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What Is a Hormone Specialist?

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A hormone specialist, or endocrinologist, is a doctor with special training that treats diseases and disorders of the endocrine system, a complex system in the human body that contains glands that produce and secrete substances called hormones that keep the body running smoothly.

Endocrinologist

The hormone specialist is an endocrinologist, a doctor who specializes in diagnosing and treating diseases and conditions of glands. Glands are organs such as the thyroid, pituitary, adrenal, testes and ovaries that make up the endocrine system. The glands produce hormones, the substances that control how well your body functions. The Hormone Foundation notes these areas of regulated by the endocrine system: body energy levels, reproduction, growth and development, internal balance of body systems (called homeostasis) and responses to surroundings, stress and injury.

Hormone Balance

An endocrinologist diagnoses and treats many diseases and disorders in order to keep hormones in balance so that the body can function properly. Diabetes, thyroid disorders, metabolic disorders, lack of growth and infertility are a few examples of the many diseases and disorders that an endocrinologist treats. Endocrinologists study the glands in the endocrine system to find out how they work and to help them figure out the best ways to treat the different kinds of diseases and disorders. Some endocrinologists develop new drugs that will help keep hormones in balance.

Education

Students who aspire to become endocrinologists must complete four years of college, four years of medical school, and several additional years studying special programs that cover such areas as pediatrics, obstetrics and gynecology, thyroid disorders and internal medicine. After that, the prospective endocrinologists spend two or more years learning how to diagnose and treat hormone diseases.

Symptoms of Hormone Imbalance

Hormones are so important in the body that when they're out of balance they may have a serious effect on health and sense of well-being. Hormones interact with each other and affect several body systems, such as your thyroid, pancreas, adrenal gland or reproductive glands. Imbalance in different glands may bring about noticeable symptoms, which men and women may experience differently. Among the symptoms of hormone imbalance are bone loss, depression, irritability, mood swings, night sweats, poor concentration and sleep disturbances.

Prevention/Solution

Hormone imbalance can cause symptoms that can make you miserable, such as being moody or irritable, and you may be tempted to shrug them off, but sometimes those symptoms can be serious. Your body may be trying to tell you that something is seriously wrong. Tell you doctor about all symptoms that you are having; she may want to refer you to an endocrinologist.

About the Author

DeLene Sholes has written hundreds of articles for print and online books, newspapers, and magazines including Florida Wildlife, Atlanta's Points North, and Faces magazine. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in elementary education from Birmingham-Southern College and a Master of Arts in elementary education from the University of Alabama in Birmingham.

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