Endocrinology

Our endocrinologists assist patients with the management of various conditions stemming from dysfunctions within the endocrine system. These include problems with hormones, such as diabetes, weight management, metabolic problems, thyroid disorders, infertility and menopause.

Dr Raymond Kodsi, Dr Shan Jiang and Dr Danielle Tu are our experienced specialist endocrinologists who work closely with patients and are able to diagnose and help you manage:

  • Diabetes: Problems with sugar levels in the blood (Type 1, Type 2, and gestational diabetes).
  • Thyroid issues: Problems with the gland in the neck that controls metabolism (hypothyroidism, hyperthyroidism, thyroid nodules, thyroid cancer).
  • Metabolic problems: Issues with the body’s chemical processes (obesity, metabolic syndrome).
  • Bone issues: Problems with bones, like osteoporosis.
  • Pituitary gland problems: Issues with the gland in the brain that controls other glands (pituitary tumors, hypopituitarism).
  • Adrenal gland issues: Problems with glands above the kidneys (Cushing’s syndrome, Addison’s disease).
  • Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS): A hormonal disorder in women.
  • Hormonal imbalances: Changes in hormone levels, like testosterone or estrogen imbalances.
  • Parathyroid gland issues: Problems with glands near the thyroid.
  • Growth issues: Problems with growing, like being too short or growing too much (short stature, gigantism, acromegaly).
  • Reproductive problems: Issues with fertility or menstrual periods (infertility, menstrual irregularities).
  • Lipid problems: Issues with fats in the blood, like high cholesterol or hyperlipidemia.

What are the 3 types of diabetes?

Type 1 Diabetes
Is a condition where your body can’t make enough insulin. Insulin is a hormone that helps your body use sugar from food for energy. Without enough insulin, sugar builds up in your blood, which can cause serious health problems. People with type 1 diabetes need to take insulin every day to stay healthy. It’s usually diagnosed in children and young adults, but it can occur at any age.

Type 2 Diabetes
Type 2 diabetes is a condition where your body doesn’t use insulin properly. Insulin is a hormone that helps your body use sugar from food for energy. When you have type 2 diabetes, your body either doesn’t make enough insulin or can’t use it effectively. This causes sugar to build up in your blood, which can lead to health problems. Type 2 diabetes is often linked to being overweight or inactive, but it can also occur in people who are at a healthy weight. It’s usually diagnosed in adults, but it’s becoming more common in children and teenagers too.

Gestational Diabetes
Gestational diabetes is when the blood sugar levels are raised abnormally during pregnancy. Around 5-10% of pregnant women develop gestational diabetes in the second part of their pregnancy.

Some women with gestational diabetes need no treatment while others need a strict diet, some may need insulin injections. Gestational diabetes is not the same as having pre-existing diabetes. Typically, women with gestational diabetes have no symptoms and are diagnosed after their blood test.

Women who are at higher risk may be tested more often. You are at higher risk of developing gestational diabetes if you:

  • are overweight
  • have gained weight too rapidly in the first half of pregnancy.
  • are over 40 years
  • have had gestational diabetes before
  • have had elevated blood glucose levels in the past
  • a family history of type 2 diabetes
  • come from an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander or some Asian backgrounds
  • have previously had Polycystic Ovary Syndrome
  • have had a large baby before

Gestational diabetes may also occur in women with no known risk factors. The baby will not be born with diabetes.

Thyroid Disorders

The thyroid gland is located in the front of the neck below the larynx (or Adam’s apple). Its function is to produce hormones to regulate many metabolic processes, including growth and energy expenditure. Another gland, called the pituitary gland, controls how well the thyroid works. The pituitary gland is located at the base of the brain and produces thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH). The bloodstream carries TSH to the thyroid gland, where it tells the thyroid to produce more thyroid hormones, as needed. Thyroid hormones influence virtually every organ system in the body. They tell organs how fast or slow they should work. Thyroid hormones also regulate the consumption of oxygen and the production of heat.

If the thyroid gland is overactive or sluggish, the metabolism will be affected, leading to a variety of symptoms that are easily misdiagnosed. Around one in 20 people will experience some form of thyroid dysfunction in their lifetime.

The following is a list of some common thyroid disorders:

Hyperthyroidism vs Hypothyroidism

What’s the difference?

Hyperthyroidism

Hyperthyroidism occurs when the thyroid gland is overactive and produces too much thyroid hormone, speeding up the body’d metabolism. One of the most common forms of hyperthyroidism is known as Graves’ disease.

Hypothyroidism

Hypothyroidism is where the thyroid gland is underactive and produces too little thyroid hormone, slowing the body’s metabolism and causing many physical and mental processes to become sluggish. The body consumes less oxygen and produces less body heat.

Thyroid Nodules

Thyroid nodules are small lumps in the thyroid gland. These nodules are common and can be either a growth of thyroid tissue or a fluid-filled cyst.

Other thyroid conditions we treat

Other Thyroid conditions can include cancer, thyroiditis (swelling of the thyroid gland), or a goiter, which is an enlargement of the thyroid gland.

Metabolic disorders and obesity

Obesity is when you have too much body fat accumulated that presents a risk to your health. You can gain weight for a number of different reasons — genetic and lifestyle factors, or hormone conditions. For example, a thyroid condition like hypothyroidism (under active thyroid) or pituitary disorder like Cushing’s syndrome. Medications used to treat diabetes can also affect your ability to lose weight. These factors can also make it harder to lose weight through traditional diet and exercise alone.

Dr Raymond Kodsi has a special interest in weight management, metabolism and diabetes and can provide evidence-based professional dietary advice on weight management, help you lose weight, while safely managing other health conditions.

Dr Kodsi can also rule out hormone causes of obesity, look at contributions of medications to weight gain, and prescribe medication for weight loss if lifestyle measures are not sufficient.

Weight management and diabetes

For people who are overweight or diagnosed with prediabetes, weight loss/management is important. Health care professionals in the diabetes field are well aware of the impact and consequences of obesity contributing to the development of prediabetes and type 2 diabetes.

Our Endocrinologists can help you regulate your hormone levels and speed up your metabolism to aid in weight loss, and can also help treat diseases that may affect weight, like type 2 diabetes.

Osteoporosis and metabolic bone diseases

Is Osteoporosis the same as Metabolic bone diseases? No. Osteoporosis happens when your bones become weak and fragile. This can make them more likely to break. It usually happens when you lose too much bone mass or don’t make enough new bone. The main causes are aging, lack of calcium and vitamin D, and not being active enough.

Metabolic bone diseases are a group of disorders affecting bone metabolism, which can lead to various bone-related problems, such as soft or weak bones, bone deformities, or abnormalities in bone growth.

Our endocrinologist helps with bone issues by diagnosing and treating them effectively. They use tests to check bone density and hormone levels, then prescribe medications to strengthen bones or manage related conditions. Regular monitoring ensures treatment effectiveness, and they offer lifestyle advice like diet and exercise to support bone health. The goal is to prevent fractures and maintain strength for an active life.

Problems with the Pituitary Gland

Pituitary gland problems occur when the small gland at the base of the brain doesn’t work properly. This gland controls the release of hormones that regulate many functions in the body, such as growth, metabolism, and reproduction. Pituitary gland problems can lead to hormonal imbalances and various health issues.

Some common pituitary gland problems include:

Pituitary tumors: These can cause too much or too little hormone production, depending on the type of tumor and its location.
Hypopituitarism: This occurs when the pituitary gland doesn’t produce enough hormones, leading to symptoms such as fatigue, weight loss, and irregular periods.

Our endocrinologist can treat pituitary gland problems by:

Monitoring hormone levels through blood tests.
Prescribing medications to regulate hormone levels or shrink tumors.
Recommending surgery or radiation therapy to remove or shrink tumors.
Providing hormone replacement therapy to supplement hormones that the pituitary gland isn’t producing enough of.
The specific treatment approach depends on the type and severity of the pituitary gland problem. The goal is to restore hormone balance and alleviate symptoms to improve overall health and well-being.

Problems with the Adrenal Gland

Adrenal gland issues occur when the adrenal glands, located on top of the kidneys, don’t work properly. These glands produce hormones that help regulate various functions in the body, including metabolism, stress response, blood pressure, and water balance.

Some common adrenal gland issues include:

Cushing’s syndrome: This occurs when the adrenal glands produce too much cortisol, leading to symptoms such as weight gain, high blood pressure, and muscle weakness.
Addison’s disease: This happens when the adrenal glands don’t produce enough cortisol and aldosterone, resulting in symptoms like fatigue, low blood pressure, and weight loss.

Our endocrinologist helps with adrenal gland issues by prescribing medications to regulate hormone levels and recommending lifestyle changes like stress reduction and balanced diet. They may offer hormone replacement therapy if needed and monitor hormone levels through blood tests, adjusting treatment as necessary. The goal is to restore hormone balance and alleviate symptoms for better health and well-being, with the treatment approach tailored to the specific issue and its severity.

The specific treatment approach depends on the type and severity of the adrenal gland issue. The goal is to restore hormone balance and alleviate symptoms to improve overall health and well-being.

Polycystic ovary syndrome

Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) is a hormonal disorder that affects females. It causes an imbalance in certain hormones, leading to problems with the ovaries, menstrual cycle irregularities, and sometimes difficulty getting pregnant. PCOS can also cause symptoms like acne, excess hair growth, and weight gain. It’s a common condition, but it can be managed with the help of healthcare professionals.

Our endocrinologist helps with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) by diagnosing it through symptoms and tests like blood tests and ultrasounds. They prescribe medications to regulate menstrual cycles, manage symptoms, and improve fertility if desired. Lifestyle changes such as diet and exercise are also recommended. Regular monitoring ensures treatment effectiveness, with adjustments made as needed. They offer information and support to help understand and manage PCOS, addressing questions and concerns to cope with the condition.

Hormonal imbalances

Hormonal imbalances happen when there’s too much or too little of certain hormones in your body. Hormones are like messengers that control many functions, like growth, metabolism, and mood. When hormones get out of balance, it can cause problems with things like your menstrual cycle, weight, energy levels, and mood. Hormonal imbalances can happen for various reasons, including stress, medical conditions, medications, or lifestyle factors.

Our endocrinologist helps with hormonal imbalances by diagnosing them through symptoms and tests like blood tests. They prescribe medications or treatments to balance hormones, reducing symptoms and improving health. Regular monitoring ensures treatment effectiveness, with adjustments made if needed. They offer information and support to help understand and manage the imbalance, addressing questions and concerns to cope with the condition.

Parathyroid gland issues

Parathyroid gland issues occur when the small glands located near the thyroid gland in your neck don’t work properly. These glands produce a hormone called parathyroid hormone (PTH), which helps regulate calcium levels in your body.

When there’s a problem with the parathyroid glands, it can lead to:

Too much PTH: This can cause high levels of calcium in your blood, leading to symptoms like weakness, fatigue, frequent urination, kidney stones, and bone pain.

Too little PTH: This can cause low levels of calcium in your blood, which can lead to symptoms like muscle cramps, numbness or tingling in the hands and feet, and seizures.

Parathyroid gland issues can be caused by various factors, such as tumors on the glands, autoimmune diseases, or genetic factors. Treatment typically involves addressing the underlying cause and may include medications or surgery to restore normal calcium levels in the blood.

Our endocrinologist helps people with Parathyroid gland issues by diagnosing the cause of hormone-related symptoms through tests like blood tests. They prescribe medications or other treatments to balance hormones and manage conditions affecting them, reducing symptoms and improving health. They monitor hormone levels over time to adjust treatment if needed and provide information and support to help understand and manage the condition, answering questions and offering guidance.

Growth issues

Our endocrinologists treat growth issues that affect how tall a person grows or how their body develops. Some common growth issues they treat include:

Short stature: When someone is shorter than average for their age due to factors like genetics, hormone deficiencies, or chronic illnesses.

Gigantism: When someone grows taller than average due to an excess of growth hormone before puberty.

Acromegaly: When someone’s bones and tissues grow larger than normal due to an excess of growth hormone after puberty.

Our endocrinologist can diagnose these growth issues through tests, like blood tests and imaging scans. They may then recommend treatments, like medications or hormone therapy, to help manage the condition and promote healthy growth.

Reproductive problems

Our endocrinologist can treat reproductive problems that affect a person’s ability to have children or their reproductive health. Some common reproductive problems they treat include:

Infertility: When someone has difficulty getting pregnant or carrying a pregnancy to term.

Menstrual irregularities: When someone’s menstrual cycle is irregular, either in frequency or in the amount of bleeding.

Hormonal imbalances: When someone’s hormones are out of balance, which can affect their reproductive health and fertility.

Our endocrinologist can diagnose these reproductive problems through tests, like blood tests, ultrasounds, and hormone level assessments. They may then recommend treatments, like medications or hormone therapy, to help manage the condition and improve reproductive health.

Lipid problems

Our endocrinologists treat lipid problems, which involve issues with fats in the blood. Some common lipid problems they treat include:

High cholesterol: When there’s too much cholesterol in the blood, which can increase the risk of heart disease and stroke.

Hyperlipidemia: When there are high levels of fats (lipids) like triglycerides in the blood, which can also increase the risk of heart disease.

Our endocrinologist can diagnose these lipid problems through blood tests that measure cholesterol and triglyceride levels. They may then recommend treatments, like medications or lifestyle changes (such as diet and exercise), to help manage the condition and reduce the risk of heart disease.