Endocrinology - Ear, Nose & Throat
Endocrinology is the branch of medicine that focuses on the endocrine system, the system comprised of glands that produce essential hormones. These hormones regulate a great many bodily processes, including metabolism, reproduction, sexual function, growth and development. The glands of the endocrine system are the thyroid, parathyroid, pancreas, ovaries, testes, adrenal, pituitary, and hypothalamus. Endocrinologists diagnose and treat glandular diseases and hormone imbalances.
Patients consult endocrinologists for a great many medical problems. Some of these disorders may be the result of other physical or psychological factors that have to be ruled out before the endocrine glands are determined to be causative.
Diabetes is a disorder of the pancreas, a glandular organ. In patients with diabetes, too much sugar remains in the blood due to either an insufficiency of insulin (Type 1 diabetes) or the body's resistance to the effects of insulin (Type 2 diabetes).
The thyroid affects many of the body's most important organs, including the brain, heart, kidneys, liver, and skin. Thyroid conditions can cause patients to experience a wide variety of problems, including wide fluctuations in energy levels, muscle strength, emotions, weight, menstrual cycles, hair loss, dry skin, intolerance to hot or cold environments.
The branch of endocrinology that treats infertility and other reproductive disorders is known as reproductive endocrinology.
Obesity may result from a number of genetic, physical and psychological causes, but in many severe cases, hormonal imbalances play a role in the problem.
The pituitary, called the master gland of the body, produces several hormones that regulate other endocrine glands. When the pituitary produces too much or too little of these hormones, the imbalance can lead to many health problems, including growth disorders, infertility, menstrual disorders, and Cushing's syndrome.
Certain hormones, such as estrogen and testosterone, have a significant affect on bone health. These hormones, produced by the ovaries and adrenal glands, can become unbalanced for a variety of reasons, including thyroid dysfunction. These imbalances can cause osteoporosis and other bone disorders.
Hypertension or high blood pressure, can be the result of an excess of aldosterone, a hormone produced by the adrenal glands.
Lipid disorders involve an abnormal level of body fats that can result in high levels of LDL (bad cholesterol) and triglycerides in the blood. Lipid disorders can lead to serious health problems such as heart disease, circulatory problems, and stroke.
Ear, Nose & Throat
Otolaryngology is the branch of medicine that deals with disorders of the ear, nose and throat. Otolaryngologists, also known as ENT physicians, have been trained in the treatment, both medical and surgical, of patients with disorders of the ear, nose and throat and related problems of the head and neck. Otolaryngologists also diagnose and treat diseases of the sinuses, larynx or voice box, and mouth. Otolaryngologists must complete 13 years of training before they can qualify for board certification. Their training includes four years of college, four years of medical school and at least five years of specialty training.
Subspecialties of Otolaryngology
There are seven primary subspecialties of otolaryngology. Physicians in the field may train in one of the following and may also choose to further focus on one area of the subspecialties, such as surgical oncology of the ENT region.
Otolaryngologists who specialize in this area treat patients with ear, nose and throat sensitivities to dust, mold, pollen or pet dander with medication and allergy shots.
Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery
Otolaryngologists who become plastic and reconstructive surgeons are trained to perform operations on patients with abnormalities of the face, neck or ear. Such procedures may be done for a variety of reconstructive, cosmetic or functional reasons.
Head and Neck
Otolaryngologists who specialize in the head and neck treat benign and cancerous tumors of this region, including tumors of the nose, sinuses, mouth, throat, larynx and upper esophagus, including the thyroid and parathyroid glands.
Otolaryngologists who specialize in laryngology focus their attention on disorders of the throat, concerning themselves with diagnosing and treating disorders of the voice and swallowing difficulties.
Otology / Neurotology
Otologists and neurotologists specialize in diagnosing and treating disorders of the ear, including birth defects, traumatic injuries, infections, benign tumors, and nerve pathway dysfunctions affecting balance and hearing.
Pediatric otolaryngologists specialize in the ENT problems of children.
Rhinologists specialize in diagnosis and treatment of disorders of the nose and sinuses.