adrenal disorder
What are Adrenal Disorders?

The adrenal glands are located at the top of the kidneys and produce a variety of hormones that help regulate essential bodily functions including the immune system, metabolism, blood pressure and how the body response to stress. When your adrenal glands don’t produce enough or produce too much of these hormones, adrenal disorders can occur.

We asked board certified endocrinologist Dr. Jean Chen to provide her insights on some of the top questions around adrenal disorders.

What are adrenal disorders? 

Adrenal disorders are a category of diseases that are due to dysfunction of adrenal glands. This is where the glands may over or under produce certain adrenal hormones.

What adrenal disorders are treated at Texas Diabetes and Endocrinology?

There are several adrenal gland disorders that can range from temporary concerns to chronic conditions. We see patients with:

What are the symptoms of adrenal disorders and when should you contact a healthcare provider?

There are a large range of symptoms that can occur due to adrenal issues. You may see unexplained weight changes, blood pressure abnormalities, frequent sickness or fatigue, or weakness. You should contact your healthcare provider if you have any of these symptoms.

How are adrenal disorders diagnosed?

A patient’s history and examination will help determine the blood and urine tests we ordered to look adrenal hormone levels. If the results are abnormal, additional imaging tests including CT or MRI scans may be recommended. 

How are adrenal disorders treated at Texas Diabetes and Endocrinology?

Once a diagnosis is made, our adrenal experts can help tailor a treatment plan that fits best for the patient. Depending on the type of adrenal gland disorder, treatment can include medication, radiation therapy, or surgery. 

If you think you may have an adrenal disorder, contact your healthcare provider immediately. These conditions can be serious if left untreated.

If you’d like to learn more about our full range of endocrine services, please call Texas Diabetes and Endocrinology at (512) 458-8400 or request an appointment online

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Men's Health low testosterone
Men’s Health Month: Low Testosterone

June is Men’s Health Month – a time to focus on the health and well-being of men of all ages. One health issue that impacts many men is low testosterone. It is projected that approximately 6.5 million American men between the ages of 30-79 will have low testosterone by 2025.

While there is still much research to be done around the connection of low testosterone to other health issues, there is already an established link between insulin resistance, diabetes and low T. According to the American Diabetes Association, type 2 diabetics are twice as likely to have low testosterone compared to those without diabetes. 

Here is the information you need to know to better understand how low testosterone affects men’s health.

Low Testosterone Overview

The testosterone hormone is a part of the endocrine system and plays a large role in men’s health. It helps regulate muscle mass and strength, it can impact sex drive and sexual function, and it helps maintain bone strength. If a man is diagnosed with hypogonadism, it means they’re experiencing low testosterone along with a potential for other symptoms.

Causes and Symptoms

There are several potential causes of low testosterone, including:

  • Normal aging
  • Certain cancer treatments
  • Diseases affecting the testicles
  • Disorders that affect the pituitary gland

The symptoms of low T depend on the person, but can include:

  • Low energy
  • Low sex drive
  • Erectile dysfunction (ED)
  • Feelings of sadness or depression
  • Weight gain

Related Health Concerns

Low testosterone is associated with a variety of related health concerns, and some of which can be very serious. 

Examples include:

Low Testosterone Treatment

Low testosterone can be treated with testosterone replacement therapy. It is important to talk to your doctor to find the treatment that will work best for you and to monitor your testosterone levels to optimize the results. At Texas Diabetes & Endocrinology, we offer a variety of testosterone replacement treatments, including skin patches, gels, injections, and nasal spray. Our providers will work with you to find a personalized treatment plan.

Consult with an Endocrinologist in Austin, TX

To learn more about low testosterone (low T) and testosterone replacement therapy, schedule a consultation with one of our board certified endocrinologists in Austin or Round Rock by requesting an appointment online or call (512) 458-8400.

Don’t forget to follow us on Facebook and Instagram and check back with us each month as we provide you helpful wellness and health information.

polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS)
FAQs with Dr. Jean Chen: Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS)

Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a common hormonal disorder that affects women of reproductive age. While the exact cause is unknown, PCOS is one of the most common causes of female infertility, and women with PCOS also have an increased risk for type 2 diabetes

The condition has a range of symptoms, including irregular periods, excessive hair growth, and polycystic ovaries.

PCOS is one of the most common diseases in females that is diagnosed and treated by endocrinologists. In this blog, Dr. Jean Chen answers some frequently asked questions about polycystic ovary syndrome and provides her expert insights on the condition.

What is an endocrinologist’s role in diagnosing and treating PCOS?

Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) is a disorder that can involve dysfunction of multiple endocrine glands, such as the ovaries, adrenal glands, and pituitary gland. This can, unfortunately, produce a hormone imbalance. PCOS is considered a diagnosis of exclusion and, therefore, a complete endocrine work up by an endocrinologist is often needed before a diagnosis of PCOS can be made.

Do you work with other physicians to help manage PCOS patients?

There are multiple complications of PCOS, and it does take a multidisciplinary team to provide comprehensive care. Our team of endocrinologists frequently need to work with primary care physicians, psychiatrists, and OB/gynecologists.

Why is diagnosing PCOS challenging? 

​The symptoms of PCOS can sometimes be nonspecific, and there are other endocrine disorders that can mimic PCOS, such as Cushing’s syndrome or congenital adrenal hyperplasia. Also, PCOS presents on a spectrum. Therefore, for some patients that do not necessarily have all the classical symptoms of PCOS or mild symptoms, the diagnosis can be missed.

When should you see a doctor for PCOS?

Patients should seek care from a medical provider when they are having symptoms of irregular periods and/or excess body/facial hair, weight gain, or acne.

Consult with an Austin Endocrinologist Today

Dr. Chen says that PCOS is a complex endocrine disease that is associated with several other comorbidities, such as insulin resistance, weight gain, infertility, and cardiovascular disease. Therefore, getting diagnosed as early as possible and having an endocrinologist on your care team is important.

To schedule an appointment with a PCOS specialist in Central Austin, South Austin or Round Rock, call 512-458-8400 or request an appointment online.

Don’t forget to follow us on Facebook and Instagram and check back with us each month as we provide you helpful wellness and health information.

Understanding Low Testosterone and How It Affects Men’s Health

What Causes Low Testosterone?

The testosterone hormone is secreted by the testes, which means it’s a part of the endocrine system. If a man is diagnosed with hypogonadism, it means they’re experiencing a blend of low testosterone along with a potential for a number of other bothersome symptoms.

Men with low testosterone are more likely to later develop diabetes. Testosterone helps the body’s tissues take up more blood sugar in response to insulin. Men with low testosterone more often have insulin resistance: they need to produce more insulin to keep blood sugar normal. Studies show that around 30-50% of men with Type 2 Diabetes have low testosterone.

Additionally, obesity and low testosterone have a close association with each other. Obese men are more likely to have low testosterone. And males with very low testosterone are also more likely to become obese.

Fat cells metabolize testosterone to estrogen and lower their levels. Also, obesity reduces levels of sex hormone binding globulin (SHBG), a protein that carries testosterone in the blood. Less SHBG translates to less free testosterone.

Losing weight through a healthy diet and exercise can increase testosterone levels. 

At the age of 40, men’s testosterone levels start to decline by around 1% with every passing year. Testosterone levels can be checked with the help of simple blood tests. The key is doing these tests consistently.

Treating Low Testosterone

One of the primary ways to combat low testosterone is through testosterone replacement therapy. This can help men improve their sex drive, muscle mass, bone health, and even their red blood cell count. If other health complications are causing low testosterone, it’s advised to focus on those before pursuing replacement therapy.  

At Texas Diabetes and Endocrinology, we provide the following treatments for low testosterone:

  • Skin patches
  • Gels
  • Injections
  • Nasal spray

For more information about treatments for low testosterone, contact us here. And don’t forget to follow on Facebook and Instagram.

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