Endocrinology is a branch of medicine that deals with hormones. Endocrinologists, therefore, treat diseases of the hormonal glands (for example, the thyroid gland, ovaries, testes, adrenals or pituitary gland) or illnesses caused by excess, deficiencies or other complex imbalances of hormones.
Hormones are biologically active substances that are produced in special glands, from which they then enter the bloodstream. Hormones, and more precisely their balance, are very important for the healthy functioning of the body, because they control the metabolism and many physiological functions.
What diseases does endocrinology treat?
Endocrinologists are engaged in the treatment of a variety of diseases associated with glands of internal secretion. These include:
- Thyroid gland diseases
- Conn’s syndrome (overproduction of aldosterone)
- Cushing’s syndrome (overproduction of cortisol)
- Addison’s disease (absence of hormones of the adrenal cortex)
- Adrenogenital syndrome (masculinization of primary sexual characteristics in women)
- Hyperandrogenic disease (excess of male hormones)
- Growth hormone deficiency
- Low blood sugar
- Parathyroid disease
- Carcinoid (malignant tumor)
- Excess or absence of sex hormones
In what cases it is necessary to address to the endocrinologist
Hormonal imbalances can sometimes cause very nonspecific symptoms, so it is often very difficult to make the right diagnosis. Therefore, before a final diagnosis is made, patients usually undergo a lengthy and thorough examination.
Typical symptoms that often lead patients to an endocrinologist are constant fatigue, sudden increase or weight loss, irregular periods, changes in the hairline, poor concentration, mood swings, sweating, rapid or irregular heartbeats, and this is only a small part of the possible symptoms. They may be hiding hormonal disorder, but it can also be other diseases – such as depression or some inflammatory processes.
Some hormonal disorders can also be associated with specific and typical symptoms. For example, Graves’ disease is characterized by a combination of typical signs of hyperthyroidism, such as heart palpitations, internal arousal, weight loss combined with changes in the eyes, such as bulging eyes, and burning, pressure, tears and pain in the eyes. With acromegaly – a condition caused by excess growth hormone, the arms, legs, chin and lips are often expanded, as well as diseases of the internal organs. With Cushing’s syndrome caused by an increase in cortisol production, there is an increase in the amount of abdominal fat, a decrease in muscle mass and muscle weakness, red stripes on the stomach, frequent infections, missed periods and increased “male” hair on a woman’s body.
These are just a few examples. Diseases can also be very different and their symptoms can vary from patient to patient. In the case of nonspecific symptoms, as mentioned above, or more specific combinations of symptoms, the therapist can usually determine if your case is relevant to endocrinology. It is often useful to have an additional medical examination (check-up) from a specialist.
Treatment in Switzerland with Airdoc
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