Endocrinology is the medical specialty concerned with hormone production and dysfunction. Endocrine glands produce hormones that regulate metabolism, reproduction, growth and development. They may be overactive or underactive.
Diabetes is an endocrine disease that prevents your body from properly processing the foods you eat. Normally, the pancreas releases a hormone called insulin, which assists in transporting the glucose from the blood to cells in the body. A person with diabetes does not produce enough insulin and, consequently, the glucose in the blood rises above normal.
Common symptoms of diabetes include frequent urination, increased hunger and thirst, weakness and fatigue, and changes in weight. Often, diabetes may be present for years with no symptoms.
Abnormal blood sugars contribute to the loss of vision, kidney and nerve function. Heart disease and strokes are more common if diabetes is not well controlled.
Abnormal function of the thyroid is common. Endocrinologists also have special training in the treatment of cholesterol problems, osteoporosis and many other disorders of the endocrine gland.