Although many people can’t define exactly what an endocrinologist is or does, that professional may be the perfect doctor to treat the many symptoms and problems caused by hormonal imbalances.
Endocrinologists specialize in glands and the hormones they produce which affect important processes that control metabolism, blood pressure, cholesterol, hunger, thirst, body temperature and more. Hormone imbalances can impact your daily life, but an endocrinologist can help you manage the imbalances to improve your quality of life.
“There are several hormone-secreting organs in our bodies,” explains Mini Sara Cherian, MD, a RUSH Copley endocrinologist. “Problems can manifest as some very common symptoms, like fatigue and acne, hair loss, or menstrual irregularities. Often, when we evaluate a patient, we can trace the symptom back to dysfunction of one of those endocrine organs.”
An endocrinologist can treat you for a variety of conditions, including the following:
- Diabetes: An endocrinologist can help you find the right education and care program to manage your diabetes, including medications and management of blood sugar. This can help prevent bigger complications such as heart disease, stroke and renal failure.
- Thyroid disorder: The secretion of too much or too little hormone can cause osteoporosis, kidney stones, chronic fatigue and difficulty with memory and concentration along with symptoms including bone and joint pain, bone fractures, weight gain, muscle aches, dry skin and depression. Treatment may be as easy as taking a pill.
- Hirsutism or excessive hair growth: Often visible on the face, chest and back, excessive hair growth in women is typically caused by hormones, like excess male hormones or low estrogen levels. An endocrinologist can successfully treat this condition with medication.
- Infertility: If hormonal abnormalities are preventing you from conceiving and starting a family, an endocrinologist may be able to help with hormone treatments or medications.
- Menopause: Common symptoms of menopause are hot flashes, night sweats, sleep disturbances, forgetfulness and irritability. An endocrinologist can help manage these symptoms.
If you have these conditions or any of the following symptoms, an endocrinologist can help.
- Unexplained weight gain or loss
- Anxiety or depression
- New or increased hair growth
- Changes in menstrual periods
- Muscle weakness
- Feeling cold
- Hot flashes
- Difficulty concentrating
- Dry skin
- Breaking hair
- Bone or joint pain
- Feeling jittery or shaky
- Decreased sex drive
“As an endocrinologist, my goal is to get the patient to a point where they feel like they have control over their condition rather than the condition controlling their life,” Cherian says.
Treatment could be as simple as medication. Don’t suffer silently or delay seeking help. An endocrinologist can provide the answers and treatment you need.