Symptoms caused by hormonal issues can look like those of many other common conditions, so correctly diagnosing an endocrine disorder can take a bit of detective work.
Endocrinologists in the Sutter Health network use a variety of laboratory tests to measure the levels of various hormones in your body, which may reveal which endocrine system glands are not working correctly.
- Tests to detect diabetes and prediabetes include the blood glucose test and the glycated hemoglobin test (A1c). Pregnant women may have glucose tolerance tests to screen for gestational diabetes.
- Several tests can see how well your thyroid is working, primarily thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH).
- Blood tests for luteinizing hormone (LH), follicle stimulating hormone and estradiol can help to detect female hormonal issues.
- Tests for total testosterone can pinpoint male hormonal issues.
- Other blood tests detect levels of the hormones cortisol, 17 hydroxyprogesterone, androstenedione, DHEA-sulfate, inhibin B, anti-Mullerian hormone, prolactin and various forms of estrogen.
Your endocrinologist may order a number of imaging exams to look at the functionality of your endocrine system and the possible effects on other structures.
- Several hormones can affect your bone density and put you at risk for osteoporosis. A bone density scan, a simple x-ray, can assess your bone health.
- An MRI of the pituitary gland can reveal abnormalities of that structure.
- An orbit CT scan may be needed to check the area around the eyes for evidence of Graves’ disease, a thyroid disorder.
- A thyroid scan can show the structure of the thyroid gland. A related test, the radioactive iodine uptake test, assesses thyroid function by measuring how avidly the thyroid absorbs iodine.
- Ultrasound imaging may be used to look at the structure of the thyroid.
Don’t suffer with hormonal issues any longer. Let one of our expert endocrinologists diagnose your condition and restore you to good health.