Diabetes and Endocrinology: How it Works?

Diabetes is mainly a hormonal imbalance caused by the ineffective and inefficient functioning of the hormone, insulin. The gland involved here is the pancreatic gland. As such, there is a close relation between diabetes and endocrinology: the study of hormones.

A diabetes expert is also known as an endocrinologist due to the specialized knowledge of the hormones which is possessed by the endocrinologist. The expert is well-versed with the functioning, structure, release, and the related problems of the various hormones, including insulin which is mainly responsible for diabetes- related complications. Having said that, an endocrinologist needs to train himself or herself to specialize in the field of diabetes.

In order to understand the working of both diabetes and endocrinology completely, we first deep dive into the exact meaning of diabetes, followed by understanding the exact meaning of endocrinology.

Table of Contents

What is Diabetes?

Diabetes is a condition which is caused in the body when the pancreas, which is responsible for the production of the hormone insulin, are not able to produce enough insulin in the body. Also, it may be caused when the pancreas is producing enough insulin, but the body is unable to utilize such insulin in a proper and the required way. This improper use of the hormone, insulin, in turn, results in the inefficient breakdown of the carbohydrates in the body with the result that the level of glucose and sugar in the blood and urine experience a significant rise.

What is Endocrinology?

Endocrinology is nothing but the study of the various hormones of the body. The study deals with the way the hormones are produced,their subsequent effect on the body, and the way these hormones can cause several diseases in our body. So why are the hormones so important? Well, hormones are of prime importance for the simple reason that most of the activities of the human body are actually regulated by these hormones. Few of these activities include:

  • Reproduction
  • The rate of metabolism
  • Development and growth of the body
  • How is the food in the body utilized and finally broken down to produce energy

The glands which are mainly responsible for the production of the hormones and make up the subject of study for the endocrinologist include the following amongst others:

  • The Pancreas
  • The Thyroid gland
  • The Parathyroid gland
  • The Pituitary gland
  • The Adrenals
  • The Pineal
  • The Ovaries and Testes.

Having known the basics about diabetes and endocrinology, we shall now deep dive and analyze how diabetes and endocrinology work together. Let us see the details in the following few paragraphs.

How are Diabetes and Endocrinology Related? 

As seen from the above descriptions, the two conditions of diabetes and endocrinology seem to be related.


In the following points, we try to understand the relations between the two:

  • As we all know by now, endocrinology deals with the hormones produced by the various glands of the body. One such hormone produced by the pancreatic gland is insulin. An endocrinologist essentially deals with insulin and that is how the two are interrelated. In fact, one of the most common diseases for which an endocrinologist is preferred is actually diabetes mellitus.

Diabetes mellitus occurs when insufficient insulin is produced by the pancreatic gland of the human body.

  • Most of the time, a diabetic patient is often recommended to visit an endocrinologist who seeks to treat diabetes by regulating the daily diet and lifestyle of the patient. They also do not prefer a lot of medications for the treatment of diabetes.
  • Some endocrinologists also go a long way by detecting the amount of insulin needed by the body and thereby prescribing right amount and frequency of insulin intake.

Can an Endocrinologist Help in the Treatment of Diabetes?

An endocrinologist is a diabetes expert and a specialist. As we now know that endocrinology is a study which mainly deals with hormonal imbalances of the human body. It is involved in analyzing the structure of the various hormones which are released from the various glands of our body.Diabetes which is caused due to the inefficient functioning of the hormone insulinis thus closely related to endocrinology. As such, the question arises, can an endocrinologist help in the treatment of diabetes?

Well, the answer to the question is a certain yes, as we shall discover in the following paragraphs that sometimes it is often advisable for a diabetes patient to consult an endocrinologist. In fact, in order to treat the disease and deal with diabetes, an endocrinologist has to take several additional pieces of training. Some of these are:

  • Training involves treatment of the various complications associated with diabetes which includes diabetic eye, kidney, and heart- related Complications in the blood vessels also form part of the training in such circumstances.
  • Besides, training provided includes treatment of disorders related to the levels of calcium, lipids, and weakness of the bone in the body.
  • The diabetic patient is also known to suffer from the problem in the foot which might even lead to the amputation of the same. In order to better treat a diabetic patient, an endocrinologist is given the training of how a diabetic foot should be treated.
  • Most of the times, diabetes and its related complications can be brought under regulation with a proper and healthy diet and a disciplined health regime. Training includes devising a proper plan and schedule for the patients as far as diet and physical exercise is concerned.

Thus, the above training gives the much-required expertise to the endocrinologist which goes a long way in the treatment of diabetes. In fact, the above statement is so true that in most of the cases the patients suffering from diabetes are recommended to see an endocrinologist rather than a diabetes expert. There are more reasons to this and we shall deeply analyze the same in the following paragraph.

Why Should an Endocrinologist be Preferred for the Treatment of Diabetes?

In most of the cases, a diabetic patient is referred to an endocrinologist. There are several reasons for the same.

The following points cite out some of the reasons for the above statement:

  • As seen in the above cases, an endocrinologist is the one who has done a thorough study of the hormones present in our body and is in and out aware of how these hormones work. As such, diabetes, which is mainly caused due to the improper functioning of the hormone, insulin, is more often than not effectively treated with an expert endocrinologist.
  • An endocrinologist makes it a point to be aware of the latest developments and studies as far as the hormones of our body are concerned. As diabetes is mainly concerned with hormones, it is the endocrinologist who refers and recommends the diabetes patients about the latest care, innovations in the particular field, and also about the latest techniques with which the complicated disease can be treated.
  • In some cases, the progress of diabetes and its related complications happen as per the normal method. The normal progress of the disease is often the traditional way a disease progresses, and in such a situation a non- expert in the hormonal study can also help. But sometimes, diabetes and its related complications may bring forth unheard complications. In these complex situations, an expert in the hormonal study of the body proves to be highly beneficial.
  • Finally, it is not necessary that in the case of diabetes, the patient has to only depend on his endocrinologist. Sometimes, the patient can consult his doctor exclusively for diabetes and along with it, he or she can also refer to the endocrinologist as such a doctor is an expert when it comes to hormonal imbalances. Hence, the two specialists can work in tandem and give the desired benefits, medications, and relief to their patients.

Situations and Circumstances in Which the Expertise of an Endocrinologist Becomes Necessary

Finally, before concluding the article, we shall see the following situations and circumstances when the expertise of an endocrinologist becomes necessary and inevitable:

  • Sometimes, in minor cases of diabetes, we tend to refer the general family doctor. However, we should often see the expert when the doctor himself recommends the same.
  • Management of diabetes has become extremely difficult and you are unable to keep the disease under control.
  • When your family doctor has recommended medications for the treatment of diabetes and you want to double check the medicines involved.
  • Finally, you also need the care of a specialist in order to better manage the complications which are related to diabetes.

Read Also: List of Questions to ask an Endocrinologist

As noted in the above article, the two condition of diabetes and endocrinology are closely related to one another and the two have to work in tandem.

An endocrinologist has a huge interest in a patient with diabetes as the disease is majorly caused due to the inefficient functioning of the primary hormone, insulin which is produced by the pancreatic gland. The major methods adopted by the endocrinologist in dealing with the disease includes a prescribed diet plan, exercise regime, and a healthy lifestyle.Having said that, diabetes and insulin are not the only things an endocrinologist deals with. The expert also deals with a lot of complications which include human metabolism, hypoglycemia, hypothyroidism, hyperthyroidism, PCOS, amongst others.

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