Endocrinology is the specialist branch of medicine that deals with hormonal and associated metabolic disorders that influence the overall health and well-being of an individual.
When should I see an Endocrinologist?
Some endocrine problems can be diagnosed and managed by primary healthcare professionals (General Practitioners).
Your GP could refer you to an Endocrinologist for a proper diagnosis and treatment plan if they have reason to believe that your body may be experiencing hormone-related problems.
A visit to an endocrinologist might be advantageous for you, as they are better familiar with your disease condition and up to speed on the many drugs, medical advancements, and clinical studies in this specialty.
If your primary healthcare physician has identified an endocrine disorder in you, they could suggest that you visit an endocrinologist to help manage the disorder, particularly because these conditions are chronic (lifelong), complex, and can affect multiple organ systems.
What to expect at an appointment with an Endocrinologist?
A visit to the endocrinologist usually involves:
a detailed medical history
a thorough clinical examination related to the endocrine dysfunction being suspected and any other associated system
plan for blood and urine tests
plan any imaging tests - ultrasound/ CT scans/ MRI scans
an explanation of your management plan.
What do endocrine tests involve?
Endocrine tests are designed to check the levels of certain hormones within our bodies.
Depending on which test you’re having, you may:
require a number of blood tests taken at regular intervals. To make this easier, a cannula will be put in place first, and subsequent samples taken from there.
require an injection or to drink a particular liquid to help facilitate the test.
have to ‘fast’ for a number of hours before the test. You will be told if this is needed.