Every time you grow, sleep, or feel hunger pains, you have your endocrine system to thank.
The endocrine system is a group of glands and cells that make hormones, which are released into your blood. These hormones travel to organs and tissues throughout your body. The system regulates growth, sleep, hunger, even the way your body uses food.
When the endocrine system isn’t working properly, you may be diagnosed with an endocrine disorder, such as diabetes or hyperthyroidism. An endocrinologist is a medical professional who treats disorders of the endocrine system.
At Stormont Vail Health, we treat patients of all ages with many types of endocrine disorders. We also encourage you to keep up with your primary care provider. A primary care provider can perform annual physicals, treat everyday illnesses, and help you keep your entire body healthy and strong.
Conditions We Treat
The main condition we treat is diabetes — a disease where your blood glucose (blood sugar) level is too high. There are several types of diabetes, but the most common ones we see are:
- Type 1: Your body does not produce any insulin (the hormone needed to bring glucose from your blood to your cells for energy). Diet, exercise and lifestyle do not cause type 1 diabetes — it is most likely caused by genetic and environmental factors.
- Type 2: Your body either does not produce enough insulin, or does not use insulin well. Having excess weight is the main risk factor — an estimated 90% of US adults with type 2 diabetes are overweight or obese.
- Gestational: This form of diabetes starts during pregnancy and goes away after giving birth. However, women with gestational diabetes have an increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes later in life.
In addition to diabetes, our endocrine specialists often treat the following conditions:
PrediabetesYour blood sugar is too high, but not high enough to be considered diabetic. Prediabetes significantly increases your risk of developing type 2 diabetes, but it can often be reversed with lifestyle modifications, such as weight loss.
Hyperthyroidism (Overactive Thyroid)Your thyroid gland produces an excess amount of the hormone thyroxine. This accelerates your metabolism, causing sudden weight loss, sweating, nervousness, irritability and an irregular or rapid heartbeat.
Hypothyroidism (Underactive Thyroid)Your thyroid gland does not produce enough hormones to keep your body running normally. Symptoms vary, and appear slowly. Many patients notice fatigue, weight gain, high cholesterol, body aches, depression and constipation.
Thyroid CancerA tumor grows in your thyroid gland. Thyroid cancer does not usually cause symptoms early on, but can eventually cause changes to your voice (e.g. hoarseness), difficulty swallowing, neck or throat pain and swollen lymph nodes. Fortunately, thyroid cancer is rare, and most cases can be cured.
Adrenal InsufficiencyYour adrenal glands do not produce enough of the hormones that help your body respond to stress and regulate blood pressure. The most common symptoms include weight loss, muscle weakness, long-lasting fatigue, abdominal pain and loss of appetite.
Pituitary TumorA mass forms on your pituitary gland — the “master control gland” responsible for producing hormones that affect growth and the functions of other glands. Pituitary tumors are often harmless, but some can cause diseases, such as hyperthyroidism.
OsteoporosisLow bone density — lower than normal levels of minerals in your bones — cause your bones to become thin, weak and fragile. You become more prone to breaks, even from simple actions, such as bending over or coughing. Endocrinologists work with patients who have very abnormal bone density test results.
Gender DysphoriaYou identify as a different gender than the one you were born with. Some patients choose to take male or female hormone supplements so that their bodies develop to match their gender.
Our Treatments & Services
When you come to the Cotton O’Neil Diabetes & Endocrinology Center, our endocrine specialists will make sure that you receive the correct diagnosis and a personalized treatment plan.
Some of our common services and treatments include:
Laboratory WorkLaboratory tests, such as blood tests, can check your hormone levels, and help us monitor your condition.
Point-of-Care TestingWe can perform tests, such as blood glucose level checks for patients with diabetes, that give us instant results. This allows us to make decisions regarding your care right at your appointment, without waiting for lab results.
Hormone TherapyWe may prescribe hormone supplements for diseases such as hypothyroidism or adrenal insufficiency.
Fracture care: Certain endocrine diseases, such as osteoporosis, can increase your risk of breaking bones. On two days a week, we offer appointments with a fracture specialist.
Thyroid BiopsiesThis is a test that uses ultrasound to remove a small bit of tissue from your thyroid gland, to check for abnormalities.
Diabetes Learning Center
The Diabetes Learning Center is located on the first floor of the Cotton O’Neil Diabetes & Endocrinology Center. At the Center, we emphasize that diabetes is a controllable disease. We work to keep you out of the emergency room, prevent extra primary care visits between scheduled appointments, and help you feel in control of your health.
We offer education, programming, and counseling for patients of any age and at any stage of the disease — from patients who are newly diagnosed, to those who have had diabetes for years.
Our services and programs include:
- Gestational diabetes program: We help women diagnosed with gestational diabetes stay healthy during pregnancy and delivery.
- Preconception care: We work with couples where one or both partners already have diabetes in order to increase the odds of conception.
- Diabetes self-management education: We offer group classes and private appointments to teach you how you can take control of your diabetes.
- Type 2 diabetes support group: You have the opportunity to meet others with type 2 diabetes, and learn from others who have had similar experiences. Call (785) 368-0416 to learn more.
- Family nutrition class: We teach families about improving food choices and increasing activity levels. This class is especially beneficial for families of children with insulin resistance, weight management issues, or metabolic syndrome — a set of symptoms such as high blood sugar and abnormal cholesterol levels that increase the risk of diabetes.
- Diabetes equipment training: We offer pump training, as well as personal Continuous Glucose Monitoring System (CGMS) training.
Our staff consists of certified diabetes educators, registered nurses, registered dietitians, support staff, and a department assistant.
We are open Monday to Friday, from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Referrals can come from any physician.
Call (785) 368-0416 to learn more about the Diabetes Learning Center or to schedule an appointment.
Pediatric endocrinology is a highly specialized field of medicine. At our Pediatric Endocrinology office, we provide the highest level of comprehensive care in treating children with endocrine disorders. The pediatric endocrinologists partner with parents to support children’s physical and emotional well-being.
Our services include:
- Diabetes education
- Insulin pumps education
- Nutrition counseling
- Stimulation testing
- Pediatric research
- On-call physician 24/7
- Spanish-speaking provider
- Laboratory services
Frequently treated diagnoses include:
- Diabetes Mellitus Type 1 and 2
- Short stature/growth failure
- Delayed or advanced pubertal development
- Bone strength and density
- Thyroid abnormalities
- Abnormal weight gain/insulin resistance 3
- Adrenal abnormalities
- Pituitary abnormalities
- Polycystic ovarian syndrome
We also provide growth hormone stimulation testing to determine whether a growth hormone deficiency is causing slow growth.
Children need a referral from their primary care physician to see a pediatric endocrinologist. Call (785) 368-0460 to schedule your child’s appointment.
Meet Our Team