We specialise in the following Endocrine conditions

Diabetes

We see patients with type 1 diabetes, type 2 diabetes, and gestational diabetes. We have special expertise in insulin pumps and continuous glucose monitoring.

Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune condition where the cells in the pancreas stop making insulin. The cause is not known. Patients are dependent on insulin supplementation lifelong. In most cases, onset is at a younger age. It may also present at a later age, known as latent onset type 1 diabetes (LADA).

Type 2 diabetes accounts for 85-90% of all diabetes. It is diagnosed when the pancreas does not produce enough insulin, the insulin does not work effectively and/or the cells of the body do not respond to insulin effectively (known as insulin resistance). Type 2 diabetes is associated with lifestyle risk factors, and can be managed with modification of these, such as regular physical activity, healthy eating and weight reduction. Oral medications and/or insulin injections may also be required.

Gestational diabetes is a form of diabetes that occurs during pregnancy. In pregnancy, the placenta produces hormones that help the baby grow and develop. These hormones also block the action of the woman’s insulin. This insulin resistance increases the need for insulin in pregnancy. Some women cannot cope with the extra demand for insulin production, resulting in high blood glucose levels. Gestational diabetes can often be managed with healthy eating and regular physical activity. Some women may need tablets (metformin) and/or insulin injections.

Obesity

We see patients for weight management and related conditions.

Obesity is defined as a body mass index (BMI) above 30. In Australia, 2 out of 3 adults, and 1 in 4 children are obese or overweight. Obesity is associated with multiple other health conditions including high blood pressure, high cholesterol, heart disease, arthritis, and sleep apnoea.

We discuss strategies to help with weight loss and avoid the negative health consequences of obesity. The focus is on lifestyle changes, including reducing carbohydrates and sugars in the diet and increasing exercise. Medications may help with achieving these goals.

diabetes specialist melbourne

Thyroid disorders

We manage hyperthyroidism (overactive) and hypothyroidism (underactive), thyroid disorders of pregnancy, thyroid nodules and thyroid cancer.

The thyroid is a small butterfly shaped gland that sits in the front of the neck. It makes hormones that regulate all cells in the body.

Hyperthyroidism is a condition where the thyroid gland becomes overactive and produces too much thyroid hormone. This may be due to Graves disease (an autoimmune condition), thyroiditis or functioning thyroid nodules.

Hypothyroidism is usually a permanent condition where the thyroid gland is underactive and cannot produce enough thyroid hormone. It is the most common thyroid disorder in Australia, affecting around 1 in 33 people. The most common cause is autoimmune, known as Hashimoto’s thyroiditis. Other causes include following thyroid surgery or radioactive iodine treatment used to treat an overactive thyroid. 

Thyroid nodules are caused by overgrowth of the thyroid cells in the thyroid gland. They may be single or multiple (multinodular goitre). The majority of the time, they are benign. Less than 5 in 100 nodules are due to thyroid cancer.

Osteoporosis

We see patients with osteoporosis and disorders of calcium balance, including parathyroid disease.

Osteoporosis is a condition where the bones lose strength and become fragile, increasing the chance of a fracture (a broken bone). This occurs when bones lose mass more quickly than it is replaced, making bones weaker and less dense. Osteoporosis is more common as people get older, particularly in women after menopause due to the decline in oestrogen levels. In Australia, 1 in 5 women and 1 in 20 men over the age of 50 years has osteoporosis. There are no specific symptoms e.g. pain, caused by osteoporosis. It is often first diagnosed when a bone breaks after minimal trauma.

The parathyroid glands, located behind the thyroid, secrete parathyroid hormone which regulate calcium levels in our body. Malfunction of these glands can result in an increase in calcium levels known as hyperparathyroidism. Other causes of high or low calcium levels in the body include malnutrition, lack of vitamin D, cancer and kidney disease.

Pituitary disorders

We manage prolactinomas, acromegaly, hypopituitarism and diabetes insipidus.

The pituitary gland is found at the base of the brain in line with the top of the nose. It is often called the “master gland” as it helps control several other glands, including the thyroid, adrenal, ovaries and testes.

A prolactinoma is a benign tumour arising from the pituitary gland that produces the hormone prolactin. A high prolactin may also be due to other causes such as pregnancy, breastfeeding, certain medications or stress.

Acromegaly is a rare condition due to overproduction of growth hormone in the pituitary gland.

Hypopituitarism is a condition in which the pituitary gland does not make enough of certain hormones. Some of the causes include a tumour, radiation therapy, or trauma e.g. surgery, bleeding.

Diabetes insipidus is a rare condition that leads to passing a lot of urine and excessive thirst. The condition may be caused by problems with your pituitary gland or your kidneys.

Adrenal disorders

We manage adrenal incidentalomas, Addison’s, Cushing’s, Conn’s, and phaeochromocytoma.

We have two adrenal glands, which each sit above the kidneys. They produce a number of hormones that help regulate blood pressure, salt and water balance, reproduction, and the response to stress or illness.

Adrenal incidentalomas are growths on the adrenal glands found by chance. Some of them produce hormones (are functional). They may be benign or due to a cancer.

Adrenal insufficiency occurs when the adrenal glands cannot produce enough steroid hormones (cortisol). This can be due to a problem with the adrenal glands (called primary adrenal insufficiency or Addisons’s disease) or the pituitary gland (called secondary adrenal insufficiency).

Cushing’s disease is a condition that occurs when a benign (non-cancerous) tumour of the pituitary gland produces too much of a hormone called ACTH. This results in excess production of the hormone cortisol.

Conn’s syndrome, also known as primary hyperaldosteronism, is a condition in which the adrenal glands produce too much aldosterone. It is a rare cause of high blood pressure.

Phaeochromocytoma is another rare tumour of the adrenal glands, causing hypertension. In most cases it is benign.

Women’s health

We manage endocrine conditions during pregnancy, polycystic ovarian syndrome and premature menopause.

Polycystic ovarian syndrome affects up to 10% of women and may be associated with high testosterone levels, irregular menstrual cycles and infertility.

Premature menopause is menopause that occurs before the age of 40 years. It may be due to primary ovarian insufficiency where periods stop spontaneously, or as a consequence of treatment for cancer (surgery to remove the ovaries, chemotherapy or radiotherapy).

Certain endocrine conditions may be pre-existing, or occur for the first time during pregnancy. These include hypothyroidism, hyperthyroidism, postpartum thyroiditis and prolactinomas. Careful management during pregnancy is vital to achieve the best outcomes.

We take the time to understand the concerns of each of our patients, and provide personalised care.

To book an appointment, please get in touch.

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