What is Endocrinology?

Adult endocrinology is a subspecialty of internal medicine that focuses on the diagnosis and treatment of a wide range of disorders of the endocrine (hormone) system. 

For an overview of the training of clinical endocrinologists and the disorders they most commonly manage, please see http://www.hormone.org/public/endocrinologist.cfm and http://www.hormone.org/endo101/.

Adult endocrinologists provide diagnostic, management, and prevention services for many conditions including the following:

  • Diabetes mellitus
  • Pre-diabetes (impaired fasting glucose, impaired glucose tolerance)
  • Gestational diabetes
  • Lipid disorders (high cholesterol, high triglycerides)
  • High blood pressure
  • Obesity
  • Metabolic syndrome
  • Atherosclerosis
  • Cardiovascular risk factor management
  • Disorders of the thyroid gland (such as hypothyroidism, hyperthyroidism, goiters, thyroid nodules and thyroid cancer)
  • Disorders of the parathyroid glands (such as hyperparathyroidism and hypoparathyroidism)
  • Disorders of the pituitary gland (such as hypopituitarism, pituitary tumors, Cushings Disease, acromegaly, diabetes insipidus, and hyperprolactinemia)
  • Disorders of the adrenal glands (such as Addison’s Disease, adrenal hyperplasia, and adrenal tumors)
  • Female hormonal disorders (such as polycystic ovarian syndrome)
  • Menopause
  • Turner syndrome
  • Male testosterone deficiency
  • Metabolic bone diseases (such as osteoporosis, osteopenia, osteomalacia and Paget’s bone disease)

Adult endocrinologists complete four years of medical school, followed by three years of residency training in internal medicine, and then at least two additional years of fellowship training in endocrinology, metabolism, and diabetes. Throughout their careers, endocrinologists take courses and continue independent study to keep up with the latest advances in this rapidly-evolving field.

You may wish to click here to get detailed information on Dr. Altheimer’s training and background.