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In general terms, an endocrinologist is a physician specialized in studying Endocrinology (the medical science that deals with endocrine glands).

A Clinical Endocrinologist is a physician further specialized in the practical treatment and prevention of endocrine problems, i.e. diabetes, and hormone and metabolism problems. Examples of endocrine problems include:

  • Thyroid diseases
  • Diabetes (sugar)
  • Menopause
  • Osteoporosis (bone thinning)
  • Hypertension (high blood pressure)
  • Hyperlipidemia (cholesterol problems)
  • Infertility
  • Delayed Growth (short stature)
  • Cancers of endocrine glands (organs specialized in producing hormones)

Endocrine glands (endo = within; crine = secrete) are body organs that secrete chemicals directly into the blood (such chemical are hormones); This is in contrast to the Exocrine glands, which secrete chemicals into a body cavity that is connected to outside (e.g. the digestive glands of the bowel that secrete juices into the cavity of the bowel to digest food that gets in from outside through the mouth).

The main endocrine glands include:

  • Thyroid Gland
  • Parathyroid Glands
  • Adrenal Glands
  • Pituitary Gland
  • Part Of The Pancreas
  • Part Of The Ovary
  • Part Of The Testis

Other organs have a smaller percentage of their cells produce hormones, e.g. kidney, stomach, heart and brain.

A hormone is a chemical messenger. It is a chemical material sent from one cell to other cells in the body, directing them to do something important for the body's health. It is usually carried around the body by blood, but it may be carried by other body fluids.

By sending a hormone, a cell may direct cells far from it (such a hormone-producing cell is called an "endocrine cell"), direct cells close by within the same organ (a "paracrine cell"), or even direct itself (an "autocrine cell").