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Endocrinology is a branch of medicine dealing with disorders of the endocrine system and its specific secretions called hormones .An endocrinologist is a doctor who specializes in treating suchdisorders.

Hormones are molecules that act as signals from one type of cells to another. Those secreted by the endocrine glands travelprimarily through the blood. Although every organ system secretes and responds to hormones (including the brain , lungs , heart , intestine , skin , and the kidney ), the clinical specialty of endocrinology focuses on the endocrine organs, i.e. the organswhose primary function is hormone secretion.

Endocrinologists treat disorders of the pituitary , including growth disorders;diseases of the thyroid ; diseases of the adrenal glands; diseases of the ovary and testes ; and diabetes (although more commonly it is a diabetologist ), a disorder of insulin secretion or sensitivity.



The medical specialty of endocrinology involves the diagnostic evaluation of a wide variety of symptoms and variations, aswell as the long-term management of disorders of deficiency or excess of one or more hormones.

The practice of endocrinology is laboratory-oriented. A characteristic of endocrinology is that the diagnosis and treatment ofendocrine diseases are guided by laboratory tests to a greater extent than formost specialties. Many diseases are investigated through excitation/stimulation or inhibition/suppressiontesting. This might involve injection with a stimulating agent to test the function of an endocrine organ. Blood is then sampledto assess the changes of the relevant hormones or metabolites. An endocrinologist needs extensive knowledge of clinical chemistry and biochemistry to understand the uses and limitations of the investigations.

A second important aspect of the practice of endocrinology is distinguishing human variation from disease. Atypical patternsof physical development and abnormal test results must be assessed as indicative of disease or not. Diagnostic imaging of endocrine organs may reveal "spots," termed incidentalomas , which do not represent disease.

Endocrinology also requires caring for the person as well as the disease. Most endocrine disorders are chronic diseases warranting life-long medical care. The most common of theseis diabetes mellitus. Successful care of diabetes and other chronic diseases necessitates understanding the patient at thepersonal and social level as well as the molecular, and the physician-patient relationship can be an important therapeuticprocess.

Apart from managing patients, many endocrinologists are involved in clinical science and medical research , teaching and hospitalmanagement .


Endocrinologists are specialists of internal medicine or pediatrics . Reproductive endocrinologists primarily deal with problems offertility and menstrual function. Most qualify as an internist , pediatrician , or gynecologist for a few years before specialising, depending on the local training system. In the U.S. and Canada, training for boardcertification in internal medicine, pediatrics, or gynecology after medical school is referred to as residency. Further formaltraining to subspecialize in adult, pediatric , orreproductive endocrinology is referred to as a fellowship. Typical training for a North American endocrinologist involves 4 yearsof college, 4 years of medical school, 3 years of residency, and 3 years of fellowship.

Diseases in endocrinology

Among the hundreds of endocrinological diseases are :

See also

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Societies and associations

Health science - Medicine

Anesthesiology - Dermatology - Emergency Medicine - General practice - Intensive care medicine - Internal medicine - Neurology - Obstetrics  &  Gynecology - Pediatrics - Public Health  &  Occupational Medicine - Psychiatry - Radiology - Surgery

Branches of Internal medicine

Cardiology - Endocrinology - Gastroenterology - Hematology - Infectious diseases - Nephrology - Oncology - Pulmonology - Rheumatology

Branches of Surgery

General surgery - Cardiothoracic surgery - Neurosurgery - Ophthalmology - Orthopedic surgery - Otolaryngology  (ENT) - Plastic surgery - Podiatric surgery - Urology - Vascular surgery


Adrenal gland - Corpus luteum - Hypothalamus - Ovaries - Pancreas - Parathyroid gland - Pineal gland - Pituitary gland - Testes - Thyroid gland

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