Talking to Your Doctor

What to ask an Endocrinologist about Diabetes?

Jackie Smith Health Guide February 22, 2011
  • Following a referral by Dr. Z, this week I will be visiting an endocrinologist for the first time. Wait. What? What does an endocrinologist do anyway? For that matter, what is this endocrine system I've heard so little about?

    The internet is a wonderful thing because in a matter of a few click thrus and minutes of in-depth research I now know this: The endocrine system is a group of glands. Glands are organs that make hormones. There are a lot of glands in the body. The thyroid, ovaries, testes, adrenal, pituitary, hypothalamus and pancreas are all a part of this complex system. There are a lot of hormones in the body. Hormones help control activities in our bodies - including metabolism. The pancreas produces a hormone called insulin and in the case of type 2 diabetes, insulin is produced but the body is resistant to it.


    Ah, it's all coming together now.

    So, an endocrinologist is a specialist - a doctor that deals with diseases or conditions that affect our glands. That sounds like a lengthy list of ailments he or she is responsible for diagnosing and treating.

    What does this mean to me? I didn't think my type 2 diabetes was something my primary doctor couldn't handle. Eep. Should I be worried? Does this mean I have an even more serious case than I imagined?

    Do any of you have any advice? Are there any questions I should ask? Anything I should know going in?