What is an Endocrinologist?

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Learn more about endocrinologists, what diseases they treat, how they train, among others.

Being familiar with the specialization of doctors as there are many different types of medical doctors, you will get to find the right doctor for your ailment. Or you might be looking for information on which kind of doctor you may want to be upon finishing a pre-medicine course.

One of those medical doctors whom not everyone is familiar with is the endocrinologist. Knowing more about endocrinologists will help you avail of the appropriate expertise and treatment for your health problem.

What is an endocrinologist?

An endocrinologist is a medical doctor who specializes in the treatment of diseases or problems of the endocrine system. The endocrine system is a system of glands in the body that secrete chemicals called hormones which regulate the body’s metabolic activity.

What kinds of diseases are treated by endocrinologists?

While there are many glands in the endocrine system, many endocrinologists focus on the thyroid tissues or the pancreas. Most endocrinologists, however, specialize in the diagnosis and treatment of diabetes. Few endocrinologists engage in the treatment of thyroid diseases.

Aside from the common focus of endocrinologists on diabetes and thyroid problems, endocrinologists diagnose and treat the following diseases:

  • disorders that affect the ability of the body to produce energy
  • abnormal secretion of hormones osteoporosis
  • hypertension
  • obesity
  • infertility
  • cancer of the endocrine glands
  • osteoporosis
  • hyperlipidemia (high levels of total cholesterol)

Endocrinologists also conduct basic research to learn the way glands work, and clinical research to learn the best methods to treat patients with a hormone imbalance. Through research, endocrinologists develop new drugs and treatments for hormone problems.

What are the types of endocrinologists?

The following are subspecialties that endocrinologists can get themselves into although they may work on one or two areas of endocrinology.

  1. Clinical Endocrinologist. In order to fully understand the health condition of the patient for better diagnosis and treatment, clinical endocrinologists conduct research on patients with endocrine gland problems.
  2. Neuroendocrinologist. Neuroendocrinologists study disorders involving both the endocrine and the nervous system. These are diseases or problems associated with the pituitary gland, thyroid, and people’s moods.
  3. Pediatric Endocrinologist. Pediatric endocrinologists deal with children’s endocrine system disorders. Common endocrine disorders among children include diabetes, sexual underdevelopment and growth disorders.
  4. Reproductive Endocrinologist. Reproductive endocrinologists specialize in the diagnosis and treatment of people with reproductive disorders. Reproductive disorders include infertility, sexual dysfunction, problems associated with menopause, and pregnancy loss.

How are endocrinologists educated and trained?

Endocrinologists, just like the other medical doctors who specialize further, finish four years of medical school after which they spend three or four years of internship and residency program. The internship and residency program includes training in internal medicine, pediatrics, or obstetrics and gynecology. Two or three more years of trainingis devoted to the diagnosisand treatment of hormone conditions. It will take more than 10 years to become an endocrinologist.

Where do endocrinologists work?

Many endocrinologists engage in private practice although some work in hospitals, teach in universities, work for pharmaceutical companies and research facilities.

References

Endocrinology Specialists 

The Hormone Foundation.

Thyroid-info

©Patrick A. Regoniel 5 January 2010 What is an endocrinologist?

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