Endocrinology is a medical specialty that deals with glands and hormones. Hormones are substances that act like chemical messengers between parts of the body. They are produced by glands, and travel in the bloodstream throughout the body where they act on different organs and cells to affect many different functions of life. Hormones control our appetite, growth, reproduction, and energy. When there is too little or too much of a hormone, an endocrinologist can help restore the balance.
Endocrinology problems are sometimes difficult and complex because hormones travel throughout the body and can affect more than one system. A single, simple imbalance can produce multiple, very different symptoms. Just a few of the diverse diseases treated by an endocrinologist include:
Endocrinology can contain subspecialties where physicians focus their care on specific groups of patients. For example, some endocrinologists are diabetic endocrinologists who know specifically how to care for diabetics' particular needs in eye care, circulation, and foot care. Pediatric endocrinologists treat children. Whatever their subspecialty, all endocrinologists have the same goal: restoring balance when the body's messaging system is not working correctly.