Diabetes & Endocrinology

Treating adrenal disorders, diabetes and endocrine-related concerns

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Top-ranked care for hormone and endocrine gland management.

Top 20 Nationally

U.S. News & World Report ranks UW Medical Center's diabetes and endocrinology care among the top 20 nationally for our patient care and outcomes.

Community of Experts

With unique specialization and clinical discoveries in diabetes, thyroid and pituitary conditions, you’re in the best possible hands with our experts.

Partners in Your Care

Our award-winning doctors, educators, nurses and dieticians work together with you and across disciplines to individualize a plan to manage your disease.

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Featured Provider

Meet the provider: Farah Khan, M.D.

Dr. Khan is a board-certified internal medicine physician and accomplished health writer who manages a wide array of endocrine-related health concerns for her patients. View full bio

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Some of our common services:


The adrenal glands produce hormones that help your body control blood sugar, burn protein and fat. Adrenal disorders can be caused by too much or too little of a particular hormone. The good news is that the conditions caused by overproduction or underproduction of adrenal hormones are very treatable.

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Adrenal insufficiency, also called Addison’s Disease, occurs when the adrenal glands don’t make enough of the hormone cortisol. Your healthcare provider will figure out the best treatment for you based on a variety of factors including age, health status and your ability to handle certain medicines, procedures, or therapies.

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Cushing’s syndrome is a hormone disorder caused by having high levels of the hormone cortisol. Cushing’s syndrome is fairly rare and most often affects adults who are 20 to 50 years old. Diagnosis often includes a variety of tests and there are several treatments available depending on how severe the condition is.

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Cancer that starts in the adrenal glands is rare. Most tumors in the adrenal glands are not cancer. However, if a tumor is believed to be cancerous there are a variety of surgical techniques and procedures that can be used for treatment. Your doctor and care team will work with you to determine which approach will provide the best outcome.

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Excess parathyroid hormone (PTH) secretion may be due to hyperparathyroidism, which is most frequently caused by a benign parathyroid tumor. In rare cases, it may be caused by cancer. If your calcium levels are high and PTH levels low, then your parathyroid glands are not working properly and will produce inappropriate amounts of PTH. The range of signs and symptoms include: fragile bones (osteoporosis), kidney stones, excessive urination and abdominal pain. A variety of treatments are available and our team of experts will work with you to find the one that offers the best outcome for you.

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Diabetes is a condition in which sufficient amounts of insulin are either not made, or the body is unable to use the insulin that is made. The goal of diabetes management is to keep blood glucose levels as close to normal as safely possible. Since diabetes may greatly increase risk for heart disease, kidney, eye, skin, thyroid and circulation problems, measures to control blood pressure and cholesterol levels are an essential part of diabetes treatment.

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Blood glucose levels show how well your diabetes is being controlled. If your blood sugar levels are consistently normal, diabetes complications may be reduced or even prevented.

There are many types of blood glucose monitors available today. They range in price, size and length of testing time. Your care team will work with you to determine which monitoring device will work best for you.

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Monitoring your diabetes, staying active, eating healthy and attending regularly scheduled visits with your healthcare providers all play important roles in managing your diabetes and staying healthy. Keeping up-to-date on the latest advances and research can also play an important role.

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Research has long indicated a connection between diabetes and mental health. When diabetes and mental health issues occur together, outcomes decline through impaired quality of life, increased emergency room visits, higher rates of hospitalizations and an increased cost of care.

Our experts will work with you to ensure you receive effective and comprehensive treatment.

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A good diabetes management plan should always include lifestyle changes like careful meal planning. Eating right helps control blood sugar and cuts the risk of developing diabetes complications. In addition, exercise offers a number of benefits for your overall health. You'll not only control your weight and lower your blood sugar level -- you'll also feel much better about yourself and your total health.

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Doing "whatever it takes" by adding medication and insulin to better manage your diabetes is known as "combination therapy." There are two approaches to combination therapy; taking at least two types of diabetes pills and taking diabetes pills plus insulin. Taking more than one kind of diabetes pill and injections to control your blood glucose may seem to be a lot of work, but it’s worth it to prevent the complications of diabetes.

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Hypertension is the medical term for high blood pressure. Endocrine hypertension can be caused when glands produce too much or not enough hormone, or when they are affected by tumors. Using the latest research and medical advances our team of experts can help you get your endocrine hypertension under control.

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Our Endocrine Tumor Program provides advanced specialty care at four different locations for patients with benign and malignant disease of the thyroid, parathyroid and adrenal glands. Your multidisciplinary care team of specialists includes top-ranked endocrinologists, surgeons and oncologists. Services offered include initial diagnosis, treatment and ongoing management of thyroid, parathyroid and adrenal gland nodules, masses, cancers and other conditions, including fine needle aspiration (biopsy) and surgical options.

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Cross-sex hormone therapy has the same risks as sex hormone replacement therapy in biological males and females. We are experts at providing hormone therapy for transsexual persons who want to develop the physical characteristics of their desired gender. The aims of therapy are to suppress the production of hormones that are determined by your genetic sex and to maintain the cross-sex levels within the normal range of your desired gender.

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Hypoglycemia means that your blood sugar is low and your body is not getting enough fuel. Some medicines to treat diabetes can cause low blood sugar. Your care team are experts at identifying and resolving hypoglycemic issues.

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Men who have hypogonadism do not make enough testosterone. This hormone allows men to make sperm and to have normal physical male traits. About 33% of men with type 2 diabetes have low testosterone levels. There are several causes of low testosterone. Working with you, your clinical team will help identify the underlying cause, and provide the best care options when your testosterone is low.

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Nearly every system of your body needs thyroid hormone to function normally, so conditions of low thyroid hormone, or hypothyroidism, can result in many different symptoms. Fortunately, thyroid hormone can easily be replaced with medication and your care provider can help determine the best replacement regimen for you.

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There are several possible causes of excess thyroid hormone, or hyperthyroidism. Our thyroid experts are able to arrange the correct diagnostic tests and help you to decide the best treatment option for your unique situation.

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Often diabetes will lower "good" cholesterol levels and raise triglyceride and "bad" cholesterol levels. This increases the risk for heart disease and stroke. Learn more about these serious risks and take an important step in maintaining your optimum health by scheduling an appointment today.

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When it comes to managing your diabetes, knowledge is power. And that’s why our Diabetes Care Center offers a variety of group education classes. You’ll learn about a wide array of subjects including self blood glucose monitoring, healthful eating, counting carbohydrates and the many benefits of increased physical activity.

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Low bone mass, or osteoporosis, can increase your risk of fracture. Osteoporosis is often a complication of type 1 diabetes and has also been observed to be greater in patients with poorly controlled diabetes. There are many therapies available for the prevention and treatment of osteoporosis including dietary changes, exercise and medications. Talk to your healthcare team about the different osteoporosis treatment options that may be right for you.

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Inform yourself to make the best choices for your health and care with UW Medicine patient education resources.

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Emotional support is an important part of your treatment. Support groups and community resources can help you and your loved ones through treatment and recovery.

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The pituitary glands are responsible for releasing hormones into your body. If you have a disorder of the pituitary gland, you are either making too much or not making enough of a certain hormone. Our skilled endocrinologists can help diagnose these disorders and offer many treatments, programs and support for people with pituitary dysfunction.

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Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is the most common cause of female infertility. Since PCOS causes high glucose levels, it’s important for pregnant women with PCOS to schedule screenings for gestational diabetes during pregnancy.

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When cancer forms on the thyroid gland you may see or feel a lump at the front base of your neck. Thyroid cancer is diagnosed with ultrasound and/or a fine needle biopsy that usually can be done in the doctor's office. Treatment may include surgery, hormone replacement, radioactive iodine, radiation and chemotherapy.

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Thyroid nodules are lumps that commonly arise within an otherwise normal thyroid gland. Most commonly, these abnormal growths of thyroid tissue do not produce any symptoms. Thyroid nodules are usually found during a routine examination of the neck, or from X-rays. Small growths on the thyroid most often are benign (not cancer) and are diagnosed with ultrasound and/or a fine needle biopsy that usually can be done in the doctor's office.

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