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Providing a specialist Endocrinology service to every corner of Australia.

WHAT IS ENDOCRINOLOGY?

Endocrinology is the study of hormones. An Endocrinologist is a “hormone specialist”, a specialist Physician who manages the diagnosis and treatment of diseases related to hormones. Many organs in the body produce hormones and are regulated by hormones including the thyroid gland, parathyroid gland, ovaries, testes, pancreas, adrenal gland, pituitary gland, kidney, bone and even muscle and fat.

Common endocrine conditions include

This list is by no means exhaustive and there are many other endocrine conditions that are treated by Endocrinologists.

What is Diabetes?

Diabetes mellitus is a very common endocrine condition, which can affect anybody at any age. A diagnosis of diabetes is made when a high sugar level or glucose level is detected in the blood stream.

Glucose comes from eating normal food, and is absorbed from the stomach and gut into the blood stream. A hormone called insulin, made in the pancreas, moves the glucose from the blood into the cells of the body where it can be used as fuel. Glucose is a vital fuel for the brain, muscle and all cells of the body.

In diabetes, the glucose stays in the blood stream and is detected as a ‘high’ blood glucose level because of one of two reasons; either there is not enough insulin (usually occurs in type 1 diabetes) or, the insulin made in the body doesn’t work well enough to move the glucose into the cells, which is also known as insulin resistance (usually occurs in type 2 diabetes or gestational diabetes of pregnancy). There are many causes of diabetes and each person is different.

Regardless of the cause, diabetes requires constant self-care and monitoring in partnership with your doctor. Having high glucose levels in the blood can lead to short-term and long-term complications, and achieving good control of diabetes is important to prevent complications.

Short-term complications can lead to excessive thirst or a need to pass water frequently, infections, as well as nausea, vomiting and abdominal pain. If you have such symptoms, you should see a doctor urgently. Long-term complications can include heart attacks, stroke, foot ulcers, amputation, numbness, kidney disease, eye disease and blindness. In order to monitor for long-term complications, it is recommended that regular assessments are performed of your blood glucose levels and HbA1c (a marker of long-term glucose control), urine tests, kidney function blood tests as well as examinations of your feet, heart and blood vessels.

For more detailed information about Diabetes, Living with Diabetes, Food and Exercise, please click here