When you are facing a diagnosis of a hormonal condition, like diabetes or thyroid disease, your doctor may suggest you see an endocrinologist. You may be wondering why you need to see a specialist instead of simply sticking with your primary doctor. Here are some reasons why an endocrinologist will provide the level of support and care that you need with this diagnosis.
An endocrinologist is a specialist who has thoroughly studied hormonal conditions and knows the best possible treatments, even when conventional treatments do not work well. Unlike a family doctor or general practitioner, an endocrinologist studies hormones and hormonal diseases in depth, and this specialist will be able to provide the best possible treatment. Most general practitioners have the skills necessary to diagnose and treat basic hormonal conditions, but sometimes the help of a specialist is needed.
Some patients have diseases that progress as the textbooks say they should. The standard treatments work and they are able to manage their conditions with oral or injected medication with minimal disruption to their day-to-day living.
Other patients find that conventional treatment does not work. They stick with the treatments religiously, but they achieve no results. In these cases, an endocrinologist is necessary to ensure all possible treatment avenues are pursued.
Some patients need unique care due to other health conditions that affect their hormonal conditions. They may have a genetic condition, like cystic fibrosis, that affects the way their bodies react to treatments.
The traditional-path patients may not see the value of an endocrinologist. Those who are in one of the latter categories, however, do. It's these non–traditional patients that absolutely need the help of an endocrinologist to treat their hormonal conditions.
Our knowledge and understanding of hormonal diseases is constantly changing. An endocrinologist's job is to know these changes and understand the newest treatments that are available to today's patients. Patients who choose an endocrinologist will have access to the latest, most innovative treatments for their conditions.
Visiting an endocrinologist does not mean you will never see your primary care doctor again. Going to an endocrinologist when struggling with a hormonal condition gives you another set of eyes to ensure your health is as good as it can be.
Remember, your goal when facing a hormonal disease diagnosis should be to take care of your condition as best as possible. This is often done with the support of an endocrinologist.