What is hyperaldosteronism?
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Hyperaldosteronism is a medical condition characterized by the overproduction of the hormone aldosterone by the adrenal glands. Aldosterone is an important hormone that helps regulate blood pressure and electrolyte balance in the body.
What is hyperaldosteronism?
In primary hyperaldosteronism, also known as Conn’s syndrome, an adrenal gland produces too much aldosterone, leading to high blood pressure and low levels of potassium in the blood. This can result in symptoms such as fatigue, muscle weakness, headaches, and frequent urination.
What are the symptoms?
The symptoms of hyperaldosteronism can vary depending on the underlying cause and severity of the condition. In primary hyperaldosteronism, some people may have no symptoms at all, while others may experience a range of symptoms including:
- High blood pressure (hypertension): This is the most common symptom of hyperaldosteronism. It can cause headaches, dizziness, and other symptoms.
- Low levels of potassium (hypokalemia): This can cause muscle weakness, cramping, and fatigue.
- Increased urination: Excessive urination can occur due to the body’s attempt to eliminate excess potassium.
- Thirst: Increased urination can cause dehydration, leading to increased thirst.
- Heart palpitations: Abnormal heart rhythms can occur due to the imbalance of potassium in the body.
- Numbness or tingling: This can occur due to low levels of potassium in the body.
- Muscle weakness: This can be caused by the low levels of potassium and other electrolytes in the body.
Causes of Hyperaldosteronism
There are two main types of hyperaldosteronism, primary and secondary, and the causes for each type are different.
Primary hyperaldosteronism, also known as Conn’s syndrome, is caused by an abnormality in one or both adrenal glands. The adrenal glands are responsible for producing aldosterone, and in primary hyperaldosteronism, there is an overproduction of aldosterone due to a tumor, usually benign, on one of the adrenal glands. Less commonly, primary hyperaldosteronism can be caused by an inherited condition that affects both adrenal glands.
Secondary hyperaldosteronism is caused by an underlying medical condition that affects the renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system, which regulates aldosterone production. This can include conditions such as kidney disease, liver disease, heart failure, or other conditions that affect blood volume or pressure. In these cases, the excess aldosterone production is a response to the underlying condition.
In some cases, hyperaldosteronism may be idiopathic, meaning there is no known cause for the excess production of aldosterone. This is a rare condition, and its exact cause is unknown.
How common is hyperaldosteronism?
The prevalence of hyperaldosteronism is not well established, as it is often underdiagnosed or misdiagnosed. However, it is estimated that primary hyperaldosteronism affects between 6% and 11% of people with hypertension, making it one of the most common causes of secondary hypertension.
Hyperaldosteronism is more common in adults than in children and affects both men and women equally. It is most commonly diagnosed in people between the ages of 30 and 50.
While the exact prevalence of hyperaldosteronism is not known, it is important for people with hypertension or other related symptoms to be evaluated for the condition, especially if they are not responding well to blood pressure medications or have low potassium levels. Early diagnosis and treatment of hyperaldosteronism can help prevent complications and improve overall health outcomes.
Can it be cured?
The treatment of hyperaldosteronism depends on the underlying cause of the condition. In some cases, such as secondary hyperaldosteronism, treating the underlying condition can often resolve the excess aldosterone production and related symptoms.
In primary hyperaldosteronism, which is caused by an abnormality in one or both adrenal glands, the treatment may involve medication to control blood pressure and potassium levels, and in some cases, surgery to remove the affected adrenal gland. In the case of an adrenal adenoma, surgical removal of the tumor can lead to a cure for the condition.
It’s important to note that even after successful treatment, people with hyperaldosteronism may require lifelong monitoring to ensure that their blood pressure and electrolyte levels remain within normal range.
Regular check-ups and blood tests may be necessary to monitor for any recurrence of the condition.
While hyperaldosteronism can often be effectively managed with appropriate treatment, it is not always curable, especially in cases where the underlying cause is not easily identified or treated. However, with proper management, most people with hyperaldosteronism can lead healthy and fulfilling lives.
Note from Atlantic Endocrinology & Diabetes Center, New York
One of the many causes of high blood pressure is hyperaldosteronism. That it can be treated is wonderful news.
Consult a healthcare professional about the likelihood of hyperaldosteronism if your high blood pressure is unresponsive to medication. In order to examine your health, they can suggest a few tests.
Reasons to see an endocrinologist as soon as possible
What does a gastroenterologist do on a first visit?
At the Atlantic Endocrinology & Diabetes Center in New York, we are aware that endocrinologists can be helpful for both common and rare endocrine problems.
We will assist you in determining the justifications for seeing an endocrinologist in this blog.
Reasons to see an endocrinologist as soon as possible
A hormonal imbalance (too much or too little) or a malfunctioning gland are the causes of endocrine diseases. The entire body is impacted by the intricate tasks performed by endocrine glands. The pancreas, thyroid, parathyroid, ovaries and testicles, adrenals, and pituitary are endocrine glands.
Why would you need to see an endocrinologist?
Reasons to see an endocrinologist include:
1) Diabetes mellitus:
- The most prevalent endocrine disorder in the US is diabetes. 34.2 million Americans, or about 10.5% of the population, had diabetes in 2018.
- One in every 1.6 Americans has type 1 diabetes. Type 1 diabetes, type 2 diabetes, and gestational diabetes can all be categorized. Outside the scope of our discussion, there are other kinds of diabetes.
- 90–95 percent of all diabetes cases are type 2 diabetes. High blood sugars are caused by insulin resistance and the pancreas’ inability to produce adequate insulin.
- The body’s own pancreatic insulin-producing cells are destroyed in type 1 diabetes. It is known as autoimmune destruction in medicine. As a result, there is an absolute lack of insulin. Insulin must be replaced during treatment using an insulin pump or injections.
- Pregnancy-related diabetes is
A butterfly-shaped gland called the thyroid is located in the front of the neck. It generates T4 and, to a lesser extent, T3 hormones. The brain, heart, gastrointestinal tract, bones, and practically every other organ in the body are all impacted by thyroid hormone.
Causes of both a high thyroid level and a low thyroid level (hypothyroidism) are thyroid gland disorders (hyperthyroidism). Hashimoto’s thyroiditis is the most frequent cause of hypothyroidism. Graves’ disease, toxic multinodular goiter, toxic adenoma, and less frequent causes are among the causes of hyperthyroidism.
Thyroid nodules and thyroid cancer are two illnesses that endocrinologists can diagnose and treat because of the way the thyroid gland is built.
Some people would be shocked to find obesity here. Neither poor decision-making nor a lack of discipline causes obesity. Obesity is a complicated, chronic illness that raises the possibility of contracting additional illnesses and conditions. It goes beyond just an aesthetic issue.
Similar to other chronic conditions, obesity needs lifelong care. Treatment for obesity includes diet, exercise, medication, and/or surgery. A board-certified specialist in obesity medicine can do a complete medical evaluation and work with you to develop a unique weight loss plan.
Low bone mass and deteriorating bone structure are symptoms of osteoporosis. This causes bone fragility and raises the possibility of hip, spine, and wrist fractures. Contrast it with osteoarthritis, which is joint pain brought on by joint wear and strain.
This study estimates that in 2010, there were roughly 53.6 million older US people who suffered from osteoporosis and poor bone mass combined.
The term “silent sickness” generally refers to osteoporosis. Bone loss happens without warning. It’s possible for someone to experience a fracture before discovering they have osteoporosis. The first step is to have an osteoporosis screening. An osteoporotic fracture can be prevented and its effects lessened using safe and efficient therapies.
5) Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS)
Between 8% and 13% of women in reproductive age have PCOS. Although the underlying causes of PCOS are not fully understood, they most likely include insulin resistance, aberrant follicle selection in the ovaries, and altered hormone action.
In addition to the exclusion of associated diseases, the diagnosis of PCOS needs two of the three diagnostic criteria given below (thyroid disorder, etc).
- Irregular or nonexistent menstrual cycles
- Evidence of increased androgen levels found by a physical exam or blood test
- Ultrasound images of polycystic ovaries
Common Treatment Plans for Endocrine Disorders
Although each endocrine illness has a different treatment strategy, there are some common actions you can anticipate an endocrinologist to take.
Your endocrinologist might recommend medication to assist control your hormone levels, as we previously mentioned. In some circumstances, they might also advise surgery.
Your endocrinologist will frequently collaborate with you to create a plan that calls for lifestyle changes like:
- Dietary adjustments, an exercise program, and stress-relieving methods
This may play a significant role in treating your endocrine problem and enhancing your general well-being.
Nevertheless, it’s crucial to remember that every person’s situation is unique, so what works for one person might not work for another. Make sure to discuss any worries you may have with your endocrinologist and ask them any questions you may have regarding your course of therapy.
The body’s internal processes are impacted by hormones. A wide variety of health problems might result from an imbalance.
If a family physician believes that a patient’s health issue is being caused by a hormone issue, they may recommend that patient see an endocrinologist.
What Do Endocrinologists Test For?
What Do Endocrinologists Test For?
The endocrine system and its illnesses are the focus of the medical discipline known as endocrinology. A collection of sizable glands that make hormones makes up the endocrine system, also referred to as the glandular system.
What do endocrinologists test for?
A physician who focuses on treating endocrine system diseases is known as an endocrinologist. These illnesses can affect the way hormones are produced or released, how they interact with one another, and how hormone-producing and hormone-using organs function.
There are some people who just don’t feel well for no apparent reason, not even one of the usual ailments.
These people may constantly feel exhausted or gain weight in odd ways. If they are young, they might not be growing at all or too much. These are only a few of the signs of hormone imbalance, which is brought on by endocrine system anomalies.
The eight glands that make up the endocrine system produce the hormones that keep our bodies in balance:
- Thyroid Adrenal glands
- Pineal body
- Pituitary gland
- Reproductive system gland
Endocrinology Diagnostic Tests that Are Coded
Diagnostic tests are used by endocrinologists at the Atlantic Endocrinology & Diabetes Center in New York for a variety of purposes.
- To diagnose the reason for an endocrinology problem/condition
- To confirm some earlier diagnosis
- To measure the hormone levels in the patient’s body
- To find whether the endocrine glands are working perfectly
They may order tests such as:
- Continuous glucose monitoring (CGM)
- Dexamethasone suppression test
- Semen analysis
- 5 day glucose sensor test for diabetes
- Fine needle aspiration biopsy
- Oral glucose tolerance test
- Bone density test
- 24 hour urine collection test
- TSH blood testACTH stimulation test
- CRH stimulation test
- Thyroid scan
Treatments Usually Recommended
The endocrinologist offers appropriate treatments that can be reimbursed for payment in accordance with the condition or disease.
- Thyroid hormone replacement therapy
- Radioactive iodine therapy
- Insulin pump
- Parathyroid hormone therapy and Bisphosphonate therapy for osteoporosis
- Pituitary hormone replacement therapy
- Male hormone replacement therapy
What is an endocrine test?
There are a number of reason an endocrinologist uses diagnostic tests for:
- To confirm an earlier diagnosis
- To find out the levels of various hormones in a patient’s body
- To identify the cause of an endocrinological problem
- To check if the endocrine glands are working correctly
An endocrine test can assist in the diagnosis of numerous conditions and hormonal diseases, such as:
- Carcinoid tumors (slow-growing neuroendocrine tumors)
- Reproductive endocrinology
- Pituitary thyroid adrenal bone and parathyroid (gland beside thyroid gland)
- Neuroendocrine tumors (in cells of endocrine and nervous system)
Why are endocrine tests done?
Numerous physiological processes, such as secondary sexual traits, fertility, growth, metabolism, and sleep, are influenced by hormones. Therefore, it is frequently crucial to ensure that the hormones are working effectively.
Endocrine tests are performed for a variety of causes, including gynecomastia and the sense of weakness, exhaustion, or lethargy.
The precise gland implicated determines the symptoms of an endocrine problem, which might vary greatly.
An endocrine test can check for endocrine disorders such as:
- Heart problems
- Hypertensive problems
- Adrenal problems
- Calcium problems
- Pituitary problems
- Thyroid problems
- Glucose (islet cell) problems
- Gonadal problems
What an endocrinology test tests for
Numerous tests are available to endocrinologists that they might employ to uncover issues with bodily function.
Here is a short list of some of the tests that are available:
- Bone density test
- Oral glucose tolerance test
- Five-day glucose sensor test (for diabetes)
- Semen analysis
- 24-hour urine collection test
- CRH stimulation test
- Thyroid scan
There are a ton of other tests available, in fact. The endocrinologist would be responsible for deciding whether tests are required in light of the patient’s particular complaints and symptoms. Since some of these tests can be rather pricey, a focused strategy is preferred to broad testing.
The sort of test or tests the doctor chooses to give will, of course, determine what these types of tests are testing for.
Following that, the below are some of the questions the doctor would be seeking for solutions to:
- To confirm certain diagnoses from other tests
- To identify specific endocrinological issues
- Current hormone levels in the patient’s body
- To determine whether endocrine glands and the endocrine system are working properly
These would be the testing’s broad goals. These tests can also be used to diagnose some highly specific endocrine disorders and diseases. However, the following list is not exhaustive:
- neuroendocrine tumors (mostly found in the cells of endocrine and nervous systems)
- Thyroid malfunctions that could be causing issues with metabolism, weight, cholesterol levels, and muscle strength
- Pituitary, thyroid, adrenal, bone and parathyroid
- Reproductive endocrinology
- Search for the presence of diabetes
- Bones Diseases, including bone cancer
- Reproductive issues with semen and egg cells
- Carcinoid tumors
- The presence of high hormone counts which can lead to heart and blood problems
An endocrinologist can decide on the best course of treatment once this kind of testing has shown specific issues. That could involve prescription drugs, hormone injections, chemotherapy, surgery, a visit to the doctor of chiropractic, or anything as straightforward as a change in diet or exercise routine.
What do abnormal results mean?
The testing technique utilized will determine how anomalous results are interpreted.
However, an endocrine test frequently reveals the following ailments:
- Multiple endocrine neoplasia I and II.
- Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS).
- Precocious puberty.
- Adrenal insufficiency. Cushing’s disease.
- Gigantism (acromegaly) and other growth hormone problems.
When Should You See An Endocrinologist?
When Should You See An Endocrinologist?
An endocrinologist is an internal medicine physician with an additional 2–3 years of training, focused on the diagnosis and treatment of endocrine glands and the hormones they produce.
Endocrine disorders are due to a hormonal imbalance (too much or too little) or an abnormal gland.
When should you see an endocrinologist?
Endocrine glands have complex functions affecting the entire body. Endocrine glands include the pancreas, thyroid, parathyroids, ovaries and testes, adrenals and pituitary.
Both common and uncommon endocrine disorders can require the expertise of an endocrinologist.
Here are some of the primary symptoms and conditions that might prompt you to visit an endocrinologist at Atlantic Endocrinology & Diabetes Center in New York.
- You’ve experienced a sudden, rapid bodily change:
If you have experienced a sudden weight gain or significant weight loss in a short amount of time, you might be experiencing an issue with your hormones.
A sudden change in mood can also be an indicator that your hormones are out of balance.
Rapid fluctuations in weight and mood are often caused by issues with the thyroid or adrenal glands, two primary components of the endocrine system. Overactive or underactive functioning of thyroid, could mean you’re suffering from Grave’s disease or another issue regarding hormone production.
A change in adrenal function could be an indicator of Addison’s disease.
- Managing your condition isn’t working
For those individuals who suffer from the aforementioned illness, like Grave’s and Addison’s, some may not respond to traditional treatment methods.
Common forms of medicine that work for some, simply do not work for others. Endocrinologists keep up to date on the latest treatments to help a patient navigate many paths available to them.
An endocrinologist can also help patients who have a religious or medical aversion to some treatments. For example, if a patient has another illness, like cystic fibrosis or cancer, this could affect how their body responds to certain treatments.
When should I see an endocrinologist?
Many people do not know that hormonal imbalances can be the cause of their health condition, they often are not aware of what warrants an endocrinologist visit.
There are several reasons to see an endocrinologist including:
- Family history:
One reason you should see an endocrinologist is if you have a family history of endocrine disorders.
If you have a parent or sibling with diabetes, for example, you may be at increased risk for the condition and will need to be monitored closely.
Diabetes is the most common endocrine disorder. With an estimated 30 million Americans having diabetes.
Diabetes occurs when the pancreas does not produce enough of the hormone called insulin, or the body cannot use the insulin properly.
Insulin aids in transporting sugar cells through the bloodstream, which is then transformed into the energy that most of our bodily processes are powered by.
The thyroid is a butterfly-shaped gland located in the front of the neck. It manufactures hormones T4 and T3.
The thyroid gland has a wide range of functions, including regulating nearly every organ in the body, such as the brain, heart, gastrointestinal system, and bone.
Thyroid problems include hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism, both of which are caused by disorders of the thyroid gland. An endocrinologist can manage and diagnose conditions related to the thyroid gland.
Polycystic ovary syndrome affects approximately 8% to 13% of reproductive women.
The causes of PCOS are not fully understood, but it is likely that insulin resistance, altered hormone activity, and skew in the ovarian follicle selection process play a role.
If related conditions have been excluded, diagnosis of PCOS would include two out of three symptoms, such as abnormal periods or infrequent or missed cycles, evidence of elevated male sex hormone (androgens), or polycystic ovaries showing up on an ultrasound.
- Adrenal gland abnormalities:
The adrenal glands are two pyramid-shaped organs that sit atop each kidney.
They produce steroid hormones, critical for life, such as cortisol and aldosterone. Disorders of the adrenal glands include abnormal levels of these steroid hormones, like having too little cortisol (adrenal insufficiency), too much cortisol (Cushing syndrome), and too much aldosterone (hyperaldosteronism).
What diseases do endocrinologist treat?
The most common diseases endocrinologists treat are diabetes mellitus and thyroid disease.
Other uncommon diseases endocrinologists treat are disease involving the pituitary gland, lipid disorders, Addison’s disease, Cushing’s syndrome, diabetes insipidus, and polycystic ovarian disease.
Here are the diseases an endocrinologist can treat:
- Diabetes mellitus type 1 and type 2
- Thyroid disorders: hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism
- Polycystic ovarian disease
- Addison’s disease
- Cushing’s syndrome
- Infertility issues
What are the symptoms of endocrine disorders?
Endocrine disorders can manifest themselves in different ways. Many endocrine disorders make people extremely tired or fatigued. Other symptoms of endocrine disorders include:
- Weight changes
- Blood glucose level fluctuations
- Mood changes
- Cholesterol changes
While other endocrine disorders have specific symptoms such as:
- Rounded face
- Excessive urination
- Skin color changes specially on the face, neck and back of hands
- Salty food cravings
- Decreased libido
- Menstrual changes
- Recurrent infections
Your primary care doctor may be able to manage uncomplicated thyroid disorders such as mild hypothyroidism, with medication.
But if your body is exhibiting serious abnormalities, lumps or an enlarged thyroid gland, or unexplained changes in weight, your doctor will likely recommend a visit to an endocrinologist.
Things To Look For When Searching For An Endocrinologist?
Things To Look For When Searching For An Endocrinologist?
At Atlantic Endocrinology & Diabetes Center, New York we understand that knowing that you need to see an endocrinologist can be worrisome.
You will depend on your endocrinologist’s knowledge and expertise to manage hormonal or glandular conditions that often affect many body systems.
Things to look for when searching for an endocrinologist?
Whether you’re recently diagnosed with diabetes, recently moved, or are ready for a change, selecting an endocrinologist is important to your diabetes management.
Here are some important factors to keep in mind.
1. Ask Your Primary Care Doctor
The best starting point to find the right specialist for you is to consult with your primary care doctor to get their opinion and receive some referrals.
Your personal doctor knows your health better than anyone else, which puts them in a unique position to recommend endocrinologists who can tailor a treatment plan to your specific needs.
2. Get Referrals
You can ask family, friends, and other healthcare providers for recommendations. Take the time to research the doctors’ credentials and experience.
As you narrow down your list, call each endocrinologist’s office and ask for a consult appointment to meet and interview the doctor.
3. Visit AACE Website
Visit the AACE Find an Endocrinologist on the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists website.
You can search for an endocrinologist in your area by location, area of interest, or both.
4. Look Into Their Background
Your decision should not be predicated solely on the recommendation of your doctor.
While their advice can be invaluable, you need to do further research into their specific practice, credentials, and previous patients.
Make sure they have the necessary training, experience, and history of treating patients with similar conditions to ensure they can give you the care you need.
5. Consider the Endocrinologist’s Experience
When it comes to specialized medical care for endocrine or glandular conditions, the more experience a doctor has, the better your results are likely to be.
Ask how many patients with your specific condition the endocrinologist has treated. If you know you need a specific procedure, ask how many of the procedures the doctor has performed and find out about complication rates—complications the doctor has encountered as well as your own risk of complications.
6. Give Them a Visit
After you have completed your research, go for a visit with your narrowed list of doctors.
Experience what they are like, what their communications styles are, and whether you feel comfortable with them.
You never truly know how compatible you are with your doctor until you go for a visit.
7. Read Patient Reviews
Reading what other people have to say about a doctor can provide insight into how a doctor practices medicine, as well as how his or her medical practice is operated.
Patient reviews typically reflect people’s experience with scheduling appointments, wait times, office environment, and office staff friendliness. You can learn how well patients trust the doctor, how much time he or she spends with their patients, and how well he or she answers questions.
8. Ask Questions and Observe
Write down questions ahead of time to ask prospective physicians to make sure it’s the right fit.
For example, what is their philosophy on weight management, glucose control and diabetes technology? If you use or are interested in using an insulin pump and CGM, are they familiar with these tools? What about diabetes management apps?.
Also feel free to ask about appointment occurrence/scheduling, refill policy, and doctor/patient communication in between office visits. Observe the office staff behavior, i.e. answering phones, wait times, and manners.
9. Know What Your Insurance Covers
Your insurance coverage is a practical matter.
To receive the most insurance benefits and pay the least out-of-pocket for your care, you may need to choose an endocrinologist who participates in your plan.
You should still consider credentials, experience, outcomes, and hospital quality as you select an endocrinologist from your plan.
10. Bring Your Information
Prepare for your appointments so your doctor can better help you meet your goals.
Bring your recent log books or CareLink reports, diet and activity history, pertinent medical information, any information on a new type of therapy you’re interested in learning more about, and questions.
11. Evaluate Communication Style
Choose an endocrinologist with whom you are comfortable talking and who supports your information needs.
When you first meet the endocrinologist, ask a question and notice how he or she responds.
Does he or she welcome your questions and answer them in ways that you can understand? After your appointment, think about whether you felt rushed or engaged.
Find an endocrinologist who shows an interest in getting to know you, who will consider your treatment preferences, and who will respect your decision-making process.
12. Consider Gender
It’s important to feel comfortable with your endocrinologist’s gender because you will need to openly discuss personal information.
Your own gender is also an important consideration when it comes to endocrinology because of sex hormones and other differences.
Endocrinologists are becoming more skilled in caring for women and men differently. Ask the endocrinologist about his or her recent training and experience specifically related to your condition and your gender.
13. Don’t Be Afraid to Switch
Remember this is your diabetes and no one else’s.
If for any reason – and at any time – you’re not comfortable with the endocrinologist, practice, staff, or the way they manage your health, you have every right to switch.
Make the Right Choice
When searching for an endocrinologist , never settle for a doctor who you believe cannot provide you with the care you need.
Work with someone you can trust and who you believe has your best interests at heart to get your condition under control.
Atlantic Endocrinology & Diabetes Center is among the top endocrinologists in New York City and can help you navigate the complexities of your condition, creating a plan to make you as healthy and comfortable as you can be.
Managing The Symptoms Of Polycystic Ovary Syndrome
Managing The Symptoms Of Polycystic Ovary Syndrome
Polycystic ovary syndrome, or PCOS, is a common condition that affects about 1 in 10 reproductive-aged women. PCOS causes the reproductive hormones to be out of balance, which can lead to the ovaries becoming enlarged and developing many small cysts.
Managing the symptoms of Polycystic Ovary Syndrome
At Atlantic Endocrinology & Diabetes Center we know that symptoms of PCOS include irregular or missed periods, hirsutism (excess hair growth on the face and body), acne, glucose intolerance, weight gain or obesity, and elevated cholesterol and triglyceride levels.
Many women with PCOS also struggle with infertility. Additionally, the chronic lack of menstruation puts women with PCOS at a higher risk for uterine cancer.
Identifying your PCOS type
Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a condition that causes ovaries to produce abnormal amounts of androgen, or male sex, hormones.
As the name implies, a large number of small fluid-filled sacs called cysts often develop in the ovaries of those affected.
PCOS is a frequently under-diagnosed endocrine disorder affecting 1 in 5 women globally. The first step towards managing this is to identify your PCOS type to understand possible treatment options.
PCOS Types And Treatment
4 Types of PCOS
There are four main kinds of PCOS:
1.Insulin resistance PCOS
Insulin resistance is the most common trigger for PCOS. This is the most common type of PCOS, affecting around 70% of people.
It happens when our cells become “numb” to the effects of insulin, which causes the pancreas to make more insulin than normal.
This type of PCOS comes with struggles with your weight—especially gaining weight around the stomach/abdomen—sugar cravings, as well as symptoms like fatigue or brain fog.
Post-pill PCOS presents in some women after they’ve stopped taking oral contraceptive pills. The pill suppresses ovulation so that you don’t get pregnant.
Once off the pill, women experience an increase in androgen production, which causes symptoms such as acne, hair growth on the body, irregular periods and hair loss on the head.
Chronic inflammation causes a hormone imbalance by suppressing ovulation (so you don’t make progesterone) and increasing the production of testosterone.
Symptoms of this type of PCOS include headaches and joint pain, fatigue, skin issues like eczema, and bowel problems like IBS.
This type presents itself as a response to unusual amounts of stress. The adrenal organs are responsible for controlling the stress response, and end up producing another form of androgen as a result of stress, causing symptoms similar to the other types of PCOS.
Other causes of PCOS: Some women present symptoms of PCOS but do not get a diagnosis of the four main types of PCOS.
These symptoms are usually caused by vitamin deficiencies, food intolerances, thyroid disease, and malnutrition.
There are also women whose trigger is never found, but the treatments, especially lifestyle modifications, remain helpful in keeping the symptoms in check.
Can I Get Pregnant With it?
Having polycystic ovary syndrome doesn’t mean pregnancy is off the table, but PCOS often leads to a hormonal imbalance that interferes with ovulation.
If you are not ovulating, it is not possible to conceive naturally. However, most cases of PCOS are treatable.
Research has shown that both diet and lifestyle factors can be a good first step in starting to address PCOS and there’s a lot we can try from a nutritional approach to try to bring the symptoms back in balance.
Here are a few tips to get you started:
- Reduce your sugar intake – when we feel tired or low in mood, we often reach for sugary snacks to get us through the day or to make us feel better.
But this can be making the problem worse and feeding the high blood sugar levels, which in turn can drive hormone imbalances.
If you are feeling tired and in need of a snack opt for a protein based snack like nuts and seeds, or vegetable sticks and hummus. See my blog on blood sugar balance for more tips.
- Opt for complex carbohydrates like sweet potato, brown rice, wholewheat pasta or brown rice pasta and quinoa instead of white potatoes, white bread or white rice or white pasta.
Carbohydrates all eventually break down into sugars, so going for complex carbohydrates slows down the rate at which they turn into sugar, helping to keep both your blood sugar and hormone levels in balance.
- Manage your stress levels – living with a condition like PCOS is stressful, but the more stressed we are, the more inflammation there is in the body, the more out of balance our hormones are and the more we hold on to sugar in the bloodstream.
Stress can make conditions like PCOS worse, so doing something every day to help manage the effects of stress on the body can really help. Go for a walk, have a soak in the bath or do some gentle stretches, have a look at my stress blog for more ideas.
Can It Be Cured?
While there is no cure for polycystic ovary syndrome, many of the symptoms are easily treatable making it possible to conceive.
Consult with your healthcare professional at Atlantic Endocrinology & Diabetes Center, New York, to determine the best course of action based on your specific symptoms.
Certain medicines and pills can be taken to manage the symptoms of PCOS. Hormonal birth control like the pill, patch, shot, and vaginal ring can help balance out your menstrual cycle, reduce facial hair, and prevent acne.
Speak with your doctor to determine which method is right for you.
It is possible to induce ovulation in the ovaries using certain medications. The medication will promote the development of one or more mature follicles in the ovaries of women who are unable to ovulate naturally.
There are five major types of medications used: Clomid, aromatase inhibitors like Femara and letrozole, injectable gonadotropins, the GnRH pump, and Bromocriptine. You should consult with your healthcare professional to see which of these medications is right for your unique situation.
Do I Need A Referral To Be Seen By An Endocrinologist?
Do I Need A Referral To Be Seen By An Endocrinologist?
An endocrinologist is a medical specialist who treats people with a range of conditions that are caused by problems with hormones, such as diabetes, menopause and thyroid problems.
Do I need a referral to be seen by an endocrinologist?
When you think something’s wrong, it can be your first instinct to book an appointment with a specialist. And Atlantic Endocrinology & Diabetes Center when it comes to matters of the endocrine system, you’re going to want those resolved sooner rather than later.
Many disorders associated with the endocrine system involve other systems in your body.
In addition to diabetes and thyroid problems, endocrinologists are specially trained to diagnose and treat conditions such as metabolic disorders, hypertension, osteoporosis and the over or underproduction of hormones.
Having a more in-depth knowledge of the pathophysiology and treatment modalities, endocrinologists can optimize patient outcomes, as they are well versed in the most recent clinical data and medication options.
A treatment schedule and regular follow-ups are necessary to efficiently monitor blood work, physical changes, the effects of the medications and evaluate the risks for potential adverse side effects.
Additionally, an endocrinologist is able to offer lifestyle recommendations which result in a more balanced and enhanced quality of life.
Hormones are part of the endocrine system, a series of glands that produce and secrete hormones that control many different bodily functions.
The endocrine system includes:
- the pituitary gland
- the thyroid gland
- the parathyroid gland
- the adrenal glands
- the pancreas
- ovaries and testes
Endocrinologists can treat conditions such as:
- metabolic disorders
- thyroid problems
- cancers of the endocrine glands
What Can These Specialists Do For You?
The real question is, can an endocrinologist help with weight loss? And the answer is yes. Endocrinologists offer a wide variety of treatments depending on the issue at hand.
Oftentimes hormone treatments will be needed, although the regularity and form of treatment will change from one problem to the next.
Here are a few of the ways that they can help to treat endocrine problems:
- Daily hormone pills
- Hormone injections
- Insulin for diabetes
- Personalized weight loss programs
- Referrals to an endocrine surgeon
Generally, surgery is only needed in more extreme cases in which glands contain growths or where their swelling begins to cause breathing issues.
Most hormone problems can be treated with the help of daily medications or regular shots.
Is an endocrinologist covered by insurance?
Endocrinologist services may be partly or fully covered by your insurance.
Endocrinologist fees are covered by some private health funds, but the amount will depend on your insurance policy.
Why would my doctor refer me to an endocrinologist?
An endocrinologist can diagnose and treat hormone problems and the complications that arise from them.
Hormones regulate metabolism, respiration, growth, reproduction, sensory perception, and movement. Hormone imbalances are the underlying reason for a wide range of medical conditions.
Where do Endocrinologists Work?
If you feel that you need to see an endocrinologist, then you may be wondering where you can find one and where you have to go to be seen by one.
An endocrinologist can work in a variety of different locations, but there are three that are most commonly found:
- Private medical practices such as Balance My Hormones
- A medical group with other kinds of doctors
- Hospitals with an endocrinologist as staff or consultants
You can find more information about endocrinologists at the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists.
In addition, you can ask your primary care doctor for a referral to an endocrinologist that can help you with any issues that you are currently experiencing.
There are other endocrinologists out there that don’t currently work with patients. These professionals typically exist in an academic setting such as medical schools and universities.
When should an endocrinologist be referred to as a diabetic?
Your regular doctor can treat diabetes, but they might refer you to an endocrinologist when: You’re brand new to diabetes and need to learn how to manage it.
They don’t have a lot of experience treating diabetes. You take a lot of shots or use an insulin pump.
What does an endocrinologist do for thyroid?
Thyroidologists are endocrinologists who specifically study, diagnose, manage and treat the thyroid gland.
Should type 2 diabetics see an endocrinologist?
While some people depend on their family physician to manage their Type 2 diabetes, it is often beneficial to see an Endocrinologist.
What is the best way to diagnose an endocrine disorder?
Blood and urine tests to check your hormone levels can help your doctors determine if you have an endocrine disorder.
Imaging tests may be done to help locate or pinpoint a nodule or tumor. Treatment of endocrine disorders can be complicated, as a change in one hormone level can throw off another.
By seeing an endocrinologist, patients may avoid spending thousands of dollars in doctor visits and hospitalizations.
There is no doubt that if mismanaged or left untreated, endocrine disorders can cause many problems such as chronic fatigue, insomnia, anxiety, depression, weight changes and generalized aches and pains.
There is no reason that anyone should suffer from these or any other problems associated with the endocrine system.
If you are ready to take charge of your health and life, you owe it to yourself to ask your family doctor about an endocrinology referral.
Other Health Problems for Endocrinologists
Though low testosterone and diabetes are two of the most high-profile medical conditions that require the expertise of an endocrinologist, there are certainly others.
These include low estrogen in women and other issues that relate to hormones. Any medical condition that is being brought on by out-of-balance hormones can be addressed by seeing an endocrinologist to give you guidance on treatments.
Seeing an endocrinologist is as simple as speaking to your family doctor about a referral.
Generally, if there is an issue, they will be happy to set you up with someone in the area.
However, you can also call and schedule a consultation directly if you feel that a second opinion is needed or do not have a regular physician. Problems within the endocrine system are very common, and you can feel safe and comfortable asking for help.
How To Manage Your Diabetes
How To Manage Your Diabetes
There are three main types of diabetes:
- Type 1 diabetes – Your body does not make insulin. This is a problem because you need insulin to take the sugar (glucose) from the foods you eat and turn it into energy for your body. You need to take insulin every day to live.
- Type 2 diabetes – Your body does not make or use insulin well. You may need to take pills or insulin to help control your diabetes. Type 2 is the most common type of diabetes.
- Gestational (jest-TAY-shun-al) diabetes – Some women get this kind of diabetes when they are pregnant. Most of the time, it goes away after the baby is born. But even if it goes away, these women and their children have a greater chance of getting diabetes later in life.
How to manage your diabetes
You are the one who manages your diabetes day by day. Talk to your doctor about how you can best care for your diabetes to stay healthy. Some others who can help are:
- diabetes doctor
- diabetes educator
- eye doctor
- foot doctor
- friends and family
- mental health counselor
- nurse practitioner
- social worker
Healthy eating is the cornerstone of healthy living- with or without diabetes. But if you have diabetes, you need to know how foods affect your blood sugar levels.
It is not only the type of food you eat, but also how much you eat and the combinations of food types you eat.
What to do:
- Learn about carbohydrates counting and portion size:
A key to many diabetes management plans is learning how to count carbohydrates. Carbohydrates often have the biggest impact on your blood sugar levels.
For people taking mealtime insulin, it is important to know the amount of carbohydrates in your food, so you get the proper insulin dose.
Learn what portion size is appropriate for each food type. Simplify your meal planning by writing down portions for foods you eat often. Use measuring cups or a scale to ensure proper portion size and an accurate carbohydrate count.
- Make every meal well balanced:
As much as possible, plan for every meal to have a good mix of starches, fruits and vegetables, proteins, and fats. Pay attention to the types of carbohydrates you choose.
Some carbohydrates, such as fruits, vegetables and whole grains, are better for you than others. These foods are low in carbohydrates and have fiber that helps keep your blood sugar levels more stable.
Talk to your doctor, nurse or dietitian at Atlantic Endocrinology & Diabetes Center about the best food choices and the appropriate balance of food types.
- Coordinate your meals and medications:
Too little food in proportion to your diabetes medications — especially insulin — may result in dangerously low blood sugar (hypoglycemia). Too much food may cause your blood sugar level to climb too high (hyperglycemia).
Talk to your diabetes health care team about how to best coordinate meal and medication schedules.
- Avoid sugar-sweetened beverages:
Sugar-sweetened beverages tend to be high in calories and offer little nutrition. And because they cause blood sugar to rise quickly, it’s best to avoid these types of drinks if you have diabetes.
The exception is if you are experiencing a low blood sugar level. Sugar-sweetened beverages, such as soda, juice and sports drinks can be used as an effective treatment for quickly raising blood sugar that is too low.
Insulin and other diabetes medications are designed to lower your blood sugar levels when diet and exercise alone aren’t sufficient for managing diabetes. But the effectiveness of these medications depends on the timing and size of the dose.
Medications you take for conditions other than diabetes also can affect your blood sugar levels.
What to do:
- Store insulin properly:
Insulin that’s improperly stored or past its expiration date may not be effective. Insulin is especially sensitive to extremes in temperature.
- Report problems to your doctor:
If your diabetes medications cause your blood sugar level to drop too low or if it’s consistently too high, the dosage or timing may need to be adjusted.
- Be cautious with new medications:
If you’re considering an over-the-counter medication or your doctor prescribes a new drug to treat another condition — such as high blood pressure or high cholesterol — ask your doctor or pharmacist if the medication may affect your blood sugar levels.
Sometimes an alternate medication may be recommended. Always check with your doctor before taking any new over-the-counter medication, so you know how it may impact your blood sugar level.
How does exercise affect blood sugars?
Being physically active can affect blood sugar levels in different ways, depending on the type of activity you’re doing.
We know a lot of people don’t want to exercise because it can lower their blood sugars. You might be constantly worried about hypos, and that’s understandable. But did you know that not all types of exercise make your blood sugars go down? Some make them go up too.
Some days you’ll do exactly the same type of activity and eat the same foods, but your blood sugar levels may act differently to what you’d expect. This can be really frustrating, but it’s completely normal. Anything from hormones to the weather can affect your diabetes.
Understanding more about what happens before, during and after you’re active could help ease some of this worry. It also helps to manage how your levels fluctuate.
What Does An Endocrinologist Do For Diabetes?
What Does An Endocrinologist Do For Diabetes?
Diabetes comes from the pancreas’ inability to produce enough insulin to break down glucose in the bloodstream.
The pancreas is one part of a larger whole called the endocrine system, a complex group of organs responsible for chemical and hormonal equilibrium in the body.
What does an endocrinologist do for diabetes?
If you have diabetes, whether it be Typ1 or Type2, your health and wellbeing depend on your ability to keep your blood sugar balanced and rational, which all goes back to your diet and eating habits.
Consulting an endocrinologist will make you realize the vital connection of your hormonal activities as paralleled to your lifestyle.
What do endocrinologists do?
Endocrinologists at Atlantic Endocrinology & Diabetes Center in New York, cover a lot of ground, diagnosing and treating conditions that affect your:
- Adrenals: glands on top of your kidneys and help to control things like your blood pressure, metabolism, stress response, and sex hormones.
- Bone metabolism: like osteoporosis
- Hypothalamus: the part of your brain that controls body temperature, hunger, and thirst
- Pancreas: which makes insulin and other substances for digestion
- Parathyroids: small glands in your neck that control the calcium in your blood
- Pituitary: a pea-sized gland at the base of your brain that keeps your hormones balanced
- Reproductive glands: ovaries in women, teste in men
- Thyroid: a butterfly-shaped gland in your neck that controls your metabolism, energy, and brain growth and development
An endocrinologist will primarily focus on the way that hormones affect the human body and, in particular, diabetes as a medical condition. The specialists at Atlantic Endocrinology & Diabetes Center, New York, are able to do a thorough analysis of the patient in order to determine what type of treatment solutions would help to provide an improvement in the symptoms that the patient is suffering from and effects that diabetes is having on their body.
The endocrinologist is likely to prescribe the patient insulin
The insulin dosage will depend on a series of tests that the specialist will order prior to providing the patient with the prescription.
Additional measures may also be taken to help reduce the risk of further complication due to the presence of diabetes.
If the patient is overweight
The endocrinologist will offer the patient dietary advice that can help them to eat a more balanced diet, while also creating a calorie deficit that will reside their body weight in a safe way.
Even those individuals who are not overweight may be provided with certain suggestions regarding changes in their diet.
This is crucial to help reduce the effects that certain foods may have on the blood glucose levels and the use of insulin in the patient’s body.
The endocrinologist will also provide the patient with appropriate medical equipment to test their blood glucose levels. The patient will be educated on how they can monitor their blood sugar level at home.
Regular visits to track your progress
Navigating a serious health issue on your own can be dangerous, but that danger decreases significantly with a trained medical expert at your side.
With an endocrinologist, you have access to a medical professional who can track your progress in getting your condition under control. They can illuminate unknown symptoms and educate you on common causes of worsening symptoms.
Appointments with your diabetes doctor
Your endocrinologist will ask you about how you feel, what you’re doing to manage your diabetes, and any trouble you may be having.
Take your blood glucose journal or logs with you, and let your endocrinologist know what has been going on with you. What’s changed since the last time you saw them?
- Easting differently
- Working out more or less
- Been sick lately
- Started taking any medicine, vitamins, or supplements
Chances are they will want to check your blood pressure and your feet and test your blood glucose, urine, and cholesterol.
If you take insulin, you should probably see your diabetes specialist every 3 or 4 months. Otherwise, you can go a little longer between visits, every 4 or 6 months.
You may have to go more often when your diabetes is not under control, you have complications, or you have new symptoms or they get worse.
What organs are affected by diabetes?
Type 2 diabetes affects many major organs, including your heart, blood vessels, nerves, eyes and kidneys.
Also, factors that increase the risk of diabetes are risk factors for other serious chronic diseases.
What is the most common disorder of the endocrine system?
In the United States, the most common endocrine disease is diabetes. There are many others. They are usually treated by controlling how much hormone your body makes. Hormone supplements can help if the problem is that your body is not producing enough hormones.
Why do endocrinologists prescribe insulin?
Since insulin is a hormone that affects major organs and bodily systems, endocrinologists can help patients balance insulin levels and control blood sugar.
Overall, this prevents further complications with diabetes, as well as keeping it from exacerbating or causing other serious conditions, like heart disease or obesity.
Navigate your new dietary restrictions
With a diabetes diagnosis comes a necessary change in your diet. Understanding how food can affect the body may seem simple on the surface, but the reality is that finding food that does not worsen your condition while keeping you full and healthy can be a challenge.
An endocrinologist can help you establish a new dietary plan to keep you fed and feeling full throughout the day while ensuring your diabetes does not negatively affect your body further.
Whether you have a definitive diabetes diagnosis or suspect you may have it, it’s critical that you help as soon as possible and know how an endocrinologist can help you manage your diabetes.
At Atlantic Endocrinology & Diabetes Center in New York City, our specialists have experience and have the necessary training to help you through your conditions.
Don’t risk your health; see a medical professional to get the treatment you need.
Why Is A Sudomotor Scan Done
Why Is A Sudomotor Scan Done
At Atlantic Endocrinology & Diabetes Center we know that statistics indicate that 70%-80% of all patients with chronic autoimmune and/or Endocrine Conditions develop Neuropathy.
Sudomotor Scans diagnose the onset of peripheral neuropathy before it has affected the major nerves.
This means that early detection allows you to delay or prevent the neuropathy from spreading to the nerves, therefore reducing the incidence of full-blown neuropathy, infections, and possible amputations.
This is a non-invasive, painless state-of-the-art test that gives instant results.
This test provides an accurate evaluation of sweat gland function. The test focuses on small nerve fibers that innervate the sweat glands. The degeneration of small nerve fibers reduces sweat gland innervation and impairs sudomotor function.
The test helps to measure the ability of the sweat glands to release chloride ions in response to an electrical stimulus on the palms of the hands and soles of the feet, areas with the highest sweat gland density.
It provides a quantitative measure of chloride conductance and its results serve as a biomarker to assess sweat gland function.
The test results can be used as indicators for patients at risk of autonomic dysfunction through the measurement of Electrochemical Skin Conductance (ESC).
What Are The Benefits To A Sudomotor Scan?
A Sudomotor scan may be recommended for a number of reasons.
Ultimately, this diagnostic scan:
- Provides important data related to the peripheral autonomic nervous system and the potential for painful neuropathy.
- Facilitates the most accurate diagnosis of diabetic neuropathy compared to standardized testing.
- Provides valuable information related to the cause of peripheral neuropathy.
- Reaches high rates of sensitivity and specificity, related to the accuracy of test results.
- Evaluates autonomic and somatic nerve function (shown to be one of the best estimates of cardiovascular risk)
- Early intervention can greatly decrease the potential for severe and permanent nerve damage, which results in painful neuropathy.
- Supports fast adjustments to therapeutic care since it provides data related to the physical response of a treatment protocol.
What are the reasons to get tested with SUDOSCAN?
Sudomotor dysfunction is recognized by the American Academy of Neurology (AAN), American Diabetic Association (ADA) and American Academy of Clinical Endocrinologists (AACE) as a symptom of autonomic neuropathy, a common complication of diabetes, Parkinson Disease, and amyloidosis for example. Sudomotor tests such as SUDOSCAN are used in the evaluation of autonomic and small fiber neuropathies.
SUDOSCAN is a fast and non-invasive test that can be used to establish a patient’s baseline, detect subclinical nerve damage, then evaluate clinically significant changes in medical status.
Research suggests that simple lifestyle changes can significantly improve sudomotor function as measured with SUDOSCAN and correlates with cardio-metabolic improvement.
Does gender play a factor in the results?
Evaluation of sudomotor function using other tests such as Quantitative Sudomotor Axon Reflex Test (QSART) has revealed that women generally have lower results (sweat output) than men.
This can be explained by lower sweat rates in women. Measurements performed by SUDOSCAN do not depend on sweat rate.
A study performed on more than 500 women and more than 200 men showed no significant differences in hand or feet ESC.
Does ethnicity play a role?
Sweat rates vary from individual to individual and do not influence the results of SUDOSCAN.
However, sweat gland physiology can vary by ethnicity and the effect this may have on SUDOSCAN results are under investigation.
Ongoing studies of large populations should clarify normative ranges for different ethnicities.
How do nerve conduction studies or EMG correlate with SUDOSCAN?
Nerve conduction studies (NCS, also known as EMG) measure the function of large, myelinated nerves.
They can be used for evaluating large motor or sensory nerves, but not the sensory nerves that are thin and unmyelinated – such as heat, cold, and pain perception.
SUDOSCAN measures the function of sweat gland sympathetic C-fibers. The function of these nerves correlates closely with small sensory nerves of the C-fiber variety.
However SUDOSCAN and nerve conduction studies are not likely to correlate since they measure 2 different categories of nerves.
Evaluation of sudomotor function in diabetes
One of the significant causes of nerve damage is diabetes. Diabetic patients suffer from metabolic impairment and related inflammatory processes.
As a result, their non-myelinated axons of small fiber nerves are primarily affected and known as Diabetic Autonomic Neuropathy (DAN).
There are presently several clinical studies ongoing to validate SudoCheck’s new technology for DAN detection.
Small fiber nerves are early victims of diabetes
While symptoms remain sub-clinical, diabetes affects the peripheral nervous system, and small nerve fibers are usually the first victims.
SudoCheck was developed as a new device to follow up on complications related to diabetes.
Sudomotor Scan Results
The most valuable aspect of the Sudomotor scan is that it provides immediate and accurate information.
Using the Sudomotor scan, we are able to obtain valuable information without invasive technique and without waiting time.
This then enables us to act quickly to treat underlying conditions that could lead to damage in large nerve fibers.
If you have any questions or comments, or if you want to learn more about the services we provide, please contact us.