What can an endocrinologist do for me?
An endocrinologist specializes in the treatment or research of disorders related to our hormones. The active glands in our bodies can cause problems with reproduction, growth, bone health, or metabolism. This specialty is particularly important for women in midlife as we have a renewed focus on regulating our temperature and other imbalances.
In 2017, around 326.5 million people aged 20-64 years had diabetes and it is forecasted that this number will increase up to 438 million by 2040. – International Diabetes Federation
What can I do to maintain my hormonal health?
As women approach mid-life, estrogen levels start to fluctuate and then drop. Our periods can lose that predictable edge, becoming shorter, longer, heavier, or lighter than usual, before stopping altogether. The symptoms of menopause are directly linked to the changing hormones we as women will experience. As the hormone levels begin to stabilize and estrogen levels stay consistently low, many symptoms will decrease, and perhaps disappear altogether. Some, such as a higher risk of heart disease or bone loss, remain a constant through midlife and beyond, as our bodies adjust to these new hormone levels. Understanding these symptoms will empower you choose the right treatment options as you navigate the changes menopause brings.
Type 2 diabetes is more common in adults, especially in people who are 45 and older, have a family history of diabetes, or are overweight or obese.
Women with diabetes have:
- A higher risk for heart disease. Heart disease is the most common complication of diabetes. Lower survival rates and a poorer quality of life after a heart attack
- A higher risk for depression. Depression, which affects twice as many women as men, also raises the risk for diabetes in women.
What should I ask my doctor?
- Help me understand my hormone levels and fluctuations
- Why can’t I base decisions on my hormone levels during the time of the testing?
- What lifestyle changes should I make if I am diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes?
- What are the risks and benefits of hormone replacement therapy?
- How much are tests and how can I be sure my insurance covers the cost?
Are there any guidelines? Can I avoid the problem?
Type 2 diabetes testing should be done in all asymptomatic adults ages 40 to 70 years who are overweight or obese and who have one or more diabetes risk factors.
Testing should begin at age 45 years. If results are normal, testing should be repeated at a minimum of three-year intervals with more frequent testing depending on initial results and risk status.
Supporting Source: endocrine.org, womenshealth.gov
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Gynecologists specialize in caring for the reproductive health of women from the time they get their first period all the way to post-menopause.