An endocrinologist is a doctor who specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of hormone-related diseases and conditions. Endocrinologists treat individuals with endocrine conditions and disorders such as:
- Diabetes mellitus
- Thyroid dysfunction
- Obesity or Adiposity-Based Chronic Disease (ABCD)
- Adrenal disorders
- Lipid disorders
- Metabolic abnormalities
- Growth disorders
- Sexual function and reproduction
Endocrinologists work to ensure that the different systems in the body communicate well with each other by correcting hormonal imbalances. Endocrinologists perform a series of tests to understand the problem, determine the best treatment and help patients with lifestyle changes (when possible) that can improve the medical condition.
Many endocrinologists are also involved in basic, clinical and translational research to gain a better understanding of endocrine diseases, which subsequently leads to better treatment options. Some endocrinologists treat a range of endocrine disorders, while others choose to specialize in a single area, such as diabetes, infertility or endocrine oncology.
Some disorders involve the endocrine system even though they do not originate there. For these cases, the endocrinologist may work together with a primary care physician or a specialist in another discipline to coordinate a patient’s follow-up care.
Becoming an endocrinologist requires deep knowledge of pathophysiology and biochemistry to understand the processes that may be disrupted in endocrine disorders. Following medical school completion and internal medicine residency training, a two- or three-year fellowship in the field of endocrinology must be undertaken for a physician to become an endocrinologist. Following completion of training, most become board certified.
Because endocrinology requires the study of many conditions and diseases, there is great demand from patients for information. We're here as your expert resource to help you understand more about endocrinology and endocrine diseases.
If you are living with an endocrine condition, find endocrine care (such as an endocrinologist) in your area.