An endocrinologist is a medical specialist that can diagnose and treat problems and diseases related to the glands and their hormones. The doctors are specialists in issues related to the metabolism of the body, biochemical processes that make the body function and others. An endocrinologist can also treat issues related to the mechanism by which the body breaks food and turns it into energy.
An endocrinologist can treat people of all aged and gender, including children. Endocrinologists that specialise in treating children are often referred to as paediatric endocrinologist.
What does Endocrinologist do?
An endocrinologist can diagnose, treat and prevent problems and diseases related to the following areas:
- Adrenal glands which are located on top of the kidneys and are responsible for controlling health vitals such as blood pressure, metabolism, response to stress, sexual hormones, and others.
- Bone metabolism leading to problems such as osteoporosis, Vitamin D deficiency, etc.
- High blood cholesterol or lipid issues related to heart problems
- Hypothalamus, a part of the brain which regulates the temperature in the body, hunger and thirst.
- Excessive growth or gigantism
- The pancreas that makes insulin and other digestive substances in the body
- Thyroid, a gland that primarily controls metabolism, energy, and the growth and development of the brain in the body.
- Reproductive glands including ovaries in women, testes in men
- Parathyroids, which are small glands in the neck responsible for controlling calcium in the bloodstream
- Pituitary, a gland in the bottom of the brain which helps to maintain a balance of hormones in the body
- Endocrine gland cancer
- Lack of growth or stature
- Infertility, in some cases
- Excessive or underproduction of hormones
- Menopause and related hormonal issues
That said, diabetes is the most common issue treated by endocrinologists. Patients with diabetes can also seek consultation from a general physician. However, in many cases, specialist counselling from an endocrinologist is required. These cases include:
- People who are new to diabetes and need to learn to manage it well
- People who use an insulin pump or take insulin shots due to high diabetes
- People who have severe complications because of diabetes
- People for who the general diabetic treatment is proving ineffective and whose level of diabetes has gone beyond a certain level
What is the value of an Endocrinologist?
An endocrinologist is a specialist that has deep expertise in hormonal conditions and is equipped to treat them with best possible methods, including conventional and modern medical methods. Unlike a general physician, an endocrinologist has expert knowledge of hormones and related diseases and hence, can provide better treatment than a general doctor.
Moreover, in many cases, an endocrinologist can help non-traditional patients, for who traditional treatment methods have failed to provide any results. And in most situations, traditional methods have worsened the conditions. In such instances, an endocrinologist can help devise a tailored treatment plan depending on the hormonal condition of the patient, to maximise effectiveness. For example, a patient might not respond to traditional methods of treatment because of the presence of cystic fibrosis, which affects the way their body responds to treatments. Hence, in such cases, an endocrinologist can provide specialist expertise in devising a plan best suitable to the patients’ case.
Further, since hormones and related diseases constantly change, an endocrinologist is up-to-date with the latest treatment methods and technologies. This provides the patient with a more effective treatment.
When to visit an Endocrinologist?
A person should visit an endocrinologist upon experiencing any hormone-related issues such as:
- Unexplained weight loss or gain
- Problem in sleeping
- Fertility issues
- Vaginal dryness or related reproductive problems
- Skin rashes or dry skin
- Changes in sensitivity to hot and cold temperatures
- Unexplained and too much sweating
- Anxiety issues
- Fatigue, headache, discomfort
- Changes in blood pressure
- High cholesterol
- Metabolic disorders
- A problem in heart rate
- Weakening bones
- Alterations in blood sugar concentration
- Excessive thirst
- More frequent urge to urinate than normal
- Changes in appetite
- Changes in voice, especially in females
- Tenderness in the breast
- Blurry eye vision
- Puffy or swollen face
- Problems in sex
- Thinning of hair
- A bulge formation in the neck
- Enlarged thyroid gland or goitre
- Thyroid nodule or lump
What to expect in the first visit to an Endocrinologist?
Upon experiencing symptoms, a person must visit an endocrinologist for appropriate diagnosis and treatment. In the first meeting, the endocrinologist will ask the patient some questions to diagnose the problem and understand the symptoms. These might include:
- Diet and food habits
- Ongoing medications
- Family history of hormonal disorders
- Existing medical problems such as allergies
A patient should ideally list all symptoms to get an exhaustive diagnosis. In many cases, an endocrinologist can enquire about symptoms which might not be directly related but can have an impact. It is important to answer all questions with the utmost honesty and sincerity as possible.
The doctor will also check general health vitals such as blood pressure, heart rate, pulse, and also analyse the condition of teeth, hair, skin, and mouth to arrive at a conclusive analysis. In some cases, an endocrinologist might also suggest a blood and urine sample test.
Based on the holistic evaluation, the endocrinologist will devise a treatment plan.
How to choose the best endocrinologist in Kolkata?
For a person experiencing any hormone or related issues and needs to visit an endocrinologist in Kolkata, the following steps can prove very useful:
- Understanding symptoms and listing them down
- Making a comprehensive list of all endocrinologists in Kolkata by taking referrals from family and friends, and using general Google search and platforms such as Practo and Justdial
- Narrowing the list based on specific parameters such as hospital and private practise years of experience, proximity, etc.
- Shortlisting further and assessing the credentials, expertise, specialities and knowledge of the endocrinologists through an exhaustive online search.
- Selecting an endocrinologist that has several years of experience, holds valid credentials and certifications, is licensed, close to home, and has authentic patient referrals. It is best to read online reviews for a more authentic search.
- Once the analysis is complete, make the call and book an appointment with the endocrinologist.
In Kolkata, CMRI (Calcutta Medical Research Institute) is regarded as the best multi-speciality hospital with experts in all fields including endocrinology.