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What is an endocrinologist?

2-minute read

An endocrinologist is a medical specialist who treats people with a range of conditions that are caused by problems with hormones, such as diabetes, menopause and thyroid problems.

Hormones are part of the endocrine system, a series of glands that produces and secretes hormones that control many different bodily functions. The endocrine system includes:

  • the pituitary gland
  • the thyroid gland
  • the parathyroid gland
  • the adrenal glands
  • the pancreas
  • ovaries and testes

Endocrinologists can treat conditions such as:

Where can I find an endocrinologist?

You can ask your GP or you can visit the healthdirect service finder. The Endocrine Society of Australia has a directory that allows you to search for endocrinologists based on location or the endocrinologist’s area of expertise.

Either way, you’ll need a referral from your GP to see an endocrinologist. You may also need to wait a while before seeing an endocrinologist, as specialist sometimes have long waiting times before you can get an appointment.

When you make a booking, you can ask how much the visit will cost, and how much you will get back from Medicare.

Generally, visits to specialists aren’t covered by private health funds.

Before going to an endocrinologist

Before you go to the endocrinologist, write down any symptoms you have, including any major stresses or recent changes in your life.

And check with the endocrinologist and with your GP whether you need to have any tests or take along any X-rays.

It’s a good idea to write down some questions to ask your endocrinologist. Here are some examples:

  • What is causing my symptoms?
  • Is this condition temporary or ongoing?
  • What tests do I need?
  • What is the best way to treat or manage my condition?
  • Is there anything I can do to help my condition?
  • How long will my treatment last?
  • Will you look after me long term, or is this just a one-off visit?

Also, remember to take a list of all your medications, vitamins or supplements with you.

Last reviewed: May 2018

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