As the name states, an endocrinologist is a medical doctors which specializes in the field of endocrinology. That, however, is not very helpful in understanding what exactly an endocrinologist is, and what they do to help their patients.
Because the medical field is so vast, and total mastery of all of medicine is nearly impossible, all medical doctors will specialize in a particular field of medicine. They maintain knowledge of the entire human body, but will focus their study and work on particular areas of the body. Some of the most well known examples are cardiologists, which deal with the heart, and neurologists, which deal with the brain. Similarly, an endocrinologist deals with the glands of the human body. They are also trained to deal with diseases and illnesses that begin in the glands, but can affect other parts of the body as well.
What Do Your Glands Do?
The glands in your body have an important function in the human body. Glands are a grouping of cells that will release hormones into your bloodstream. Hormones can have a wide variety of uses within the body, most importantly helping other cells do their jobs. There are sex hormones, stress hormones, adrenaline hormones, and more. All of the hormones in your body come from glands. Because hormones can control things like your sex drive, stress on your body and heart, and more, it is important to keep your hormones balanced.
What Do Endocrinologists Do?
Ideally, you want all of the hormones in your body to be balanced. This prevents illnesses and disorders within the body, which can have drastic affects on your health and well-being. However, when your hormones become imbalanced, an endocrinologist will help identify the problem, and find a solution that works for you.
Typically, hormonal imbalances come from glands located within the endocrine system. These imbalances tend to have important implications for the human body, because the glands of the endocrine system deal with the regulation and control of hormones dealing with metabolism, tissue functions, sexual function and reproduction, mood, growth and development, and sleep. These are some of the most important functions of the body, as they deal with the basic growth of our bodies, our mental health, sexual health, and sleeping patterns.
The job of the endocrinologist is to look at the symptoms which a patient is exhibiting, run any necessary tests, and identify the hormone or group of hormones that are imbalanced, the glands from which the hormones come from, and then work on a solution to correct the imbalance.
How Do You Know If You Should See An Endocrinologist?
Women are more likely than men to have a hormonal imbalance that requires them to go seek the assistance of an endocrinologist. However, many of these imbalances can affect men and women alike. There are several common tell-tale signs that you have a hormonal imbalance, and you should go see a doctor. You should always first visit your primary doctor, receive their opinion, and they will recommend that you visit an endocrinologist for more information and assistance.
Some of the most common symptoms of hormonal imbalance are:
- Persistent weight gain: This is a highly subjective symptom. If you are maintaining a healthy lifestyle, eating right and exercising often, and still find yourself gaining weight, you may have a hormonal imbalance.
- Loss of muscle mass: This is another subjective symptom, but can be a sign that your stress hormones are out of control in your body. Your body will store more fat, while reducing the amount of muscle mass in your body.
- Low libido: When your sex hormones are out of sync with your body, you may notice that you have a low sex drive. One of the most common hormonal imbalances are focused on sex hormones.
- Fatigue: Hormonal imbalances can often lead to extra energy drainage on your body, making it difficult for you to remain awake, no matter how much sleep you get.
- Emotional mood swings: If your moods change rapidly, or you find yourself more depressed, anxious, or irritable than normal, you may have a hormonal imbalance.
It is important to remember that just because you exhibit some of these symptoms, it does not mean that you have a hormonal imbalance. Likewise, you may exhibit symptoms not listed that may be caused by a hormonal imbalance. If you feel as if there has been a drastic change in your body, always consult with your doctor. The specially trained endocrinologists can determine if your symptoms are due to hormonal imbalances, or due to something else.