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How hormones affect your health

The endocrine system is made up of glands that produce and regulate hormones: chemicals that help coordinate and control many of your body’s activities. Hormones are involved in your growth, mood, reproduction, metabolism (the speed at which your body uses energy) and more.

Conditions

From preexisting to developing conditions in people of all ages, Optum can diagnose and treat unique hormone imbalances caused by disorder and disease of the endocrine system.

  • Adrenal disorders: problems with stress and sex hormones
  • Diabetes: Diabetes is a chronic (long-lasting) health condition that affects how your body turns food into energy. If you have diabetes, your body either doesn’t make enough insulin or can’t use the insulin it makes as well as it should.
  • Genetic endocrine disorders: when a person is born with problems producing hormones
  • Hypogonadism: when the body doesn’t develop the ability to have children
  • Lipid disorders: cholesterol problems
  • Osteoporosis and metabolic bone disease: Osteoporosis causes bones to become weak and brittle — so brittle that a fall or even mild stresses such as bending over or coughing can cause a fracture. Osteoporosis-related fractures most commonly occur in the hip, wrist or spine.
  • Parathyroid disorders: a hormone disorder that can affect the bones
  • Pediatric Endocrinology: specialized care to children and adolescents with pediatric endocrine disorders
  • Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS): a common hormone disorder among women during child-bearing years
  • Pituitary disorders: problems that can affect a child’s ability to grow
  • Thyroid disorders: problems with metabolism: how fast you burn calories and how fast your heart beats.

An estimated 20 million Americans have some form of thyroid disease, and up to 60 percent of those with thyroid disease are unaware of their condition.

Because the thyroid helps regulate the speed of your metabolism (how fast your body uses energy) there are two main issues that can arise, too fast or too slow.

Hyperthyroidism (overactive thyroid) occurs when your thyroid gland produces too much of the hormone thyroxine. Hyperthyroidism can accelerate your body’s metabolism, causing unintentional weight loss and a rapid or irregular heartbeat.

Hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid) is a condition in which your thyroid gland doesn’t produce enough thyroid hormone. Hypothyroidism may not cause noticeable symptoms in the early stages. Over time, untreated hypothyroidism can cause a number of health problems, such as obesity, joint pain, infertility and heart disease.

Treatment

We work closely with other specialties to give you integrated care, because hormones affect every aspect of your health. Our team of board-certified endocrinologists offer a wide range of services from testing, to medication, procedures and even counseling and support.

  • Bone density (bone health testing)
  • Continuous glucose monitoring (24/7 blood sugar testing)
  • Fine needle aspirations with and without guidance (taking a tiny tissue sample with a needle)
  • Genetic evaluation of nodules (testing a thyroid tissue sample for DNA)
  • Insulin pumps (for diabetes)
  • Nutritional counseling (expert help in eating healthy)
  • Thyroid sonogram (a test using sound to make an image of the thyroid gland)

Pediatric Endocrinology

Children, who are constantly  undergoing changes  with their hormones, require specialized expertise to understand imbalances and diseases related to them. Optum’s division of Pediatric Endocrinology will provide personalized and comprehensive medical care for your child.

Some of the common conditions treated by our pediatric endocrinologists include:

  • Adrenal disorders, including Congenital Adrenal Hyperplasia
  • Calcium and bone metabolism
  • Childhood obesity and insulin resistance
  • Diabetes Mellitus—Type 1 and Type 2, as well as MODY (Maturity-onset of the young) diabetes
  • Growth disorders including growth hormone deficiency
  • Late or early puberty
  • Menstrual irregularities, Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome
  • Pituitary disorders
  • Thyroid disorders
  • Proficiency with multiple brands of insulin pumps and continuous glucose monitors
  • Stimulation testing to investigate adrenal, puberty and growth concerns
  • Point-of-care (POC) fingerstick A1c available for patients with Type 1 Diabetes
  • Education and support to patients and families in a sensitive, inclusive manner
  • We use the most current technology and evidence-based standards in pediatric endocrine practice

Medical care and help

Regulating your hormones can help you live a healthier life, every day. Optum will help you find the right care and support to find long term solutions for you and your family.

To find an endocrinologist near you, visit our providers page

Contact Us if you have any questions