Health Care Providers: Endocrinologists
What Is Endocrinology?
Endocrinology (en-deh-krih-NOL-uh-jee) is the medical specialty that diagnoses and treats diseases and problems of the endocrine system.
What Is the Endocrine System?
The endocrine system is made up of glands and organs that make hormones. Hormones are the body's chemical messengers. They carry information and instructions from one set of cells to another.
The endocrine (EN-duh-krin) system influences almost every function of our bodies, including growth, puberty, and energy levels.
What Is an Endocrinologist?
An endocrinologist (en-deh-krih-NOL-uh-jist) is a doctor who studies and treats diseases and conditions caused by problems with hormones.
Why Would Someone Need One?
Endocrinologists diagnose and treat endocrine problems such as:
- diabetes (type 1 and type 2)
- early puberty and late (delayed) puberty
- short stature (growth hormone deficiency)
- bone diseases (rickets and osteoporosis)
- genetic disorders (Turner syndrome, Klinefelter syndrome)
- adrenal disorders (congenital adrenal hyperplasia, Cushing syndrome)
- sexual differentiation disorders (ambiguous genitalia)
- thyroid diseases (hypothyroidism, hyperthyroidism)
They do medical tests and procedures such as:
- blood sugar monitoring
- nutrition assessment and therapy
- body composition tests
- bone density tests
- thyroid tests
- growth hormone secretion tests
- hormonal deficiency tests
What Is Their Training?
Pediatric endocrinologist training typically includes:
- 4 years of pre-medical education at a college or university
- 4 years of medical school — a medical degree (MD) or doctor of osteopathic medicine (DO) degree
- 3 years of training in an endocrinology or pediatric residency program
- 3 years or more in a pediatric endocrinology fellowship program. A “fellow” is a doctor who had more specialty training after completing medical school and residency training.
Good to Know
Endocrinologists often work closely with dietitians, social workers, psychologists, and weight management experts.