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Endocrinology

Endocrinology is the field of medicine concerned with disorders of the glands and hormonal systems.

Endocrinology

Endocrine glands produce and secrete hormones into the blood or lymph systems.

These glands include:

  • thyroid
  • parathyroid
  • hypothalamus
  • pituitary
  • adrenal
  • islets of Langerhans in the pancreas
  • gonads (testes and ovaries).

These hormones may affect one organ or tissue or the entire body. There are many disorders that can result when too few hormones are secreted (hyposecretion) or too many are secreted (hypersecretion).

Disorders that may result when a particular gland does not produce the right amount of hormones include the following.

  • Thyroid: hypothyroidism, myxoedema, goitre, thyrotoxicosis
  • Parathyroid: high calcium, tetany, renal calculi, excessive loss of minerals from bone, hypercalcaemia
  • Adrenal: Addison's disease, phaeochromocytoma
  • Pituitary: non-functioning tumour, diabetes insipidus, acromegaly, gigantism, Cushing's syndrome, dwarfism
  • Testes and ovaries: lack of sex development, hypogonadism
  • Pancreas: diabetes, hypoglycaemia

These conditions may be treated by medicine or surgery. Oxford University Hospitals has internationally recognised experts in the treatment of these disorders.

For more information please visit::

What is Endocrinology? - Society for Edocrinology

OCDEM

OCDEM is a unique clinical, academic and research partnership that is home to the OUH Endocrinology Department and is a renowned tertiary referral service.

OCDEM's busy medical department provides a wide range of endocrine clinics.

Clinics

  • Thyroid
  • Radioiodine for Benign Thyroid Disease
  • Thyroid Cancer MDT clinics (joint with Endocrine Surgery and Oncology)
  • Thyroid Eye Disease MDT clinics (joint with Ophthalmology and Rheumatology)
  • Joint Pituitary Clinics (joint with Neurosurgery)
  • Endocrine Oncology and NET Service (OCDEM is a ENETs Centre of Excellence)
  • Reproductive Clinic
  • Metabolic Bone Clinic
  • Transition Endocrinology (joint with Paediatrics)
  • Late Effects Clinic (joint with Oncology)
  • Turners Clinic
  • Congenital Adrenal Hyperplasia (CAH) Clinic
  • Endocrine Effects of Immunotherapies (joint with Oncology)
  • General Endocrinology Clinic (where we will see a range of common acute and chronic endocrinology conditions)
  • Antenatal endocrine
  • Bagot and Drake Ward (day unit)

For more information please visit:

Appointments

We are currently running a range of appointment types from in person consultations, to video and telephone consultations.

Please only come to the department if you are scheduled to have an in person consultation.

If you have any concerns or would like to speak to a member of the team about your appointment, please contact us.

Tel: 01865 857300

For urgent endocrinology advice out of hours, please contact the on-call Endocrinology team via OUH Switchboard.

Tel: 0300 304 7777

Getting your bloods done

Currently blood-taking services within OCDEM are limited. When available, they are often reserved for special tests that cannot be facilitated elsewhere.

This means we may ask you to get your bloods done at one of our Phlebotomy hubs.

On the Churchill Hospital site there is a drop-in Phlebotomy service which patients can access:

Phlebotomy (blood tests)

Detail from Churchill Hospital site map

Consultants

  • Dr Bahram Jafar-Mohammadi
  • Dr Christine May
  • Professor Katherine Owen
  • Dr Aparna Pal
  • Professor David Ray
  • Professor Jeremy Tomlinson
  • Dr Helen Turner

Information leaflets

Patient information leaflets library

Support groups

The Society for Endocrinology is affiliated with a wide variety of groups offering information and support.

Find us and contact us

OCDEM is based at the Churchill Hospital.

Tel: 01865 857371 (Reception)

Map

Detail from Churchill Hospital site map highlighting OCDEM, Car Park 4 and Pharmacy (pdf, 213 KB)

COVID-19 vaccine information

COVID-19 vaccine information for endocrine patients

Coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccine - NHS website

Vaccination FAQ

Q1: I have an autoimmune disorder (such as thyrotoxicosis/Graves' disease): when will I be eligible for the COVID-19 vaccination?

A1: Thyroid disease (including the following conditions; Graves disease, multi nodular goitre, single toxic nodule, thyroid cancer, hypothyroidism) do not alter your category vaccine priority group. Patients on medication for thyroid cancer prescribed by the oncology team or rituximab for thyroid eye disease may place you in a different category than those allocated by age, please contact your oncologist, ophthalmologist for clarification if this applies to you.
If you are taking rituximab for thyroid eye disease, you will be in priority group 4.

Q2: I don't think the classification of my priority category is accurate. What should I do?

A2: The classification and prioritisation of people is based on details stored in your GP record. As such, if you have concerns about your category, please contact your GP.

Health conditions and coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccination - NHS website

Q3: Which vaccine should I have?

A3: If you have diabetes or an endocrine disorder, we strongly encourage you to get the coronavirus vaccine and take whichever vaccine you're offered. This is because people in these groups are vulnerable to developing a severe illness if they do get coronavirus, and vaccines are the most effective way to prevent that from happening. All of the vaccines in the UK appear to offer good protection against severe disease and it is important to be vaccinated as soon as possible. Please don't delay having your vaccine.

Q4: What should I do with my hydrocortisone doses before/after the COVID-19 vaccine?

A4: There is no need to routinely increase hydrocortisone / steroid dose in patients on maintenance dose steroids at the time of vaccination if no significant symptoms.

In a few patients the vaccine may result in a mild reaction similar to a viral infection (temperature, tiredness) or you may be anxious or stressed about having the vaccine.

If you have symptoms we would recommend an increase in the hydrocortisone or steroid dose as if you were manging a viral illness.

This is likely to need only double dose of hydrocortisone for 24 hours after the injection.

You may be prioritised in a higher category for vaccination for other reasons, including because of your age, or another underlying health problem which makes you more vulnerable than the adrenal insufficiency / steroid-dependence alone. If you believe you should be in a certain priority group, please discuss this with your GP.

Q5: When will I get the vaccine?

A5: The vaccine rollout programme is rapidly proceeding and dates for vaccination are changing regularly. The COVID-19 vaccination programme is organised by local commissioners and general practice. As such, OCDEM is unable to provide you updates about when you are likely to be vaccinated.

Last reviewed:25 July 2022