BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - In August, Woman’s Hospital opened a new endocrinology clinic, one of the few in the region to focus solely on conditions of the endocrine system, like diabetes and thyroid disorders.
The endocrine system is composed of glands and organs that produce hormones that control everything from metabolism to blood sugar levels, mood, growth, and even sleep.
“It’s important because it helps play a role with every other system in the body,” said endocrinologist, Dr. Brittani Breaux.
Breaux is the specialist at the new clinic and focuses on how hormonal imbalances can affect patients in a variety of ways. She explains that while some diseases like diabetes may be easy to diagnose, others like thyroid disorders can be more difficult to understand and detect because symptoms can be subtle. Common complaints include things like struggling to lose weight despite diet and exercise, irregular periods in women, feeling too hot or too cold, fatigue, hair loss, or changes in body shape. Dr. Breaux says each of these symptoms can be blamed on other problems, but sometimes, a hormonal imbalance is the underlying cause, especially if there’s a family history.
“That’s why it’s important to get super plugged into your primary care provider, someone who can kind of catch these symptoms on the early end and refer you to the specialist as you need,” said Breaux.
The clinic at Woman’s is also unique in that it takes a close look at how the endocrine system can affect weight loss. Breaux works with a weight loss surgeon on staff to help develop personalized plans for qualifying patients, which can include medication, surgery, or some other form of therapy.
After working through her own struggles to lose 60 lbs, Breaux says she can relate to patients on a personal level.
“I was eating the right foods and I felt like nothing was happening. That’s what I get to communicate with patients,” said Breaux.
The clinic treats men and women and is accepting new patients. However, if you are concerned about any symptoms, Breaux says it’s best to start with your primary care doctor.
More information on the clinic can be found here.