Dr. Friedman explains why endocrine conditions are hard to diagnose.
Endocrine conditions are hard to diagnose because it’s they manifest very differently in different people and there’s not just one thing to look for. So if you have a heart problem, you know you have chest pain, the cardiologist can sort of focus on this one area, one part of your body basically and sort of focus on that.
The endocrine system affects the whole body and a person with hypothyroidism, one patient may have hair loss, the next person may have fatigue, the next person may have constipation, the next person may have slow reflexes, the next person may have weight gain.
So each patient manifest very differently with endocrine problems and there is a textbook case possibly of a patient that has all of them, but most of my patients, especially the ones with somewhat mild endocrine problems, they don’t have all the symptoms.
So they have to sort of put the whole story together. And I think doctors sometimes have trouble doing that and patients may not even suspect an endocrine problem.
They have their hair loss and say, why should that be hormonally related, you know? So it takes a fair amount of detective work, which I think most endocrinologists like to do.
We like to solve these problems in sort of these hard patients that have little things were on with them and try to put the whole story together and improve the quality of life of their patients.
About Dr. Theodore Friedman, M.D., Ph.D., M.Phil.:
Dr. Theodore Friedman, M.D., Ph.D., M.Phil., specializes in hard-to-diagnose-and- treat cases of adrenal, pituitary, thyroid, and fatigue disorders. He's been with the University of California Los Angeles School of Medicine since 2005 and serves as Chief of the Endocrinology, Metabolism and Molecular Medicine Division at Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science. He also served as Director of the Multi-Disciplinary Chronic Fatigue Clinic at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center from 1998-2000.
Dr. Friedman has a private practice near Beverly Hills, California as well as privileges at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center and Martin Luther King Medical Center.