Endocrinologists in Guatemala are dedicated to the diagnosis and treatment of disorders of the endocrine system, which consists of the thyroid, pancreas, pineal gland, parathyroid gland, adrenal glands, hypothalamus and pituitary glands, as well as the ovaries, testicles, and other organs that metabolize or modify hormones. Endocrinologists work closely with areas such as surgery, obstetrics, ophthalmology, radiation oncology, transplantation, otolaryngology, and other specialties to provide a multidisciplinary approach to patients’ diseases.

What conditions do endocrinologists treat?

5 of the most common conditions treated by endocrinologists in Guatemala are:

  • Hypothyroidism
  • Hyperthyroidism
  • Diabetes mellitus
  • Homeostasis
  • Diabetic foot

Hypothyroidism, or underactive thyroid, is a disorder in which the thyroid gland does not create enough of certain vital hormones. This may not cause any symptoms in the early stages. Over time, untreated hypothyroidism can cause many health problems, such as joint pain, obesity, heart disease, or infertility. Treatment with synthetic thyroid hormone is mostly safe, simple, and effective, once the patient and his or her doctor find the right dose for him or her.

Hyperthyroidism, or overactive thyroid, occurs when the thyroid gland creates more thyroid hormones than the body needs. The thyroid is a small, butterfly-shaped gland located in the front of the neck. It produces hormones that manage how the body uses energy. These hormones affect almost every organ in the body and control many of the body’s vital functions. For example, they affect heart rate, breathing, digestion, weight, and mood. If hyperthyroidism is not treated, it can lead to serious problems with your bones, heart, muscles, fertility, and menstrual cycle.

Diabetes mellitus includes a group of diseases that affect the way the body uses glucose (blood sugar). Glucose is a major source of energy for the cells that make up tissue and muscle. It is also the primary fuel for the brain. The cause of diabetes varies by type. Chronic diabetic conditions include type 1 and type 2 diabetes. Diabetes conditions that can be reversed are pre-diabetes, when blood sugar levels are high, but not so high that it is classified as diabetes. Also, gestational diabetes can arise in pregnancy but may resolve once the baby is born.

Homeostasis is the state of balance of all the body’s systems that it needs to function properly and survive. In homeostasis, blood pressure, acid concentrations in the body, blood sugar, energy, electrolytes, hormones, proteins, oxygen, and temperature are continuously adjusted to respond to changes on the outside and inside the body. In this way, all systems maintain a normal level.

Diabetic foot originates when blood sugar levels are too high and persist over time. This can cause damage to blood vessels or nerves. Damage to the nerves can cause loss of feeling in the feet. This can cause the patient not to feel a cut, a blister, or a sore and this can lead to infections and ulcers, even to amputation. Injury to the blood vessels may also be a sign that the feet are not getting enough blood and oxygen. 

What treatments and procedures exist in endocrinology?

5 of the most common treatments and procedures performed by endocrinologists in Guatemala are:

  • Insulin
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Thyroidectomy
  • Parenteral Nutrition
  • Enteral Nutrition

Insulin is used to control blood sugar in patients who have type 1 diabetes – when the body does not make insulin and cannot control blood sugar levels; or in patients who have type 2 diabetes – when blood sugar is too high because the body does not make or use insulin normally. These types of diabetes cannot be controlled by oral medications alone. Insulin works by moving sugar from the blood into the body’s tissues, where it is used for energy. It also keeps the liver from making too much sugar.

An MRI scan reproduces a medical image by using a magnetic field and computer-produced radio waves to make detailed pictures of the body’s tissues and organs. MRI machines are usually large, tube-like magnets. When a person lies down inside, the magnetic field realigns the water molecules in his or her body for a time. The radio waves cause the aligned atoms to reproduce very faint signals, which are used to create cross-sectional images, like slices of bread. The MRI machine can also create 3D images from different angles.

A thyroidectomy is the removal of part or all of the thyroid gland. It produces hormones that regulate metabolism, from the rate at which calories are burned to the heart rate. Thyroidectomy is used to treat conditions of the thyroid, such as non-cancerous enlargement of the thyroid, cancer, and hyperthyroidism. 

Parenteral nutrition is a form of feeding that is performed around the gastrointestinal tract. It is done by delivering through a vein, a special formula that provides most of the nutrients the body needs. This method is used when a patient should not or cannot receive food by mouth. 

Enteral nutrition or enteral feeding is a form of nutrition that is delivered to the digestive system in liquid form. Formulated foods or nutritious drinks and tube feeding are types of enteral nutrition. Patients may be fed by tube when they are unable to meet their nutritional needs with food and drink. This may also be the only source of nutrition.