Endocrinology is a specialised area of medicine that focuses on your endocrine glands and the hormones they produce to regulate everything from your appetite, sleep cycle and fluid balance through to growth, fertility and even your mood and sex drive. An appointment with an endocrinologist will help diagnose hormone imbalances such as diabetes and thyroid conditions through polycystic ovaries, testosterone deficiency, or problems involving the pituitary and adrenal glands.
The complex interaction of hormones requires specialist management. Professor Kevin Shotliff is a leading expert in treating diabetes, thyroid disease and other less well-known endocrine conditions.
What happens when you see a private endocrinologist?
Being told you have an hormone imbalance is an understandably worrying time, especially if you receive conflicting information or your current treatment is not fully controlling your symptoms.
Seeing a private endocrinologist means your symptoms can be fully assessed as well as any associated physical changes. they can request specialist investigations to diagnose the cause of your symptoms, and will answer your questions and explain your treatment options. The aim is to restore your hormone levels to the normal range and to protect your long-term health.
Diabetes Diabetes is diagnosed when blood levels of the sugar, glucose, rise too high.
- Type 1 diabetes occurs when the cells that produce insulin hormone in the pancreas gland are attacked and destroyed by the immune system.
- Type 2 diabetes occurs when cells stop responding to insulin (which acts as a key to let glucose sugar into cells) and the pancreas is unable to produce enough insulin to overcome this.
A wide range of antidiabetic medications is available, and seeking specialist advice can help to find the right blend of treatments. Whether you have recently received the diagnosis, or have lived with diabetes for some time and find it difficult to control your blood sugar levels, Professor Kevin Shotliff, who specialises in Diabetes and Endocrinology can help.
If you have type 2 diabetes, a healthy diet and exercise are often sufficient to control your blood glucose levels, but it is sometimes necessary to take tablets or to use injections.
If you have type 1 diabetes, you will need daily insulin injections to achieve normal glucose levels.
At The Medical Chambers Kensington we understand that the thought of injecting yourself can be alarming, and we provide reassurance and practical help so that you or your child feel confident about the process. Naturally, advice on diet and exercise is also part of our comprehensive treatment plan.
You will be shown how to do a simple blood or urine test at home to measure your glucose levels. This will enable you to adjust your insulin, food and activity levels according to your daily routine.
You will need at least an annual review with examination and blood screen, as well as eye-screening with a local Ophthalmologist.
Our professional, multidisciplinary and approachable team will provide you with all the information you need to feel confident about managing your condition.
Type 2 diabetes is most common in middle-aged or older adults, although you may still be at risk even if you are younger, if you are overweight or have an African-Caribbean or South Asian heritage.
The symptoms of type 2 diabetes tend to come on slowly and raised glucose levels are often only diagnosed by routine medical screening tests. You may feel tired and have problems with recurrent thrush, for example. If thirst or passing urine more frequently occur, they are usually not as severe as with type 1 diabetes.
Thyroid problems Your thyroid gland produces two hormones, thyroxine (T4) and tri-iodothyronine (T3), which control your metabolic rate - the speed at which your cells use energy as fuel.
- An underactive thyroid gland will cause you to slow down, gain weight and become sensitive to the cold.
- An overactive thyroid gland leads to palpitations, weight loss, restlessness, sensitivity to heat, sweating and hyperactivity.
- Thyroid nodules or swelling of the whole gland (goitre) can cause a lump (goitre) in the front of the neck.
After a blood test to assess thyroid function, your private eurologist can advise no the best course of treatment dependent on your diagnosis. The medical Chambers Kensington offers the reassurance of comprehensive after-care and ongoing monitoring by a leading specialist.
An underactive thyroid gland will cause you to slow down, gain weight and become sensitive to the cold. Treatment involves taking daily hormone replacement tablets, to raise your thyroid hormone levels. However, the normal range for thyroxine hormone (T4) is wide, and sometimes it needs a thyroid specialist to help you find the correct dose of treatment to control your symptoms. If you have an underactive thyroid and find it difficult to lose weight or feel tired, despite being told that your thyroid hormone levels are normal, you may benefit from seeing an endocrinologist to finely tune your thyroid hormone dose.
An overactive thyroid gland leads to palpitations, weight loss, restlessness, sensitivity to heat, sweating and hyperactivity. If you have an overactive thyroid, our Consultant Endocrinologist, Professor Kevin Shotliff, will take a detailed history, examine your thyroid and request any necessary investigations to offer a firm diagnosis. He will provide a clear explanation of your treatment options, which may range from medication to (less frequently) radio-iodine treatment and surgery.
Thyroid nodules or swelling of the whole gland (goitre) can cause a lump (goitre) in the front of the neck. Some nodules are felt quite easily, while others are hidden deep in your thyroid tissue or located low in the gland, where they are difficult to feel.
After a blood test to assess thyroid function, you may have an ultrasound, radionuclide scanning and a fine needle aspiration if necessary. While the majority of thyroid nodules are benign, it is important to rule out thyroid cancer to either put your mind at rest, or to start any necessary treatment as soon as possible. Most nodules do not need to be removed, but you may be referred to a thyroid surgeon to remove a suspicious or cancerous nodule.
We recognise that finding a lump is a worrying time, and will support you at every step of the way, answering your questions, ensuring you always know what is happening, and helping you chose the right treatment for you as an individual. Our private clinic offers you the reassurance of comprehensive after-care and ongoing monitoring by a leading specialist in the field.
Visiting the private endocrinologist for other endocrine problems
Endocrinologists also specialise in treating other abnormalities of the endocrine system, such as polycystic ovaries, testosterone deficiency, high or low levels of growth hormone, parathyroid hormone or adrenal hormones.
The Private Endocrinology Service at our clinic in London
Provided by one of the leading specialists in the field, Professor Kevin Shotliff will talk you through your hormonal problem in detail and, after diagnosis, will agree a treatment plan with you. The overall goal of treatment for endocrine disorders is to restore a normal hormone balance to control your symptoms. You will receive comprehensive after-care and monitoring of your condition, with appointment times to suit you, including early morning and late evening and weekends. To find out more, please telephone 020 7244 4200 and we will be happy to answer your questions.