactate is more than 2.4, which is very high. How should I deal with my high lactate level ? Dr__Olansky: I would not worry about an elevated lactate as long as your kidney function is normal and you feel well. We know metformin interferes with lactate conversion to glucose, so that is why yours is somewhat elevated. However, lactic acidosis makes you feel sick. thereg: What can you tell me about taking statins and high fasting glucose results? Before lowering my cholesterol with statins, my fasting glucose was normal. Now the doctor says I have pre-diabetes Dr__Olansky: In a large state trial called Jupiter, it was shown that there was more diabetes in patients that received the statin drug, but all the people who developed diabetes had either a fasting blood glucoses above the normal range or a HgbA1c that was in the diabetic range. Wha Continue reading >>
Type 2 Diabetes
Most people with diabetes have type 2 diabetes. If you have type 2, you might have one or both of the following problems: Your cells don’t use insulin properly. This is called insulin resistance. Your pancreas doesn’t produce enough insulin. This is called insulin deficiency. Often when type 2 diabetes is first diagnosed, the problem is insulin resistance. But as the disease progresses, the pancreas may also produce less insulin. Unlike type 1 diabetes, type 2 usually comes on gradually. Type 2 diabetes is treated with a combination of diet, exercise, and oral medications (pills). In some cases, injections of insulin or other medications are needed to help control blood glucose levels. Uncontrolled diabetes can result in catastrophic health problems including heart disease, stroke, blindness, kidney disease, nervous system disease, amputations, dental disease, and pregnancy complications. In people with diabetes, high blood glucose can cause two problems — both of which can result in foot problems. You may have one or both of these: Nerve damage (neuropathy). Nerve damage from high blood glucose usually begins in the hands and feet. It can cause painful symptoms — tingling, aching, or throbbing — but it can also reduce sensation. If you can’t really feel cold, heat, or pain in your feet, it’s easy to ignore an injury or infection. And unfortunately, in people with diabetes, even a small blister or stubbed toe can become serious. Poor circulation. High blood glucose can damage your blood vessels and reduce blood flow to your feet. This means that injuries take longer to heal. Over time, poor circulation in your feet can even change the shape of your feet and toes. This can cause problems with the way you walk. Sometimes — but not always — symptoms are t Continue reading >>
How An Endocrinologist Can Help You Manage Your Type 2 Diabetes
Type 2 Diabetes is a growing problem among the American population and worldwide. In fact, it is estimated that roughly 30 million people have Type 2 Diabetes in the United States alone. This is in part due to the prevalence of obesity in children and the increase of people who live sedentary lifestyles and eat a high amount of processed foods. The good news is that in many cases Type 2 Diabetes can be prevented through proper diet and exercise. Type 2 Diabetes occurs when your body does not use insulin properly, which is called insulin resistance. Insulin is a hormone that turns glucose from the food you consume into energy. At first, your pancreas makes extra insulin to make up for this, but, over time your pancreas isn’t able to keep up and is unable to produce enough insulin to keep your blood glucose levels in normal range. As the result, sugar builds up in your blood and in long term will lead to serious complications. Some symptoms of Type 2 diabetes include increased thirst, increased urination, weight loss, fatigue, recurrent infections and frequent yeast infections. Oftentimes Type 2 Diabetes is diagnosed through blood work, but early diabetes can be missed on routine fasting blood work. Some people have a higher risk of developing Type 2 diabetes than others. It is more common among African Americans, Latinos, Native Americans and Asian American/Pacific Islanders as well as the aging population. Other risk factors for Type 2 diabetes include an increased BMI that falls into the obesity range, hypertension, and women with a history of polycystic ovary syndrome, those with a family history of diabetes, having autoimmune condition or take steroid on regular basis. Type 2 Diabetes is treated with lifestyle changes, weight loss, exercise, then oral medications ( Continue reading >>
What Is An Endocrinologist?
Diabetes is a complex disease, and there is a lot more to treating it than just keeping your blood sugar at a healthy level. Thankfully, today many individuals with diabetes have a whole team of skilled professionals to help them manage their illness, including a primary care physician, dietitian, eye doctor, podiatrist, dentist and even a fitness trainer all dedicated to keeping you healthy. According to information from the American Diabetes Association (ADA), it is also important to have an endocrinologist, a doctor who has special training in treating people with diabetes and hormonal disorders, on your care team as well. An endocrinologist is a specially trained doctor who can diagnose and treat diseases that affect your glands, hormones and your endocrine system. The pancreas is part of the endocrine system, and insulin is one of the central hormones the body needs to function properly. Endocrinologists often treat people with diabetes, thyroid disease, metabolic disorders and more. Like other physicians and medical doctors, an endocrinologist is required to finish four years in medical school and complete a three or four year residency. Then, endocrinologists are required to spend two or three more years learning how to diagnose and treat hormone conditions. Overall, an endocrinologist's training typically takes more than 10 years, according to data from The Hormone Foundation. In most cases, your primary care doctor refers you to an endocrinologist if he or she believes you need to see a specialist to help you manage your diabetes. Why see an endocrinologist? Though many people can successfully control their diabetes with their general practitioner's help, there are several cases in which it might be best to see an endocrinologist. The ADA asserts that most peop Continue reading >>
Endocrinology And Diabetes
Endocrinologists and diabetologists (ED) are medical doctors who investigate, diagnose and treat disorders of the endocrine system. This page provides useful information on the nature of the work, the common procedures/interventions, sub-specialties and other roles that may interest you. Nature of the work The main glands of the endocrine system are the adrenal glands, ovaries and testicles, pancreas, pituitary gland, parathyroid glands and thyroid gland. These glands secrete hormones (chemical messengers) into the circulation which have an effect on specific organs of the body. Endocrinology and diabetes is predominantly an outpatient specialty but a number of patients require hospital admission for complex investigations or the management of complications. Furthermore, at least 15% of hospital inpatients have diabetes mellitus or other endocrine conditions. Increasingly, hospital-based specialists manage diabetes patients jointly with colleagues in primary care and training has been adjusted to reflect this. Patients usually have chronic conditions and management is holistic and long term often in a multidisciplinary team fashion. Endocrinologists and diabetologists treat conditions such as: diabetes mellitus thyroid disease endocrine disorders of the reproductive system, such as polycystic ovary syndrome adrenal disease bone and calcium disorders pituitary disease endocrine late effects of cancer treatment Common procedures/interventions These include: programmed investigations for complex endocrine disorders pre and post-operative management of endocrine patients and patients with diabetes management of diabetic and endocrine emergencies such as ketoacidosis and hypercalcaemia management of diabetes and endocrine conditions during pregnancy multidisciplinary working Continue reading >>
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What Is An Endocrinologist?
Endocrinology is a complex study of the various hormones and their actions and disorders in the body. Glands are organs that make hormones. These are substances that help to control activities in the body and have several effects on the metabolism, reproduction, food absorption and utilization, growth and development etc. Hormones also control the way an organism responds to their surroundings and help by providing adequate energy for various functions. The glands that make up the endocrine system include the pineal, hypothalamus, pituitary, thyroid, parathyroid, thymus, adrenals, pancreas, ovaries and testes. Who is an endocrinologist? An endocrinologist is a specially trained doctor who has a basic training in Internal Medicine as well. Some disorders like low thyroid hormone production or hypothyroidism deals only with an endocrine organ and an endocrinologist alone may detect, diagnose and manage such patients. Yet other disorders may have endocrine as well and other origins like infertility and may need a deeper understanding of medicine on the part of the endocrinologist to identify and work in collaboration with another specialist (a gynaecologist in cases of infertility). What do endocrinologists do? Endocrinologists have the training to diagnose and treat hormone imbalances and 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 and thyroid disorders. Diabetes mellitus This is one of the most common conditions seen by endocrinologists. This results due to inadequate insulin hormone secreted by the pancreas leading to excess blood sugar that damages various organs. Endocrinologists treat diabetes with diet and blood sugar red Continue reading >>
What Is An Endocrinologist?
Endocrinologists are doctors who specialize in glands and the hormones they make. They deal with metabolism, or all the biochemical processes that make your body work, including how your body changes food into energy and how it grows. They may work with adults or kids. When they specialize in treating children, they're called pediatric endocrinologists. They cover a lot of ground, diagnosing and treating conditions that affect your: Adrenals, glands that sit on top of your kidneys and help to control things like your blood pressure, metabolism, stress response, and sex hormones Bone metabolism, like osteoporosis Cholesterol Hypothalamus, the part of your brain that controls body temperature, hunger, and thirst Pancreas, which makes insulin and other substances for digestion Parathyroids, small glands in your neck that control the calcium in your blood Pituitary, a pea-sized gland at the base of your brain that keeps your hormones balanced Reproductive glands (gonads): ovaries in women, testes in men Thyroid, a butterfly-shaped gland in your neck that controls your metabolism, energy, and brain growth and development Endocrinologists are licensed internal medicine doctors who have passed an additional certification exam. They go to college for 4 years, then medical school for 4 more years. Afterward, they work in hospitals and clinics as residents for 3 years to get experience treating people. They'll spend another 2 or 3 years training specifically in endocrinology. The whole process usually takes at least 10 years. An endocrinologist can work in: A medical practice with other endocrinologists A group with different kinds of doctors Hospitals You can search for one on the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists website. Some don't see patients. They may work i Continue reading >>
Value Of An Endocrinologist
When you are facing a diagnosis of a hormonal condition, like diabetes or thyroid disease, your doctor may suggest you see an endocrinologist. You may be wondering why you need to see a specialist instead of simply sticking with your primary doctor. Here are some reasons why an endocrinologist will provide the level of support and care that you need with this diagnosis. An Endocrinologist is a True Specialist An endocrinologist is a specialist who has thoroughly studied hormonal conditions and knows the best possible treatments, even when conventional treatments do not work well. Unlike a family doctor or general practitioner, an endocrinologist studies hormones and hormonal diseases in depth, and this specialist will be able to provide the best possible treatment. Most general practitioners have the skills necessary to diagnose and treat basic hormonal conditions, but sometimes the help of a specialist is needed. An Endocrinologist Helps Non-Traditional Patients Some patients have diseases that progress as the textbooks say they should. The standard treatments work and they are able to manage their conditions with oral or injected medication with minimal disruption to their day-to-day living. Other patients find that conventional treatment does not work. They stick with the treatments religiously, but they achieve no results. In these cases, an endocrinologist is necessary to ensure all possible treatment avenues are pursued. Some patients need unique care due to other health conditions that affect their hormonal conditions. They may have a genetic condition, like cystic fibrosis, that affects the way their bodies react to treatments. The traditional-path patients may not see the value of an endocrinologist. Those who are in one of the latter categories, however, do. I Continue reading >>
When Should You See A Diabetes Specialist?
Many people who have diabetes also have an experienced primary care (or family practice) doctor or nurse practitioner who can help them manage their diabetes. For example, people with uncomplicated type 2 diabetes may never need to see a specialist because they can easily manage it with their primary care doctor’s help. Other people, however, might choose to see a specialist. Here are 10 reasons why you might want to see an endocrinologist or diabetes care team: 1) Your doctor recommends you have an evaluation with a specialist. After you have been diagnosed with diabetes, your doctor may recommend you see a specialist to confirm the diagnosis and make sure you know your options for managing the disease. 2) Your primary care physician has not treated many diabetes patients. If your doctor has not treated many patients with diabetes or you are unsure about their treatment, you can choose to see a specialist. 3) You are having problems communicating with your doctor. If you feel your doctor is not listening to you or understanding your symptoms, you could see a specialist who will focus primarily on your diabetes. 4) You cannot find the right educational material to help you. Treatment for diabetes starts with learning to manage your diabetes. If you can’t find the right information to help you manage your diabetes, you might want to see a diabetes care team to receive diabetes education. 5) You are having complications or difficulty managing your diabetes. You should definitely see a specialist if you have developed complications. Diabetes typically causes problems with the eyes, kidney, and nerves. In addition, it can cause deformity and open sores on the feet. Diabetes complications only get worse with time, and can cause you to miss out on quality of life. In addi Continue reading >>
Your Visit To The Endocrinologist: What To Expect
After narrowing down your search for an endocrinologist, you have finally selected the one that you think will give you the best care for your diabetes. Diabetes is one of the most common conditions endocrinologists manage. You can work with your doctor to control this disease. You should write down any questions you have as preparation for your appointment. You should go to see an endocrinologist when you’re having problems controlling your diabetes. Your primary care physician may also recommend that you see a specialist for managing diabetes. Signs and symptoms that your diabetes isn’t well-controlled and may benefit from the expertise of an endocrinologist include: tingling in your hands and feet from nerve damage frequent episodes of low or high blood sugar levels weight changes vision problems kidney problems frequent hospital admissions because of diabetes A visit to the endocrinologist usually involves: a complete medical history a head-to-toe exam blood and urine tests an explanation of your management plan This is just a brief overview. Your appointment will start with a measurement of your height, weight, and vital signs, including blood pressure and pulse. They’ll probably check your blood sugar using a finger stick. Your doctor will want to check your teeth to ensure you don’t have mouth infections, and they will check the skin of your hands and feet to ensure that you aren’t developing sores or skin infections. They’ll listen to your heart and lungs with a stethoscope and feel your abdomen with their hands. Be prepared for questions about your current symptoms, family history, and eating habits. Your doctor will want to know how much you exercise you get and what your blood sugars typically run. It’s important to bring a record of your blood Continue reading >>