What is the endocrine system? The endocrine system is a complex group of glands. Glands are organs that make hormones. These are substances that help to control activities in your body. Different types of hormones control reproduction, metabolism (food burning and waste elimination), growth and development. Hormones also control the way you respond to your surroundings, and they help to provide the proper amount of energy and nutrition your body needs to function. The glands that make up the endocrine system include the thyroid, parathyroid, pancreas, ovaries, testes, adrenal, pituitary and hypothalamus.
What is an endocrinologist? An endocrinologist is a specially trained doctor. Endocrinologists diagnose diseases that affect your glands and hormones. They know how to treat conditions that are often complex and involve many systems within your body.
What do endocrinologists do? Endocrinologists are trained to diagnose and treat hormone disturbances by helping to restore the normal balance of hormones in your system. They take care of many conditions including:
Our experts are committed to providing the highest quality of healthcare services to patients with diabetes, endocrine and nutritional related disorders.
- Risk assessment
- Screening & prevention
- Drugs & insulins
- Insulin pumps & continuous glucose monitoring system (CGMS).
- Lipid (Cholesterol) disorders
- Metabolic Syndrome
- Hormonal causes of weight loss & weight gain
- Thyroid disorders
- Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS)
- Hormonal causes of irregular periods
- Excessive hair growth & hair loss in females.
- Osteoporosis (brittle bones).
- Vitamin D deficiency.
- Calcium & phosphorous imbalances.
- Pituitary gland disorders
- Parathyroid gland disorders.
- Adrenal gland disorders.
- Type 1
- Type 2
- Gestational diabetes
- How gestational diabetes can affect your baby
Type 1 diabetes is usually diagnosed in children and young adults, and was previously known as juvenile diabetes. In type 1 diabetes, the body does not produce insulin. Insulin is a hormone that is needed to convert sugar, starches and other food into energy needed for daily life. Only 5-10% of people with diabetes have this form of the disease. With the help of insulin therapy and other treatments, even young children with type 1 diabetes can learn to manage their condition and live long, healthy, happy lives.
People with type 1 diabetes may have noticeable early symptoms that often come on suddenly. Symptoms of type 1 diabetes may include:
- Increased thirst
- Increased urination
- Constant hunger
- Weight loss
- Blurred vision
- Fatigue, or a feeling of being tired
Type 2 diabetes is the most common form of diabetes. Millions of people have been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, and many more are unaware they are at high risk. Some groups have a higher risk for developing type 2 diabetes than others.
In type 2 diabetes, either the body does not produce enough insulin or the cells ignore the insulin. Insulin is necessary for the body to be able to use glucose for energy. When you eat food, the body breaks down all of the sugars and starches into glucose, which is the basic fuel for the cells in the body. Insulin takes the sugar from the blood into the cells. When glucose builds up in the blood instead of going into cells, it can lead to diabetes complications.
Type 2 diabetes may occur without any symptoms, or symptoms may develop gradually. Symptoms may include:
- Frequent yeast infections .
- Very slow healing of wounds or sores .
- Nausea .
- Fatigue, or a feeling of being tired.
- Increased urination.
- Increased thirst.
- Weight loss.
- Blurred vision.
Pregnant women who have never had diabetes before but who have high blood sugar (glucose) levels during pregnancy are said to have gestational diabetes. Gestational diabetes affects about 4% of all pregnant women.
We don't know what causes gestational diabetes, but we have some clues. The placenta supports the baby as it grows. Hormones from the placenta help the baby develop, but these hormones also block the action of the mother's insulin in her body. This problem is called insulin resistance. Insulin resistance makes it hard for the mother's body to use insulin. She may need up to three times as much insulin.
Gestational diabetes starts when your body is not able to make and use all the insulin it needs for pregnancy. Without enough insulin, glucose cannot leave the blood and be changed to energy. Glucose builds up in the blood to high levels. This is called hyperglycemia.
How gestational diabetes can affect your baby:
Gestational diabetes affects the mother in late pregnancy, after the baby's body has been formed, but while the baby is busy growing. Because of this, gestational diabetes does not cause the kinds of birth defects sometimes seen in babies whose mothers had diabetes before pregnancy.
However, untreated or poorly controlled gestational diabetes can hurt your baby. When you have gestational diabetes, your pancreas works overtime to produce insulin, but the insulin does not lower your blood glucose levels. Although insulin does not cross the placenta, glucose and other nutrients do. So extra blood glucose goes through the placenta, giving the baby high blood glucose levels. This causes the baby's pancreas to make extra insulin to get rid of the blood glucose. Since the baby is getting more energy than it needs to grow and develop, the extra energy is stored as fat.
This can lead to macrosomia, or a "fat" baby. Babies with macrosomia face health problems of their own, including damage to their shoulders during birth. Because of the extra insulin made by the baby's pancreas, newborns may have very low blood glucose levels at birth and are also at higher risk for breathing problems. Babies with excess insulin become children who are at risk for obesity and adults who are at risk for type 2 diabetes.
If you have any of above symptoms, please see your doctor for testing.
Here are 7 Tips for Preventing Diabetes:
- Exercise is extremely important for preventing diabetes. You need at least ½ hour of exercise per day. That means vigorous walking to get your heart rate up or any other type of exercise that helps you to work up a sweat. One hour a day is even better. New clinical trials show that when participants walked vigorously for 30 minutes a day 5 days per week and also lost weight in the amount of 5-7% of their total body weight, they cut their risk of developing diabetes by 50%. Not only will lots of exercise help in preventing diabetes, it also enhances your immune system by getting your lymph system moving, it builds muscle and bones, improves heart and lung efficiency, reduces stress, burns fat, raises your metabolism and generally keeps your body young. Studies have revealed that exercise also lowers blood sugar and keeps it down for several hours after the exercise which also contributes to preventing diabetes.
- Lose weight: Weight loss is also extremely important in preventing diabetes. About 80% of diabetics are overweight and excess weight has been shown to contribute to the development of diabetes. In fact just losing weight and exercising can often completely control all symptoms of diabetes.
- Do not eat trans fats (hydrogenated vegetable oils) of any kind. They have been shown to contribute to heart disease and may also contribute to diabetes type 2.
- Another important action in preventing diabetes is to avoid eating foods made with sugar, bleached (white) flour and other refined carbohydrates such as white rice and dry cereals in order to help in preventing diabetes. Processed and fried foods are particularly unhealthy and the fats and carbohydrates found in them undermine your health. Stay away from high glycaemic index foods.
- Eat lots of fibre, which is found in raw fruits and vegetables, beans, whole grains and oatmeal. Fibre will go a long way in preventing diabetes because it helps to buffer high amounts of sugar or carbohydrates in your diet, keeping your blood sugar even rather than having it gyrate wildly up and down.
- Do not smoke. Smoking is not only associated with the development of diabetes but it also contributes to heart disease and causes lung cancer.
- Get a friend, relative or group of people to help you in preventing diabetes. They can support you in sticking with your healthy new lifestyle.
Diabetes Diet and Weight Loss Tips:
- Water consumption is very important in any diabetes diet. Be sure to drink at least 6 glasses of water every day.
- Exercise five (ideally 7) days per week at least ½ hour.
- In many studies, it has been shown that for weight loss and the diabetes diet, you should be sure to get lots of fibre every day from foods such as oatmeal and oat bran, raw and cooked vegetables, ground flax seed, apples and supplements such as psyllium.
- High fibre foods help reduce your appetite while helping to control high blood sugar levels.
- Go on a diabetes diet that avoids the empty calories found in sugar, refined carbohydrates and unhealthy fats.
- Give up candy and other sweets permanently; choose low glycaemic index fruit instead (like apples or berries). You'll find with this diabetes diet that you don't crave food or sweets as much as you did before.
- Relaxation techniques will also help with your overall well-being. Use a relaxation tape every day or meditate