How hormones affect your health
The endocrine system is made up of glands that produce and regulate the chemicals that help coordinate and control many of your body’s activities (hormones). Hormones are involved in your growth, mood, reproduction, energy (metabolism) and more.
From pre-existing 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: A disorder when the body produces too much or too little stress or sex hormones.
- Diabetes: 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 properly.
- Genetic endocrine disorders: Disorders that occur when a person is born with problems producing hormones — passed down through genes.
- Hypogonadism: The body’s sex organs produces little to no hormones, which affects the ability to have children.
- Lipid disorders: The body produces too much fat in the blood (cholesterol problems).
- Osteoporosis and metabolic bone disease: A condition that causes bones to become weak and brittle — falls or mild stresses like bending over or coughing can cause a fracture, most commonly in the hip, wrist or spine.
- Parathyroid disorders: Disorders that cause the body to produce abnormal levels of calcium, which can cause brittle bones, kidney stones, fatigue, weakness and more.
- Pediatric endocrinology: The health care team who specialize in care for children and adolescents with pediatric endocrine disorders.
- Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS): A common hormone disorder among women during child-bearing years that causes the body to produce an abnormal amount of male sex hormones (androgens).
- Pituitary disorders: When the gland that controls growth and development produces too much or too little hormones.
- Thyroid disorders: Disorders that affect the glands that support the rate at which your body uses fats and carbohydrates.
Common thyroid disorders
An estimated 20 million Americans have some form of thyroid disease, and up to 60% 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:
- 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.
At Optum, 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 including testing, 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)
Children, who are constantly undergoing changes with their hormones, require specialized expertise to understand imbalances and diseases related to them. Our 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 (e.g. Congenital Adrenal Hyperplasia)
- Calcium and bone metabolism
- Childhood obesity and insulin resistance
- Diabetes Mellitus — Type 1 and Type 2, as well as maturity-onset of the young (MODY) diabetes
- Growth disorders including growth hormone deficiency
- Late or early puberty
- Menstrual irregularities (e.g. Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome)
- Pituitary disorders
- Thyroid disorders
Our experts will work to diagnose, educate and treat your child with the most current technology and evidence-based standards.
- 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
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 you and your family.
Contact us if you have any questions