Endocrinology is specialised branch of medicine dealing with most of the common health disorders like diabetes, thyroid etc. In India, doctors who get training in DM or DNB Endocriology are qualified to practice as super-specialists in Diabetes, Thyroid and Endocrinology. Endocrinology refers to the study of hormones produced from endocrine glands. The endocrine glands in our body include hypothalamus, pituitary, thyroid, 2 pairs of parathyroid, 1 pair of adrenal, pituitary and 1 pair of gonads (testes in males and ovaries in females). The hormones produced by these endocrine glands enter in to blood circulation and act on multiple target organs, maintaining the normal functioning of our body.

There can be three types of endocrine problems in each endocrine gland

  • Excess hormone production (hypofunction)
  • Less hormone production (hyperfunction)
  • Swelling of the endocrine glands (adenoma/tumors/inflammation/hyperplasia)

Endocrine disorders are easily treatable if correctly identified. All hormone are available for therapeutic use, like thyroxine supplementation for hypothyroidism, and growth hormone treatment for deficiency. Endocrine tumors or adenoma may require surgical excision.

The disorders of hypothalamus and pituitary include hypopituitarism (Sheehan syndrome, Growth Hormone Deficiency), hyperpituitarism (Prolactinoma, acromegaly, Cushing syndrome) and pituitary adenoma. The disorders of thyroid include hypothyroidism, hyperthyroidism and thyroid tumors. The disorders of parathyroid include hypoparathyroidism, hyperparathyroidism and parathyroid adenoma/tumors. The disorders of adrenal gland include hypoadrenalism(addison’s disease), hyperadrenalism(conn’s syndrome/cushing syndrome), adrenal adenoma/tumors. The disorders of pancreas include diabetes, glucagonoma and pancreatic tumors. The disorders of gonads include hypogonadism, precocious puberty and tumors of testis/ovary.

In addition, a variety of related disorders related to bone and mineral metabolism are also seen by Endocrinologist, like osteoporosis, kidney stones, rickets, vitamin D deficiency, skeletal dysplasia, Renal Tubular Acidosis, etc.

Diabetes, one of the common disorders in Endocrine practice may present in different ages. These include type 1 diabetes, type 2 diabetes, MODY (Maturity Onset Diabetes of Young), Gestational Diabetes, Secondary Pancreatic Diabetes, Drug Induced Diabetes, NODAT (New Onset Diabetes After Transplantation) etc.

Endocrinology also include disorders related to male and female sexual health (Sexology/Andrology). The common male sexual health disorders include premature ejaculation, erectile dysfunction, balanoposthitis (infection of glans), retrograde ejaculation, loss of libido, hypogonadism, azoospermia, oligospermia, Dhat Syndrome (semen loss in urine), micropenis(small penis) and andropause. The common female sexual health disorders include anorgasmic disorder, vaginismus, low libido, vaginal atrophy, menopausal hot flushes, etc

Endocrinoogy also include disorders related to metabolism like ketotic hypoglycemia, hyperinsulinemic hypoglycemia, metabolic syndrome, dyslipidemia(hypercholesterolemia and hypertriglyceridemia), hyperuricemia, obesity etc

Why is it important to control the sugars?

Uncontrolled diabetes can cause damage to eyes, kidney & nerves. It can lead to stroke or heart diseases. It can also increase the risk of infections and diabetic foot problems. Hence, it is very important to control the sugars.