What is an Endocrinologist?


Shortly after your diagnosis, your doctor may have referred you to a diabetes specialist, or an endocrinologist. Endocrinologists specialize in metabolic development and function within the endocrine system, including the medical conditions associated with them. The endocrine system is made up of your body’s glands which produce hormones that control how your body functions, including your pancreas.

Endocrinologists are able to treat people with diabetes because your pancreas is the organ that produces insulin. Their treatment includes:

  • Monitoring your blood sugar
  • Conducting A1c tests
  • Prescribing insulin and oral medication
  • Providing dietary advice
  • Testing for other diabetes-related conditions such as polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS).

Though many with type 2 diabetes may not need to see an endocrinologist, those who have trouble controlling it may benefit from a visit.

When Should I See an Endocrinologist?

You should see an endocrinologist if you’re having trouble controlling diabetes in your life. If your blood sugar is uncontrolled, with or without insulin or oral medication, make an appointment. Experiencing other diabetes-related complications? See an endocrinologist. If your health issues are outside of your endocrinologist’s speciality, ask them to refer you to another specialist. Seeing an endocrinologist may also be beneficial if your primary care physician doesn’t have a lot of experience treating people with type 2 diabetes.

How Can I See an Endocrinologist?

Visiting an endocrinologist may require a referral from your health insurance company, which is usually written by your primary care doctor.  The endocrinologist’s office, itself, may also require a referral. However, some offices do not require one to accept new patients.

Are you already seeing an endocrinologist? Are they listening to you? Read here to learn how to tell if your endocrinologist is truly hearing your concerns. 


WRITTEN BY T'ara Smith, MS, Nutrition Education, POSTED 01/13/19, UPDATED 11/30/22

T’ara was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes in July 2017 at the age of 25. Since her diagnosis, she focused her academic studies and career on diabetes awareness and living a full life with it. She’s excited to have joined the Beyond Type 1 team to continue her work. Outside the office, T’ara enjoys going to the movies, visiting parks with her dog, listening to BTS and cooking awesome healthy meals. T’ara holds an MS in Nutrition Education from American University.