Endocrinology is a branch of medicine dealing with disorders with one or more of the many body hormones which are substances released by specialised cells to regulate the many functions of the body ranging from growth, metabolism, sexual differentiation and function, reproduction, blood sugar control, blood pressure control, salt balance and immunity.

The endocrine system consists of several glands, in different parts of the body that secrete hormones directly into the blood rather than into a duct system.  Hormones have many different functions and modes of action; one hormone may have several effects on different target organs, and, conversely, one target organ may be affected by more than one hormone.

Broadly speaking, endocrine disorders may be subdivided into three groups:
•    Underproduction of certain hormones  (leading to hormone deficiency)
•    Overproduction of certain hormones (leading to hormone excess)
•    Tumours (benign or malignant) of endocrine glands

Endocrine disorders are often quite complex, involving a mixed picture of overproduction and underproduction of hormones because of disturbed feedback mechanisms involved in the endocrine system.  For example, most forms of hyperthyroidism are associated with an excess of thyroid hormone and a low level of thyroid stimulating hormone.

Diagnosis of endocrine diseases

Diagnosis of endocrine diseases may be difficult; it is often not possible to directly assay hormone levels in the blood, making indirect measurements necessary.  For example, diabetes mellitus is diagnosed via measurements of blood glucose rather than direct assays of plasma insulin; Cushing's syndrome is diagnosed by the dexamethasone suppression test rather than by direct assays of serum.

Our Doctors Specializing In Endocrinology

Dr Leslie Charles Lai Chin Loy

MBBS (Lon), MSc (London), MD (Lon), FRCP (Edin), FRCPath (UK), FAMM
Specialty: Endocrinology
Location : Gleneagles Hospital Kuala Lumpur