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Navigating Endocrinology: How Endocrinologists Can Help

Thursday, January 4, 2024

endocrinologist examining thyroid gland of patient indoors closeup

Endocrinology is a branch of medicine that deals with the endocrine system, the conditions that affect it, and its hormonal secretions. Unless you or a loved one has visited an endocrinologist before, you may be unsure about what these medical specialists do. Discover more about this distinct medical field here.

What Does an Endocrinologist Do?

Simply put, endocrinologists are healthcare providers who specialize in the certain organs and hormone-producing glands in the body that manage your body’s hormones. These specialists can diagnose, treat, and manage any conditions related to your hormones.

Hormones are often associated with the body’s sexual function; we tend to think of them in relation to pivotal phases such as puberty and menopause. And while hormones do play a large role in sexual function and reproduction, these chemical messengers do far more than that. They also enable parts of your body to communicate with other areas to regulate critical bodily functions including growth, sleep regulation, and your metabolism.

There are more than 50 hormones that your body produces. Some well-known examples include estrogen and testosterone, as well as adrenaline, insulin, and melatonin. These and other hormones are mainly produced by your endocrine glands, including the adrenal glands, parathyroid glands, pineal gland, pituitary gland, and thyroid gland. Other additional body parts that aren’t considered glands (but still produce hormones and therefore fall within the endocrine system) include the pancreas, ovaries, testes, and hypothalamus. Though sweat glands and lymph glands are also present in your body, these don’t produce hormones and are therefore not encompassed by the endocrine system.

Why Would You Need to See an Endocrinologist?

Our bodily systems are complex, and rely on many different components to keep functions running smoothly. Being such an intricate network of tissue, organs, and critical substances, the endocrine system is particularly subject to medical issues, making the list of what an endocrinologist could treat span far and wide. Here are just some of the issues they can address:

  • Endocrine cancers and tumors
  • Reproductive disorders, including hormone-related infertility, menopausal conditions, and polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS)
  • Diabetes and metabolic syndrome
  • Bone conditions such as osteoporosis, since hormones can affect bone metabolism

Oftentimes, patients receive a referral to see an endocrinologist from their general practitioner. Since endocrinologists are specialists in hormone-related conditions and have the best tools and techniques for managing them, these medical experts can often detect and treat diseases with advanced care, ensuring the best outcomes.

Partnering with the right endocrinologist is especially important because many endocrine conditions are lifelong. While it’s possible for some conditions to be addressed without the need for ongoing management, others, such as diabetes and thyroid disorders, are chronic. Having an established specialist is important for effective management of these conditions.

Schedule an Appointment With an Endocrinologist at SouthCoast Health

Equally important to finding a great endocrinologist is ensuring your medical team is all on the same page. SouthCoast Health has an integrated network of providers, so our general practitioners and specialists collaborate to provide cohesive, convenient care. Schedule your visit online or make an appointment by calling 912.691.3600.

Whether you are looking for a primary care doctor or a pediatrician, or another medical specialist, SouthCoast Health has you covered with its wide range of world-class healthcare services, available throughout the Coastal Empire and Lowcountry. SouthCoast Health has 120 physicians and medical professionals in 18 locations in Savannah, Richmond Hill, Pooler, Rincon, Baxley, Hilton Head, Hinesville, and Statesboro. SouthCoast Health offers comprehensive medical services including: Family Medicine, Internal Medicine, Pediatrics, Allergy and Asthma, Cardiology, Endocrinology, Eye Care, Imaging, Infectious Diseases, Nephrology, Neurology, Physical Therapy, Podiatry, Sleep Medicine, Surgery, Clinical Trial Research Studies, Diabetic Self-Management Training Sessions, Dietetic Counseling, Laboratory Services, Massage Therapy, Optical Shop, Pharmacy, and Urgent Care.

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