Our doctors and staff are highly experienced and specially-trained to diagnose and treat glandular diseases and hormone imbalances, and help patients restore the body's normal hormonal balance.
Diabetes mellitus, or simply diabetes, is a metabolic disease in which a person has high blood sugar, either because the pancreas does not produce enough insulin, or because cells do not respond to the insulin that is produced. This high blood sugar often produces the classical symptoms of frequent urination, increased thirst, and increased hunger.
There are 2 main types of diabetes mellitus (DM):
Type 1 diabetes results from the body’s failure to produce insulin, and currently requires the person to inject insulin or wear an insulin pump. This form was previously referred to as “insulin dependent diabetes mellitus” or “juvenile diabetes.”
Type 2 diabetes results from insulin resistance, a condition in which cells fail to use insulin properly, sometimes combined with an absolute insulin deficiency. This form was previously referred to as “non-insulin dependent diabetes” or “adult-onset diabetes.”
Prediabetes means that your blood sugar level is higher than normal but not yet high enough to be classified as Type 2 diabetes. Without lifestyle changes, people with prediabetes are very likely to progress to Type 2 diabetes. If you have prediabetes, the long-term damage of diabetes — especially to your heart, blood vessels and kidneys — may already be starting.
Whether you are diabetic or not, weight management is critical to improving overall health. At DECO, we have 2 ways to tackle your weight loss challenges:
Our Registered Dietitian, Alma Simmons R.D., provides individualized nutrition counseling services to help improve your diet and achieve greater overall health. She provides carbohydrate counting education, healthy recipes, meal planning, grocery store guidance, and overall nutritional behavioral education that meets your individual needs.
We also offer DECO Healthy Living, which is a medically managed meal replacement weight loss program. This involves weekly visits with our Registered Dietitian. Patients are also medically monitored by our medical staff. In order to qualify for this program, your BMI should be greater than 27 with other medical issues, or greater than 30 without other medical issues.
Through the hormones it produces, the thyroid gland influences almost all of the metabolic processes in your body. Thyroid disorders can range from a small, harmless goiter (enlarged thyroid) that needs no treatment to thyroid cancer. The most common thyroid disorders involve abnormal production of thyroid hormone. Too much thyroid hormone results in a disorder known as hyperthyroidism. Insufficient thyroid hormone production leads to hypothyroidism.
Your pituitary gland is a pea-sized gland at the base of your brain. The pituitary is the “hormonal control center” – it makes hormones that affect growth and the functions of other glands in the body.
Pituitary disorders are often due to too much or too little of one or more pituitary hormones. The most common cause is a benign pituitary tumor. One of the most common, yet treatable pituitary tumors is known as a prolactinoma.
The adrenal glands are small glands located on top of each kidney. They produce vital hormones such as cortisol. Cortisol helps the body respond to stress and has many other important functions.
Some examples of adrenal gland disorders include Addison’s disease and Cushing’s syndrome.
Treatment depends upon which problem you have. Surgery or medicines can treat many adrenal gland disorders.
Polycystic ovary syndrome is a condition in which a woman’s hormones are out of balance. It can cause menstrual irregularity and make it difficult to get pregnant. PCOS may also cause unwanted facial hair. If it is not treated, over time it can lead to serious health problems, such as diabetes and heart disease.
PCOS is common, affecting as many as 1 out of 15 women. Often the symptoms begin in the teen years. Treatment can help control the symptoms and prevent long-term problems.
Male hypogonadism is a condition in which a man’s body does not produce enough testosterone, the hormone that plays a key role in growth and development during puberty. You may be born with hypogonadism, though it usually develops later in life, due to various causes. The effects and what you can do to treat them, depend on the cause and at what point in your life male hypogonadism occurs.
Osteoporosis is a disease of the bones that can occur in both men and women. It typically results from bone loss from menopause, aging or both. As a result, your bones become weak and may break from a minor fall or, in serious cases, even from simple actions, like sneezing or bumping into furniture.
Osteoporosis means “porous bone.” If you look at healthy bone under a microscope, you will see that parts of it look like a honeycomb. If you have osteoporosis, the holes and spaces in the honeycomb are much bigger than they are in healthy bone. This means your bones have lost density or mass and that the structure of your bone tissue has become abnormal. As your bones become less dense, they also become weaker and more likely to break.
Primary hyperparathyroidism is a disorder of one or more of the parathyroid glands, located behind the thyroid gland. The parathyroid gland(s) becomes overactive and secretes excess amounts of parathyroid hormone (PTH). As a result, the blood calcium rises to a level that is higher than normal, called hypercalcemia.
Vitamin D deficiency has been linked to a variety of health concerns, which points to a wide range of vitamin D functions, although research is still underway into why the hormone impacts other systems of the body. For instance, too little vitamin D makes an individual more prone to infections and illness, cardiovascular disease and mental illness — including mood disorders like depression. Researchers have found that vitamin D helps regulate adrenaline, noradrenaline and dopamine production in the brain; as well as helping to protect from serotonin depletion. For this reason, low vitamin D levels increase an individual's risk of depression significantly.
Hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c or Glycosylated Hemoglobin)
HbA1c Indicates the level of glucose control in a diabetic over a 3 month period. This is used to monitor control in diabetic patients and to find patients at risk for diabetes. It is unrelated to the hemoglobin that is part of a complete blood count.
Normal values are typically under 5.7%. Levels of 5.7%-6.4% suggest insulin resistance and an increased risk for diabetes (prediabetes), though glucose levels may be normal on blood work. Levels of 6.5% and higher can help confirm a diagnosis of diabetes.
For patients known to have diabetes, the American Diabetes Association (ADA) recommends a goal A1C of less than 7%, while the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists (AACE) recommends a goal A1C of less than 6.5%. These goals should be discussed with your doctor.
General Endocrinology Education
Insulin Pumps and Sensors
Osteoporosis & Hyperparathyroidism