As the obesity epidemic continues to intensify, it’s becoming clear that there’s more to obesity than lifestyle choices.
Therefore, endocrinologists carefully examine the genetic and physiological causes and effects of obesity and develop treatment options that can produce concrete results.
The body’s endocrine system regulates appetite, metabolism (food burning and waste elimination), and growth through chemicals known as hormones.
Endocrinologists play a vital role in:
- Defining the hormonal control of fat, carbohydrate, and protein metabolism
- Identifying the hormones that regulate appetite
- Examining the genetics of obesity
- Developing experimental models of obesity
- Dissecting the physiology of fat cells
- Unraveling the control of lipids
- Obesity and Diabetes
Blood glucose is produced by the body from the foods that you eat (and some by the liver). Insulin, a hormone produced by the pancreas, takes the sugar from the bloodstream and carries it to your cells where it is used for energy. This process controls the amount of sugar in your blood, keeping it from getting too low or too high.
When a person is overweight, the cells in the body become less sensitive to the insulin that is released from the pancreas. Pre-diabetes is a condition in which your body becomes resistant to the effect of insulin and doesn't take up sugar from the bloodstream as it normally would. This causes the levels of blood sugar to become higher than normal. Over time, having too much sugar in your blood puts you at risk for developing type 2 diabetes.
Research in endocrinology and metabolism is wide-reaching and can cover aspects as diverse as:
- Determining how sex hormones regulate muscle, bone and fat mass and cellular activity
- Characterising the disruption to metabolic pathways that is seen in diabetes, providing the background research to generate and characterise genetic models to facilitate studies in both diabetes and obesity
- Novel therapies for the treatment of diabetic heart and kidney disease
- Investigating how body weight is regulated, understanding why it is difficult to maintain weight loss and testing novel treatments for obesity and diabetes