Endocrinology is the study of medicine regarding the endocrine system, the system that regulates, controls & balances the hormones in a human body. An endocrinologist deals with the diseases and issues that are caused by hormone imbalances or problems with hormones.
What is the Endocrine System?
To understand what an endocrinologist does, we first need to understand the functionality and the overall importance of the endocrine system. The endocrine system consists of a series glands that secretes and produces hormones which are used for a wide range of bodily functions. It helps in the proper functioning of:
- Sensory Perception
- Sexual Development
Hormones are produced in the glands and are sent into the bloodstream to the various tissues in the human body. They act as messengers who send signals to the tissues to tell them what they are supposed to do. When these hormone secreting glands don’t produce the precise amount of hormones, the human body develops diseases which can affect many aspects of life.
Types of Endocrine Diseases
Endocrinology is focused on the care & treatment of the endocrine diseases. There are mainly three categories of endocrine diseases. Such as:
- Tumours. If tumours are present in the glands, be it cancerous or benign, causes hormonal imbalances
- Gland Hypersecretion. This usually happens when the gland secretes excessive amounts of hormones which is unnecessary
- Gland Hyposecretion. This occurs due to the deficit of hormones, when the gland secretes to less of an amount of the required hormone.
In each of these situations, the result is a disease that impacts the body and its overall functioning and well-being.
The Role of the Endocrinologist
An endocrinologist is a doctor who has studied the endocrine system and its diseases. These doctors know how to diagnose the diseases caused by the endocrine system and are well-equipped to treat them. Since, the symptoms are hard to spot at times, an endocrinologist is your best advocate when dealing with hormonal issues.
Most patients begin their journey to the endocrinologist with a trip to their primary care provider or family doctor. This doctor will run a series of tests to see what could be the potential problem the patient is facing. If a problem with the hormones is suspected, the primary care doctor will provide a referral. The endocrinologist’s goal is to restore hormonal balance in the body.