Atlantic Endocrinology New York City

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:

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.

  • Thyroid:

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.

  • PCOS:

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
  • Goiter
  • Polycystic ovarian disease
  • Addison’s disease
  • Cushing’s syndrome
  • Gigantism
  • Dwarfism
  • 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.